We will never understand the full extent of the relations that link us to other people, technologies, species, and environments, but it is not enough to marvel at how “everything is connected” and leave it at that. Climate Change calls for urgent attention to the specific links between humans and our natural environment. Understanding these connections and their implications is crucial for responding to Climate Change as a global challenge. When we

understand Climate Change as a systemic phenomenon, i.e. as the product of a certain system of connections between things, we unlock a powerful set of tools for making sense of it – systems thinking.

Using systems thinking, we are better prepared to invest in the necessary work of understanding the meaningful consequences of the varied and contextualized ways certain individuals and groups of people are bound up with the rest of our shared world. We also become more adept in identifying leverage points in systems and recognizing opportunities for using our personal agency in the various natural and social systems we inhabit, thus helping in bringing about systemic changes and transitions towards a more sustainable world.

Course learning goals:

1. Students will understand why systems thinking is necessary to make the implications of global challenges comprehensible and understand the various forms of change Climate Change is bringing about in eco-social systems.

2. Students will be able to make reflective use of models to ask and test questions about the structures and dynamics of systems.

3. Students will recognize the potential for systems thinking as a form of expertise to contribute to their work and develop their capabilities for interdisciplinary collaboration.

4. Students will understand the opportunities for intentional systems change and their own agency.

Course level: Master

Pre-requisities:, or similar knowledge Scope: 3-5 ECTS

Available languages: ENG

Authors: The course is done in collaboration of University of Helsinki, University of Turku, Aalto University and Tampere University.

Where to study: You can study the course at the University of Helsinki (course code ATM379), University of Turku (course code MAAN7741), Tampere University (course code HAL.YPAT.341) and Aalto University (course code MS-E2136).

Link to study material: