Designing for an Interconnected World as a CPA

Learn how to build a resilient, sustainable organization with contemporary insights on systems design.

The Ivey Academy and CPA Ontario Certificate in Leadership is a collaboration between CPA Ontario and The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School to deliver professional leadership development tailored for emerging and established CPAs alike.

Learn more about this unique learning experience and how to earn a Certificate in Leadership.

Each completed course awards a digital badge to signify your accomplishment. You can share these badges across social media, websites, ePortfolios, professional networks and email signatures to highlight your enhanced skill set and expertise.

After completing three courses of your choice, you will receive a Certificate in Leadership. This powerful credential signifies your diverse leadership skill set and ability to manage through disruption.

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Note: This course is delivered virtually over four weeks and includes 25 hours of learning. Expect highly interactive live sessions led by expert Ivey faculty, small peer learning groups, executive coaching, online simulations and learning journeys within the course.


Rapid technological advances since the start of the twenty-first century have made the world increasingly interdependent. Across financial markets, supply chains and customer relationships, business and society now behave like one large, dynamic system. Events in any given area can have far-reaching consequences on others, so organizations must adapt to face a growing variety of shared challenges – from climate change and disease outbreak to civil unrest.

Businesses that can sense and respond to dynamic systems will not only survive but thrive in the decades to come. In turn, business leaders must rethink the way they innovate new products and services to prepare for a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous future.

Learn and apply a systems approach to design, shifting modes of thinking from “Plan-Do-Check-Act” towards a new paradigm: Sense-Respond. Drawing on cutting-edge insights from Ivey’s Innovation Learning Lab, Designing for an Interconnected World as a CPA encourages collaborative learning, networking and discovery of the underlying systems that connect leaders with each other and their broader communities.


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Understanding and designing for dynamic systems
  • overview of “designing for dynamic systems” methodology
  • networking with peers and learning their challenges
  • understanding the relevancy of systems thinking in today’s world
Defining and mapping
  • principles of defining a problem
  • sensing the systems context and the systems that shape the problem
  • identifying key actors, their personas and how that helps to build empathy
  • constructing a desirable future
  • co-creating a desirable future and involving others
  • ecology of interventions and looking at solutions
  • prototyping, experimenting, nudging and moving from our head to our hands
  • changing systems, changing ourselves and moving from our head to our heart

How you learn

Through expert-led seminars and deep discussion with peers, you will gain vital insights on the potential for tangible change – in your business and in society.

This course blends contemporary academic research with practical, case-based, experiential learning and real-world expertise. Gain actionable business insights and access to a network of alumni that supports continuing individual growth.

Participants should identify a real-world challenge in their organization or business area before attending.

Learning methods include:

  • self-paced learning activities including pre-recorded videos, readings, case studies, private forums and self-reflection exercises
  • live, faculty-led sessions featuring expert Ivey faculty
  • peer-learning sessions to share experiences, exchange ideas and collaborate to solve challenges in virtual breakout groups during larger sessions
  • online simulations of realistic challenges in which leaders can test action against immediate feedback in individual or team-based scenarios

Key takeaways

  • Recognize the value of dynamic systems approaches.
  • Learn the difference between dynamic systems approaches and traditional business analysis.
  • Gain practice tools and techniques to help you design for dynamic systems.
  • Discover new ways of seeing yourself in a system.
  • Network with other forward-thinking leaders representing organizations in diverse sectors.
  • Draw from contemporary research in innovation and design from the Ivey Innovation Learning Lab.

Who will benefit?

This course is suitable for senior executive leaders with strategic decision-making responsibilities. Whether they are VPs or Executive Directors, participants should have at least five years of leadership business experience.

While not required, we often recommend that two leaders from one organization attend together to maximize learning outcomes and generate dialogue for their entire team, not just course participants.

Need approval to attend?

Download the employer request letter

Speaker(s) biography

Tima Bansal is a Professor of Strategy at the Ivey Business School. She is also the Director of Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value and the Executive Director (and Founder) of the Network for Business Sustainability, a growing network of approximately 8000 researchers and managers from around the world committed to advancing sustainable business. Tima teaches at all levels of business and has also facilitated executive seminars in managing diversity, valuing business sustainability, engaging stakeholders and socially conscious consumerism. Tima has received significant accolades for her scholarship in business sustainability. She was most recently inducted to the Royal Society of Canada, which is among the highest accolade for academics and artists.

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