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ITS EDUCATION ASIA ARTICLE


Integrated thinking approaches to sustainability

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia


There is a tendency in the sustainability space to focus on problem solving. But is doesn’t (arguable shouldn’t) have to be this way. Systems thinking is an increasingly well-known approach to deal with our complex environment and to fully understand how systems operate and interlink. But it can often be retro fitted. It is therefore worthwhile having an integrated thinking approach which tries to combine systems thinking with both futures and design thinking.

Futures thinking in its simplest form can be a bit like strategic planning. But real futures thinking goes beyond the plausible scenarios from the present to also consider bigger “what ifs”. In doing so we become naturally more innovative and motivated and more likely to begin designing for those “impossible” futures. And if we close the loop and design in systems then perhaps we have a way to approach real sustainability.

Canadian International School
Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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