Select Page


Cecilia Landa-Avila,1 Satheesh Gangadharan,2 Sarah Rabbitte,2 Amy Wilkins,2 Michelle O’Reilly,3 Neil Sinclair,4 Chris Knifton,5 Panos Balatsoukas,1 Rohit Shankar,6 and Gyuchan Thomas Jun1

Loughborough University (1) | Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (2) | | University of Leicester (3) | University of Nottingham (4) | De Montfort University (5) | University of Plymouth (6)

Demystifying complexity in systems thinking methods

This presentation aims to present an inclusive research protocol to enable the participation of people with learning disabilities to codesign Artificial Intelligence healthcare systems scenarios and reflect on how some groups of populations have been excluded while participatory systems thinking approaches/methods have been conceptualised and applied.

A succinct review of systems thinking methods (i.e., systems mapping, ecosystems scenarios and patients’ journeys) will be presented and reflect on how inclusive they are. Next, the protocol followed in an ongoing project that explores the integration of Artificial Intelligence for codesigning a joined-up healthcare model for people with learning disabilities will be presented. This protocol describes a methodology that introduces and adjusts some systems thinking methods to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities to become active participants in sessions with multiple stakeholders (e.g., health and social care professionals, policymakers and tech innovators, among others). The presentation will emphasise the ethical considerations for recruitment and consent, adjustments for reducing the cognitive workload of methods, environmental aspects to ensure participants’ wellbeing, follow-up actions for long-term engagement and meaningful contributions and building up learnings to increase ‘complexity’ and independence.

The presentation will conclude with a reflection on how these adjustments and considerations could be adopted in other approaches, methods and techniques to demystify the complexity of systems thinking methods and contribute to enabling more inclusive research practices. This inclusive perspective promotes the integration of diverse actors, especially those that have remained excluded from the mainstream methodological approaches to achieve genuine participation within a systems thinking approach.

KEYWORDS: inclusive systemic design, multistakeholder participation, healthcare scenarios, artificial intelligence, AI

Sketchnote by Patricia Kambitch | Playthink




Citation Data

Author(s): Irma Cecilia Landa-Avila, Satheesh Gangadharan, Sarah Rabbitte, Amy Wilkins, Michelle O'Reilly, Neil Sinclair, Chris Knifton, Panagiotis Balatsoukas, Rohit Shankar, and Gyuchan Thomas Jun
Year: 2022
Title: Are Systemic Design Methods Excluding People with Learning Disabilities?
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 089
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 23 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404