933112 Introduction to systemic thinking for organic farming: Theories and methods with examples from organic farming

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Fiala, Valentin
Division of Organic Farming (IFÖL)
Offered in
Sommersemester 2018
Languages of instruction


In this course we introduce in system thinking. Students will learn about the importance and potentials of a systemic holistic to understand and manage complex real world problems. A holistic perspective can help to avoid long term and follow up problems as well as sudden surprises. Furthermore it is an necessary supplement to disciplinary and reductionist approaches in science and management.
We introduce in the history of system theory as well as basic concepts of systems: Wholeness, emergence, hierarchies, structures of communication and control, feedback etc. and show how they can be applied to achieve a better understanding of organic agriculture.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

By the end of this course students will be expected to be able to:
•Explain what systems theory is, when and why it can usefully be applied.
•Identify and creatively describe and analyse systems in organic agriculture and their everyday
surroundings (e.g. in news stories).
•Give examples of systems in organic agriculture and identify several sub-systems.
•View organic agriculture as a dynamic system consisting of several sub-systems
•Evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to these systems
•Describe their assumptions and own personal system
•Operate with key terminology in english
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.