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TOOLKIT for government agencies & NGOs

The THINKWATER TOOLKIT is a resource hub, developed to serve a wide range of constituents, and to provide the necessary tools in the best practices of systems thinking.

This page features resources for researchers. 

1. Learn the basics of DSRP Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking 101 - An introductory course in systems thinking visit 

A Little Film About a Big Idea watch on the ThinkWater homepage

Systems Thing Made Simple - An introduction to systems thinking Kindle or book

Infographics, posters, etc. downloadable resources

2. Systems Thinking & Water 

Rethinking Water watch on the ThinkWater homepage

3. Apply Systems Thinking to your Work

Familiarize yourself with systems mapping software Plectica videos

Map Library - View the library of Plectica maps created by The ThinkWater fellows, The 

Wisconsin Water Thinkers Network, Wisconsin ThinkWater School, and others visit



Milwaukee Water Commons download

Lakes Team - Applying systems thinking to community capacity development download

Pepin County - A systems thinking approach to solving water quality issues download

4. Evaluate your Work

Workbook - Program Development & Evaluation download

Evaluation: Systems Thinking  download

Evaluation: Method Matching Matrix  download

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These animated sequences are designed to help explain some of the basic, fundamental aspects of systems thinking.

Mental Models

Although it feels to our conscious self that we interact directly with the real world, in fact we interact indirectly with the real world through our mental models of it. Think of a mental model as a lens between you and reality, coloring what you see. As systems thinkers, we must acknowledge that our mental models are (often poor) approximations of reality. They provide us with only a partial picture; a frame through which we see what we believe to be real, skewed by our biases and beliefs.

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