Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

From Science to Systemic Solutions: Systems Thinking for Everyone

Date: 07 July 2017 - 14 July 2017
Location: Vienna, Austria


  • Three and a half days of dedicated ‘workshops’ introducing different systems approaches, methods and research traditions, which will be held at BOKU University in Vienna
  • Five days of participation in the 2017 ISSS Conference in Vienna (ISSS 2017), including a group generated presentation on the final day
  • Certificates of participation and credit of 4 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) points on successful completion


Working strategically to negotiate boundaries for research in a meaningful way in the areas of contemporary concern that are the focus of ISSS2017 (systemic leadership; systemic intelligence; systemic innovation; systemic governance; systems engineering; smart technologies; futures studies) or impinge systemically on all that we do at this historical moment (e.g., sustainability; development; health; farming, food, biodiversity, to name but a few), requires particular skills and abilities not least in research practice.

It is necessary to be able to make relevant connections and to contextualize research activities without becoming overwhelmed by potential complexity and uncertainty. Increasingly multifaceted and complex issues such as sustainability and climate change are particularly challenging for PhD is however a core part of the ISSS community’s experience.

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, cybernetic and complexity thinking and to so improve your ability to work both strategically and purposefully. The course is also designed to help you build on what other researchers have done.

Through joining this course you can expect to:

  • gain an overview of the intellectual traditions of Systemic Thinking and Approaches,
  • make links to the history of ISSS and other organized bodies concerned with systemic research and scholarship,
  • strengthen your research through developing understanding of systems theories and methodologies
  • have an 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 Vienna ISSS 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, build networks and establish new relationships supportive of your research and scholarship

Application deadline: 15 June 2017

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