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Compass Education’s Systems Thinking and Sustainability Workshop at the International School of Hava

By: Berrin Schofield, Curriculum Coordinator, International School of Havana

Schools are truly complicated places; we are educating a generation of learners that face an increasingly complicated and unknown future. Educators the world over continually ask the question: what do our students need to know? While there are a myriad of answers, there are some things that we can learn and teach that are universally applicable and will remain so in the future. These are our levers with which, as educators, we can quite literally change the world.


Systems are everywhere and sustainability is much more than an environmental catch cry. If one wishes to make lasting change one must first understand the system in which the desired change resides. This is true if the change is to government policy, corporate behaviour or a school’s homework practices. The concepts and skills of Systems Thinking, Sustainability, and Sustainable Development are key. Equipping learning communities with the tools to see systems, act sustainably and make lasting authentic change is empowering for individuals and, unquestionably, essential for the future.

Over the weekend of the 1st of October, 32 highly diverse and talented individuals completed Compass Education’s Level 2 Educators course, hosted by the International School of Havana. During two full days, participants took a deeper dive into the concepts of Systems Thinking, Sustainability and the tools available to Compass Educators with a focus on initiating and sustaining change.


Our Systems and Sustainability “gurus” were Robert Steele, co-founder of Compass Education and Michael Lees, Director of the International School of Havana. Zoe Perry, who recently completed Level 2 certification at NIST Bangkok provided additional expertise. Together they facilitated our journey around “The Compass”, under the “Ice Berg”, and through “The Pyramid” while not dropping “The Hoop”. Thank you to the facilitators and to all the participants for an engaging, collaborative, personally reflective, challenging, highly enjoyable and transformational experience.

Thank you also to our major sponsor, Association of American Schools in South America (AASSA) and the Hotel Mercure Sevilla for providing the venue for this event. Without such support this valuable experience would not have been possible.

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