What is Systems Thinking and Why Do We Need It?


One of STEM Next’s key strategies is to cultivate systems to support STEM learning – an approach that is aimed at building sustainability for long term improvement, at scale, in the way children and youth learn and engage with STEM. In a recent Harvard Business Review article, Why Social Ventures Need Systems Thinking, Vanessa Kirsch, Jim Bildner and Jeff Walker use the development of EducationSuperHighway (ESH) as an example to define ‘systems thinking’ and discuss its importance. The authors illustrate how ESH founder Evan Marwell employed 1) systems thinking, 2) research and analysis, 3) communications, 4) policy, and 5) measurement and evaluation to drive the share of U.S. school districts with access to 100 kbps connectivity from 30% to 77% since 2013.


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