Methods of Systems Thinking

Professors: Tomoaia-Cotisel and Allen
Units: 1.0
Elective Course

The goal of this course is to review and learn how to apply qualitative and quantitative methods for using systems thinking. Systems thinking is a set of principles and approaches for problem solving based on the idea that individual parts of a system are better understood in the context of their relationships with other parts of the system. There are numerous methods and approaches to systems thinking, but all share common foundational elements. This tutorial will focus on system dynamics modeling, one of the most widely used approaches, providing students insight into its particular mosaic of theories, methods, and cases.

During this course, students will:

  1. Learn principles of systems thinking.
  2. Use methods and approaches for applying systems thinking to policy problems in their own work (and other real-world applications).
  3. Understand the strengths and limitations of various types of diagrams in systems thinking.
  4. Consider the complementary strengths and limitations of quantitative simulation.
  5. Identify the breadth of leverage points available and consider where leverage can be added.