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Navigating Complexity: DaVinci's Dr Greg Tosen's Exploration of Design vs. Systems Thinking

On 27 March 2024, the South African System Dynamics Chapter (SASDC) held its first 2024 online seminar where DaVinci Business School's Dr Greg Tosen led a presentation titled  "Design Thinking or Systems Thinking? That is the question!". He talked about the differences between design thinking and systems thinking, which made everyone think differently about solving complex problems.

Key Points from Dr Greg Tosen

Dr Greg Tosen explained that design thinking focuses on people. It's about understanding people's needs, developing ideas, making prototypes, and testing them. This process doesn’t follow a straight line. He noticed that when problems get complex, people who use design thinking try to make these problems simpler than they are.

On the other hand, Dr Tosen said systems thinking looks at the big picture. It seems that people are part of a big, complicated system. This way of thinking helps us see everything as connected and circular, which can be better for solving tough problems.

The Seminar Sparks Conversation

Dr Greg's seminar wasn’t just a lecture. It made everyone talk and share ideas. It showed how important it is to use systems thinking when we face big challenges.

Looking Ahead

The SASDC has been working since 2014 to help people in Africa (and worldwide) use system dynamics to make better decisions. This seminar is just one of the many events they’re doing this year to teach people more about system dynamics.

Dr Tosen's talk made us think about how we solve problems. It’s clear that understanding the big system we’re all part of is important. The SASDC will keep hosting seminars like this to keep the conversation going.

What do you think about using design thinking versus systems thinking? Stay tuned for more interesting talks from the SASDC!


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