Thinking in Systems: A Primer

    • 3.7 • 29 Ratings
    • $16.99

    • $16.99

Publisher Description

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.

Science & Nature
Tia Rider
hr min
July 19
Chelsea Green Publishing

Customer Reviews

CIFilter ,

Just a bunch of anecdotes

It’s an interesting book at first. But at the end of the day, it’s clear it’s just a Leftist rant about environmentalism and other topics the author was an activist for. Regardless of that, the book is literally just contrived anecdotes. At first, these are really useful to help understand the basic concepts she’s trying to get across. But after a while, you realize that the whole book is filled with little one-liner examples of whatever concept she’s talking about. As if 100 minor examples about a topic can suddenly impart the depths of research and wisdom that the author purportedly possesses about systems thinking.

I was hoping to come out of this learning how to rigorously apply critical systems thinking skills to my job and everyday life. Instead, I got a bunch of surface level assumptions with no depth and a good helping of Liberal politics.

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