Thinking in Systems

Thinking in Systems

A Primer

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
3
Rate this:

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.

Publisher: White River Junction, Vt. : Chelsea Green Pub., [2008], ©2008
ISBN: 9781603580557
1603580557
Branch Call Number: 003 Me
Characteristics: xiii, 218 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Wright, Diana 1961-

Opinion

From Library Staff

Meadows was a winner of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award. Her main purpose in this book "is to give you a basic ability to understand and to deal with complex systems..." She succeeds admirably.


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

h
haCqwn5pJstz
Jul 31, 2016

I consider this book to be an excellent primer for the general public as an introduction to the key concepts of systems and systems thinking. The author's contributions to helping the world recognize the problems of reductionist approaches to society go back to the critically important work "The Limits of Growth."

"Thinking in Systems" is very accessible and has been useful in my own policy work. Not sure what the negative reviewer was expecting. Within a few pages, it should have been clear what the book was targeting.

I've purchased several copies and provided them to new staff to help them to appreciate the complexity of the world and the limited approaches or aversion to real change or problems/solutions we are likely to encounter when people aren't able to look beyond their own training, prejudices, motivations and experiences. Highly recommended for these reasons.

n
nsystems
Nov 13, 2014

Linear "cause and effect" thinking is only good so far.

Systems thinking, explained here, is a refreshing and valuable alternative.

Re: other comment, note the subtitle of Smith's book: Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics.

Systems thinking is applicable across the disciplines, and is not about lying with statistics.

s
StarGladiator
Sep 24, 2014

Prior to wasting time on this book, please read the book, Standard Deviations, by Gary Smith, first.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


  Loading...

Find it at CRRL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top