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    Books, courses, certification, tools and technology for systems thinkers worldwide.

    ST Step by Step v2

    Choose your own path with the engagement options below or take our recommended path...

    Learn Systems Thinking Step by Step

    We want to make learning scientifically-valid Systems Thinking straight forward and fun. After teaching these ideas to hundreds of thousands of students, we know that this five-step process is efficient and effective in creating GREAT systems thinkers. Best of all, you will be able to start applying what you learn to your most pressing challenges on Day 1.

    Dog-eared books you'll return to over and over again

    Award-winning, best-selling books from Cornell faculty

    Whether its our award-winning, best-selling book, Systems Thinking Made Simple, or the paradigm changing Flock Not Clock for organizational design and leadership, people say they love the aesthetic of our books and the fact that they are based on the most advanced research in the field but without the wonky academic speak. 

    A Personal Report on Your Systems Thinking Skills

    Systems Thinking & Metacognition Inventory (STMI)

    The only validated instrument that gives you a baseline of your systems thinking skills in a personalized report, full of rich data and recommendations, in under 20 minutes. Learn what to keep doing and what to start doing more of based on the science of what works.

    Online and Live Courses & Certifications

    Systems Thinking Micro-credentials Cornell University Faculty

    Skills you can use in under 20 minutes

    Micro Courses

    If you've got 20 minutes, we'll teach you a transformative and immediately applicable systems thinking concept.
    Systems Thinking Courses Cornell University Faculty

    5-6 hours, online, self-paced certificates

    Basic Skills Courses

    The best of empirical research made accessible in practical videos, engaging activities, and checks for understanding.
    Systems Thinking Certification Cornell University Faculty

    Live cohort intensive training 

    Advanced Certification

    Get trained by the very best and become the resident expert, certified coach or trainer inside your organization.



    An exclusive learning & problem solving network

    Systems Thinking Daily Premium Network

    In decades of researching, teaching, and learning Systems Thinking, we've learned that the #1 factor of success is that make it a part of your daily life—don’t try to swallow the elephant whole, make incremental daily progress. Systems Thinking does a lot of powerful things, but it doesn’t implement itself. Like any skill, you have to practice it daily. Our courses are a great way to build your base skills, but the Systems Thinking Daily Premium Network  takes these skills to the next level. This exclusive community of people support each other in doing simple things everyday (micro-activities) to build their skills for the long term. The network is for novices and experts committed to the daily practice of scientifically-sound systems thinking. We build skills every day through daily reps and streaks, community dialogue, expert-led courses, micro credentials, 1-on-1 mentoring, live events, interactive challenges, and peer feedback. 
    Dicks Systems Leadership 09.23.2021

    Design and build an adaptive organization

    Vision-Mission Bootcamp

    This is not your typical Vision-Mission offsite... you'll going to need to toss out everything you think you know about Vision and Mission. If you've sat through a Vision-Mission offsite in an idyllic setting only to end up with a paragraph-long word-salad of platitudes, we feel your pain. The results are often bulky, cumbersome, wordy, and unmemorable statements that ad don't coalesce and motivate your employees. At Cabrera Research Lab, we did our research. We found that most organizations, organizational leaders, and employees are not only confused about what constitutes Vision and a Mission,  they also have a hard time communicating and connecting everyone to a commonly shared Vision and Mission. The net-result is most work efforts become fractured and inefficient. We waste time and money working towards different things; or worse, yet, lose employee morale and momentum towards a shared vision. to design an effective Vision-Mission fail.  There's a better way...

    Tools and Technology



    Visualize complex systems and share with others

    DSRP Systems Mapping Software

    We don't just do the research, we are designers and inventors of powerful tools that aid thinking. Dr. Derek Cabrera holds two US patents for the the science and technology that underlies Plectica, subtask, and  software. Diagram your thinking in real time, together. For strategists, educators, technologists, designers, policy makers, and thinkers of all sorts! Using DSRP as the underlying algorithm and knowledge architecture, Dr. Derek Cabrera invented the research prototype software MetaMap, which began as a research project on visualization of complex cognition. This research project led to the Cabrera's founding Plectica where Dr. Derek Cabrera invented Plectica canvas software. Plectica is the best way to visualize systems thinking. Plectica was sold to Frameable and CRL is no longer involved. Please visit the Plectica site for more information on the software.

    Copy of thinkblocks (1)

    A tactile, object-oriented, 3-D whiteboard 

    DSRP Systems Thinking Blocks

    Dr. Derek Cabrera holds two US patents for the the science and technology that underlies ThinkBlocks. ThinkBlocks allow you and your dynamically build mental models together, especially for the most difficult or complex problems. Originally designed to assist scientists think through wicked problems, ThinkBlocks are used by children and adults alike to build object-oriented, dynamic mental models. The Blocks are dry-eraseable, which makes them like an object-oriented, 3-D whiteboard.  For strategists, educators, technologists, designers, policy makers, and thinkers of all sorts! 


    Laura Engaging

    Premium Engagements 1:N

    Keynotes & Live Trainings

    We have worked with some of the Silicon Valley's most notable brands, blue chips, and Fortune 100 as well as start ups, nonprofits, school districts, universities, and the government sector. Let us help you bring systems thinking, systems mapping, and systems leadership to your organization. Talk with us about bespoke keynote addresses, in-person training, executive training, or ongoing webinars. With any training, we offer a host of add-on and contextualizing options including: engaging pre-work (videos, short reads, etc), customized cases and activities, reference books, pre and post diagnostics, pre and post webinars, customized/branded materials for your executives or group. During the COVID crisis we are moving our live engagements to online delivery. COVID has caused us all to think differently about delivery options. The silver lining to some of these challenges is that we can deliver the same dynamic courses live online while saving clients significant costs in attendee hotels and travel and increasing the number of participants.



    Think Different. Ask Different Questions 


    Thinkquiry is the term we use for thinking differently about how we ask questions from a systems thinking approach. What’s different about Thinkquiry is the underlying logic of DSRP which is multivalent. Traditional question logic is born of Socratic Logic (which is bivalent logic) and typically employs such rubrics as the 5Ws (Who, What, Where, When, Why). DSRP logic expands on this bivalent logic, which means that these kinds of questions can still be asked, but we are encouraged to penetrate deeper into our topic and ask deeper questions.