Developing a Systems Mindset
A Systems Mindset teaches learners how to interact effectively as service providers, consultants, researchers, developers, or other professionals providing a service or product to a person, group, or community. This course provides the basic foundations for policy makers, real estate developers, consultants, government agencies, engineers, and non-profit organizations the first steps in engaging complex problems where engagement with communities and stakeholders is necessary. Being a successful professional requires creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial thinking, and to continually have a problem-solving mindset. Yes, absolutely! But you also need to be a listener. You need to truly value the community and stakeholders - the ones who have the most to gain and lose from your actions. It is important for you to listen, learn what is important, and then act. This course will highlight the urgency for you to have a systems mindset to engage complex problems for a systems perspective, meaning that you have approach problems from different angles, scales and perspectives. This class is the first step in creating that mindset and for you to effectively engage – from receiving the “ask” for “assistance”, to orienting yourself to the issue, understanding the community, and developing a project plan. Students will learn how to use a systems mindset to understand scaled systems, nested hierarchies, and the interactions between social and environmental systems. Students will also learn practical skills and techniques that build rapport, trust, and buy-in.