T-systems or transformations systems are all the people, efforts, and initiatives working independently or collectively to transform the system. T-Systems include both individual T-entrepreneurs and T-initiatives working for change such as an initiative inside a status quo organization, or independent such as a research institute, NGO, radical enterprise, or a collaboration of T-initiatives. T-systems participants may or may not have a transformations intent; many working for new technologies simply have a money-making intent, although their impact can be transformational.
T-systems form around issues and places to transform a status quo system. Status quo systems include the people, organizations, and institutions, arrangements, operating rules, practices, and standards that collectively work to deliver a set of goods, services, or values. Examples of systems include food production and supply, energy production, and health care. T-systems exist in and alongside of such existing systems. Just as we need powerful food systems to provide food security and health systems to support physical and mental well-being, we need powerful transformations systems to realize purposeful transformation.
Today there is little recognition and poor organization of T-systems. As a result, many transformational efforts simply muddle along without coherence or guidance, with fragmented efforts going in different directions. Transformations agents are more effective when their actions are guided by an understanding of their T-system, its dynamics and structure. This provides the basis for connecting to address T-system weaknesses such as gaps in effort, redundancies, conflicts and missed synergies. Connecting across different change efforts can catalyze change, amplify learning and provide collective power to take on deep systems challenges.
T-systems require infrastructure to become powerful. This involves creating within a T-system the consciousness and relationships among transformations entrepreneurs and initiatives of their system. This allows them to take action in the context of their T-system’s needs, to align and take on shared challenges…and become a powerful T-system. The SDG Transformations Forum comprises T-systems participants who are developing their infrastructure collaboratively.