Anupam Saraph

Systems Thinking and the Need for Systems Literacy

Who is Dr. Saraph?

Dr. Anupam Saraph is recognized as a global expert on complex systems. As a Professor of Sustainability and Governance of Complex Systems, Dr. Saraph has taught system dynamics, information systems, environmental systems and sustainable development at universities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. He has worked extensively with Donella Meadows on global modelling and systems theories. He holds a PhD in designing and exploring sustainable systems from the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, the Netherlands. He is based in Pune, India.


Quick Overview

In this episode, Dr. Saraph shares his thought-provoking ideas on systems thinking and the interdependence of all parts in a system. Many decision-makers fail to recognize the interdependence and see the whole, as they focus on the parts or just the symptoms and become addicted to the three key tools, which only cover up the symptoms: technology, markets, and politics. The treatment of such addictions centers on systems literacy, which can be developed even from primary and secondary education. To be an individual systems thinker, Dr. Saraph’s advice is: be humble and work together with other parts of the systems in making the world a beautiful place.

Questions addressed in this Podcast

  1. What is systems thinking? Why is it so important for us to develop systems thinking skills?
  2. Why haven’t the majority of decision-makers, even some educational institutions, really grasped systems thinking? Why do our systems continue to function in such a fragmented way?
  3. What is the treatment for the three addictions in addressing the symptoms?
  4. How can educators incorporate systems thinking to primary and secondary schools in practice?
  5. How are systems thinking and worldviews related to sustainability?
  6. Are there any commonalities among human beings that transcend our cultural differences?
  7. What are the key elements to being a systems thinker?

Duration