Making Sense of a Complex World

Date: On Demand

Duration: 5 Days

Course Objectives

This course aims to provide participants with a set of frames and tools to make sense of and to navigate the growing complexities of Industry 4.0 (and beyond). The topics are:
• Understanding the operating environment in macro terms, using lenses and concepts of 4IR, network society, post-industrialism, and late/advanced modernity.
• Using insights from complexity sciences to link issues in the operating environment with the work of policymakers.
• Drawing on sensemaking concepts to inform strategic risk analysis and mitigation.
• Using futures/foresight tools to complement traditional strategic planning approaches.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
• Understand the present and emerging operating context using the framework of complexity in the public policy context.
• Understand and be able to apply a sensemaking framework based on Karl Weick and Dave Snowden’s work on organisational cognition.
• Apply futures thinking tools and methods (e.g. horizon scanning methods, scenario planning, etc.) in policy work.


Topics covered included:
A. The Big Picture
– The Fourth Industrial Revolution
– Alternative frameworks such as “network society”, “information society”, post-industrialism
– Smart City and Smart Nation, technocracy and the technologizing of society
B. Complexity
– Basic concepts of nonlinearity, adaptiveness, emergence, self-organisation
– Implications for bureaucratic organisations
– Wild Cards and Black Swans
C. Sense-making
– Organising for complexity
– Planning for failure
– Institutionalising dissent
– Detecting weak signals
D. Futures Thinking
– Contrast with conventional planning
– The basics of scenario planning
– Building resilience in your organization

Who Should Attend

Public Service Professionals


At least a Bachelor’s degree

Course Convener

(Click their photos to view their short biographies)

ddddd Adrian Kuah

Dr Adrian KuahDr Adrian Kuah

Course Fees

Singapore Citizens
39 years old or younger
40 years old or older
Singapore PRs
Enhanced Training Support for SMEs
International Participants

Total Nett Programme Fee Payable, Including GST, after additional funding from the various funding schemes

Participants must fulfill at least 75% attendance and pass all assessment components to be eligible for SSG funding.

NTUC members enjoy 50% unfunded course fee support for up to S$250 each year (or up to S$500 for NTUC members aged 40 years old and above) when you sign up for courses supported under UTAP (Union Training Assistance Programme). Please visit e2i’s website to find out more.

To enquire, email

To register, click Register

Course Code:
TGS-2020505854 (Synchronous e-learning)

For members of public and NUS Alumnus (without R&G Voucher), please follow the steps below:

Select Short Course / Modular Course -> Apply for Myself -> Browse Academic Modules / Short Courses-> Module/Course Category -> Short Courses -> Browse Courses-> Strategic Tech Mgt Institute (Faculty/Department / Unit)

Please download the user guide for NUS Online Application Portal after you click ‘Apply for Myself’ if you need assistance.

Course Fee Breakdown

Singapore Citizens

Singapore Citizens

39 years old or younger

Singapore Citizen

40 years old or older
Singapore PRs
Enhanced Training Support for SMEs
International Participants