TU Delft
Education Type
Education print this page print this page     
2018/2019 Technology, Policy and Management Master Complex Systems Engineering and Management
Participatory Systems
Module Manager
Name E-mail
Dr. M. Comes    T.Comes@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. F.M. Brazier    F.M.Brazier@tudelft.nl
Dr. M. Comes    T.Comes@tudelft.nl
Co-responsible for assignments
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. F.M. Brazier    F.M.Brazier@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
Addressing the grand challenges of our time demands participation. Finding solutions to complex problems like climate change, migration, ageing populations, or maintaining food security requires a joint effort of individuals and their communities. Bottom-up problem solving is not new, but it has operated at the margins. Now, in our hyperconnected society, information and communication technology enable information collection, sharing, and analysis in unprecedented ways. Through ICT, new forms of self-organization and coordination are enabled, that lead to new organizational structures, business models or provide communities with an opportunity to improve their resilience.

The objective of this course is therefore to design participatory systems that make use of ICT to foster local engagement and to empower citizens and communities. Participatory systems are ICT-enabled large scale socio-technical systems that have a dedicated mission and purpose. They provide the technical and social infrastructure to support participation, enabling citizens to take responsibility and providing them with the ability to act.
Study Goals
The course focuses on the leading design principles for participatory systems. The students will learn to design participatory systems by combining design thinking with tools and methods to organize and analyze information sharing and coordination structures. Major design principles that the students will be able to apply after the course include design for empowerment, design for trust, and design for engagement.

The students will learn to apply their learning in a project that is centred around improving resilience. This project will combine the design of a participatory system (requirements analysis; conceptual design based on an analysis of actors, roles, coordination structures and information needs / flows and) with a prototypical implementation of the system (interactive website).

Education Method
The course will combine theoretical and methodological elements in lectures with a concrete design challenge on resilience and interactive lab sessions. In the spirit of participatory systems, we require active participation and important contributions from the students throughout the course.
The final grade of the course is based on written assignments (75%) and the implementation (25%). Assignments will be at individual and group level.

All assignments must be completed with a passing grade (at least 5.75) in order to pass the course. A partial grade for any of the assessment reports or the implemented website is only valid within the same academic year. You cannot compensate with a partial grade from previous year. If you do not pass all parts within the same academic year, you will have to retake the entire course.
MSc level