UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Systems Thinking Workshop

Networks of nodes

Intended Audience


Other Details

 Attendee Comments

This workshop is particularly relevant to anybody who is looking for new approaches to managing complexity in projects, organisations or businesses.

The workshop will next run on

  • 13th February 2014
  • 23rd May 2014

The workshop is run in London, within a short walk from Euston Station.

The workshop runs from 09:30 to 16:30

The cost is £35

 "Excellent. Not only is it informative and helpful but the exercises are quite fun to do."

"Now I'm thinking in systems"

"An excellent course for beginners or with some systems knowledge."

Systems thinking perspective

How many systems have you used today since getting up? Have you travelled? Made phone calls or sent emails? What about banking, shopping or going to the doctors? We spend our lives interacting with all kinds of systems, which are often complex mixes of technology and people. How can we use them as effectively as possible? We can start by understanding them better but this is often easier said than done. This is where systems thinking approaches come in.

Instead of looking at the parts of the system each in isolation (a reductionist approach) systems thinking helps us understand behaviour emergent from component interactions. Even in a simple system there can be a number of subtle cause-and-effects that we have to deal with if we want to change or improve things. Learning about systems thinking means learning about these behavioural properties and characteristics. It gives us a framework to help us make sense of complexity - to analyse the system, understand it better and to make changes that improve its effectiveness.

This workshop provides an introduction to the benefits of this approach through developing an understanding of what systems are and their essential properties. It introduces the principles of holism, hierarchy, partitioning, life cycles and subjectivity and of how to apply systems thinking tools such as systems dynamics and soft systems methodology.