Themes

A World of Systems

How do people make sense of and navigate complexity?

A system is a set of connected things that work together to form a network. A system can be physical, like a computer, but there are many other kinds of systems—political, economic, technological, social, creative, and more—that have an impact on daily life. Understanding these interconnected systems and how they define human existence is critically important to navigating today’s world. In the world of systems theme, you will explore different systems and learn to recognize which ones most influence your personal and professional aspirations.

You will also consider how systems affect you personally, how they work across the world, and how they both contribute to and benefit from technological advancement:

  • What is “systems thinking,” and how is it relevant to every discipline at Ithaca College?
  • How have different systems of philosophical, literary, religious, and historical thought shaped the values we live by?
  • What are the key social, political, and economic systems that affect our lives, and how do we recognize them?
  • How do our systems of communicating and organizing information affect our lives?
  • How do technology and the development of technology fit into the world of systems?
  • What are the key systems that support life on this planet? 
  • How have systems of scientific methodology, and the knowledge we have obtained by them, changed over time?


HIGHLIGHTED COURSE

Business-Interdisc. Studies: BINT21000 Boom, Bust and the American Economic Cycle (A WORLD OF SYSTEMS/SO)

This course will look at the historical developments in the U.S. economy, with special focus on the role of capital markets and the financial services industry, from the 1930s to the present.  Crucial events such as stock market collapses, major legislations governing the operations of financial markets & institutions, and milestones like the Great Recession and the Subprime Lending Crisis will be critically examined.  The common thread throughout the course is to identify and analyze the interrelationship of multiple political, regulatory, economic, technological, global, and socio-psychological forces that have shaped the boom and bust cycles in the US economy.

Various viewpoints focusing on the practical aspects of enforcement, social welfare through consumer protection, political roadblocks, and campaign finance reform will be evaluated.  Students will also analyze the consequences of economic volatility on companies and consumers alike, both in the United States and abroad.   It will become very apparent that complex, powerful and interwoven domestic and global forces that shape the behavior of the participants in capital markets and the financial services industry significantly impact the health of the economies around the world.