A Conceptual Model for a Systems Approach to Policy Design for a Sustainable Future

Format: Papers, RSD12, Topic: Cases & Practice, Topic: Mapping & Modelling, Topic: Methods & Methodology, Topic: Policy & Governance

Gayatri Menon

The complexity and interconnectedness of current times demand the designing of policies, systems, and services addressing sustainability challenges and enabling actionable changes for the future using a systems approach. This paper proposes a conceptual model for applying a systems approach to design intervention, including policy development for creating a sustainable, actionable future. The conceptual model builds on the core features of systems thinking to understand the existing context and analyse gaps for sustainable, systemic interventions through design interventions.

Systems mapping and modelling play a key role in understanding systems dynamics and feedback loops, identifying gaps, analysing principles of balance and inter-relating perspectives. Design projects carried out in this area and written as case studies keeping these aspects in mind are further reflected upon in terms of possible design directions and analysed. The analysis and reflections on the practice form the basis for constructing a framework connecting design approaches, systems thinking and sustainability factors.

The conceptual model is expected to facilitate designers to navigate the complexities of sustainability challenges and provide a roadmap to apply a systems approach for developing design interventions: policies, systems, and service models, for a sustainable future. It can also help establish feedback mechanisms to monitor policy outcomes and enable policymakers to respond to changing circumstances through an iterative process. This systemic, generative, creative approach is expected to help build a resilient, flexible, hopeful future.

This papers is in production. RSD12 proceedings April 2024.

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Citation Data

Author(s): Gayatri Menon
Year: 2023
Title: A Conceptual Model for a Systems Approach to Policy Design for a Sustainable Future
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 10 November 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Copyright Information

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (ISSN 2371-8404) are published annually by the Systemic Design Association, a non-profit scholarly association leading the research and practice of design for complex systems: 3803 Tønsberg, Norway (922 275 696).


Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

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Author(s). (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD##. Article ##.

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