March 21, 2018
FHI Conference Center
1825 Connecticut Avenue NW
The 2018 Systems Thinking Symposium focuses on the application of systems thinking to a wide array of critical challenges facing national and statewide policy makers and water professionals. It highlights critical issues related to water, presenting the USDA-funded ThinkWater initiative as a model for addressing issues vital to our national interest. ThinkWater organizes programs to enhance education, research, and outreach in the water realm, broadly defined. It does so through the application of accessible and efficient methods of teaching systems thinking. This year’s symposium will focus on ThinkWater’s Wisconsin initiatives and national fellowship that focuses principally on program development, and delivery, while summarizing the outcomes of previous studies in the areas of secondary education and high-level research. The ThinkWater example will be used to frame discussions of the possibilities and promise of more accessible ways of learning and applying systems thinking to the full array of complex problems we face.
Keynote Speaker: Charles Fishman
Charles Fishman is the acclaimed author of The Big Thirst, One Giant Leap, A Curious Mind (with Brian Grazer), and The Wal-Mart Effect. He is a three-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious prize in business journalism.
The 2017 ThinkWater Fellows
The annual ThinkWater fellowships build a cohort of scholars and professionals engaged with water-related issues and teaches them systems thinking for application to their ongoing professional work. The 2017 fellows work in positions that allow them to integrate systems thinking into program design, education, and outreach involving a broad range of audiences, such as farmers, community members, volunteers, and youth. Their presentations will focus on the impact that systems thinking has had on their water-related programming and research.
Wisconsin ThinkWater School
Wisconsin ThinkWater School was designed to capitalize on both increased interest and urgency around water issues and advances in systems thinking to enhance community water education and outreach in the state. ThinkWater School accomplished this by integrating systems thinking into program development and delivery. Six teams comprised of a total of 19 professionals participated in ThinkWater School. The Teams used systems thinking to build shared understanding of their issue, design education programs, and to develop unique approaches to address community issues. ThinkWater School Teams will present highlights of their applications of systems thinking and its impact on their community engagement work.