‘How to’ Workshop | Upskilling Space

Host: Base of Pyramid Hub & BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt

The Skill Set
System thinking is a way of approaching problems that examine how various elements within a system relates to or influence one another – it could be an organization, an eco-system, or supply chain, or a city or nation. In this workshop, we will guide participants to apply the Iceberg Model to understand a global issue – food systems.

The Opportunity
Many social innovation and entrepreneurship interventions might seem ‘innovative’, but are in fact more like bandaids than long-term solutions, as they are not designed to change the systems which are causing the problems in the first place. System thinking helps future change-makers see challenges through a ‘systems lens’ and learn to differentiate between ‘bandaid’ interventions and those designed to change the structure and mental model of a system. Once people start to see the world through a systems lens, it’s hard to un-see the inter-relatedness and interconnections of all beings and things.

The Participants
Join this session if you are interested in systems thinking and looking for models to help you navigate the interdependencies of complex ecosystems.

The Skill Building
The participants will be asked to select a recent event that concerns food security, food waste/loss or food safety which strikes the participant as urgent, important or interesting. Some examples include a recent discussion about unsustainable farming, extreme weather or overfishing; a controversial government decision or a high profile court case against a multi-national seed company; a local policy change or recent or an issue in regards to food that the participant personally encountered in the last few weeks. We will use Miro to invite participants to collectively contribute (therefore, everyone needs to register a free Miro account before jointing this workshop). They can type the name of the event (what is observable about the event) on the sticky note and place them at the top of the blank iceberg canvas (on Miro) and work their way down through the patterns, underlying system structure and mental models, adding as many as they can think of.

The Take Aways
We will gain insight and a deeper understanding of systemic structures and underlying mental models that cause them. This will help us to overcome a limited understanding of problems as separate issues we can tackle with fixed measurements without understanding the larger context.


March 26 @ 11:30
11:30 — 12:30 (1h)

Upskilling Space

Yan Liu, Ying Ting Goh


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