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Systems & Design Thinking - Innovation

Partnership with Royal Australian Navy
The University of Sydney Business School’s Executive Education and the Royal Australian Navy have joined forces to educate military and business leaders to think critically and ethically in rapidly changing complex environments.
The HMAS Canberra navy ship

Launched in 2017, the Systems Thinking and Innovation Program has been completed by over 100 military and business leaders. After four pilots, After four pilots, the course – now in its fifth iteration - became integral to the University of Sydney Business School, Executive Education in 2019.

It has extended beyond the Royal Australian Navy with participants from other areas of the Australian Defence Force, Cyber, Defence Industries, and a number of leading businesses.

After consultations with key-stakeholders, the forthcoming sixth iteration has been revised to an intensive short course format (over five days). It will comprise a combination of face-to-face intensive teaching, online support and mentoring, assessments, and formal individual and group presentations. 

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 practical experience ranges from senior advisor to the UN to front-line specialist in the Maghreb (North Africa) and Southeast Asia. 

T +61 2 9114 0906
M +61 438 724546

Ana Judge
Program Manager, Executive Education

T +61 2 8627 9476

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