The COVID-19 crisis is indubitably a multifaceted phenomenon and has altered various aspects of human life to date. The complexity of the crisis has been further increased by the multiple virus mutations that lead to a number of pandemic waves across the globe.
Despite the complexity of the matter, researchers have argued that most countries are resorting to reductionist approaches in managing the situation. These might include adopting a single and isolated scientific discipline that misallocate resources and incur high social and economic costs. For instance, certain implementation of lockdowns policies and the closure of educational and business entities may induce various unintended socio-economic consequences. They range from disruptions of the family institution, mental health problems, and the further widening of socioeconomic inequalities.
As a typical ‘black swan’ crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic calls for a non-linear mode of thinking and planning, which is primarily represented by the field of systems thinking. Systems thinking offers a holistic mechanism in phenomena analysis and its application spans across disciplines. It provides an approach to solving complex problems by simultaneously ‘seeing the forest and the trees’. As such, the World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted systems thinking as a strategic tool for public health reform globally even before the pandemic unfolds.
Under this backdrop, this forum intends to shed some light on the necessity of resorting to systems thinking in tackling the pandemic situation and how the approach might resonate with the teachings and principles of Islam. It will also discuss how a systems thinking mindset can better harness our ability to build resilient socio-economic-health systems in the post-pandemic era.
Watch the recording at IAIS Malaysia Facebook page.