Systems Thinking


“One of the major tools of systems analysis is systems thinking.  Basically, systems thinking is a way of helping a person to view systems from a broad perspective that includes seeing overall structures, patterns, and cycles in systems, rather than seeing only specific events in the system.  This broad view can help you to quickly identify the real causes of issues … and know just where to work to address them” (

I’d like to discuss here two very important tools of systems thinking that I’ve found most helpful: the construction of (1) Causal Loop Diagrams (I know them simply as ‘Flowcharts’), and (2) Conceptual Maps/Diagrams.

Causal Loop Diagrams / System Diagrams / Flowcharts

System diagrams are powerful tools that help you to understand how complex systems work. Systems analyzed may be anything from businesses, through biological population models, to the impact of social policy, etc. … even how to sing a song …

Total Eclipse of the HeartHow to sing ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart

Conceptual Map/Diagrams

These are often a useful way for helping learners to store and retrieve information. Mental models (which can be in the form of diagrams and charts) are often helpful for learning the details of a lesson.



Here’s how I use this ‘Conceptual Framework’ each year:

If the UNIV Theme is:

“Proyectar la Cultura: Las Herramientas Tecnológicas”

“Projecting Culture: Technology Tools at our Fingertips”

The way I use the above Map is as follows:

I first list the various ‘disciplines’ or ‘fields of study’:

Economics & Business

Arts & Mass Communication

Law & International Relations

Science & Technology

Social Sciences & Philosophy

Then, I consider the ‘One’, ‘True’, ‘Good’ and ‘Beautiful’ as ‘transcendental properties of being’, which is the ‘sublime’ consideration of CULTURE (‘that which makes us truly human’, ‘that which makes the world come closer to unity, truth, good and beauty’).


Then, I think up possible Research Paper Topics, on the basis of the discipline and the cultural element, for example:

Economics & Business

“Relationship between Hours Online and Academic Performance: A Survey of University Students”

“Corporate Social Responsibility: Can ‘Social’ be Profitable?”

Arts & Mass Communication

“The YouTube Phenomenon: Opportunities for Educating”

“In Defense of Life and of Family: Getting Help from Technology”

Law & International Relations

“Right to Suffrage: Educating the Electorate through Technology”

“You and the Law: A Study of Juridical Ethics”

Science & Technology

“Commercializable Technology: Usefulness of Technology Business Incubators”

“Medical Ethics and a More Humane Patient-Doctor Relationship”

Social Sciences & Philosophy

“Appreciating Philosophy: Getting Help from Technology and the Internet”

“The Youth and Educational Technology: Are We Truly Learning?”

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Hey, is there a conceptual map or diagram for finishing the PhD quickly? 😦

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Hope you could visit this link:

“Leverage Points Blog”

(Systems Thinking in Action)

(They also have Conferences and Webinars.)

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