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Systems Thinking, Future and Ethics

Strategy. Capability. Reform.
The University of Sydney Business School’s Executive Education is educating military and business leaders to think critically and ethically in rapidly changing complex environments.

Launched in 2017, this five-day intensive course is designed to encourage participants to consider the role and significance of critical systems, and systems and design thinking, in the context of operating in a complex environment where future thinking (innovation) is the basis of change, and in which ethics and codes of conduct are fundamental to solving problems and enabling change.

Defence and Business are transitioning to values and trust-based systems, and to a risk- management culture based on mitigation and contingency. Risk and trust are co-dependent, requiring knowledge, integrity, capability, and “unflappability”. This program ensures that leaders are confident in the transfer of knowledge, values and culture.

The program is designed to prepare participants to address three main criteria: Strategy; Capability; Reform - by using a multi-disciplinary approach. Educators teaching the course introduce ethics; systems thinking; future thinking; complex systems; agile thinking and operating; communication; and human systems engineering.

The course will take place in a face-to-face classroom setting. Classes will involve a minimum of lecturing and will place a heavy emphasis on experiential learning via simulations and exercises, multi-media presentations, case study analyses, and discussions. Mentoring is an important component of the program.

Participants of the course include the Royal Australian Navy, the Australian Defence Force, Army Force Structure, Cyber and Defence Industries, and several leading businesses.

Program details

Defence and business are transitioning from a rules-based to values- and trusts-based system, and to a risk management culture based on mitigation and contingency. Risk and trust are co-dependent, requiring knowledge, integrity, capability and unflappability, which are key to successful invention and innovation.

Defence and Business systems depend upon complex, interconnected information technology environments which are increasingly vulnerable. Whilst security experts have stressed the need to protect info-technological infrastructures symmetrically applying linear thinking, little has been achieved to explore the complex asymmetries connecting humans, AI, info-technologies and new technologies (nanotechnologies, robotics, visual recognition etc.)

The program is multidisciplinary and is founded in the view that technology will become increasingly hybrid (civilian/military), and that there is, and will be, a growing critical social element in every human interaction with technology. New leaders must be prepared for it.

Key themes

  • Systems Thinking
  • Innovation
  • Agile Thinking & Operating
  • Design Thinking
  • Human Systems Engineering (Human Autonomous Teaming)
  • (Behavioural) Ethics
  • Influence
  • Disruption
  • Complex Systems

Who should attend?

The course is open to all ranks in the military and to emerging future leaders in industry.

Contact us

Associate Professor Jean Bogais
Program Director

Associate Professor Jean Bogais is a Paris-Sorbonne educated Sociologist (PhD) and Social & Cross-Cultural Psychologist, with over 35-years-experience as an academic and professional working in spaces of violence. His principal (bilingual) research, teaching and practice interests are Ethics, Geo-Politics, Systems Thinking, Ideology, Extremism, and Negotiation.

T +61 2 9114 0906
M +61 438 724546

Charlotte Baker
Client Services Officer, Executive Education

T +61 2 8627 9448

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