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Systems Thinking and the whole water ‘picture’

Systems Thinking presentation delivered by Xanthe Polaine at the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub Assembly, November 2020

03 February 2021

The Hub’s vision is the adoption of a systems approach to dealing with water security at a global scale, and systems thinking is central to achieving this.

In this video Xanthe Polaine talks us through the varied applications of systems thinking, including different approaches and characteristics, and how we may already be using this method without realising.

Xanthe also explains the importance of being mindful of our own susceptibility to limitations. The researcher’s own bias, framing and positionality, whilst not necessarily a negative factor, must be considered, and the Hub must work to consistently improve on our systems thinking and practice.

The purpose of systems thinking is to aid us in interpreting the complexities of reality – in our case, the complete picture of global water systems. Systems thinking also creates the ideal environment for interdisciplinarity, another especially important aspect to the Hub’s work, allowing for different perspectives to be shared and communicated, so that we can make sense of the whole water ‘picture’ together.

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