Creative Design Thinking and the MetaCapital Framework with Susanna Carman


Nov 21

The plants that grow through the cracks in concrete demonstrate how organic life will burst through even the most solid of systems and structures. You may feel dismayed by the inadequacies of the existing political, economic, and social systems to address our modern challenges. As Albert Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” It is essential to shift to a more resilient mindset so we can develop and adapt to emergent systems.

Our “Money-Wise Women” guest Susanna Carman creates thinking environments that ignite innovation. She serves to enact values that invite collaboration. I met Susanna through the MetaCapital Framework (MCF) course about designing wisdom economies. The MCF describes the four types of impact:

Deep Impact: transforming hearts and minds

Clear Impact: transforming behavior

High Impact: transforming systems

Wide Impact: transforming relationships

Combined with the principles of curiosity, humility, and empathy inherent in “design thinking,” MCF stimulates a new phase of evolution based on resource stewardship instead of resource extraction. This model includes four bottom lines and ten types of capital or pools of value which can be measured and exchanged.

It is important to identify what we value, even when it is difficult to measure. What is wise use of our resources? Using barter exchange networks and complementary currencies allows greater visibility of flows of value. When intelligent networks access the innate genius of individuals participating, then we create more humane systems.

Susanna leads us into an exercise in intersubjective mindfulness, reflecting on the differences between doing, feeling, and being. This “Action Inquiry Practice” was developed by William Torbort. It is a transformational learning practice that allows you to be increasingly alert to dangers and opportunities of the present moment.

Susanna is designing a “Women, Wealth, and Wisdom Network.” We agree that it is crucial to cultivate community resilience. We see the power of building communities of practice. As a feminine leader, Susanna says, “I value what I bring to relationship, and I trade in currencies that can measure that and not feel guilty or ashamed about my worth.” Building smart networks of communities of practice with the MetaCapital Framework create value across the system that can be exchanged through learning. We see the potential in creating collaborative models to connect communities of practice. The MCF gives us greater access to our expressive and receptive capacity and encourages the development of smart networks.

Susanna points out the following results of using the MCF

• Measure the capital present but under-valued in our community

• Identify under-developed capitals worth investing in

• Map the current networks

• Test appetites for communities of practice to grow value in each capital

• Match practitioners and expertise with the appropriate capitals

You will enjoy my conversation with Susanna, whether you are experienced with systems design thinking and currency systems or are curious about how to boost your own impact and worth. You will benefit from the wisdom we share.


Susanna Carman is a trans-disciplinary designer, researcher, facilitator, and writer specializing in design leadership and integral engagement. With backgrounds in adult development, design, brand and business strategy, Susanna works with leaders of enterprise and organizations to embed design thinking into the cultural fabric of human systems. Her colleagues call her “the people person with the super power to shine light on otherwise unconscious territory.” She is also known for her energizing facilitation style and mastery in transforming the collective field. Most important is her ability to frame and coordinate perspectives in ways that create “a-ha” moments for her clients. Susanna has been a clinical psychotherapist specializing in somatic therapies and adult developmental theory. To work with or read more by Susanna Carman, please visit  or contact her directly at




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