Mette Miriam Boell
Co-founder and Executive Director
Mette Miriam Boell (Böll) is a biologist specialized in the evolution of complex social systems, mammalian play behavior and philosophy of nature. Mette Miriam has a Ph.D. in organizational ethology from the Center for Semiotics, Aarhus University, and holds additional degrees in contemplative leadership and the philosophy and history of science. She uses her training in these diverse areas to research how emotions and feelings are transmitted in social relations and how the resulting relational fields in turn shape the larger systems human beings are parts of, with a particular focus on education.
In 2014, Mette Miriam joined Peter Senge and Daniel Goleman to form the Triple Focus Initiative, which then merged into the Garrison Global Collaboration for Integrative Learning. This became a community of researchers and educational practitioners focused on exploring the impact of integrating contemplative social-emotional learning (SEL) and systems thinking in education. This Initiative merged in 2019 into The Center for Systems Awareness, a global collaboration of master educators, leaders, students and researchers, which Mette Miriam co-founded with Peter Senge. The work of the center is grounded in the core belief that education today must help students recognize, navigate and shape a world of profound interconnectedness: self (understood as the “mind-body-heart system”), other (families friends, teams, groups) and the larger social, economic and natural systems around us. Main projects include partnerships with States, universities, Counties and districts, schools and community-based organizations focused on building capacity for compassionate systems leaders in education, and studying generative social fields at the classroom, school, community, state and global systems level.
In 2018, Mette Miriam joined MIT as a Visiting Research Scientist. Her focus was working with The Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL). J-WEL’s mission is to spark a global renaissance in education for all learners. Leveraging MIT’s resources, they convene a global community of collaborators for sustainable, high-impact transformation in education through research, policy, pedagogy, and practice.
In 2022, Mette Miriam co-founded The MIT Systems Awareness Lab with Peter Senge, where she currently holds the position of Research Director. The focus of the Lab is to study the impact of compassionate systems change in education as well as developing the Systems Awareness methodology. A primary focus of the scientific endeavors at the Lab is the continuous, rigorous exploration and understanding of how we may more consistently shape generative social fields. In addition, the Lab convenes an eclectic community of scientists and practitioners in conversation and exploration of shifting the trajectory of the future through compassionate systems change.
Boell previously held a position as head of research at Metropol University College, a teachers’ college in Copenhagen and before that she taught neuroscience of emotions to college- and American students studying abroad. Boell has a leading role in most initiatives, projects and research efforts at the Center for Systems Awareness, is the lead research designer at the MIT Systems Awareness Lab and holds a primary role in developing methodologies for studying living systems change.
To contact Mette, please email her Executive Assistant Troels Skytt at firstname.lastname@example.org.