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Course: System Innovation – A Nordic Community of Practice

Time 4,5 days
Event type Course
Price DKK 22,500 – 25,000 (excl. VAT)

NB! The exact dates for the course will be announced this fall. For interest please write to Anders Erlendsson at

System innovation attempts to address the rising complexity in societies where problems are increasingly interconnected. Complex situations challenge how we understand and try to solve wicked problems. In short, system innovation is a set of mental models and hands-on tools which can enable our collective capacity to change and create new systems better suited to adapt to the reality of the 21st century.

This course (in Danish) will introduce you to system innovation, mental models, and tools for starting changing systems. In addition, the course aims to facilitate a social space where participants can share experiences from working with complex problems and situations. We aspire to build a community of practice around system innovation across public, private, and civic organizations in Denmark and the Nordics over the coming years. The course aims to kickstart this intent.

"We need entire systems to work to different principles, to be more socially inclusive, regenerative and reparative, to give people a sense that they have a stake in the future"

Charles Leadbeater

Start from the possibility, not the problem, 2023

What you’ll learn

We will work with methods and tools to analyze and map the materials of systems and the drivers which create and maintain undesirable situations for people and society. Lastly, we will look into hands-on examples of shaping new systems and the tools, ideas, and leaps needed to realize them.

Across the entirety of the course, the following questions will guide our conversations:

  1. What is the difference between a systemic problem and a systemic opportunity?
  2. How can you work to change existing or enable the creation of new systems?
  3. What roles are vital if we want to change or build systems? What do they contribute, and how do we invite them into our work?

Who is this for

Since the ambition is to start forming a coalition around system innovation in the Nordics, this course is mainly targeting people working in that region. The course is relevant if you work with complex problems and seek new methods, concrete tools, and perspectives for addressing systemic problems.

Some thoughts on the subject

If you haven’t already, we highly recommend reading the article How to Turn Wicked Problems Into Ambitious Opportunities by our colleagues Anders Erlendsson and Sara Gry Striegler. Some crucial insights from the piece:

“Systems innovation is more than just optimizing or fine-tuning existing systems in times of crisis. It is about boldly asserting that we can create better conditions and systems than today. Some may argue that systemic opportunities exist only theoretically until someone seizes and implements them. But one thing is for sure: we can not do it alone, not at the community level, not in the private sector, and not at the state level. 

Instead, we must collaborate in new ways, challenge the status quo, and share our important learnings. This requires that we seize the opportunities and insist that we can influence, even shape, the future we want.

At DDC, we simultaneously apply hands-on design methods to address problems and opportunities. By mapping the material of systems – including purpose, power structures, resource flows, and patterns of relationships –, we examine and challenge prevailing understandings of problems.

The material composition is what defines a system and sustains its function. Mapping helps us understand two things: 1) the characteristics of the system we want to change together, and 2) how changes in the material composition turn the problem into an opportunity and open up new and unexplored possibilities.”


This course will be available in Aarhus and Copenhagen. It will be divided into two workshop sessions to allow course participants to introduce methods and tools in their respective organizations between the sessions. The online check-in between workshops will gather all course participants from both Aarhus and Copenhagen to initiate a conversation across all of Denmark and share experiences from trying out tools and frameworks in various types of organizations.

The course will combine theory, exercises, and reflection and facilitate experience and knowledge exchange between participants.

We announce a detailed program and line-up of guest speakers closer to the start of the course.


  • Corporate DKK 25,000
  • Non-profit/NGO DKK 22,500
  • Public Institution DKK 22,500

All prices are excl. VAT

Maximum participants per location: 25 people

Anders Erlendsson

Mission Director

Phone +45 2870 4952
Social LinkedIn

Do you have questions about the course?

David Hilmer Rex

PostDoc and System Innovation Expert

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Design School Kolding
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