Lugano Summer School


Continuing Education in Systems Thinking

UniversitÓ della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Lugano, Switzerland

This is a site with frames. Click here to open the menu frame in case you have not entered this site through the index page.



Target Group  The School addresses mature students, researchers, and professionals of applied disciplines with an interest and basic knowledge in systems thinking and systems methodologies. As understood by the Lugano Summer School, "systems design" encompasses much more than techniques of systems modeling and engineering; it stands for an attitude of reflective practice that is informed by systems thinking and practical philosophy and which seeks to deal with situations of professional intervention in a comprehensive, participatory, and self-critical manner. The basic idea is that it is useful to understand such situations in terms of the design of whole systems rather than of problem-solving only. Systems design is about achieving improvement in situations of complexity, uncertainty, and conflict. It involves rational analysis and inquiry as well as ethical reflection and discourse. The Summer School will focus each year on a small number of selected approaches to systems design and will try to build a bridge between them. The aim is not only to increase the problem-solving capabilities of participants but also to help them in becoming reflective researchers and professionals.

The School is particularly intended for doctoral students or postdoctoral researchers, as well as practicing professionals, in applied disciplines such as business and public sector management, information systems design, industrial and systems engineering, environmental management, operational research, consultancy, public policy analysis, social planning, evaluation research, or other professional fields associated with the use of systems thinking and systems methodologies.

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Summer Schools will require a completed degree and current involvement in a doctoral or Master of science program, or current employment as research or teaching staff. Adequately prepared practitioners of applied disciplines such as those mentioned above will also be considered for admission.

Number of Participants  The minimum number of participants will be 15 for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Summer Schools and 20-25 for all other events (regular Summer Schools, Young Researchers' Conferences, or others). For Doctoral and Postdoctoral Summer Schools, the maximum number of participants will be limited to 20 (-25), for other events to about 35-40.

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Summer Schools will be reserved to small groups of 20 (-25) participants at the doctoral or postdoctoral level or at an equivalent level of professional proficiency.

Origin of Participants  Participants from all countries are welcome, as the Summer School seeks to achieve an international mix of participants. Since the language of instruction is English, a good level of proficiency in English is indispensable.

This is where the Lugano Summer School
participants have come from:






          Dominican Republic



         Hong Kong











                    New Zealand



      Saudi Arabia


                   South Africa




                                    United Kingdom





Home page