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Systems Thinking for Sustainability: Practical Application of the SiD Method

Apply the SiD integrated sustainable development framework to map and understand complex systems and drive sustainable change.

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.
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Build complex systems thinking skills

As the second part of the Systems Thinking ExpertTrack, this course builds on the theory discussed in part one to cover the most practical components of Symbiosis in Development (SiD) - the first framework for integrated sustainable development. You’ll build the analytical skills and practical tools that you need to unravel any complex societal issue you may be working on.

This course will enable you to perform all-encompassing systems analyses and empower you with a structured approach to initiate, facilitate, and accelerate sustainability transitions.

Discover how to use the SiD framework in systems analysis and design

The SiD framework can be effective for anyone involved in driving sustainable change through systems thinking. It offers an integrated development framework that helps us to see complex systems holistically, and gain new insights into them.

The SiD Method will lead you through a 5-step approach rooted in iterative design thinking. You’ll learn how to perform multiple iterations to end up with a blueprint for design and rollout for your projects, going through the stages of:

  • visioning and goal setting
  • systems mapping
  • systems understanding
  • solutioning and roadmapping
  • evaluation.

By using the SiD integrated framework, you’ll be empowered to better understand both the systems and challenges in front of you to set practical, achievable goals and drive sustainable change.

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

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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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.
  • Experiment by doing, how system thinking can help you solve complex challenges

Who is the course for?

This sustainability management course is designed for anyone who would like to understand how the SiD framework can help us to build more sustainable systems.

It would be suitable for purpose-driven professionals at public and private organisations.

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.

Ruben works at Except's Knowledge & Training pillar to develop and share the SiD methodology in a way that is understandable, comprehensive, up to date and valid.

I am a sustainability consultant and I enjoy working on complex issues that require research, analysis, and creativity.

Who developed the course?

Except Integrated Sustainability

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

About this ExpertTrack

Discover tools for complex systems analysis and design that will guide your work towards a more sustainable future.

Start learning today - free 2-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • 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

Join a global classroom

  • 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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