My classmates and I are in the Design for Social Innovation program because we identified problems in our communities, companies, or cultures and are keen to figure them out. But before talking about any solution or outcome, one must first frame the problem—by thoughtfully examining the system it’s part of to understand where and how to get involved.
Learning to use systems thinking, a holistic approach to problem solving that emphasizes contextual understanding, has helped me with team management, project planning, creative work, and even relationships. And for wicked problems like healthcare that confront business, nature, and society, it’s proving to be imperative.So, where to even begin? “We have to invent boundaries for clarity and sanity,” advises systems thinking pioneer Donella Meadows. Sometimes a simple infographic works to tell the story. Designing visual maps and models helps us immediately find connections and describe relationships. Creating models helps in seeing the big picture and one's place within it.
Via Lauren Moss, Jim Lerman