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Systems Thinking and Complexity

UNESCO via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.



Systems thinking provides theory and practical tools for seeking solutions to messy social and organisational problems at local, regional and global levels.

A system’s behaviour emerges from interactions between its elements. Systems thinking starts with qualitative diagrams but as the number of elements, relations and feedback loops increases we need the computational approach of complex systems science.

Using real-world examples the course provides methods and tools for your own examples, enabling you to apply systems and complexity thinking in your personal and professional life.

This course is suitable for:

  • managers in the private and public sectors responsible for commercial and policy problem-solving in their organisation;
  • scientists wanting to take their research into practical applications;
  • officers of organisations such as UNESCO, the European Commission, and ministries in national governments;
  • young people wanting to engage in problem solving;
  • citizens wanting to formulate arguments for or against top-down policies;
  • or members of the general public motivated by curiosity or wanting to understand better the world we live in.


4.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

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  • The presentation was quite ordinary - but the material was engrossing. This course has left me enthusiastic to follow up on the area, and thinking about how I could apply it during the day. And I guess that is a great outcome form any course.

    Recommended, especially if you are interested in management or technology domains.

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