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2021 is the 50th birthday of Systems Thinking teaching at The OU

In the wake of the pandemic, confronted by human-induced climate change and exposure to wide-ranging vulnerabilities within our societies, many commentators call for investment in thinking and acting differently, particularly with Systems Thinking in Practice, or STiP.

The Open University (OU, based in the UK) is well-placed to respond to this imperative of our times because it has been one of the significant investors in STiP education over the last 50 years.

In 1971 a new academic department was created; Systems Thinking Practitioners (STPs) collaborated to design and then present a new undergraduate course called Systems Behaviour (T241). This was a pioneering achievement in the UK's first supported open, distance teaching university. Worldwide, there have been nearly 50,000 OU STiP students.

Fifty years on, the OU has a thriving postgraduate suite of qualifications in Systems Thinking in Practice (STiP) and extensive experience of designing and delivering STiP education and scholarship.

In 2021 the OU celebrates this continued unique pioneering tradition of fostering STiP capabilities for lifelong learning and managing change in broad-ranging professional contexts with nearly 250 graduates in recent named degrees.

Please join us through 2021 to celebrate this unique achievement. Add your support to what has become an urgent global need - the building capability to think and act systemically. We will have a series of events, blogs and engaging discussions for your welcome participation.