University of Technology Sydney

94679 Complexity and Sustainable Futures

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Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Transdisciplinary Innovation
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Anti-requisite(s): 94657 Futures Thinking: Making Futures AND 94665 Complexity and Sustainability

Description

This subject introduces complexity concepts and systems thinking. Students probe the nature and characteristics of a range of complex dynamic systems. In the process they explore ways to understand these systems using multiple techniques for visualising and analysing complex systems. Through exploring different scenarios and intervention strategies, the subject challenges students to creatively and rigorously test key qualities they have identified in various complex dynamic systems. Drawing on these insights, students articulate their own questions and proposals for addressing current or emerging global challenges and shifting society towards a sustainable future.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Analyse a complex system to generate value that can contribute to provoking new and innovative opportunities
2. Evaluate the potential of technological responses to challenges threatening sustainable futures from multiple perspectives
3. Apply systems thinking to generate creative interventions and demonstrate an appreciation for the implications across the complex system
4. Design creative technology-based responses to address complex issues challenging a sustainable future
5. Assess current and future approaches to sustainability and develop proposals for ethical and sustainable contributions

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject contributes specifically to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Explore, interrogate, generate, apply, test and evaluate problem-solving strategies to extract social, economic, strategic or other value from data (2.3)
  • Critically examine, test, appreciate and articulate the speculative or actual value of technological outcomes for different stakeholders, whether at a societal, organisational, community or individual level (2.5)
  • Select, apply and evaluate various techniques and technologies for investigating and interpreting complex systems (4.2)
  • Critically explore and articulate the transformation required to create and implement innovation, with sensitivity to the creative destruction that this requires (4.5)
  • Interrogate and appreciate the ethical responsibilities related to social, legal and regulatory practices (5.3)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject provides opportunities for you as a student to explore, apply and evaluate various conceptions of sustainability in order to critically examine the potential of technological responses to challenges threatening sustainable futures from multiple perspectives. In doing this you examine the ethical dilemmas implicit in technological innovation agendas and practices. You select and apply various techniques and approaches for investigating and interpreting complex systems and propose an intervention that could contribute to moving the system towards more sustainable futures.

So your experiences as a student in this subject support you to develop the following graduate attributes (GA):

• GA 2 Creating value in problem solving and inquiry

• GA 4 Resilient practices within complex systems

• GA 5 Imaginative and ethical citizenship

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning in this subject will take place in a collaborative, immersive, experiential and studio-based environment. Students will work with academics and professionals across a wide range of disciplines.

Content (topics)

  • Global challenges
  • Systems thinking
  • Sustainability and sustainable futures – economic, social and environmental dimensions
  • Resilience
  • Interventions in complex systems
  • Agency in the context of enacting a change towards sustainable futures

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Understanding Complexity

Intent:

Please refer to Assessment Brief for details about this asessment task.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

2.3, 2.5 and 5.3

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 50%

Assessment task 2: Acting in Complex systems

Intent:

Please refer to Assessment Brief for details about this asessment task.

Objective(s):

This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

2, 3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

2.5, 4.2 and 4.5

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 50%

Minimum requirements

Students must attempt each assessment task and achieve an overall pass mark in order to pass this subject.

Late penalties apply to all assessment tasks as outlined in the FTDi FYI student booklet. Please consult this booklet for other useful information including Special Consideration, Plagiarism, Extension, and Student Support Services.

A minimum of 80% of attendance of classes (as outlined in the timetable) is required.