public / private
partnership design course     $800/$1100

about this online course

The Public / Private Partnership Design Course explains the underlying theory (i.e. Biomatrix theory) and methodology of organization (re)design and development in general and of a public / private partnership organization specifically.

From a Biomatrix theory point of view, a public / private partnership is like any other organization that needs to be structured and managed according to generic organizing principles and procedures, even if the different parts of the partnership also belong to other, relatively autonomous, systems.

The course outlines the seven forces of organization (environment, ethos, aims, process, structure, governance and substance) that co-produce all systems and explains the organizing principles that are relevant to the design of a system in general and public / private partnership organizations specifically. It describes the generic structures and procedures of the partnership as a systemic learning organization that is structured as a three-dimensional matrix, is environmentally aware, unfolds around an ideal ethos and clear mission and is driven by coordinated strategic performance and knowledge management. It also deals with the theory and praxis of systemic change management.

The course guides participants to apply the knowledge to a chosen case study (i.e. the partnership of which they are part).  Through self-reflective and template-driven assignments they analyze its complex problems, brainstorm solutions, create an ideal design, plan its implementation and plan how to manage the change.

why the course is needed

Although there are many different types of public / private partnerships with different legal set-ups, business models and organizational structures, they tend to share similar problems, such as lack of coordination, inconsistent ethos and aims, internal power struggles and competition, “reinventing the wheel”, gaps in or duplication of delivery, resource shortages and / or oversupplies, amongst others.

Redesigning a partnership according to the generic organization principles associated with a learning matrix will dissolve these problems and set it on a path of continuous, creative, coherent and sustainable development.

target audience

The target audience includes

  • senior managers responsible for or participating in the design and management of a shared public goods / service delivery at international, national and local levels and the organizational design of the according public / private partnership
  • organization development specialists and public change facilitators concerned with all aspects of a public / private partnership and its public goods / service delivery
  • IT specialists tasked with structuring the information flow associated with the managing of a public / private partnership and its public goods / service delivery.

the course as a learning investment

After completing the course the participants will

  • think more (w)holistically and creatively
  • know the generic principles of how systems and organizations in general and a public / private partnership specifically are organized and change
  • understand how a partnership can be structured and function as an information age relevant learning organization
  • understand the theory and methodology of the (re)design, implementation planning and change management
  • be able to facilitate the (re)design of their own public / private partnership and that of any other organizations into a systemic learning organization and plan and manage the implementation of the design in a manner that ensures stakeholder alignment and commitment.

The participants of an open enrolment course will not be able to produce a complete and implementable design of their case study partnership, as this would require information of and participation by other parts and stakeholders of the partnership. They will however be able to produce a high level draft design, broad implementation plan and change management design that can serve as basis for discussions with the other stakeholders regarding the transformation of the partnership.

In an in-house course delivery to a corporate client (e.g. an existing partnership, or an NGO, government or business organization wanting to set one up), the course outcome will be an implementable ideal partnership as a learning organization design, as well as an implementation plan and change management design, provided that representatives of relevant parts and stakeholders of the partnership participate in the course. If, after the course, the participants facilitate the implementation of the design according to the implementation plan and change management design, the partnership can get transformed into / set up as a systemic learning organization.

content of the course

The course consists of pre-work and four e-learning modules. During each module, the participants apply the learned theory in template-based exercises to their case study system and reflect on the theory and methodology.

pre-work: overview of general and biomatrix systems theory

The pre-work consists of watching the videos series Overview of general and Biomatrix systems theory.

This series explains the key concepts of systems and complexity theories in general and Biomatrix systems theory specifically. It generates a (w)holistic view of the world and an understanding of sustainable behavior.

module 1: systemic problem (dis)solving

This module explains the theory for understanding complex problems and the methodology for (dis)solving them through ideal system redesign. It also provides tools for systemic problem analysis and brainstorming.

The exercises involve identifying current problems related to the case study public / private partnership and brainstorming ideas for (dis)solving them. The output from the exercises is further processed in the following module.

module 2: seven forces of system organization (entity system perspective)

This module explains the principles of how systems are organized in general and how entity systems (e.g. an organization, public–private partnership) are organized specifically.

It describes the seven organizing forces (environment, ethos, aims, process, structure, governance and substance) that co-produce an entity system and explores the application of these forces to the functioning and design of the system as a learning organization based on a three-dimensional matrix structure.

The exercises involve the creation of an ideal seven-faceted design for the participant’s case study public / private partnership organization.

module 3: implementation planning

This module is concerned with system design. It explains the difference between a design and implementation plan and outlines the criteria and steps involved in planning the implementation of a design.

The exercises involve making an implementation plan for the ideal design produced in the previous module and for evaluating the success of its implementation.

module 4: change management design

This module explains the theory and methodology of system change and the principles associated with systemic change management. It outlines the phases involved in a system transformation (problem analysis, brainstorming, design, implementation planning, implementation and its evaluation) and how to manage them (setting up of various change management structures). It also discusses change facilitation based on a cultural typology model.

The participants are guided by templates to apply the theory to creating a change management design for how the transformation of their case study system should be managed and facilitated.

see other courses and programmes

The Public / Private Partnership Design Course is one of several Biomatrix Design Courses which educate senior managers and decision-makers in the theory and methodology of sustainable system (re)design and complex problem solving. The courses are based on Biomatrix theory which explains how systems are organized, change and develop.

project design course
function design course
business process design course
organization design course
industry design course
public policy and governance design course
MOOC: complex problem solving

in-house programmes


duration of the course

The average duration of the course is 10 months based on 1 day per week (i.e. about 42 days), to be completed within a year.

However, some participants could take considerably less or more time to complete the course, depending on their mode of study, work experience and nature of case study.


We offer two pricing options for the self-managed course. The content and assignments remain the same.

$1100 – includes certificate from Stellenbosch University, feedback from BiomatrixWeb, prescribed starting dates.

$800 – no feedback, no certificate, no prescribed starting dates.


On successful completion, the participants may receive a certificate in Public / Private Partnership Design from Stellenbosch University, South Africa.

admission requirements

No formal qualifications are required. Ideally the participants have a tertiary education as well as management experience.

in-house delivery

Our courses can also be delivered in-house. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

course developer and facilitator

Dr. Elisabeth Dostal is the developer and facilitator of the online courses.

Her areas of expertise are futurism, systems thinking, strategic management consulting and change facilitation in organization design and development, as well as strategy and policy design.


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