Systems Thinking and Modelling workshop for young Maldivian leaders

MALÉ, THE MALDIVES, 22 October 2019 Sunium Co-Founder and CEO Nadia Tjahja facilitated a session on Systems Thinking and Modelling in the Maldives. The workshop was organised by the Regional Alliance for Fostering Youth (RAFY) for local youth leaders. 

The workshop invited young Maldivians to talk about interconnected thinking, multistakeholder solutions and cooperation between actors to foster sustainable development. Session firstly outlined wicked problems and focused on themes varying from terrorism to tourism. It provided an insight in bringing single events into bigger patterns and provided a better understanding of how our industries, sectors and specialisations are interconnected

“We need to be able to gather and understand all available knowledge from different areas to be able to find the best possible solution to a wicked problem. “
Nadia Tjahja
Co-Founder and CEO

Traditional solutions vs Systems Approach

During the session, facilitator Nadia Tjahja drew attention to the comparison between the traditional problem-solving and systems approach. How are you tackling wicked problems? Do you develop a description of a related problem or a sub-problem that you can solve, and declare that to be the problem? And then assert that the problem is solved? Rather than relying on some of these traditional strategies, we need to take a systems approach that takes a broader understanding of the different components and the interrelations to each other. 

“[Systems Thinking] is understanding a world of interdependence and things continually changing. How do you see a system and not just a bunch of isolated things?”
Peter Senge
(2013)

Having touched upon the theory, participants got a chance to test their knowledge in the practice. Young Maldivian leaders took topics, such as Environment, Climate Change, Divorce Rates, Single parenting and Tourism in the Maldives, and created systems models to see the relationships, look for patterns and trends. It was followed by interesting presentations to look collectively at the observations and solutions.

What’s next?

After the intense hands-on task, participants got to understand the complexities of current affairs and the manner in which they are developing. With this knowledge participants could continue modelling conflicts and problems; it could serve as a framework for academic challenges and/or evaluation for projects

Currently, we are also preparing an introductory Systems Thinking webinar that will address the theory behind Systems Modelling. Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest scoop! 

Photo credits: RAFY NGO

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