Adapting to Complex Markets

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Online Course Adapting to Complex Markets
September 4- December 15, 2017
Deadline for course applications is August 25 and payment must be received by August 30.

This course is a guided and grounded learning experience that allows market development professionals to learn about applying adaptive management when working in complex markets. This professional development opportunity incorporates community–embedded learning1 to provide the opportunity for practitioners to learn about and apply complex adaptive systems thinking to address a current operational or managerial challenge they are facing in market development. The identified challenge will then be the focus for the assignments conducted throughout the course.

Course Structure

Conducted solely online, this fifteen-week course enables professionals to study while they are working and living at home. Each module will explore a theme through online discussions, instructional videos, articles, webinars, and coaching. There will be assessments and upon completion, participants will receive a certificate.

Who is this Course For?

  • Inclusive Market Development Practitioners with at least 2 years of work experience in the field
  • Practitioners who have received some basic training in M4P or the Value Chain Approach
  • Currently working on a project engaged in inclusive market development as a middle or senior manager
  • Consultant or Advisor to a team currently working on a market development project in the area of program design, management, evaluation or coordination

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Articulate and pose a clear strategic question pertaining to an operational or management challenge that is impeding systemic change 
  • Design and adapt tools that solicit feedback
  • Develop appropriate tools to solicit feedback, and learn from the feedback.
  •  Analyze the qualitative data collected
  • Make a convincing evidence-based argument as to why  an activity or program should be adapted in response to the feedback received from market actors
  • Explain the elements of a market system 
  • Describe complex adaptive system properties within a market system (emergence, self-organization, and adaptation)

It is suggested that participants set aside at least six to seven hours a week to
engage in the participatory exercises and dedicate time to the action research assignment.

To apply for this course, please fill out the application and submit to


1 Community -embedded learning is the learning acquired by individual students who are embedded in a local physical community where they work and live, while at the same time creating shared knowledge in an online learning community.

Source: Lee, N., Irving, C., & Francuz, J. (2014). Community-embedded learning and experimentation: fostering spaces for transformative learning online. In A. Nicolaides & D. Holt (Eds.), Spaces of transformation and transformation of space: Proceedings of XI International transformative learning conference (pp. 499–506). New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University.