HSD training

HSD Professional Certification Training Program

The Human Systems Dynamics Institute was founded by Glenda Eoyang in 2003 to address an emergent trend in the marketplace. The ways organizations were addressing the complexity and speed of change with their own organizations were no longer working. Leaders were stuck and could not find the way forward.

What is HSD?

Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) is an emerging field of research and practice that applies principles of complexity, nonlinear dynamics, and chaos theory to the study of groups of humans as they live and work in teams, organizations, and communities.

As people come together to work or play, to plan, or to make decisions, each brings myriad experiences, knowledge, and needs. These complicated and free agents interact with each other, resulting in patterns of behavior that emerge from the diversity of the group. Human systems dynamics is the study of those emergent patterns and what they can teach about productive possibilities for human action.

How is HSD different from other models?

Based on complex adaptive systems theory, HSD goes beyond the traditional, linear models of systems that rely on step-by-step planning and expectations. Linear models assume predictable environments and predictable outcomes with high levels of agreement and certainty.  But such linear models of thinking and functioning break down in the unpredictable, emergent environments of today’s social and economic systems. In contrast, HSD is an innovative way to think about organizations. It recognizes that most human systems evolve from complex interactions, so its descriptions better match reality of behavior and action in individual, group, organizational, and community behavior.

Because it is about the dynamics of human interaction, HSD principles are applicable at all scales: personal, interpersonal, group, team, organization, and community. It gives a language for seeing and understanding the patterns of interaction and decision making in ways that point to viable, wise action. Additionally, because that language is universally simple, it allows for shared understanding and action that builds coherence and connection for individual and groups.

HSD Professional Certification

The Human Systems Dynamics (HSD) Professional Certification program launches with three days of face-to-face training in Helsinki. That session is then followed by 4.5 months of online learning and exploration.

HSDP Certification is a powerful tool for anybody charged with the responsibility of sorting through the complexities of human interaction. It is about learning to get un-stuck. Using insights from the new sciences to look at events and behaviors that make up our professional and personal lives, we step into observing and understanding our world and world-view, and we begin to see patterns in the ways we live and work.

Many people describe the training as paradigm shifting or world-changing. Once you see the world through the logic of patterns, you cannot un-see it.

Through in-person learning and virtual access to a diverse global community, one comes to see, understand, and influence those patterns to improve performance at work, at home, and in community. The HSDP learning experience will help graduates navigate complexity and gain the confidence and insight they need to address their most challenging issues.

The program consists of:

  • A 3-day face-to-face experience of orientation, community, and foundations of HSD
  • 20 weeks of highly interactive learning in practice with a diverse international community, online and in-person
  • Direct interaction with Glenda Eoyang, founder and master teacher of HSD
  • A vibrant online learning ecology—including live webinars, forums, resources, dialogues, and social media
  • A small learning group and an HSD Professional as your learning partner

The price for the Certification Training Program is $5,000 U.S. Register before December 19 and receive a 20% discount off the course fee!

There is a group discount of 30% ($1500 U.S.) for individuals who sign up together in groups of three or more. There are also payment options should you wish to spread out payments throughout the year.

About Glenda Eoyang

A master teacher with deep insights into the art and science of self-organizing systems, Dr. Eoyang applies principles of self-organizing to help people thrive in unpredictable environments.

She has certified more than 500 Associates, forming a world-wide scale-free network of scholar practitioners.

Her published works include numerous scholarly and practical articles in academic and practitioner journals, and she has co-authored four books:

  • Coping with Chaos: Seven Simple Tools
  • Facilitating Organization Change: Lessons from Complexity Science
  • Voices from the Field: An Introduction to Human Systems Dynamics
  • Adaptive Action: Leveraging Uncertainty in Your Organization

Why would I use HSD in my practice or organization?

Use HSD to improve the viability and sustainability of your organization to:

  • Expand your options for understanding and action
  • Increase your capacity for adaptive work
  • Focus the work on what really matters
  • Improve communication
  • Reduce stress within your organization

 Who benefits from HSD?

  • CEO’s and other leaders use HSD to understand and respond to the forces that shape their opportunities, such as unpredictable markets, information overload, and shifting demands for change from customers, stakeholders, and employees.
  • Educational leaders use HSD to address ongoing, seemingly never-ending problems such as teacher retention, effective Board roles, behaviors and governance, effective parent support of learning, and meeting the needs of increasing numbers of diverse learners.
  • Community leaders use HSD to develop a common language and understanding of their local and regional environments as they bring people together to address issues such as aging neighborhoods, decreasing revenues, and increasing need for social supports.
  • Organizational change agents use HSD to assess organizational readiness, design interventions, implement action, and evaluate outcomes. HSD models and techniques work at all levels – individual, group, institution, and community – so they bring together diverse and previously divergent methods of understanding and action.
  • Planners use HSD to see and describe the complex system, identify the critical constraints to growth, transition and change, and define the specific, do-able steps that free the system to continue to evolve in positive, productive ways. HSD helps generate innovative options that work around and through issues that are obstacles to traditional approaches.
  • Evaluators use HSD to explore the ways in which organizations and groups are able to adapt in their own landscapes to maintain functionality. Understanding that organizational change emerges from multiple influences across time, their approach is to look at shifts and patterns that emerge as the organization meets its ongoing challenges.

 A few success stories

  • An international financial services firm used ideas from HSD to develop adaptive capacity of middle managers involved in operations and information systems development and support.
  • A highly diversified international securities and investment company used HSD to develop more flexible planning techniques, increase leadership capacity, and improve communications across the organization and around the world.
  • A large community hospital consistently earns the highest ratings for customer service and patient care in the US. They have been using the concepts and theories of complexity – a foundation of HSD – to examine their services and practices for over five years.
  • Counties in northern Minnesota used principles of HSD to establish and improve their processes for restorative justice and circle sentencing.
  • Two major religious institutions used HSD to recognize and articulate the complex relationships, culture, and behaviors at work and used it as a strategic tool to design and lead organizational change. One of these projects brought about change at an international level.
  • A mid-sized school district used HSD principles to change their central office structure and function from the traditional ‘mandate and monitor’ mindset to one of ‘service and support.


More information: Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä, 040 5651 439, jukka-pekka.heikkila@metanoia.fi

Please register via Human Systems Dynamics Institute here.