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$149 USD

Facilitating Systems Understanding

Basic Model Building

Facilitating Systems Understanding will help you to teach others about the value of Systems Thinking and how to apply it. You'll learn how to communicate why Systems Thinking is essential for addressing today’s complex challenges, and how the Systems Thinking mindset facilitates deeper learning.

Using a process of collaborative systems inquiry, you’ll learn how to begin modeling/mapping an issue with others who have no experience, and in ways that better elicit their understanding and support. And you’ll learn how to convert insights gained in Systems Thinking projects into nuggets of learning that can be communicated to wider audiences!

Each class is followed with a question and answer session with Chris. Online access to these class recordings, sample models, handouts, and homework assignments are included to cement your learning.

Course Overview

Class 1: Building a Modeler's Mindset

This session begins with an overview of why Systems Thinking is powerful, and how the underlying approach is built upon the scientific method. Modelers adopt a mindset of building understanding, not discovering truth. The distinction between the two mindsets is profound, and deeply influences how a Systems Thinking effort will work.

Class 2: Increasing Systems Thinking Capacity

Learn how to communicate and demonstrate the value of important Systems Thinking skills:

  • Dynamic Thinking
  • Operational Thinking (including the stock and flow language)
  • Feedback Loop Thinking

Class 3: Engaging Effective Collaborators

Use a process of collaborative systems inquiry to capture insights and effectively engage others. This session will provide examples of specific exercises and techniques to enhance that process.

Class 4: Communicating Systemic Insight

Learn to use specific exercises proven by experience to be effective in Systems Thinking sessions.

  • What is the most effective way to communicate systems insight to those who’ve not been part of the process?
  • How can you generate buy-in and motivation for models and maps you’ve built?
  • How do you spread the results of Systems Thinking efforts?
Chris Soderquist

About the Instructor

Chris Soderquist is the president of Pontifex Consulting and a long-time partner of isee systems. Chris has over sixteen years experience helping organizations apply the principles of System Thinking to achieve their strategic goals. During that time he has provided consulting and training to organizations in the public and private sector, including teaching systems thinking (for health policy) to legislators in Georgia, New Hampshire and Kansas. Clients include: Boeing, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dow Chemical, Hewlett-Packard, Nissan, UNDP, World Bank, and the World Economic Forum.

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