Consulting and Education at The College of Exploration


The College of Exploration, established in 1991, provides an enriching environment for learning and consulting in systems thinking, systems literacy, management cybernetics, and complexity. This not-for-profit organization leverages online and on-site modalities to engage learners and experts in deep explorations of these interconnected fields.

Consulting and Education Programs

Systems Thinking and Cybernetics: The College of Exploration facilitates understanding and application of systems thinking and cybernetics across various contexts, aiming to solve complex problems through holistic and interconnected approaches. This includes the study of systems, cybernetics, and the emerging fields of complexity and chaos science.

Systems Literacy: Systems literacy initiatives aim to integrate knowledge across various domains including ocean, earth, atmosphere, energy, and climate to promote a holistic understanding of our planet’s systems. The College has been active in defining systems literacy through collaboration with educators and scientists, developing core principles and concepts essential to this field.

Management Cybernetics and Complexity: TCOE offers insights into management cybernetics, focusing on the study of control and communication within organizations and how these can be harnessed to manage complex systems effectively.

Viable System Model: When appropriate TCOE uses the Viable System Model developed Stafford Beer in the development and application of education and consulting programs.

Educational Approach

The College of Exploration uses a co-explorative approach to education, encouraging dialogue among a global community of learners. Courses and workshops are designed to be interactive, fostering a dynamic learning environment where participants can gain practical insights and theoretical knowledge.

Programs and Courses

  • Global Issues and Environmental Studies: Programs include workshops and courses on marine sciences, ocean literacy, and other environmental topics through partnerships with leading organizations like NOAA and Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
  • Technology and Innovation: Early adopters of online education, the College continues to explore new technologies like augmented and virtual reality to enhance learning experiences.
  • Leadership and Design: Offers programs in strategic planning, design, facilitation, and leadership, focusing on sustainable and social system design.
  • Specialized Workshops: These include structured democratic dialogue training and symposiums which are part of broader courses on social system design and cybernetics.

The College’s dedication to fostering systems literacy and complex problem-solving is evident through its expansive range of topics and collaborative learning formats. This commitment extends into its consulting services, where it assists organizations in applying these principles to real-world challenges.

CoExploring with other Organizations

In 2018-2020 The College of Exploration supported the International Society for the Systems Sciences by creating and hosting a weekly webinar on Systems topics. TCOE digitized VHS tapes created by Dr. James Grier Miller. We also video recorded the 2019 Annual Conference at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

TCOE is supporting the webinar series for Metaphorum, a global organization developing the work of Management and Organizational Cybernectist .Stafford Beer. We co-facilitated an online Syntegration called E-Syn. TCOE has video recorded Mataphorum conferences as part of the CoExplorer Project

TCOE is engaged with the American Society for Cybernetics and other global partners like the School of Cybernetics at the Australian National University to develop a strategy and practice on archives of cybernetics.