Workshop on Systems Thinking and Complexity for Analysis and Programming

Complexity is a fact of life. Most problems in development, peacebuilding, security, humanitarian action and business have so many contributing factors, implications, and consequences that one-dimensional solutions and “best practice” are no longer sufficient. Systems Thinking focuses on recognizing the interconnections among the parts of a system and synthesizing them into a unified view of the whole. Systems Thinking frameworks and tools provide a means of understanding the relationship between the structure of a system and the behavior the system demonstrates and can seed the development of an effective strategy for dealing with the system.

This two-day intensive workshop introduces three phases of systems thinking:

  • Listening to and understanding the system
  • Mapping the system
  • Identifying opportunities for leverage, action, and continuous learning and adapting

In this two-day workshop, participants will learn to:

  • Recognize recurring patterns in systems
  • Identify causes and effects within a system
  • Diagram the elements in a system and the connections between those elements
  • Identify opportunities for leverage and design systems-informed strategies and programs
  • Develop a plan for learning and adapting your programming
  • Apply systems thinking principles from the workshop to real problems students are studying or facing

Saturday and Sunday, April 23 – 24, 2016
Location TBA

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