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Beyond Design Thinking: Why Education Entrepreneurs Need to Think in Systems

For the last few years, design thinking has been in vogue. I’ve worked for three years as a member of the team designing and running +Acumen courses. In 2013, we launched an “Introduction to Human-Centered Design course” with IDEO.org which has since enrolled over 100,000 people.

Yet, we’re also increasingly seeing a complementary methodology—systems thinking—gain traction among educators, entrepreneurs and investors. Systems thinking offers a necessary antidote to some of design thinking’s blind spots by taking a holistic view of complex social challenges—rather than just building new solutions that address symptoms of a problem, but not root causes.