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An Introduction to Systems Thinking for Sustainability: SiD Theory I

Understand how the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) framework helps you create the foundations of a sustainable society.

1,932 enrolled on this course

Creative design thinking session showing a mapping exercise to solve sustainability issues. The person is drawing flows using the framework for systemic design trying to achieve sustainable impact. This process can be applied to circular economy.

An Introduction to Systems Thinking for Sustainability: SiD Theory I

1,932 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn about issues of sustainability and Symbiosis in Development (SiD)

To work on building a sustainable society requires learning and applying new, integrated concepts of living, working, and producing. This course will provide you with a renewed understanding of the issues of sustainability, and will introduce you to the framework of Symbiosis in Development (SiD), developed over 20 years.

SiD is the first complete systemic sustainability framework, combining the theory of systems thinking and sustainability with a practical application method, and team work processes to guide projects from A to Z.

Understand the main concepts underlying sustainability and its relevance in today’s world

Tapping into basic notions of systems thinking, and network and resilience theory, you’ll have a renewed understanding of the issues of sustainability affecting our world today and the relevance of it as a concept.

You’ll gain in-depth knowledge on how to think holistically, and gauge a whole new perspective on the term ‘sustainable impact’, learning how to implement this in both your professional and personal life.

Recognise systemic behaviours in society and how they relate to key sustainability concepts

Along with recognising systematic behaviours within modern society, you’ll also understand how to re-frame the way success is defined for sustainable projects and come up with sustainable end goals and KPIs.

You’ll also perform impact scans across different dimensions of sustainability.

Learn from the experts in Symbiosis in Development (SiD) and sustainability issues

You’ll be guided throughout by the founder of Expert Integrated Sustainability Tom Bosschaert, who has designed pioneering sustainable strategies for clients such as IKEA and Heineken, and Mattia Miccichè, systems thinker and SiD facilitator.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to key concepts of systems thinking applied to sustainability
  • Sustainability definitions and frameworks
  • Redefining success in sustainability projects
  • Sustainability impact mapping
  • Overview of systems dynamics

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify the main concepts underlying sustainability, and its relevance in our society today.
  • Explore basic principles of systems thinking and network theory applied to sustainability.
  • Interpret systemic behaviours in society, and how they relate to sustainability transitions.
  • Evaluate the way success is defined for sustainable projects
  • Perform quick impact scans across different dimensions of sustainability, enlarging your scope of impact.

Who is the course for?

This online course is for purpose-driven professionals in both public and private organisations, who are determined to make a substantially positive impact on society.

This includes policy makers, designers, planners, researchers, engineers, business strategists, and people in communications and management.

Whether learners are taking the first steps in their career, or they are experienced sustainability experts, the course provides a common understanding and vocabulary on systemic sustainability.

What software or tools do you need?

To take part in this course, you will need paper, a pencil, color markers, and a creative attitude.

Who will you learn with?

Tom is a renowned sustainability focused entrepreneur, architect, author, and advisor. He developed the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) framework, and leads his field with 20+ years of experience.

Mattia leads Except’s Knowledge & Training efforts, where he is responsible for sharing SiD with a wide audience of sustainability practitioners.

Who developed the course?

Except Integrated Sustainability

We deliver concepts and strategies for resilient, just, and inspiring cities, companies, governance, and industry.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$99/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 15 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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