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Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Paperback

By (author) Diana Wright, By (author) Donella H. Meadows

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  • Publisher: Earthscan Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 20mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 26 February 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844077268
  • ISBN 13: 9781844077267
  • Illustrations note: Figures, index
  • Sales rank: 81,235

Product description

"Thinking in Systems" is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. 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. 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 continue to learn. 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. A vital read for students, professionals and all those concerned with economics, business, sustainability and the environment.

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Author information

Donella H. Meadows was a pioneering environmental scientist, author, teacher, and farmer widely considered ahead of her time. She was one of the world's foremost systems analysts and lead author of the influential Limits to Growth. She was Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, the founder of the Sustainability Institute and cofounder of the International Network of Resource Information Centers.

Review quote

'Thinking in Systems is required reading for anyone hoping to run a successful company, community or country. Learning how to think in systems is now part of change-agent literacy. And this is the best book of its kind.' Hunter Lovins, founder and President of Natural Capital Solutions and co-author of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution.

Table of contents

Introduction * Systems Structures and Behaviour * The Basics * A Brief Visit to the Systems Zoo * Systems and Us * Why Systems Work So Well * Why Systems Surprise Us * System Traps and Opportunities * Creating Change in Systems and Philosophy* Leverage Points - Places to Intervene in a System * Living in a World of Systems *Appendices * Index