733402 System thinking in research practice (in Eng.)

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Offered in
Wintersemester 2017/18
Languages of instruction


Working strategically to negotiate boundaries for research in a meaningful way in the areas of farming, food, rural areas and environment requires particular skills and abilities: It is necessary to be able to make relevant connections and to contextualize research activities without becoming overwhelmed by potential complexity and uncertainty. The context of the increasingly multifaceted complexity of issues of sustainability and climate change in relation to food production and consumption is particularly challenging for PhD research. The purpose of this course is to help you, the PhD student, develop your skills in contextualizing your research, to make connections among issues using systems thinking and thus to improve your ability to work both strategically and purposefully.

Previous knowledge expected

Basic knowledge of system thinking and genuine interest in systemic inquiry. Prior to the course, you will create a timeline of your personal research and systems trajectories to share during the first session of the course. You will also begin to reflect on what working as a Critical Learning Systems (CLS) community might be for your research. You will also need to read several chapters introducing you to lineages in Systems Research and to Systems Thinking in Practice (STiP).

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Through joining this course you can expect to:
• gain an overview of the intellectual traditions of Systems Sciences,
• strengthen your research through developing understanding of systems theories and methodologies
• have opportunity to reflect on strengths and weaknesses of different systems approaches and methodologies in relation to your own PhD research
• get added value from your participation in the ISSS World Conference by also becoming part of a parallel critical learning systems community that has a PhD research focus
• critically review potential contributions of your research to help meet global challenges
• develop appreciation of multiple perspectives on contemporary issues
• work across multiple disciplines
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.