top of page

TOOLKIT for researchers

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 Research

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



Using Mental Models to Organize Academic Literature Reviews download

4. Evaluate your Work

Workbook - Program Development & Evaluation download

Evaluation: Systems Thinking  download

Evaluation: Method Matching Matrix  download

cas poster 2019 thumbnail.jpg
The Power of Perspective thumbnail.jpg
M.A.C. Plectica map 1.jpg
i = pat.jpg

Supplemental Resources 

Analysis Using DSRP Questions download.

Sample Focus Group Instrument for Evaluations Using Systems Thinking download.

Sample Interview Instrument Using Systems Thinking download.

WI Water Thinkers Network Survey download.

ThinkWater School Participants Survey download.


ThinkWater People Directory: Exchange Ideas with the TW network. download


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.

bottom of page