Mary M. Somerville: 0000-0002-4201-8335

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Conference Title

Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS): From Science to Systemic Solutions – Systems Thinking for Everyone


International Society for the Systems Sciences


Vienna, Austria

Conference Dates

July 9-14, 2017

Date of Presentation



A vision to further national development through higher education now informs planning for the University for Business and Technology (UBT) Knowledge Center. At its essence, the Center aims to make local knowledge visible through furthering discovery of and access to research content produced by academic students and university professors on institutional, local, and international levels. This paper reports on conceptual exploration of this institutional idea during spring semester 2017 in a graduate course on systems sciences. Using active learning pedagogy to improve local situations, an international teaching team facilitated student and stakeholder engagement in participatory design activities using systems thinking expressed through soft systems methodology tools and techniques. Course evaluation outcomes revealed students’ improved levels of knowledge and development of insights. In addition, their course work demonstrated their advanced understanding of systems thinking and its application. Furthermore, students expressed high motivation to learn more about other human-centered theories and participatory design tools. In considering the value of the University’s knowledge vision, they were especially enthusiastic about its implications for furthering national democratic development in Kosovo and regional economic growth in south-eastern Europe.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

ISSS2017-UBT_final.pptx (7096 kB)
Presentation Slides