The BMO department is not only a research department that does research and publishes the results. In addition to these efforts, we also facilitate science-informed workshops to young professionals who want to contribute to a sustainable future. For that matter, the BMO department together with Wageningen University students facilitate the systemic change workshop at annual the Nudge Global Impact Challenge.
This year, Dr. Rob Lubberink and his team of colleagues and students, made 92 young professionals familiar with different systems-thinking tools. By drawing causal loop maps, the participants learned to look at problems in a systemic way. In teams of 5 participants, they chose one impact plan within their team and map what are the causes, effects and interlinkages among the sustainability problem. This helps them not only to think where they can effectively intervene, but also communicate it convincingly. By subsequently drawing the value network maps, they were able to reflect upon the network of actors in the systems and the resources they have. This helps participants to recognize how they can reorganize the network, and thereby recombine resources creatively, to develop and implement the desired interventions. By doing so, they can design systemic change to overcome complex challenges by creatively recombining resources that are already available in the network.
Not only do the young professionals benefit from this facilitation. Inspired by the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn” we work every year with students from our courses. These students have worked with the same tools (e.g. in strategic change management & entrepreneurship in emerging economies). But this time, they had to facilitate, which goes beyond knowing and applying the tools as they need to transfer their knowledge and skills to others. It also allowed colleagues at the BMO department to engage in workshop facilitation and become more familiar with systems thinking. Concluding, it was a great effort by a team of colleagues and students to share science through participatory learning exercises in a professional setting.
The young professionals will use these skills to continue working on their impact plan for sustainability. Nudge will continue working with them throughout the year to turn their action plans into practice. We hope that the skills learned during our workshop will help them to dive more into systems thinking, and come up with strategic change interventions for a sustainable future.