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Systems Thinking

FSG understands that social change is about systems change. We support social change leaders and their teams in applying the principles and practices of systems thinking to their work using a variety of tools and approaches.

How We Work

  • Explore issues from a systems perspective, looking deeply at context, connections, and patterns, and incorporating multiple perspectives into our work.
  • Support collaboration across sectors, including with corporations and governments, to forge cross-sector coalitions to tackle large-scale problems to produce systems change.
  • Elevate those with lived experience to help shape system change solutions.
  • We aim to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), through the questions we ask, the way we analyze data, how we engage with others, and the recommendations we make on strategy and partnerships.
  • Provide training, webinars, coaching, and technical assistance to build the field’s capacity to apply a systems thinking lens to their work.
  • Contribute to the field through publications and tools that support systems thinking and change.


  • Facilitating the development of emergent strategies, including supporting the organization’s implementation of processes, structure, and culture for evolving contexts.
  • Supporting an organization’s development of strategies for systems change, individually or in concert with others.
  • Designing and implementing learning and evaluation systems and practices that support systems change activity.
  • Providing customized coaching services to collaboratives and collective impact initiatives at all stages—from forming and emerging to mature.
  • Creating tools and publishing research to support systems change.

FSG did a top-level job—looking at the big picture, identifying issues, and providing practical guidance to working out problems.
Laura Leviton, Senior Advisor for Evaluation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Intellectual rigor, deep knowledge of organizations and systems, and commitment to communities—for those reasons, FSG is an invaluable partner. We couldn’t—and wouldn’t want to—do it without them. 
Melody C. Barnes, Chair
Aspen Forum for Community Solutions
I was extremely pleased with FSG and the team; they were creative and innovative... They also really broadened and deepened our community outreach by involving segments of the community who were not previously involved. They got penetration in the community, and that was truly impressive to watch.
Jim Postl, Chair
Early Matters

Systems Change Projects