Bring systems thinking to your newsrooms with our new slide decks

In July, we launched our online Systems Thinking for Journalists toolkit, filled with flexible exercises and ideas for journalists and their communities to apply the practices of systems thinking to their reporting and engagement. (Read the original announcement here.)

We designed these tools long before COVID-19, so most of the exercises are geared with in-person collaboration in mind. As much of the world continues to adapt to remote work and collaboration, we wanted to make sure our toolkit could better fit these new and emergent needs. We’re excited to announce a new addition to the website: slide decks! (Wow, that sounded less exciting than we thought it would.)

Whether or not you’re as enthralled by fancy slide decks as we are, we think they’ll give you and your team an extra asset for collaborating remotely or in-person on the exercises we’ve designed with your team. Each exercise now has a corresponding deck, which is linked in the “Here’s what you need to get started” section on the top of each tool’s page.

We created these decks using Google Slides, so you can make copies and adapt them as needed for your team. Here’s what you’ll find in each one:

  • Facilitation notes to help you organize how you and your team can run this exercise;
  • Recommendations for setting up an in-person room and tips for facilitating remotely;
  • A series of forward-facing slides with introductions to each exercise, each step and its details, and examples throughout;
  • Speaker notes that offer you tips for what you can say and how you can facilitate each step with your team;
  • Extra, pre-designed slides at the end for your own use.

Our goal with this toolkit has always been to make the practice of applying systems thinking to journalism as accessible as possible. We think that these ideas and exercises can deepen your reporting and equip your communities with the information they need to address our most pressing issues. For an example, check out this recap of how the Baltimore Sun used our systems thinking tools to deepen their reporting on child support. 

If you have any feedback or ideas on how we can improve, please reach out to