Systems science is an interdisciplinary, innovative problem-solving approach to studying the nature of systems at a variety of scales and levels of complexity. Systems science efforts at BCSSW will focus on three interrelated areas:
We will expand on our growing body of systems research to address complex societal problems in Boston and around the globe and continue to build a community of practice with partner organizations, students, faculty and staff. This will include building the capacity of students, faculty, staff, and key organizations to use systems science through courses, skill labs, and partnership development.
Community Based System Dynamics
Many seemingly intractable social problems are embedded in complex systems. Often attempts to understand and solve these problems fail or have unintended consequences. Community based system dynamics (CBSD) is a participatory approach for engaging communities in the process of understanding and changing systems from the perspective of system dynamics. CBSD puts the perspectives of communities experiencing social problems at the fore to advance the common good.
Through informal maps and formal simulation models, CBSD explores how components in a system connect and feedback into one another to shape system behavior. CBSD provides the tools for communities to visualize complexity, generate deeper understanding of complex social problems, and identify leverage points for robust solution design and implementation at scale.