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Knowledge Synthesis

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Purpose: To provide a comprehensive overview of the systems and cybernetics fields, by defining concepts and bringing together key, but currently scattered, references about them. Description: The International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics is both a hard copy book (the second edition was published by De Gruyter Saur in 2004) and a searchable online database. […]
Systems archetypes are recurring generic systems structures found in many kinds of organisations, under many circumstances, and at many levels and scales. They are distinctive combinations of reinforcing and balancing processes. These system archetypes teach how to diagnose recurring problems and to design effective interventions. Eight common archetypes are: fixes that fail shifting the burden […]
Purpose: To provide an understanding of key systems principles. Description: This five-minute video uses ‘love’ as a universal example to illustrate what it means to think in systems (rather than parts) to better understand complexity. An example is provided of each of the following: Stocks Inflows Outflows Reinforcing feedback loops Balancing feedback loops Nonlinearity Delays […]
These two videos describe the difference between analysis (study of the parts) and synthesis (understanding of the whole). Analysis provides knowledge; synthesis provides understanding. Describes that all systems are parts of larger systems. Also describes that an essential property of a system is that it cannot be divided into independent parts; that its properties derive […]
This video introduces systems thinking for people with little prior knowledge of the field through four key systems thinking skills: Exploring boundaries – understanding the inclusion, exclusion and marginalisation of stakeholders and the issues that concern them. Appreciating multiple perspectives – how and why stakeholders frame issues in different ways. Understanding relationships – networks of […]
Purpose: To describe some basic elements of systems thinking and how they affect approaches to complex societal and environmental problems. Description: The report and accompanying video each provide a useful description of systems and show what is required to move to a more systemic approach to a problem when technical solutions focusing on individual parts […]
The Team Science website provides four education modules. The module on team science covers: 1) team conflicts and resolutions, 2) incentives and disincentives to collaborative research, 3) communication techniques and 4) evaluation methods. Three other modules examine team science research in Behavioural Science, Basic Medical Science and Clinical Medical Science, respectively. Website: https://www.teamscience.net/ Posted: December 2011Last modified: […]
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Purpose: To consolidate and provide access to knowledge, practical tools and strategies for collaborative efforts to address scientific challenges by leveraging “the strengths and expertise of professionals trained in different fields.” Description: This user-generated collection provides “resources to help manage, support, conduct, or study team-based research,” in particular: Tools, includes proven approaches, training materials and […]
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This video describes how transdisciplinary research contributes to sustainability through a case study of five projects in Gothenburg, Sweden. It assesses a common assumption that transdisciplinary research is more able to contribute to societal problem solving than traditional forms of research. This assumption is based on the analytical belief that collaboration between and among social […]
Transdisciplinary research (of the European sustainability style) is described in this video as research that combines knowledge from different disciplines and engages with societal actors: to grasp the complexity of a societal problem; to take into account the diversity of perceptions that stakeholders and disciplines may have of a problem; to link generalised abstract and […]

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