Understanding and Designing Complex Sociotechnical Systems


MIT SDM Systems Thinking Webinar SeriesJoseph M. Sussman

Joseph M. Sussman
JR East Professor in the MIT Engineering Systems Division and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Date: April 8, 2013

About the Presentation

While command of technical factors is necessary to understanding “critical contemporary issues” (CCIs), such as climate change, economic growth, mobility, large-scale manufacturing, health, and developing country megacities, more integrated knowledge is needed to address them.

This webinar is designed for engineers, managers, policy makers, health care professionals, educators, students, and others, across industries and disciplines, throughout the world. During this session, MIT’s Joseph M. Sussman, the JR East Professor of MIT’s Engineering Systems Division and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will:

  • define sociotechnical systems;
  • describe their components and characteristics;
  • discuss how we approach them;
  • describe how design solutions must focus not only on the advanced technologies that characterize contemporary life, but also on their relationship to the organizations and institutions through which they function;
  • discuss examples drawn from various fields.

About the Speaker

A member of the MIT faculty for 45 years, Joseph M. Sussman is the JR East Professor in the Engineering Systems Division and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. He is renowned for his work on transportation issues, including regional strategic transportation planning (RSTP), intelligent transportation systems (ITS), and high-speed rail in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more about Professor Sussman here.

About the Series

The MIT System Design and Management Program 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.

Photo by Barry Hetherington