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Center for Leadership Development
Schedule at a Glance

Visualizing Systems


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We make information visual not only to make it nice to look at, but also to help us understand it in a different way. This course is focused on using visual language to understand systems. We’ll first examine different types of systems, from natural to technological, and how they are represented. Then we’ll break down everyday systems into their basic parts and practice drawing their flows and behaviors. From there, you'll create a map of your own system and be able to use it as a diagnostic tool for identifying problems, possibilities, and potential impacts. You’ll also explore various scales of intervention in order to identify the best opportunities for change in your systems.

Visualizing Systems helps you propose sustainable improvements to a system and communicate your insights to others. With practice, you'll be seeing systems everywhere you go.

How You Will Benefit

Participants in this course will learn how to think about their service-delivery challenges in the context of systems; visualize the system around their challenge to help identify, communicate, and address problems; and explore the impacts of different types of intervention to frame decision-making.

Who Should Attend

Our primary audience is U.S. Federal employees. This class is also open to non-federal employees including but not limited to individuals working for State and Local Govt, non-profits, and private sector organizations.



Additional Information

This course focuses on depth of skill development, specifically:

  • Learning the fundamentals of systems thinking and its value in designing sustainable strategies.
  • Understanding visualization as an approach to problem-framing.
  • Experiencing creative collaboration and participatory problem-solving in the context of a diverse group of Federal employees.