933310 System analysis and scenario technique - methods and practises (in Eng.)

Vortragende/r (Mitwirkende/r)
Manderscheid, Maximilian , Hartmann, Hendrik , Diez Sanjuan, Lucia
Angeboten im Semester
Wintersemester 2023/24
Unterrichts-/ Lehrsprachen


**Given exceptional circumstances, this course will follow an intensive format in the WS2023/24, taking place mostly between October and December 2023. To adapt to these conditions, we will suggest a new topic for the group project in which we will use systems thinking to reflect about the role and potential contribution of the university in a sustainable transformation of food and agricultural systems. Details will be discussed and agreed with the students at the beginning of the course. We look forward for your participation!**

This seminar introduces students to the key concepts and tools of systems theory as both a worldview and as an approach to learning and problem solving. The context for this seminar is organic agro-food systems and the relations with their environment including the dominant conventional agro-food systems.

The course focuses on the practical application of system theory. Students will apply tools and concepts on real world cases. Students will conduct a system analysis of organizations in the organic agro-food systems (Farms, retailers, alternative food networks etc.). Doing so problem situations will be investigated and scenarios for the further development of the organizations will be created.

A close collaboration with the partner organizations helps to strengthen students’ real world knowledge about organic agriculture. The organizations are viewed as clients and will be integrated in the research process. They also will receive the written project reports and attend the final project presentation.

Each student must read the required readings and attend the classes/ provide a valid reason for not attending.

The seminars will consist of presentations by the lecturers, individual and group work, and group and plenary discussions covering the concepts and methods of system theory and scenario technique.

In the last session there will be presentations of the team project for the seminar, collaborating organizations and interested guests.

Inhaltliche Voraussetzungen (erwartete Kenntnisse)

Some knowledge of organic agro-food systems is expected.
No prior knowledge of systems thinking / research is necessary.
The official language of the course is English.


Organic agriculture is undergoing rapid and complex changes. Many things are uncertain about the future of organic agro-food systems. Considering the relationships and dynamics of the system can give us an insight into system goals and trajectories, undercover hidden traps, solve problematic situations and identify opportunities.

This course is an introduction to thinking and working systemically with organic agro-food systems. It will introduce key systems concepts and practical tools used for systems work. The course encourages the practical application of systems thinking to create more sustainable and resilient agro-food systems.

The aim of this course is to create communities of practice, which help students to use systems thinking conceptually and in practice. It seeks to challenge reductionism and disciplinary / institutional isolation, and to create new knowledge for real world situations.

Learning outcomes:
A student with the requisite understanding and standard of work to pass the course will:
Understand the key concepts of systems theory.
Be confident in the use of key systems methods for research and practice.
Work productively and effectively independently and as part of a team.
Be able to present research in a clear and appropriate manner tailored to the specific audience.
Noch mehr Informationen zur Lehrveranstaltung, wie Termine oder Informationen zu Prüfungen, usw. finden Sie auf der Lehrveranstaltungsseite in BOKUonline.