Minerva Project founder Ben Nelson was an undergrad at U Pennsylvania (1997) when Russell Ackoff was already emeritus, but maybe some systems thinking rubbed off.
At Minerva all students take a class called complex systems , where they start by analyzing the complexity of societal interactions in a bird flock or ant colony. They then move up to complex human systems that have no leader, where multiple causes account for one event, and where small changes can have huge impacts later on.
The Turning Learning Right Side Up wasn’t published until 2008, but familiar themes from Ackoff came years earlier. https://books.google.ca/books/about/Turning_Learning_Right_Side_Up.html?id=bULvP4z2rtQC