Science, for centuries, has been man’s most reliable companion. Science has helped with exploration, identification, and insight of some of the most mesmerising and seemingly untameable dimensions of reality.
Technology is man’s best wager. Technology has assisted humans in increasing the rate and effectiveness of scientific endeavours. It has helped make our lives come a step closer to the forefront of our imagination.
Sustainability is man’s best faith. Sustainability helps mankind identify and manage risks that are inevitable in nature due to casual links between natural and manmade systems, making this a planetary management of interlinked causalities.
Systems thinking is a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way that a system's constituent parts interrelate and how systems work over time and within the context of larger systems.
Thinking in Systems focuses on interdisciplinary study of systems wherein a system is a cohesive conglomeration of interrelated or inter-dependent parts that are either natural or manmade.
A system can be anything, a set of things, people, cells, molecules, or whatever interconnected in such a way that they produce their own pattern of behaviour over time. The system may be buffeted, constricted, triggered, or driven by outside forces. But the system's response to these forces is characteristic of itself, and that response is seldom simple in the real world.
With the example of Slinkies, this idea is easy enough to understand. When it comes to individuals, companies, cities, or economies, it can be heretical. The system, to a large extent, causes its own behaviour. An outside event may unleash that behaviour, but the same outside event applied to a different system is likely to produce a different result.Think for a moment about the implications of that idea:
Impact Assessment is a means of measuring the effectiveness of organisational activities and judging the significance of changes brought about by those activities. It is neither Art or Science, but both. Impact assessment is intimately linked to Mission, and, in that sense, ripples through the organisation. Being able to assess and articulate impact is a powerful means of communicating, internally and externally, the contribution of activities to the Mission of organization and policy.
Impact assessments are carried out to assess the consequences of individual projects or of policies and programmes.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Life Cycle Assessments (SLCA) and Economic Life Cycle Assessments (ELCA) are exmaples of applied impact assessments programs.
Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings. These threats, or risks, could stem from a wide variety of sources, including financial uncertainty, legal liabilities, strategic management errors, accidents and natural disasters. IT security threats and data-related risks, and the risk management strategies to alleviate them, have become a top priority for digitized companies. As a result, a risk management plan increasingly includes companies processes for identifying and controlling threats to its digital assets, including proprietary corporate data, a customer's personally identifiable information and intellectual property.
Risk management occurs everywhere in the financial world. It occurs when an investor buys low-risk government bonds over riskier corporate bonds, when a fund manager hedges his currency exposure with currency derivatives, and when a bank performs a credit check on an individual before issuing a personal line of credit. Stockbrokers use financial instruments like options and futures, and money managers use strategies like portfolio and investment diversification to mitigate or effectively manage risk.
Inadequate risk management can result in severe consequences for companies, individuals, and for the economy. For example, the subprime mortgage meltdown in 2007 that helped trigger the Great Recession stemmed from poor risk-management decisions, such as lenders who extended mortgages to individuals with poor credit, investment firms who bought, packaged, and resold these mortgages, and funds that invested excessively in the repackaged, but still risky, mortgage-backed securities (MBS).