Systems Design for an Interconnected World

Build a resilient, sustainable organization with contemporary insights on systems design from the Learning Lab at Innovation North.

Program Overview

The past decades have highlighted our increasing interdependence on one another. Across financial markets, supply chains, and customer relationships, business and society now behave like one large dynamic system. An impact in any one area can have far-reaching consequences, and organizations must adapt to face a growing variety of these shared challenges – from climate change and disease outbreak to civil unrest.

Businesses that can sense and respond to dynamic systems will not only survive but thrive in the 21st century. Leaders in those organizations first need to rethink the way they innovate new products and services; to prepare for a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous future. By embracing systems dynamics, leaders can learn to build sustainable products and resilient teams.

Program participants learn and apply a systems approach to design, shifting modes of thinking from “Plan-Do-Check-Act” towards a new paradigm: Sense-Respond. Drawing on cutting-edge insights from Ivey’s Innovation Learning Lab, Designing for an Interconnected World is designed to encourage collaborative learning, networking, and discovery of the underlying systems that connect leaders in the room with each other and their broader communities. Through expert-led seminars and deep discussion with peers, you’ll gain vital insights on the potential for tangible change – in your business and in society.

What You Learn

Understand and design for dynamic systems

  • Recognize the value of dynamic systems approaches.
  • Learn the difference between dynamic systems approaches and traditional business analysis.
  • Understand the core principles of the ”designing for dynamic systems” methodology.
  • Engage in activities that will help you learn about your peers in the group and their respective challenges. The group will therein form its own dynamic system.
  • Gain insights on why systems thinking is more relevant in today’s world than traditional approaches to business.

Define and map your systems

  • Practice tools and techniques that help you design dynamic systems.
  • Discover new ways of seeing yourself in a system.
  • Define problems that are suitable for systems solutions.
  • Sense the systems context; map systems that shape the problem and that are shaped by the problem.
  • Identify key actors, build their personas, and determine how you can best build relationships.


  • Network with other forward-thinking leaders representing organizations in diverse sectors.
  • Construct a desirable future by asking:what would the future look like if the problem was solved?
  • Co-create a desirable future, bringing others along to help.


  • Create an ecology of interventions, finding solutions that you can use to help your organization move towards a desirable future.
  • Practice prototyping, experimenting, and 'nudging' to move from knowing to doing.
  • Lead change in systems by changing yourself: how do we adapt to better see and nudge the system? How do we move from our head to our heart?

Action Learning

Participants are directed to identify a real-world challenge in their organization or business area before attending. Through peer discussions and faculty-led sessions, you'll identify practical ways to apply systems design in approaching solutions. The project serves as an anchor throughout the program as you formulate and execute a plan to solve the challenge using what you've learned.

How You Learn

The Ivey Academy Team Programs are designed to be delivered exclusively within one team, area group, or organization. By learning together and exploring cases as a group, you'll forge lasting relationships between colleagues and find creative ways to apply learning to your real-world business context.

Learn more about the Ivey Experience
Expert Faculty Led Sessions
Expert Faculty Led Sessions
Ivey Case Method
Ivey Case Method
Online Learning Activities
Online Learning Activities
Simulations And Role Play
Simulations And Role Play
Peer Learning Teams
Peer Learning Teams