Systems Thinking (IPS 302)

Systems Thinking examines interrelations and interactions in the world as influenced by our perspective. Patterns of systems thread through ecology, business, social problems, health/wellness, personal relationships, economics, the arts—really, everywhere you look. Through understanding these patterns and archetypes, we can carefully consider how to make a more positive impact in the world—whether that impact is recovering a depleted resource, creating access to services for all, or improving business outcomes.

In this course, we will examine the impact that thoughts, perspectives, models, patterns, and perceptions have on the world. This course will then provide you with hands-on tools to help you examine both familiar and unfamiliar systems, so that you begin to see aspects of your experience and your world as truly interconnected. Through practice and a shift in perception, you too will be able to use systems thinking tools to leverage for change in your world and the world around you.

Course Goals

  • Understand systems thinking tools and techniques.
  • Fluently apply systems thinking tools to real world problems using a case study model.
  • Utilize systems thinking tools and techniques on a problem in your life.

Required Reading

  • David Peter Stroh: Systems Thinking for Social Change
  • Daniel Kim: Systems Thinking Tools: A User’s Reference Guide
  • Daniel Kim:Introduction to Systems Thinking

Personal Project

  • In addition to your group project, you will choose a systems problem in your life that you care about examining and changing. Through application of the Systems Thinking tools and the 4-Stage Change Process, you will consider how to apply leverage to change the system and make a positive change. You will then present these findings in a final project in the form of a video and systems mapping presentation.

Other BIPS Core Courses

You will develop key skills through the core courses of the BIPS program. These courses build on each other, teaching you how to identify patterns, interpret data, work with others to solve problems, and make informed decisions — skills that will help you in any career.

Design Thinking (IPS 301)

Understanding Data (IPS 303)

Contemporary Media Literacies (IPS 304)

Global Awareness and Intercultural Competence (IPS 305)

Self-Awareness (IPS 306)

BIPS Degree Requirements >

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