Monthly Archives: January 2011

Systems Thinking and Design: A Case for Egypt?

Politics provides a great analogy for why systems thinking and design fit together and how effective “design” and systems thinking work so closely together. It’s time that our politicians and policy makers start considering the role of design and systems thinking a little more and Egypt provides a great example of what happens when those areas come together.

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Designing an Experience (via Creativity & Innovation)

I’m re-blogging a thread from Keith Sawyer’s Creativity and Innovation blog today. Keith is in Davos as a guest faculty at the World Economic Forum and wrote today about the idea of designing an experience and the role of curation in all of that. There are some very interesting thoughts here about how we create […]

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Art / Design / Science / Literacy

Literacy has many forms and art is one of the ways in which these forms come together and present some of the best opportunities for engaging diversity in complex social systems.

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Health Communication in the Age of Pamphlets

Although social media is all around us, there is a tendency to forget that it is still new and, in the case of public health, very new. What would / did our health communications system look like if it was designed for pamphlets instead of apps, door-to-door visits instead of Facebook, and libraries instead of websites? It might look a lot like today.

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Complexity and Child-Rearing: Why Amy Chua is Neither Right or Wrong

Science strives for precision and finding the right or at least the best answers to questions. The science of complexity means shifting our thinking from right answers to appropriate ones and what is best to good. The recent debate over parenting (particularly among Chinese families) illustrates how framing the issue and the outcomes makes a big difference. Is Amy Chua’s method of parenting successful or not, supportive or harmful, right or wrong? The answer is yes.

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Storytelling, Sense-making, and Systems Thinking

I teach a class in systems thinking perspectives on public health. This past week we discussed the role of narratives and storytelling as ways to learn about systems and how to organize diverse information and make sense of that. All stories are fiction, but for systems thinkers, some stories are useful.

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Designing Education for Learning

Higher education strives to prepare learners to meet the scientific and technical demands of a changing world, yet does so in a manner that seems antithetical to change. What gives? I explore this in a little further with insights from complexity science.

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The Problem With Grades

Imagine a system where we gave students feedback, allowed them to adapt, and to take the information they learn and apply it in ways that fit the context they are working in? Consider what that might look like in terms of grades and grading and how the absence of such almost arbitrary assessments could lead to knowledge that could truly advance the health and wellbeing of everyone, not just propose to do so.

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A Mindful New Year

What is mindfulness and why should we be paying attention to it in our individual and organizational work in health systems? This post explores that very question.

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