systems thinking

Systems thinking, complexity, and systems science

Systems and Complexity: Implications for Evaluation

This second in a series on Principles-Focused Evaluation (PFE) draws our attention to the concepts of systems and complexity and how can PFE help us navigate both. Systems (thinking), complexity, and principles all go together. Principles-focused Evaluation (PFE) brings them together in meaningful ways, but to understand that, we first need to understand what we …

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Practical Systems Thinking: Working Definitions

Systems Thinking is a field that brings many different perspectives on science, philosophy, sociology and design, and while this diversity adds richness, it also sews confusion. You might have heard about something called Systems Thinking (and read about it among the many posts on Censemaking) but don’t really know what it is in practice. Let’s …

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Maybe We Shouldn’t Design for Resilience

Resilience is about ‘bouncing back’ and getting through challenges, but is it the right model to be considered when “back” isn’t what it was and many challenges are becoming endemic? Resilience has been a prominent term and theory invoked in the discussions of how we collectively respond to social, health, and environmental challenges we are …

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Using The Concept of Attractors To Facilitate Change

Attractors might be the most useful concept within complexity science for understanding practical change-making. By looking at how an attractor works we can better facilitate action and design more practical strategies in complex situations. We hear much about the concept of complexity when speaking about social systems. Complexity simply refers to a set of multiple, …

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