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Constellations

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Robert is a leading practitioner of Systemic Constellations. He offers both personal and organisational Constellations for individuals and businesses.

Robert began his practice in 2007. Since then he has run many hundreds of Constellations for a wide range of organisations and individuals, addressing an equally wide range of issues, and in locations as diverse as Paris, Prague, New York City, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lisbon, Ljubljana, and Amsterdam.

Robert's events, whether online or offline, take place in a confidential environment where he works with the field to reveal hidden dynamics in personal, organisational, creative and social systems. Robert also offers some theory to help make sense of the process.

What is a Constellation?

In this video, Robert and fellow Constellations expert Nicola Dunn explain exactly what a Constellation is.

The video is one in a series of ‘Constellations Conversations’ that you can watch here.

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Robert training a group of Constellations students

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Preparing for Constellations in Slovenia, Oxford and Lisbon 

WHAT IS SYSTEMIC THINKING?

Confusion reigns. How is systemic thinking different from systems thinking? How does ‘systemic’ differ from ‘endemic’? What’s the difference between ‘systemic’ and ‘systematic’?

Here are the definitions that I work with:

1. To be ‘systematic’ is to work through something methodically and with a sense of a plan. It’s about rigour and persistence. Which is all good, but only slightly related to ‘systemic’.

2. People often use the word ‘systemic’ when they mean ‘endemic’. ‘Endemic’ means ‘widespread’ (or more literally, ‘among the people’, just as ‘pandemic’ means ’throughout all the people'). ’Systemic’ is increasingly used in relation to the culture of an organisation to denote a widespread problem such as racism or sexism.

3. ‘Systems thinking’ is a bit more scientific, and is related among other things to maths and engineering. It is a way of understanding the complex interdependencies between the elements in a system - usually, but not always, a non-organic system. One might call for a ’systems approach’ to tackling geopolitics where the issues are so complex and overlapping that they elude a simple narrative and require us to think, sometimes literally, with the power of a supercomputer

4. ‘Systemic’ has both a more general and a more specific meaning. The more general meaning of ‘systemic’ indicates, for example, a persistent and recurring problem that can’t be dealt with at a surface level. Systemic points to root causes. So where, following the example above, endemic sexism or racism can’t be eradicated, then it becomes ’systemic’. In this it connects to the specific use of ‘systemic’ in the practice known as Constellations. What is ‘systemic’ about Constellations is that it looks at a family or an organisational system in such a way as to include what has been excluded both from the present and the past. In other words, to be systemic from a Constellations perspective is to look even more broadly and deeply, and especially to investigate the distant origins of a problem.

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