Rupesh Shah

Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor, School of Engineering and Innovation, The Open University

  • Contributor
  • Health


Rupesh has supported learning about systems thinking at the Open University for almost 20 years, initially as a research fellow and then as an Associate Lecturer on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in systems thinking and now as a Senior Lecturer and Staff Tutor. He has worked as co-author for two post-graduate modules in Systems Thinking in Practice and is currently working on a third.

Rupesh has worked as a participatory development practitioner and community educator, managing local projects in the UK, India and beyond.

His teaching and research interests include developing capability in systems thinking in practice, the role of community empowerment in sustainable development and relational practice in learning for change.

At the School of System Change

Rupesh introduces participants to ideas, principles and methods from a range of systems approaches - he hopes in a critically informed yet playful way. The idea is to offer participants a practical, theoretically grounded and embodied encounter with systems thinking in practice.

Where are you focusing your energy right now?

At work, I am developing some new teaching at the Open University as part of our Masters in Systems Thinking in Practice about co-designing interventions, which is taking up a lot of energy. At home my energy is focused on supporting family members through some difficult times. And at the back of my mind is a small nest of creative work in my local community that I'm involved with delivering.

What is your area of expertise?

  • Systems Thinking in Practice
  • Education and learning
  • Participation

How do you contribute to Basecamp for Health System Transformation?

I offer participants a chance to learn some core concepts and tools from the systems field to support them in thinking about and engaging practically with complexity.

What's your current inquiry question about?

My broad practical question is related to the pedagogy of systems thinking for practice; how to design effective and impactful supported distance learning about systems thinking at postgraduate level.

I also have a technical question that I am working with at the moment, which is about the processes and practices that support me to write.

More expansively, I have been sustained by curiosity about the interaction between power, participation and play in my professional and personal life.

Find out more about Rupesh: