Thinking in Systems: A Primer (Google eBook)

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Chelsea Green Publishing, Dec 3, 2008 - Science - 240 pages
105 Reviews

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.

Meadows’ newly released manuscript, 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.

  

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A great introduction to systems thinking. - Goodreads
This is an excellent overview of systems thinking. - Goodreads
Quick, broad introduction to Systems thinking. - Goodreads
But the insight is priceless. - Goodreads
Meadow's writing style is genuine and engaging. - Goodreads
It is clear and easy to read. - Goodreads

Review: Thinking in Systems: A Primer

User Review  - Stefanie - Goodreads

Fantastic inspiring book that gives a concise understanding of system thinking. Meadow's writing style is genuine and engaging. Read full review

Review: Thinking in Systems: A Primer

User Review  - Yang Chu - Goodreads

This is indeed a primer. The first chapters are the same as MIT's intro to system dynamics class and the rest is applied econ theory. Boring if already well grounded in system basics, going to read limits to growth before forming opinion on Meadows' work. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

A woman whose pioneering work in the 1970s still makes front-page news, Donella Meadows was a 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--the 1972 book on global trends in population, economics, and the environment that was translated into 28 languages and became an international bestseller. That book launched a worldwide debate on the earth's capacity to withstand constant human development and expansion. Twenty years later, she and co-authors Dennis Meadows and Jorgen Randers reported on their follow-up study in Beyond the Limits and a final revision of their research, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update, was published in 2004.

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