Abstract for: Building Systems Thinking Skills for Policymakers: Using a range of systems thinking activities to deliver insight

Policymakers, worldwide, must tackle some of the most challenging and complex issues. Yet political environments that are polarized, partisan, and divisive are ineffective and do not permit policymakers to be effective. System dynamics-based thinking skills are an essential skill set for policymakers facing adaptive challenges. This workshop will provide hands-on techniques and strategies used in a university-based educational program for state policymakers that apply system thinking skills to health policymaking. This approach to legislative education can begin to change the way legislators frame issues, ask questions, build understanding and develop solutions to complex health care issues. In this workshop, participants will actively engage in hands-on examples and strategies to engage policymakers in public policy dialogue and decision-making that better prepares them to frame issues, ask questions and consider solutions to complex policy issues.