Thinking like a Forest: Whole Systems Question Game

What is the Whole Systems Question Game?


Forest ecologies

Whole Systems Questions Game

Here is a list of questions you can take into your context to interrogate, unbundle and start to work with whole systems

- What are the resources we rely on?

- Where do our resources come from?

- How do we make decisions?

- How are we making use of collective intelligence?

- How do we increase collective intelligence? (Diversity, Expertise)

- How do we inform our decisions?

- How do we do internal sensemaking?

- How are we increasing the connective tissue of the communities we are part of?

- How do we contribute to the ecosystem / ecology?

- Where and how do we build capacity?

- What do we do in the in between space?

- How do we open source our approaches?

- How do we differentiate and specialise?

- What is our role in the ecosystem?

- How do we learn?

- How do we keep adapting and changing?

- Where do we train perception?

- Where do we build in regular space for reflection?

- When and how do we check in with purpose?

- How and when do we deal with conflicts?

- What are the things we will never go below or under (lower limits)?

- What are the things we will never go above or over (upper limits)?

- What are our boundaries?

- What are our edges?

- What are our most fertile edges?

- What are we measuring?

- What are the parts of the system with the most context?

- Where are we not seeing?

- How are we sharing what we learn?

- How could we share in ways that people engage with?

- How could we share more little and often?

- Where is there waste?

- When and how do we decide to stop doing things?

- What is the role of your sector?

- What does your sector enable?

- What does your sector perpetuate?

- What does your sector hold back?

- What does your sector stop?

- What else?

- And what are we not asking yet?

Questioning the whole system

What are your questions? What would you add? If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute to the further development of this as a resource, please write to me at

Cares about the common good. Building capacity for deep systems change. Complexity & ecosystems obsessive. Experiments for everything. 10 yrs #systemsthinking.