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Last updated:

April 27, 2022


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This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

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This course, Systems practice: Managing sustainability, introduces ways in which systems thinking can help support processes of decision making amongst stakeholders with different,

often contrasting, perspectives on sustainable development in order to generate purposeful action to improve situations of change and uncertainty. You will learn about systems practice for managing sustainable development, and find out how 'learning systems' are designed for purposeful action in the domain of sustainable development.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Distinguish between a range of possible modes of systems practice and identify examples of each
  • Recognise and identify how some modelling and particular systems dynamics approaches have been in used in the domain
  • Recognise some particular demands that engaging with the domain of sustainable development has for effective systems practice
  • Understand how the question of ‘Who learns what?’ provides an integrating theme through all modes of systems practice
  • Recognise and suggest ways to formulate systems of interest in multiple stakeholder settings.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:15:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:07:00
    • Systems practice for ‘managing’ sustainable development 00:20:00
    • Limits to growth 01:00:00
    • Tragedy of the commons 00:40:00
    • The developing world 00:15:00
    • Managing systems practice in contexts of sustainable development 01:00:00
    • Learning from Brent Spar? 01:15:00
    • Designing ‘learning systems’ for purposeful action in the domain of sustainable development 01:00:00
    • Creative use of SS-method for ‘managing’ sustainable development in multiple stakeholder situations 00:50:00
    • Engaging with process design for emergent outcomes 00:20:00
    • Some definitions 02:00:00
    • Developments in practice with SS-method 01:30:00
    • SS-method as a learning system 00:45:00
    • Design of a learning system based on SSM 01:00:00
    • Using SSM for participatory catchment management in Thailand 02:30:00
    • Developing briefing notes for your local authority ‘simulation’ 02:00:00
    • Developing your systems practice in the sustainable development and other domains 02:00:00
    • Conclusion 00:03:00

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Open University UK