Thinking in Systems: A Primer

By Donella Meadows

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.


NEWS & OPINION: Links for a Monday Afternoon

Posted June 6, 2011, 8:57 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
➻ Cory Doctorow has laid out an interesting chronology of intellectual property rights since the first part of the 20th century for The Guardian's Comment Is Free interview series. Arguing that Every pirate wants to be an admiral, he tells a story that begins with sheet music composers and ends with the Internet about how elements of every innovation are seen as piracy until they become the mainstream, at which time they begin accusing the next generation of innovators of piracy. Stating at the beginning of the video that "The way to increase the health of the cultural realm is to allow more people to participate in it in more ways," he ends with anxiety that, for the first time in history, lawmakers may end up on the wrong side of the debate between the so-called "pirates" and supposed "admirals. Read more



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ISBN: 9781603580557

About the Paperback

Publisher Chelsea Green Publishing Company
Publish date 12/03/2008
Pages 240
ISBN-13 9781603580557
ISBN-10 1603580557
Language English

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