Mette Miriam Boell

Co-founder and Executive Director | Center for Systems Awareness
Center for Systems Awareness

Mette Miriam Boell (Böll) is a biologist by training, specializing in the evolution of complex social systems, mammalian play behavior and philosophy of nature. Mette 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 mExcecutive Direcrirods 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, Boell 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. 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 universities, schools and community organizations focused on building capacity for systems leaders in education, integrating compassionate integrity within school curriculums, and studying generative social fields at the classroom, school, community, and larger systems level.

In 2018, Boell joined MIT as a Visiting Research Scientist. Her focus is 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.

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 currently has a leading role in most initiatives, projects and research efforts at the Center for Systems Awareness.