Tackling Wicked Problems with Systems Thinking

Systems Modelling Workshop Series

Complexity characterises the world and all human endeavours today in business, government, social, natural, scientific and political spheres. Systems thinking is the science and art of understanding the dynamic behaviour of systems by understanding feedback.

To assist researchers and industry better utilise Systems Modelling, the Griffith University Systems Modelling Group within the Cities Research Institute recently conducted an introductory workshop to the Systems Modelling Workshop Series. Workshop participants took part in learning the importance of capturing system’s complexity in decision-making and applying systems modelling approaches to various problems including complex environmental issues, health, businesses, and policy-making, to name a few. 

Why is systems thinking important?

Systems thinking is an approach to problem-solving and often refers to the process, philosophy, or understanding of how things interact and work together within a whole system. Positive and negative feedback occurs in all systems (be they biophysical, social, economic, business, engineering, political or managerial) and it is the interaction of positive and negative feedback that leads to complex dynamic behaviour. In order to make good decisions within complex systems, it is necessary to understand feedback processes.

The application of systems thinking and system dynamics approaches were demonstrated by short pitches from Griffith University Higher Degree Research students and research fellows, followed by a modelling activity and hands-on examples for participants to practice.

This workshop was the first step towards capacity building and research collaboration across academics and industries.The event was well attended, reaching the maximum capacity for the venue. There was a total of 41 registered participants, consisting of a variety of policymakers, practitioners and academics.

The post-workshop survey results indicated a clear demand for further intensive full-day workshops. Thus, 92% of the participants are willing to attend future workshops of the systems modelling workshop series. Future workshops in the series will focus on educating participants on various modelling approaches, techniques and use of the software.

Interested in collaborating or attending future systems modelling workshops? Visit us

For more information contact Dr Oz Sahin – [email protected]