Support responsibility for unintended consequences


"One characteristic of social systems is that people often unintentionally contribute to the very problems they want to solve. Systems thinking enabled communities working in the F&F initiative to uncover potential unintended consequences of their efforts.

For example, marketing the concept of eating locally grown food without developing a food system that can provide it can lead to increased prices for that food, putting it out of reach for schools, children, and families in low-income communities and thus decreasing the consumption of good food among that population. Pushing for policies to allow open space to be used for community gardens could have the unintended consequence of reducing access to outdoor areas for children to play and be active.

If people understand how they contribute to a problem, they have more control over solving it. Raising awareness of responsibility without invoking blame and defensiveness takes skill – yet it is well worth the effort."

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Part of Solution

  • Applying "systems thinking" to program planning

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    Organisations Involved