eric_bwEric Derks is Director of The Canopy Lab, a non-profit group of international development practitioners, project managers, researchers, strategic advisors, trainers and theorists, whose mission is to: “seed an ecosystem of individuals and organizations dedicated to the pursuit of systems thinking approaches that address complex social challenges and local and international development.” Eric comes to Systems thinking through nearly 20 years of experience in international development, mostly in market systems and organizational development. Working with groups and projects such as Tetra Tech ARD, ACDI/VOCA’s ADVANCE Project; and Action for Enterprise, Eric has designed and led large-scale projects, molded high-performance teams, and learned a great deal about applying systems thinking to project strategy activities, operations, and knowledge management. He believes that, for systems thinking to take hold, organizations need to: be learning organizations; have metrics for both modeling systems and assessing activities; and employ critical thinkers who can experiment, challenge assumptions, and be comfortable with failure and uncertainty.