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Complexity and the Ethics of Systems Thinking in Global Health

November 18, 2015 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Global health is inherently complex, comprising as it does of a myriad of biological and social features. The complexity of health, however, lies not only in the countless ways biology and society – including economic and political forces – interact, but also in the nonlinear, dynamic, and, at times, counter-intuitive manner such factors affect each other. Systems sciences, or systems thinking, study the various parts of a given system and the interactions between these parts. In the last decades, systems thinking has grown from its roots in engineering and math to begin to tackle many complex social problems, including challenges seen in global health and public health. The various systems theories each have assumptions used to conceptualize problems and their potential solutions, including normative assumptions about what ought to be the goals of global health and how to bring them about. To date, the various ethical and political assumptions underlying systems thinking in global health have received little examination, but the tide is changing; at the very least, there is a growing recognition from systems scientists and bioethics scholars about the importance of understanding the values that underpin the various systems of global health and the theories used to make sense of their complexity.

More information and registration: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/event/19267/


November 18, 2015
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Munk School of Global Affairs