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Thinking in Systems cover art

Thinking in Systems

By: Donella H. Meadows
Narrated by: Tia Rider Sorensen
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Summary

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

What listeners say about Thinking in Systems

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Applicable tools and techniques

There are probably two parts to this: The mapping (1/5) then real life applications (4/5.)

I'm a sucker for any models that stand the test of time and have diverse use cases. This book on systems ticks both boxes.

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6 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking and useful on many levels

genuinely one of the best books I have listened to. has changed the way I view my business and the world at large

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5 people found this helpful

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Brilliant introduction/reintroduction

Brilliant introduction/reintroduction to systems thinking. very accessable (and well read).
A primer (as in the title) but filled with valuable insights.
I would definitely recommend this book to others.

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4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Powerful Way of Seeing

This book has helped me to see the world on new ways, and has revealed new ways of tackling challenges. I had heard of Systems Thinking through my other studies, but this book has given me a solid grounding in the basics of what it is, how it works, and how it can be used to solve real problems.

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2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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boring and uneducational

pointing out the obvious and milks it in a painfully long boring book. All obvious points, nothing to learn.

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2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not good for audiobook format

I recognize that this book is important and can be life-changing, but explaining the same super simple concept in 10 different ways is not needed, and very boring. I could stand this for a full hour, then it had to stop. I returned the book.

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1 person found this helpful

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Awesome book.

Necessary to start understanding the society and also to understand that there will always be a lot that it is not understandable.

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1 person found this helpful

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insightful and down to earth

easy listen, good for anyone looking to improve thinking models and remind of whats really important

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1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good but a little basic

Good concepts, but examples used to illustrate the principles are generally too basic - such as how a thermostat works. I think it would be much more effective to use genuinely complex examples, like global warming, transport, population, cancer, etc.

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Necessary reading

If everyone read this book, the world would be a better place. Easy to follow, interesting principles, a full introduction that leaves you hungry to use new tools and to learn more.

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