Over the last several decades, we’ve seen a rapid expansion of several contradictory trends: hyper-personalized experiences driven by proprietary algorithms, loss of community despite an increasingly connected world, idealistic products brought to market that radically changed our institutions. Cheery, right? And these trends are only increasing.
How do make sense of this complexity? How do we unwind it? And how do we design predictable experiences within it? This is the challenge, and opportunity in front of us, and we’re going to need to rethink our tools and practices to solve it.
One method to adopt is systems thinking. Instead of simplifying complexity by breaking it out to smaller problems, systems thinking trains us to look at the system as a whole. From that lens, we identify leverage points where our solutions can make foundational changes to the structure itself.
The goal is to simplify our solution by making it more targeted, rather than prescribe multiple unconnected solutions across many interconnected parts. This allows us to maximize our impact upon the system while minimizing unintended consequences, and it applies across any scale.
In this talk, I’ll cover a primer of systems thinking, demonstrate how it pairs well with other design methods, cover practices you can adopt immediately in your work, and share case studies of where systems thinking has produced (or could produce) better outcomes.
About the speakers
Emily Campbell is a Senior Design Specialist on InVision’s Design Transformation team, where she helps design teams and leaders mature their practices and increase their impact through workshops, inclusive presentations, co-creation, and coaching. She is also a yoga and meditation teacher with an academic background in economics, and a staunch advocate of combining mindfulness, systems thinking, and design methodology to generate transformation from within.