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Social systems

We work across ESR’s focus areas to understand complex societal and environmental problems and identify solutions using systems-thinking tools.

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ESR’s Social Systems team partners with researchers and organisations to understand complex societal and environmental problems, and identify solutions using systems thinking tools that have positive benefits for communities. The team works across the areas of environment, public health, justice and social policy, within bicultural and multidisciplinary teams.

The Lab

The Lab

The Social Systems Lab supports collaborative working to understand and act on complex social and environmental problems. The Lab is also a space for innovation in methods and supports the application of systems thinking approaches.

We work in partnership with community organisations, iwi and hapū, government, and scientists across ESR and other research organisations.

Topics range from culturally appropriate biowaste management, public health equity issues, to implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving the health of our waterways.

Our approaches to problem solving prioritise bicultural research methods and systems thinking.

The team

Work with us

Work with us

Do you have a project that would benefit from systems thinking but need to know more about the tools? The Social Systems team have physical offices in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch, and we work across Aotearoa New Zealand both in person and using online tools.

We would love to hear from you about how you would like to work collaboratively with us. Please email