The 4E Model

Learning to dance with complex systems: from ego to eco systems thinking

Complexity and awareness are important for a comprehensive understanding of transition-making and its potential impact, which in turn enables informed decisions and take effective action.

“Decision-makers commonly mistake complex systems for simply complicated ones and look for solutions without realizing that ‘learning to dance’ with a complex system is definitely different from ‘solving’ the problems arising from it.” (Roberto Poli, UNESCO chair of Anticipatory Systems). We invite students to move from a solutions-oriented mindset to a “soulutions”-oriented mindset. This implies alignment of the head, heart and hands.

The 4E Model is a practical tool that invites users to explore their role as transition makers and approach global challenges with a systemic thinking approach. The tool provides a framework to explore complex questions related to the SDGs and design processes of interdisciplinary collaboration that take into consideration the complexity and interconnectedness of global issues. The process of this model is to create societal value. The evaluation of the social value created is not made in monetary terms but in values. This invites users to reflect on the value of actions and engagement from another perspective.

Learning outcome

  • The student is able to explore, engage, elaborate and evaluate complex systemic conditions and causalities