System Innovation in the Wake of #IPCC6

The Sensemaking meetup is Systems Change Finland’s monthly meetup where we explore topics related to applied Systems Thinking and Complexity with interesting speakers. Instead of being one-sided lectures, our meetups are spaces where participants can also make sense about the topics with each other.

In August’s meetup on Tuesday 31.8.2021 17:00–18:30 EEST UTC+3 the discussion was ignited by İdil Gaziulusoy who spoke about Systems Innovation in the Wake of the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in early August. At its peak the event had about 80 live participants.

İdil Gaziulusoy (LinkedIn, Twitter, ResearchGate) is the Professor of Sustainable Design at Aalto University and leader of NODUS Sustainable Design Research Group (to follow them, like their page on Facebook). İdil is a sustainability scientist and a design researcher, developing a teaching and research portfolio for imagining sustainable, equitable and resilient future systems through various approaches in design research and developing interventions to achieve these proposals. Her work is concerned with socio-technical and socio-ecological systems with a particular focus on production-consumption systems and cities. She’s a global pioneer in the emerging area of design for sustainability transitions, developing theories and methods/tools for design practice dealing with sustainability transitions. Her PhD (completed in 2010) focused on system innovation in companies to align innovation strategies with the needed and unfolding, long-term, structural sustainability transitions. She has worked as a researcher, lecturer and consultant in Australia, New Zealand and Turkey before moving to Helsinki.

In the first part of her presentation, Idil spoke about the scope of climate change and why it requires us to extend our efforts in Systems Innovation towards the deep leverage points outlined by Donella Meadows. These include focusing on the underpinning values, goals and world views of actors and subsequently using those to inform the design of new social structures and institutions. This topic is further outlined in the NODUS research group’s article Design for Sustainability Transformations: A ‘Deep Leverage Points’ Research Agenda for the (Post-)pandemic Context.

The second part of her talk Idil spoke about the new opportunities for strategic and systemic design based on her co-authored open access book Design for Sustainability: A Multi-level Framework from Products to Socio-technical Systems. This new opportunity lies in shifting from the historical roots of design towards more systemic approaches that can deal with the scope of the challenges we face today.

You can check the event recording here:

You can find İdil’s slides here:

Interested to learn more about Systems Change Finland and about how to join our community?

Systems Change Finland seeks to cultivate a society that can deal with systemic and complex challenges. The purpose of Systems Change Finland is to promote the application of approaches that help people, organizations and society understand and work with systems and complexity.

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Mikael Seppälä

Mikael Seppälä


📈 Project Manager #InnovationManagement & #Ecosystems @LaureaUAS | ⚡️ @systemschangefi #SystemsChange | 🔥 #SystemsThinking #Complexity