Gerald Midgley
February 2024

#IESTurningTheTide — An introduction to systems thinking for tackling wicked problems

View of sunset over snowy field in woods

We are increasingly facing ‘wicked problems’. While traditional scientific, policy and management approaches can make useful contributions, we need something in addition to these if we want to address more of the complexity and conflict associated with wicked problems. Systems thinking can help. 

In this talk, Gerald Midgley introduced a framework of systems thinking skills, plus a variety of systems ideas and methods, that can help people put these skills into practice. He illustrated the use of the methods with a number of examples from his own social policy, natural resource management and community development projects in the UK, New Zealand and Nigeria. In this way, Gerald's talk showed how we can begin to get a better handle on wicked problems. This talk was followed by a Q&A session with the live audience.

This event was organised as part of our Turning the Tide: systems thinking for a sustainable ocean project, which has been endorsed as a UN Ocean Decade Activity, but will be of interest to all environmental professionals.

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