Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

5.0 1
by Donella H. Meadows
     
 

ISBN-10: 1603580557

ISBN-13: 9781603580557

Pub. Date: 12/03/2008

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001.

Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial

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Overview

In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001.

Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.

In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603580557
Publisher:
Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
12/03/2008
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
95,971
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

A Note from the Author ix

A Note from the Editor xi

Introduction: The Systems Lens 1

Part 1 System Structures and Behavior

1 The Basics 11

2 A Brief Visit to the Systems Zoo 35

Part 2 Systems and Us

3 Why Systems Work So Well 75

4 Why Systems Surprise Us 86

5 System Traps ... and Opportunities 111

Part 3 Creating Change-in Systems and in Our Philosophy

6 Leverage Points-Places to Intervene in a System 145

7 Living in a World of Systems 166

Appendix

System Definitions: A Glossary 187

Summary of Systems Principles 188

Springing the System Traps 191

Places to Intervene in a System 194

Guidelines for Living in a World of Systems 194

Model Equations 195

Notes 204

Bibliography of Systems Resources 208

Editor's Acknowledgments 211

About the Author 213

Index 215

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Thinking in Systems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago