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Challenges 2014, 5(2), 239-259; doi:10.3390/challe5020239

The Art of Interconnected Thinking: Starting with the Young

Systems Design and Complexity Management, University of Adelaide Business School, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
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Received: 28 May 2014 / Revised: 4 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 August 2014 / Published: 18 August 2014
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Abstract

Despite many efforts to deal with the various complex issues facing our societies, plans and problem solutions are seldom long lasting, because we, as individuals, and our leaders are most likely to fall into the trap of using traditional linear thinking. It is natural and easy, but does not usually deliver long-term solutions in the context of highly complex modern communities. There is an urgent need for innovative ways of thinking and a fresh approach to dealing with the unprecedented and complex challenges facing our world. It is essential for future leaders and citizens to be prepared for “interconnected” thinking to deal with complex problems in a systemic, integrated and collaborative fashion; working together to deal with issues holistically, rather than simplistically focusing on isolated features. An educational tool (Ecopolicy) is used as the main mechanism to achieve this aim. The Ecopolicy cybernetic simulation “game” is a challenging, but playful, method by which students are introduced to the idea of thinking in terms of relations, in feedback cycles, in networks and in systems. Participation in this stimulating simulation enhances the capacity of young people to change their way of thinking. This would be expected to prepare them to develop into leaders or citizens who can effectively deal with a complex and challenging future.
Keywords: systems thinking; systems education; complexity; Ecopolicy simulation game; lifelong learning; evolution; management; sustainability systems thinking; systems education; complexity; Ecopolicy simulation game; lifelong learning; evolution; management; sustainability
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Nguyen, N.C.; Bosch, O.J.H. The Art of Interconnected Thinking: Starting with the Young. Challenges 2014, 5, 239-259.

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