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Design Tools for Systems Thinking

About the Talk

September 25, 2015 9:00 AM

Madrid, Spain

Madrid, Spain

In this workshop you will learn about design tools and techniques to solve wicked problems, using Systems Thinking.

Systems Thinking looks at the whole of a system rather than focusing on its individual parts, to better understand complex phenomena. Systems Thinking contrasts with analytic thinking: you solve problems by going deeper, by looking at the greater whole of a system and the relations between its elements, rather than solving individual problems in a linear way via simple cause and effect explanations.

You can apply Systems Thinking principles in different situations: to understand how large organisations function and design for the enterprise (e.g. when you are trying to revamp a large intranet), but also to solve social problems and issues (e.g. unemployment with disadvantaged youth or mobility in larger cities). So basically whenever there is complexity and conflict (of interest) in your project, Systems Thinking will be helpful.

After an introduction to Systems Thinking and its core concepts, we will first explain and practice a few techniques that you as a designer can apply to better understand complex systems, for example creating a System Map and drawing Connection Circles. In the second part of the workshop, we will introduce techniques that help you shape solutions, for example using Paradoxical Thinking for ideation and writing ‘What-if’ Scenarios.

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