Thinking in Systems: A Primer

A place to recommend and discuss books that contribute towards our systems thinking and practice

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Postby jamesWtc on Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:48 pm

Book by Donella Meadows (edited).

Excellent original ideas of systems thinking. I should have this book start right from the beginning... but it has just arrived in my mailbox today. I believe it would be helpful too for ECA and T306. Skimmed through the book, well, pretty much everything covered in Block 2.

A must-have addition to book collection, especially for those who interested in systems.
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Re: Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Postby Andrea on Fri Jul 31, 2009 3:22 pm

Glad you found the book useful James :-). It is indeed a very good introduction to systems thinking with a strong focus on system dynamics -- the "stock-and-flow" system dynamics diagramming technique is introduced straight away in a very clear and simple fashion, and the rest of the book continues to explore the universe of systems thinking using a combination of her wonderful verbal communication (she quit her university professorship to become a journalist/organic farmer) with a range of very straightforward system dynamics diagrams and associated graphs (to demonstrate system behaviour over time).

If you become addicted to her writing style (which I have!), then I would recommend "The Global Citizen" as the next book to get hold of ;)
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Postby jamesWtc on Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:36 am

Yes. She writes in very succinct fashion, straight to the points, and in non-rhetoric way. The introductory part elaborates the ideas of systems thinking in a very comprehensible manner. I think it is a book designed for beginner like me. 8-)

I can continue reading it for hours, but I can't because I'm now far behind schedule for Block 3. (Block 3 contains language that is harder to understand than Block 2, of course, for me)

I think OU should consider to include this book as a reference for T214 students. Of course, it's not cheap considering the size of the book (costs me about £15 from amazon). But it is the quality that matters.
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Re: Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Postby scootrider on Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:01 pm

Hi James,

As a point of interest have you got the book with the dominoes on the front or a multi coloured slinky? I have had the latter in my wish list, at Amazon, since Andrea mentioned it, but it has not been in stock. Seeing your posting I doubled checked and saw there is a version with the dominoes on the front. I guess it has the same content?

KR

RR
"It is better to do the right thing incorrectly than to keep doing the wrong thing better and better". Russell Ackoff (1995)
T214-08, T306-09, T206-10, U316-11
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Re: Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Postby jsp_1983 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:18 pm

I've just bought this... Currently has an ETA of July 2015 for getting to the top of my reading pile! :D
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