Most development work by social purpose organisations happens through deliberate intervention to bring about social change. The issues that we work on are a conglomeration of messy problems in complex systems. This programmeprovides participants with the knowledge and skills of a systems approach to build a deeper understanding of the system one is trying to intervene in, and then builds their abilities to design interventions in that system to bring about social change. It will enable the participant’s ability to apply regenerative systems design in their respective contexts. The sessions will equip participants with frameworks that enable them to design for transition into a new future anchored in the vision of Agenda 2030 “integrated and indivisible and balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental”.

In the 3-day workshop, participants will

  • Employ systems tools to analyse complex social contexts
  • Identify a leverage point for intervention
  • Design an intervention using purposeful programme theory


The workshop will run with an emphasis on theory-practice. The participants will be expected to do a lot of exercises and apply tools and frameworks to their own contexts, and learn collaboratively. Participants will also be provided pre-reads to help them prepare for the workshop.

Who should attend

The workshop is ideally suited for mid and senior level management and leadership in the social sector who are keen to take the learning back to their organisation to design sustainable programmes situated in complex systems.

Fees: Non-residential programme

Rs 17,500/- + GST per participant
Rs 16,000/- + GST per participant for 2 or more participants

Limited need based scholarships available.

Date: 17-19 October 2019     Location: Noida (Venue: ISDM Campus)


Prof. Shashi Nair

Professor, Azim Premji University

Shashi is a Civil Engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore with a specialisation in Operations Research. Shashi has designed and facilitated several workshops on Educational Leadership and Management, and Change. He teaches Educational Change, School Systems Analysis, and Programme Design and Evaluation in Education at the Azim Premji University.

Shashi Nair has been teaching at the Azim Premji University since 2012. Currently, he is engaged in the exploration and dissemination of systemic approaches to strengthen the system. Before he joined the Azim Premji University, Shashi was the Head of the Education Leadership and Management Team at the Azim Premji Foundation.

Ms. Suparna Diwakar

Dean, Academics, Indian School of Development Management

Suparna has worked extensively in the development sector for over 25 years. She started her career with MYRADA and moved on to lead and manage multiple projects ranging from being Founding Trustee of Adamya Chetana; Vice-President and Project lead at Centre for Leadership and Management in Public Services; Consultant for multiple projects with Department of Public Instruction, District Institute for Education and Training in Karnataka State; Consultant for rural development project for the Indian Institute of Science etc. Suparna has curriculum development and teaching experience. She also has extensive experience in design, development and implementation of projects and trainings with corporates and numerous collaborative projects with organizations like Tata Institute for Social Sciences, The Teacher Foundation, CSR wing of ABB, Azim Premji Foundation, UNICEF etc. In her vast experience in the development sector she has also published and presented several papers on academic leadership, management and governance. Suparna's strength lies in her ability to straddle the theory-practice space, to make a meaningful contribution to change on the ground.

Dr. Aruna Pandey

PhD (SOAS), MSW (TISS - Mumbai)

Senior Research Fellow, ISDM

Aruna comes with deep engagement in domains of Natural Resource Governance, Institution Building and Sustainable Livelihoods. In her 13 years of experiencing and co-creating social change with communities, Aruna has worked with institutions like BRLF, an autonomous society of Ministry of Rural Development - Government of India, TISS (Mumbai), SOAS - University of London, IIM - Ahmedabad, ISAP (New Delhi), on projects supported / in partnership with IDRC, UNDP, UNEP, InfoDev, UNV, etc. Her domain of expertise and interest are environmental governance, social research, education/ innovation and Institution Building. She has received the Young Analyst Award by EU and DPG, the prestigious M. K. Tata Prize and the NTPC gold medal for her dissertation at TISS (Mumbai) and the Felix Scholarship Trust award for her PhD at SOAS, amongst others. Aruna also is a board member of Swechha - We for Change Foundation.

At ISDM, Aruna leads the Knowledge and Research Centre. As faculty for ISDM’s post-graduate programme in Development Leadership, Aruna also co-leads and supports learning modules on Environment and Development, Systems Design for Social Interventions and Radical Transformation Leadership amongst many others. Before ISDM, Aruna was heading the Research and Capacity Building vertical at Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation. Aruna is also part of the Honeybee Network, a volunteer network, spread across 75 countries, engaged in the development of a sustainable knowledge ecosystem.

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