Abstract for: Opportunities to Improve Approaches to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

With relevance to every facet of society, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is an ever-growing field fueled by increasing public demand for organizations and businesses to set and realize DEI goals. However, despite the desire for change, many DEI efforts fall short in yielding sustainable culture-shifts to meaningfully affect a new, equitable reality. Practitioner reflections find that applying system dynamics in service of DEI work provides promise in shifting the focus of DEI change efforts to higher system leverage points-- the underlying structure and belief systems, resulting in greater potential to realize the goals current DEI management approaches or initiatives, such as training, cannot. In application to DEI change efforts, however, there are important engagement and practice considerations for ensuring system dynamics does not reproduce the same harm it is attempting to reduce. Techniques for employing equitable group facilitation and identified areas for individual practitioner capability development shape recommendations for how a system dynamics informed approach can avoid the same limitations of current DEI approaches, strengthening the field of system dynamics ability to realize its potential to aid in constructing not-yet-achieved reality rooted in the practice of inclusion and celebration of diversity, with an outcome of equity.