Plexus News Banner
Thursday Complexity Post
December 19, 2013

Plexus Institute Receives Education Grant


Plexus Institute has received a $2.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a three year project in California's Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) to discover, develop and promote methods that help K-12 educators continually improve so that their students achieve better outcomes.


Research has shown many educators plateau professionally after only a few years on the job, while some improve continually throughout their careers. Plexus Institute is dedicated to the idea that solutions to most challenges already exist within the community. Plexus will provide coaching and support customized for LBUSD teachers, administrators, students and support staff that will be specifically designed to help members of the educational community discover the conditions and practices that foster continuous growth in teaching effectiveness and student achievement. Plexus Institute is a nonprofit devoted to innovative improvement approaches for serious challenges."


Working with Plexus coaches and members of the Long Beach educational community, project participants will identify existing practices that enable continuous professional growth, which can then be refined for wide application. New and redesigned practices will be incorporated in the education of Long Beach children on an ongoing basis, and will be available for application elsewhere.


Plexus will use a collection of innovative processes to help discover the conditions that allow teachers to tap their strengths and experience and use all available resources to develop new ways to improve education. In previous work Plexus has used these processes in such complex settings as hospitals, schools, prisons and other organizations, and results have included reduced healthcare associated infections, higher graduation rates, lower recidivism and improved employee retention.


Remember PlexusCalls!

Friday, January 10, 2014- 1-2 PM ET

Citizens, Community and Education in South Africa 
Guest: Louise van Rhyn and Lisa Kimball




How can citizens create a culture of collaboration, lead lives of contribution and become social architects of the communities they envision? The DVD South Africa: Alive With Possibility  has examples. Organizational Development guru and thought leader Peter Block says Louise van Rhyn has "the passion to restore high performance and humanity to our organizations and communities. She is a national treasure."  


Louise van Rhyn founded Symphonia, a group of organizations committed to sustainable transformation in people, teams, companies, organizations, and communities, in 2008. She has a doctoral degree in organizational change, and 25 years experience as a change practitioner with focus on large scale change in complex social systems. Through Symphonia for South Africa, a community focused-NPO, she is committed to mobilizing citizens to become actively involved addressing the educational crisis in South Africa. She initiated the innovative School@theCentreofCommunity leadership development process that creates an opportunity for business leaders and school principals to develop their leadership skills in co-learning partnerships. Louise has studied complex systems with Ralph Stacey and Patricia Shaw.


Lisa Kimball, PhD is an entrepreneur with more than 30 years experience as an organizational consultant with business, government and nonprofit organizations. As CEO of Metasystems Design Group and Executive Producer of Group Jazz she supported the efforts of teams, task forces, communities and organizations and specialized in helping them leverage the power of new technology and social media. She is active in online community work, organizational development (she also serves on the Board of the Organization Development Network) and is skilled in applying complexity-inspired principles. She has worked with hospitals applying Positive Deviance methodology to the problem of eliminating transmission of hospital acquired "superbug" infections. She has trained PD consultants and coaches as well as designing and developing materials to support hospital teams. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology; Cognition & Learning from Catholic University of America where her research focused on problem solving strategies of senior executives in complex systems. Lisa served as Plexus Institute President for three years and continues to serve Plexus as chair for learning programs.


Audio from all PlexusCall series is available by searching the iTunes store for plexuscalls. Or, visit under Resources/Call Series. 


Follow us on Twitter          

 Like us on Facebook 


Plexus Institute

1025 Connecticut Ave, NW Ste 1000 

Washington, DC  20036

Phone: 888-466-4884

...fostering the health of individuals,

families, communities, organizations,

and our natural environment by helping people

use concepts emerging from the new

science of complexity


Join Plexus 

 Find us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter