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Introducing Complexity and Systems Thinking


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This presentation introduces complexity and systems thinking, and how they relate to the social determinants of health.

Aziza Mahamoud, Research Associate, Systems Science and Population Health
Follow us on twitter @wellesleyWI

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
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Introducing Complexity and Systems Thinking

  1. 1. Introducing Complexity and Systems ThinkingAziza MahamoudMaking The Connections Exhibit OpeningWellesley InstituteMay 07, 2013
  2. 2. Acknowledgement Project collaborators• Steve Barnes• Jo Snyder• Lisa Marie Williams• Sal Miranda• April XieDesigner: Nicole Orlowski
  3. 3. The Challenges in Population Health• The social determinants of health are inter‐connected, interdependent and dynamic• Multiple levels of determinants and pathways• Exhibit cumulative and reinforcing effects over time• Intergenerational influences and accumulation of social disadvantage
  4. 4. A Systems Thinking Approach at Wellesley Institute• WI has been working with stakeholders to explore the use of systems thinking and modeling to– inform our understanding of the complexities of the social determinants of health– identify, assess and develop effective policy alternatives to advance health equity– consider how new approaches like this can be informed by and connected to community perspectives and policy needs
  5. 5. Making the Connections• A knowledge mobilization project which:– aims to engage diverse audiences by explaining in simple terms the social determinants of health, how they impact our lives, their interconnections, and what actions can be taken to address them– targets community residents, community‐based organizations/providers, planners, policy‐makers and public health practitioners– contains suite of engagement tools including a mobile exhibit (infographic panels), a video, an interactive web application– introduces systems thinking 
  6. 6. • As our city, communities, and society grow more interconnected and dynamic, the need for a systems thinking approach to foster meaningful change will be critical
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