An Introduction to Systems Thinking for Tackling Wicked Problems – LnuPlay – Linnaeus University MediaSpace
On 4 March 2021, I gave a seminar entitled ‘An Introduction to Systems Thinking for Tackling Wicked Problems’. This was in a series of seminars co-organized by the Linnaeus University Systems Community (Sweden) and the Centre for Systems Studies at the University of Hull (UK). 261 people participated. The feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive, and lots of people wrote asking if a recording would be made available. I have now been sent the recording, and the URL is pasted below. I have to say that nerves got to me in the first couple of minutes, as I wasn’t expecting several hundred participants, but then it gets more fluent after the ‘contents’ slide.Note that the URL below takes you to the Linnaeus University web site, and there is some text about the talk below the video screen. This is not visible at first sight – you have to scroll down. Please do so, as I have suggested a couple of books for you to read if you want to find out more. Here is the abstract for the talk:We are increasingly facing ‘wicked problems’. They are stubborn, challenging and often have to be managed rather than solved. They frequently involve interlinked issues, multiple agencies with different perspectives on both the problem and potential solutions, conflict over desired outcomes or the means to achieve them, power relations making change difficult, and uncertainty about the possible effects of proposed changes. While traditional scientific, policy and management approaches can make a useful contribution, we need something more than these if we want to gain a bigger picture understanding of how to act in the face of wicked problems. Systems thinking can help. In this talk, Gerald Midgley will introduce a framework of systems thinking skills, plus a variety of systems ideas and methods that can help people put these skills into practice. He will illustrate the use of the methods with a number of examples from his own social policy, natural resource management and community development projects in the UK and New Zealand. In this way, he will show how we can begin to get a better handle on wicked problems.