Tutorial: Applying Systems Thinking to Industry 4.0
For: 2019 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC)
When: October 6, 2019 – Bari, Italy
I had the honor of doing a tutorial called Applying Systems Thinking to Industry 4.0 for 2019 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC) in Bari, Italy. It turned out better than I expected (around 35) and the reception was better than I hoped (no one fell asleep). The audience asked insightful and thoughtful questions, which is always a sign that they are engaged.
I did run out of time and only did the first half of "Draw Toast" exercise. To see what I was trying to accomplish see Tom Wujec’s TED talk at his Systems Thinking Website http://www.drawtoast.com/
By the way - to emphasize the importance of Systems Thinking, Professor Zofia Lukszo, the Plenary Speaker for Wednesday, spoke about how the complex energy system can be (re-)shaped for a sustainable future, BUT it will take SYSTEMS THINKING. Yes, it was yet another call to use Systems Thinking to address out complex socio-technical problems.
More Info on Applying Systems Thinking Tutorial
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As Systems Engineers face the task to enable the fourth industrial revolution with new systems and products, they are finding their traditional practices insufficient in taking into the account of the complexity and interconnectedness of the new trends in automation, system sciences, and cyber-physical systems. Traditional systems engineering has focused on analysis and reductionism in order to reduce the complexity and better understand the system they are trying to create. However, Industry 4.0 and “smart factories” requires a new emphasis on the System being able to work within an even greater System. This means Systems Engineers must now focus on Systems Thinking as a way to look outward and concentrate on using synthesis as a means to understand the system they are trying to create and place within a larger context. This 2-hour tutorial will discuss System Thinking Perspectives and how to apply these perspectives to situations and problems so they can be framed and reframed in different ways, thus allowing for new kinds of solutions to be considered.