This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Biophysics and Biomedicine

Organization
National Laboratory (Research)
Position in the company
Research Scientist/Project Leader
Economical or Societal Sector
Research and Development
Country
Greece
Report
Of the 17 goals for sustainable developments (SDGs) according to the UN, the most closely with the activities/priorities of the interviewee’s professional area are 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9. Of these, the most important in her profession is addressing gender equality so leaders with different perspectives are generated.
During staff selection, for tasks related to sustainable development issues, the criteria used are not related to sustainable development, however it is important, to select staff who work to protect the safety and well-being of other staff members.
According to the interviewee the ability to use systems thinking to solve a problem/design a product depends on the size of the problem and the size of the organization. It is hard to think about two or three interconnected problems at once, especially if one has no training/vocabulary and/or experience in all those spaces. Providing teams (consisting of individuals with different training/experience levels) the full complexity of a large “system” can be overwhelming. In attacking a complex problem, simplifications are often made/assumed to help focus on core aspects. Or bounds to the problem are specified (legal, financial, etc) because every project must balance time, cost, and quality. Both naïve/ill-formed solutions and “higher quality” solutions might be equally probable if systems thinking is applied.
Scientific research, as a professional area, requires analysis of many factors that are interrelated, but systems thinking is useless when it comes to interacting with bureaucracy. Often, electronic sub-systems that – from a systems’ thinking point of view - should interact with/talk to each other, they do not. If the many sub-systems communicated automatically, the larger system would certainly work better. Unfortunately, subsystems are historically implemented at different times as new processes are deemed important. In most cases, leadership wants credit for implementing something new and is not willing to put effort for making the larger system work for more people.
Recent university graduates have the advantage to solve problems using the plethora of resources available to them in contrast with previous generation’s resources that were limited to printed matter, more experienced professionals, and their own specialized training. New university grads have access to disparate approaches that they then combine in creative and innovative ways. However, according to the interviewee, even though teaching how to think is important, what is more important is accumulated experience which so often broadens one’s perspective.