Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Author: Donella H. Meadows, Diana Wright
4.5
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Thinking in Systems: A Primer

4.5

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Comments

by l_t   2019-05-17
I have found "Thinking in Systems" [0] to be a good book for crystallizing "systems" concepts in abstract. For example, it includes discussions on feedback loops, bottlenecks, equilibrium, etc.

IIRC, it has been used as a textbook for systems theory classes in some universities, but it's concise and written for a general audience.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/dp/1603580557

by hcarvalhoalves   2019-04-08
A good book on the topic is "Thinking in Systems" by Donella Meadows [1]. It's a catalog of common system patterns and how they behave to give you some tools to answer the "then what?".

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...

by bootsz   2018-12-21
The author of Thinking in Systems is incorrect. The author is Donella H. Meadows: https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...
by wyc   2018-11-10
A great book for this is Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows. She has many illustrative examples that really help get the points across. Coming from an electrical engineering background, I found her discussion around the interactions between positive and negative loops to be very interesting.

https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...

by jeffcmohr   2018-11-10
There's actually a lot of great material available, here are a few of my favorites:

Articles:

- Introduction to Systems Thinking (https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...)

- Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (https://www.amazon.com/Fifth-Discipline-Fieldbook-Strategies...)

- Systems Thinking for Social Change (https://www.amazon.com/Systems-Thinking-Social-Change-Conseq...)

Articles on Leading Systems Change:

- Dawn of Systems Leadership (https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_dawn_of_system_leadershi...)

- Acting and Thinking Systemically (https://thesystemsthinker.com/acting-and-thinking-systemical...)

- Transforming the Systems Movement (https://thesystemsthinker.com/transforming-the-systems-movem...)

Relevant Tools and Websites:

- Kumu (https://kumu.io) - Web-based tool for building interactive system maps.

- The Systems Thinker (https://thesystemsthinker.com/) - Complete library of all "The Systems Thinker" publications over the past 30 years

(Disclosure: I'm a cofounder of Kumu)

by codecurve   2018-11-10
There are actually a lot of great materials available on Systems Thinking, here are a few of our favourites:

Articles:

- Introduction to Systems Thinking (https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...)

- Fifth Discipline Fieldbook (https://www.amazon.com/Fifth-Discipline-Fieldbook-Strategies...)

- Systems Thinking for Social Change (https://www.amazon.com/Systems-Thinking-Social-Change-Conseq...)

Articles on Leading Systems Change:

- Dawn of Systems Leadership (https://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_dawn_of_system_leadershi...)

- Acting and Thinking Systemically (https://thesystemsthinker.com/acting-and-thinking-systemical...)

- Transforming the Systems Movement (https://thesystemsthinker.com/transforming-the-systems-movem...)

Relevant Tools and Websites:

- Kumu (https://kumu.io) - Web-based tool for building interactive system maps.

- The Systems Thinker (https://thesystemsthinker.com/) - Complete library of all "The Systems Thinker" publications over the past 30 years

- Loopy (http://ncase.me/loopy/) - An playground for building interactive systems maps.

(Disclosure: I'm a Developer at Kumu)

by auslegung   2018-09-19
I was recently given this list of books by some very skilled engineers who I trust

1. [The Pragmatic Programmer](https://pragprog.com) 2. Martin Fowler's [Refactoring Book](https://martinfowler.com/books/refactoring.html) 3. Kent Beck's [Test Driven Development: By Example](https://www.amazon.com/Test-Driven-Development-Kent-Beck/dp/...) 4. [Thinking in Systems: A Primer](https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...) 5. [Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice](https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Mind-Beginners-Informal-Meditatio...) 6. [Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware](https://www.amazon.com/Pragmatic-Thinking-Learning-Refactor....)

by dpeck   2018-01-07
I enjoyed reading and feel like I got a lot out of Thinking in Systems: A Primer https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...
by spodek   2017-12-17
I remember the first time reading this book, or rather the 30 year update -- https://www.amazon.com/Limits-Growth-Donella-H-Meadows/dp/19... -- thinking, "this is the approach to take to understand how the economy, ecology, pollution, and so on interact."

Everything else was just looking at elements. Technology is important, for example, but exists within a system. They looked at the system. They had to simplify and assume a lot, which the media didn't understand (probably benign ignorance) and critics blew out of proportion (probably maliciously), but I found their approach the most meaningful.

Sadly, I know many people who care about the environment but don't understand the (relatively simple) math in their approach, and many people who understand the math but don't care about the environment, but almost no one who cares and understands. So in about a decade since reading it, I haven't found anyone I can talk to about it meaningfully.

A great companion by one of the authors is Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows -- https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp....

Both changed my views more than almost any other books.

by franze   2017-10-05
Thinking in Systems: A Primer

https://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Systems-Donella-H-Meadows/dp...