Systems Thinking

Systems thinking is a broad framework towards understanding and managing complex systems from a holistic perspective, drawing on various approaches and methodologies. It holds that problems are emergent properties of a system and they cannot be understood and addressed by simply reducing the system to its constituent components, but by focusing on their interconnections and studying the collective properties of the components as a whole.

Over the past couple of years, WI has been exploring the use of system dynamics modeling to gain better insight into the complex interactions between the social determinants of health, and to identify, assess and develop effective policy alternatives to improve population health. One of our major initiatives under this emerging practice area is the Wellesley Urban Health Model