GSIF Post #7

What is Creativity Creativity – Thinking outside of the box.

-Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting, and to develop new and original ideas, methods or objects.

Where does Creativity Happen? 

-When collaboration, isolation, need, not thinking about the problem, 

What is Emergence?

-Being the first of a new thing or the sum of several systems for example a bird flying 


8 Tenets of System Thinking 


Multifinality – The idea that even though all the inputs into different systems are the same, different outcomes will develop. How does it address the needs of several stakeholders? 

-For Ukweli, this is almost the base of the operations we are creating. The input is the test strips into the sierra leone healthcare system in order to lower maternal mortality rate but in doing so the CHWs are also given a supplemental income.

-For Newtrition, this is an example of the muffin serving the purpose of helping eliminate malnutrition in children, but also creating a system that can be implemented in various other countries with similar issues. 

Equifinality – Given different inputs with the same goal, all end in the same output. 

-Equifinality is present in Ukweli’s operations of training different PHUs and different CHWs throughout the Bombali District/SL. The various community health workers/PHUs/Villages that have Ukweli’s Test Strips can potentially be very different inputs, but all of these players are working towards the same goal of using Ukweli’s strips to lower the maternal mortality.

Abstraction – The idea of describing a system in more than one dimension, speaking to the interconnections and interdependence of the system.

-CHWs and NICs and all other health workers do different jobs to work towards the solution of a healthier Sierra Leone

Leverage Points- important points in a system that have a large impact with minimal changes

-Changing the ingredients in the magic muffin can change the nutrient profile along with the flavor. That could affect who buys or who gets the right nutrients

– For Newtrition, changing the branding of the muffin from a “therapeutic food” to just a healthy food allows for us to avoid the stigma attached to it. By just creating healthy food without claims we can easily merge into the current markets. 

Regulation – The idea that in order for a system to be successful, it requires feedback in multiple aspects of said system to manage the high points and pitfalls of a system

-Ukweli Test Strips data collection systems are used to effectively understand the current standings of the operations of the venture

– Malnutrition recipes questionnaires were collected to determine whether the product our team felt was best, was also accepted by the mothers and children of Sierra Leone. 

Interdependence* – Mutually beneficial relationships between systems 

-Sustainable development goals, better education improves health, improving health makes a better population, a better population can do bigger and better things. All of our projects work on one problem being faced in a developing country, but the improvement in one aspect, helps to improve the others. 

-Malnutrition- the team needs a local to cook at to make nutritious products to address malnutrition in Sierra Leone, so a local bakery partnered with us and allowed us to use the bakery. In return we helped them work out a business model for their bakery and did odd jobs they needed assistance with. 

Holism* – The idea that the sum of the individual parts of a system are less valuable than the system as a whole:

-For the muffin product, giving children separate serving of each of the ingredients used in the recipe would be ineffective, but combining them into a muffin in this case, makes a product that is better than the sum of its individual components. 

Differentiation* the idea that a system needs different systems working together to achieve a cohesive solution

-Bundle of sticks i.e. marketing, sale, dissemination, teaching, transport ect…

– For malnutrition, when we first arrived in Sierra Leone, we weren’t differentiated within the team and it led to problems of ‘who is in charge of what’. After a meeting with Khanjan he helped us differentiate ourselves and the team was much more productive. 

* Differentiation, Holism, and Interdependence are essentially the same thing 

Hyachinth Take Over Problem:


Stakeholder motivations: 

Community is unhappy because they are not payed.

Community could be upset because they are not Getting the credit for helping their community


Possible Solution 

  1.  Connect with local community leaders and explain the venture. This could be a simple issue of miscommunication
  2. Give the people we are getting the hyacinth from a certificate that shows that they are part of a movement to help the entire community
  3. Organize a day labor system where shore community members who want to take part in the hyacinth collection congregate and the actual employees pick them up for the one day and the community people help with the collection and get compensated based on output they produce
  4. Give local community leaders a cut of the products produced, to be distrubed as that leader sees fit.


Leave a Reply