Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World - FREE COURSE

Provider: FutureLearn
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Description Leaders must be able to act in a complex world and under uncertainty. This free online course is a first step to develop yourself into one of the future’s key decision makers or to enhance your decision-making skills. The course begins on 21 September
Duration 6 weeks

FutureLearn's website
Categories Secondary, Higher, Leadership and Management, Mathematics / Numeracy, Further education, 14-19, Business / Economics, Management, Assistant Headteacher, CPD Leader, Deputy Headteacher, Headteacher, Head of year / Pastoral leader, Business Manager, Head of Department / Faculty, Personal Development, Wider Context, Change Management, Coaching and Mentoring, CPD Leadership, Performance Management, Business Management, Organisational Improvement, Online, Webinar, Discussion forums, Video, Safeguarding, Governor, Data Protection, Knowledge Mobilisation, Governance, Monitoring Impact
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

First, this course will address what complexity is and will define uncertainty. Next, we cover a number of tools and methods to understand and be able to navigate through the complex and uncertain world.

The need for a multidisciplinary approach will be emphasised throughout the course. Guest lecturers from different faculties will explain, provide applications and examples from their respective fields of study for a more comprehensive understanding of the different elements of complexity. For example, complexity can be beautifully explained by the use of insects and brains and many other natural and social phenomena. The same ideas can be applied to economic and financial systems.

After introducing the first principles, guest lecturers will cover interdisciplinary aspects of complexity. These are graph theory and networks, emergent behaviour, agent-based modeling, evolutionary dynamics, cellular automata and self-organisation, complexity in history, decision making under uncertainty, heuristics and biases and subsequently leadership and entrepreneurship. Finally, relating this all back together in two case studies will conclude the course. The first case study is financial stability and crises and the latter is growth and development of cities.

By completing this course you will have developed skills and knowledge that will enhance your decision-making skills in order to act in a complex world and under uncertainty.

Evidence underpinning this approach

This course is run in collaboration with the leading University of Groningen. Lead educator is Professor Lex Hoogduin, who has been advisor to the first president of the European Central Bank.

How users/participants can evaluate success

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised, printed certificate to show that you’ve taken part.

Follow-up activities and support

Use the hashtag #FLComplexity to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.


This course starts on 21 September and runs for 6 weeks. Learners are expected to spend around 6 hours a week on the course.

This course does not have any pre-booked dates available. Please contact the provider directly to arrange this training.