Systems Thinking Stream

Many OR and Systems practitioners share a common interest in systemic intervention to address highly complex organisational, social and environmental problems.

13:00 - 14:00 | Tuesday 15 September 2020

This stream provides a fantastic opportunity to bring people from both the OR and Systems communities together to learn from one another, so both can be enriched. We welcome anyone who works in or has an interest in systems thinking or healthcare.

This timely session shines a light on the way systems thinking can be an invaluable tool for health policy, and will compare and contrast the successes and failures of the response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak to the current response to COVID-19


Critical Systems Thinking: lessons from the Ebola outbreak for the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Luis Sambo was Regional Director for Africa at the World Health Organization. He was responsible for leading the response to the outbreak. In this talk, he will look back at his experience with Ebola and will reflect from the perspective of Critical Systems Thinking (CST), on what went wrong and what could have been done better.

Mike Jackson will then take these lessons and apply them to the current COVID-19 epidemic in the UK. Using CST, he will examine the UK health system's lack of preparedness and will analyse the reasons for the failings in the Government’s response to the epidemic. The conclusion will be that CST can help improve the resilience of health systems to potentially catastrophic events, and inform appropriate responses when they do occur.


Meet the esteemed speakers who will deliver an insightful talk on critical systems thinking.

Michael C Jackson, 
Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull, UK

Luis G Sambo, 
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal,

Centre for Systems Studies, University of Hull, UK

Organisers & Chairs:

Gerald Midgley - [email protected]
Giles Hindle - [email protected]
Niki Jobson - [email protected]