Expand your understanding of systems thinking and take charge of your ability to leverage the outcomes in your systems and to make them sustainable and resilient.
Making sustainability happen and turning conscience into action is an act of systems leadership. It requires not only habits that bring out the leadership in each one of us, but the ability to see the whole, as well as the discipline of systems to align the purposes of those who come together to participate in systems. It requires abilities to recognize places to intervene in the system. It requires abilities to shape and design new systems to be sustainable and resilient.
The Introduction to Systems Thinking course brings together people who are motivated to influence or lead systems, not just organizations. It equips participants with the ability to recognize the systems that they are a part of, its constituents, the purpose that binds them together, and the places to intervene in the system.
The course will:
- build individual and organizational capacity to address the systemic problems and challenges in their contexts;
- provide participants an opportunity to develop habits to see the whole, not just the parts; and
- enhance participants’ capacities to become systems leaders able to help their organizations to discover meaningful missions that will contribute to planetary well-being.
This course will have live sessions every week that will be recorded for those who might not be able to attend.
This course will support participants to:
- Learn to recognize the systems that they participate in
- Discover leverage to change the behaviour of the system
- Learn the principles of governance of sustainable systems
- Create a shared understanding of Systems Thinking and Systems Leadership
If you are in a leadership position in government, NGO or business and you feel the need to expand your sphere of influence to make a meaningful impact, you will want to be part of our course on Systems Thinking.
If you are interested in learning what is systems thinking and how it can help you better understand and implement sustainability in your context, this course is a good opportunity.
If you influence boards of organizations and want to ensure the sustainability of your organization and the audiences it serves, and have not practiced systems leadership, this may be the retreat to rediscover your purpose and revitalize your commitment.
Course format / Methodology
Introduction to Systems Thinking is an online, facilitated course of five-weeks involving 20 hours.
Participants will be introduced to the concepts through content and facilitation that include videos, articles, live conversations, a project, and discussion forums. In each session, participants are expected to actively participate in conversations, focused inquiry, and complete the project.
At the end of the course, participants will submit a 5-minute video summary of their project along with a report on the system they investigated during the course. This course will encourage interaction between participants, expect them to build connections, and collaborate with each other.
- The actors and purposes of systems that governments, NGOs and businesses participate in
- The governance of systems and its consequent outcomes and impact
- The ideas of sustainability and resilience
Schedule and Session Topics
|Reacting our world: The problem of addressing a world of problems
|Systems: The idea of a unit of change, the “whole”
|Governing Systems: Principles for enduring change
|Sustaining Systems: Principles for a sustainable world
|Places to intervene in systems: Leverage for enduring impact
Live sessions will take place every Tuesday at 8AM (GMT-6). These live sessions will be recorded in case a participant is not able to attend.
This course was developed under the framework of the UNESCO Chair in Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter, coordinated by the Earth Charter Center for Education. The Chair is a collaborative effort between UNESCO, Earth Charter International, and the University for Peace to develop educational programmes and research activities related to education, sustainability, and ethics using the Earth Charter as a fundamental reference.
Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development
The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development, established by Earth Charter International, has a mission to “promote the transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework that includes respect and care of the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace,” with a special focus on education.
The Center offers a variety of executive, formative, and educational programmes in leadership for sustainable development, for policy makers, education professionals, youth, and the general public. Research projects are specially developed in partnerships with institutions of national and global relevance.
Read more Close description
Systems thinker, Future Designer, and scientist, Anupam Saraph established the actor-based understanding of systems laying the foundation of the practice of change research and future design, as a means to create symbiotic, sustainable, anti-fragile, and resilient systems.
His research for the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, in 1993-94, gave rise to actor based modelling that models the interaction of individual actors in a system, allowing them to recognize the consequences of their actions and search for interventions that accomplish the common purposes of their systems.
He has been applying actor-based understanding of systems and the principles of governance of complex systems to design legislation, policy, strategy, and business models. He works with leaders, and mentors’ teams, to help them to identify their systems, recognize the common purposes of its actors, and accomplish their toughest shared challenge – their mission. Professor Saraph holds a Ph.D. on Designing and exploring sustainable systems, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands. M.Sc. in Molecular Biology, and B.Sc. in Zoology, Pune University
He also serves on the boards of Public and Private Sector companies and NGOs and as a Professor of Sustainability and Governance of Complex Systems at universities in Asia, Europe and the United States.