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Thinking in Systems

A Primer
Durée : 6 h et 26 min
5 out of 5 stars (3 notations)

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Description

In the years following her role as the lead author of the international best seller, 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 listeners 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 listeners 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 listeners 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 listeners avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2008 Sustainability Institute (P)2018 Chelsea Green Publishing

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  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Histoire
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  • Dan Gottesman
  • 14/12/2018

systems allow us to better understand the world

Very interesting. And it became more captivating with each chapter. I'll recommend it to others.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 09/08/2018

Perfect intro into system thinking

really enjoyed the reader and the content. I would recommend to anyone looking to have a better understanding of why our ecosystem or world, in general, are all interconnected.

4 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sigurdur Josef Arnason
  • 01/12/2018

Excellent and enjoyable intro to System Dynamics

I love this book and listening to this audio version is a delightful experience. Tia Rider Sorensen narrates this perfectly.

Donella Meadows was truly an inspiring systems thinker. Her marvellous insights are so well and clearly communicated throughout this book that it will keep interested both the System Dynamics practitioner and the Layman alike.

This is a book that I wished all policymakers in the world would read/listen to.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • ArizonaKilroy
  • 19/05/2019

Not what it seems

I was hoping to gain a deeper understanding of systems thinking from this book. It did not scratch the itch. As stated in the book, this is a published collection of notes that were massaged into a book decades later. With a little more structure and content, this could have been a great book.
The author's political bias permeates throughout. Every single catechism of progressive ideology is clumsily promoted. Global warming, abortion, Marxist economics, forest and fisheries management, etc. There's no reason for this, and it detracts from the main concepts.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
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  • Andrew C
  • 12/05/2019

Left me craving for more systems literature

I've been thinking about feedback loops for years but never realized there was a field of study that covered the topic.

Given the immense impact of feedback loops in all facets of (my) life, its certainly something worth studying more in depth. While the book goes much further, learning the definition of a feedback loop was even valuable: in a system that involves a stock, >= 1 inflow, and >= 1 outflow, a feedback loop occurs when there is a relationship between the level of a stock and the level of a flow. This is in essence another way to describe exponential growth.

This book discusses different system archetypes, of which on the highest level are reinforcing feedback loops (where more stock results in more inflow or less outflow), and balancing feedback loops (where more stock results in less inflow or more outflow). Without intervening to slow their growth, or through the counter via balancing feedback loops, reinforcing feedback loops will destroy themselves. Slowing growth in reinforcing loops is a leverage point can be fruitful for enhancing the sustainability of almost any system - the ecosystem, the economy, our bodies - and is more effective than the addition of balancing feedback loops. Other key leverage points, or viable intervention points in systems are setting up system rules/laws/incentives, reducing information asymmetry ("Thou shalt not distort, delay, or sequester information"), defining a system's purpose, and understanding the paradigms that led to a purpose. Instead, many people in charge of system decisions spend their time on low-level parameter tweaking such as how much political is energy spent on increasing the minimum wage; not only are these changes unlikely to have a significant impact on system performance, given the counter-intuitiveness of systems people often push these levers in the wrong direction.

Donella applies systems thinking to a host of systems common in daily life; I will now think if these in a much different, fuller way going forward. I'm excited to continue my study of this lens on the world.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Rakkhi
  • 05/05/2019

Really not a book

As the preamble states this was some notes that was published as a book after the authors death. Really presents two basic ideas of a reinforcing feedback and a balancing feedback and then some very high level ideas and examples she admits were from one week of a newspaper. Would not recommend

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John Bergandino
  • 17/02/2019

Makes you analyze everything from a different perspective

Very thought provoking read, provides real world and hypothetical examples of how you can look at something from a whole new perspective than how you already do. Concepts can be applied to any domain.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nonya
  • 03/02/2019

Excellent!!!

Very good explanation of what I thought I already knew. I was wrong. Enjoyed and engaged every minute of it.

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kitty
  • 11/11/2018

Must Read for Management

This was a required reading book for one of my MBA classes. The narration is a bit dry and it drones on a little bit, but the material is so comprehensive and useful that it's worth pushing through. Awesome book to help you see the bigger picture and how to avoid common circular traps!
#SelfDevelopment #Systems #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30/05/2019

pretty good

a little biased against corporations, but interesting perspective and thinking methodology, good read or listen.