Leaders explore systems thinking

Academic, industry and government leaders explore systems thinking

More than 300 guests attended the two-day MIT SDM Conference on Systems Thinking for Contemporary Challenges to hear experts from MIT, industry and government discuss how they use systems thinking to solve some of the world’s most pressing and complex problems.

Sponsored by Global Project Design, Werfen Group/Instrumentation Laboratory, John Deere, Merck, MITRE and United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), the conference addressed Large Complex Systems; Sustainable Systems; Service Systems, and Health Care Systems.

Commissioner George Apostolakis of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) delivered the keynote presentation. He described how the NRC, charged with ensuring that nuclear use is as safe as possible, is implementing a synthesis of Defense in Depth with a Risk-Informed approach based on system thinking. The goal is a safety culture that takes into greater account the psychology of individual behavior.

Mark Jenks, a vice president in Boeing’s 787 program, described the complex process of how the 787 was brought to market; Kevin Otto, founder and president of Robust Systems and Strategy, a research and development consultancy, addressed issues affecting the construction of Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) that will reduce — rather than enlarge — the atmosphere’s already untenable carbon load………………

full story at http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2010/systems-thinking-conference.html

Presentations from the conference can be viewed at http://sdm.mit.edu/conf10.

Videos are scheduled to be made available on http://sdm.mit.edu by mid-November.

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