Cultivating Resilience with Heuristics and Systems Thinking: Lessons from New Industries

MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series

Burl Amsbury, Business Consultant, Entrepreneur, Inventor, and Cattleman; SDM Alumnus

Date: April 25, 2016

Slides available here

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Burl Amsbury, SDM ’99

About the Presentation

Regenerative ranching, sustainable agriculture, organic foods, integrative medicine, and other new or niche markets have much to teach companies of any age, in any industry. Two key elements many use to compete effectively are heuristics and systems thinking.

In this webinar, SDM alumnus Burl Amsbury will offer lessons in how to design or redesign your organization by sharing specific systems thinking heuristics drawn from his experience as an entrepreneur, startup executive, big company employee, US Navy pilot, engineer, and creative problem-solver. Using examples from new and/or niche industries, Amsbury will discuss:

  • common themes among industries that employ systems thinking principles—even if they don’t use that term;
  • why systems thinking is rapidly being put to work in so many disparate fields; and
  • heuristic principles for designing an entrepreneurial organization within a fast-growth niche in any industry.

A Q&A will follow the presentation. We invite you to join us!

About the Speaker

Burl Amsbury graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1988 with a combined SB and SM in electrical engineering and, as an SDM alum, earned an SM in engineering and management from MIT in 2000. Between stints at MIT, he flew A-6E Intruders for the US Navy aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and helped develop what became the Segway self-balancing scooter. Amsbury has been an executive in four startup and high-growth technology-enabled companies located in Colorado’s Front Range region. He has been named the primary inventor on three patents and is a contributing inventor on 26 others, including Kiva System’s warehouse robot. A cattleman, Amsbury is a business coach and consultant for sustainable agriculture endeavors, natural/organic food enterprises, and functional medicine practitioners.

About the Series

Sponsored by the System Design & Management (SDM) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar Series features research conducted by SDM faculty, alumni, students, and industry partners. The series is designed to disseminate information on how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and socio-political components of complex challenges. Recordings and slides from prior SDM webinars can be accessed here.