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From messiness to models

Systems thinking often means a deep dive into complex, messy situations. How do we make sense of all the information that emerges when we investigate more deeply into systems? How do we take a multitude of data points and turn them into something we can use?

Participants in Gene Bellinger's Systems Thinking workshop are deep in the nitty-gritty of learning systems modeling, turning data into causal loop diagrams. This is the hard work of systems thinking, and where the magic often takes place. Lightbulbs are going on as participants make connections and see systems in new ways.

When to use systems modeling? Gene says "If you're in a burning building, pull the alarm and find people who can help put out the fire." But when time allows for reflection, systems modeling is a powerful tool. Other advice from Gene? "Swimming is better in the water!" In other words, jump in to the data, get messy, and work with others to collectively build understanding of the system.

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