Systems & complexity

A systems thinking perspective on guns at school

On 14 February 2018, the world was shocked when 14 students and three staff members were killed in a school mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. The Parkland shooting has been described as one of the world’s deadliest school massacres, and appears to be finally catalyzing change after a long history of school shootings in the United States.

Last weekend, thousands of people turned out for “March for Our Lives” marches in Washington and many other cities across the United States, and what to do to address school and wider gun violence is being hotly debated by politicians and the community.

But what actions can really lead to change?

We’ve seen from the RealKM Magazine systems thinking and modeling series that systems thinking can gives us good insights into complex issues, and we’ve also seen systems thinking used to gain a better understanding of the risk of global conflict.

Now, with thanks to Barry Richmond, you can gain a systems thinking perspective on guns at school.

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Bruce Boyes

Bruce Boyes ( is a knowledge management (KM), environmental management, and education professional with over 30 years of experience in Australia and China. His work has received high-level acclaim and been recognised through a number of significant awards. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation Group at Wageningen University and Research, and holds a Master of Environmental Management with Distinction. He is also the editor, lead writer, and a director of the award-winning RealKM Magazine (, and teaches in the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) Certified High-school Program (CHP).

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