Systemic Design Method Guide for Policymaking

Book cover for systemic design method guide with a red cross and constellation illustration

Silvia Barbero

Systemic Design Method Guide

This systemic design method guide aims to clarify the role of the circular economy according to sustainable development and describes how policymakers can target it effectively in their activities. The main question is: Which methodology can policy managers use in order to define a clear path towards a circular economy in their regions?

Indeed, this path means shifting from a linear and mechanistic approach to a holistic and integrated one, where the number of variables and relations generates a complex environment. So, the policies should manage and solve complex problems with new structured innovation approaches compared to the past. Specifically, the systemic design method guide provides specific tools, from managing complex situations to designing new relations among the entities of territory to visualizing the hidden potentialities and boosting proactive collaboration among local actors.

Action Plans

This book is a guide to systemic design as a key methodology to establish sustainable regional action plans towards a circular economy. As the result of an intense dialogue between people who present different perspectives and seek a common language in the current complexity of policy-making and designing, this is the first of a three-book series published across a four-year period (2016–2020) as part of the RETRACE Project funded by the Interreg Europe Programme.

Free download available from RETRACE.

RSD7 featured relaxed “learning-and-doing time”. At the end of each day, three events were hosted in the casual venue of Eataly. This is one of the recently published books that was introduced to the audience and discussed in an informal setting.


The Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium,, is November 3-6, 2021. 

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