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Sustainable Solutions Seminar




Systems Thinking

Credit Hours


Covers key principles and concepts with complex adaptive systems in relation to human-centered design

Even though it is well acknowledged that the unprecedented interconnectivity of the world economy, the global society, and the natural environment has a direct impact in the local lives and wellbeing of communities, yet change-makers such as corporations, NGOs, investors, entrepreneurs, and government agencies involved in these systems struggle to understand how these forces can shape contexts, circumstances, and experiences, limiting their ability to envision sustainable solutions and livelihoods. In this course, students will learn key principles and concepts on complex adaptive systems in relation to human-centered design for understanding how product and service innovation can shape sustainable value webs and marketplaces.

Learning Objectives

In this course, participants will learn…

  • Key principles of complex adaptive systems
  • Key principles of sustainable development
  • The agency of platforms in complex adaptive systems
  • How to map the interconnectivity of flows and platforms that shape human experiences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to…

  • Analyze contexts, circumstances, and experiences from the point-of-view of complex adaptive systems
  • Analyze the role of platforms in shaping flows and circumstances
  • Frame opportunities for impacting local lives and wellbeing of communities

Format & Grading

  • Glossary                                                     20%
  • Group Assignment                                   20%
  • Final Individual Assignment                 40%
  • Class Participation                                   20%

Enrollment Restrictions

Sustainable Solutions Workshop and Sustainable Solutions Seminar are complementary courses. There are no pre-requisites for these courses. You can take them anytime and in any order. The seminar introduces you to key concepts in design strategy and sustainable systems. It is based on readings and application of key concepts through assignments of modeling sustainable systems. The workshop is project-based, teamwork and the application of sustainable principles in design strategies. If you want to have a deeper understanding of sustainable solutions, I suggest you take both. If you want to develop the practice of design strategies through the lenses of sustainable principles, you can take just the workshop. If you want to have an overview of the principles of sustainable solutions then you can take just the seminar.