Book review : Thinking in systems, a primer


For our System Thinking class this quarter at Pinchot, we had to read this book and I daresay it is an excellent primer indeed. 

Written by the late Donnella H Meadows. known for the Meadows Report, aka Limits to Growth in 1970 for the Club of Rome. This is yet another book that changed my way of thinking, still loving Pinchot and learning about sustainability.

Great thought-provoking book about the systems around us, whether economic, environmental, social… We are surrounded by complex systems and making sense of them can be sometimes a daunting task. As a result, many assumptions we take for granted are questioned.

An example of system thinking should be applied to our management of waste, as today we are in a take, make, waste linear model. A circular cradle to cradle approach would prevent that as instead of a siloed approach, a holistic system approach would solve multiple problems.

The book ends with the twelve leverage points

Reading my notes, I believe system thinking or more of it could allow us to solve our problems as it is different from our current models. Or as Albert Einstein said : ” We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. “

A short book ( 240 pages total with the appendixes ), I consider this book a must read for people working in Management or Policy.

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