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A project to learn
systems thinking for sustainability

SDG Thinking is a free to use project to work on an issue within one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

No prior knowledge

No prerequisite knowledge of sustainable development issues required.

Use current events

Use issues in the online news within
the scope of a UN SDG.

See that change is possible

Students find leverage points to bring about systemic change.

Step 1 – Learn systems thinking

Take an online course in systems thinking at

Step 2 – Find an issue in the online news

The news regularly reminds us of society’s wicked problems such as climate change, resource depletion, terrorism and poverty.

Step 3 – Tell the systemic story

Students read widely, identify key variables and write a rich story of the behaviour under study.

Step 4 – Model the problem situation

Students draw a causal loop diagram of the situation to help explain the behavior under study.

Step 5 – Find systemic leverage for change

Students identify places to act within a system where the result is amplified compared to the required effort.

Step 6 – Design an action plan

Students formulate a coherent, multi-stakeholder strategy to address the problem of sustainability.