Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

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Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Andrea on Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 pm

I haven't read the final copy of this amazing book (as has just come out!), but was very much involved with with the "systems thinkers" reading group set up by Magnus and Karen to explore and discuss a huge range of contributors to this field -- probably the most informative and productive activity I have ever done in building up my knowledge in this area. Well, the book is finally out and there is nothing like it in mapping out this territory in an accessible way. A "must have" for anybody seriously into systems thinking :-). Maybe we could put in a bulk order for Systemsplace people?

I'm delighted to announce that our book "Systems Thinkers", by Magnus Ramage and Karen Shipp of The Open University (UK), has recently been published by Springer.

The book (the product of more than seven years of research) presents a biographical history of the field of systems thinking, by examining the life and work of thirty of its major thinkers. It discusses each thinker’s key contributions, the way this contribution was expressed in practice and the relationship between their life and ideas. This discussion is supported by an extract from the thinker’s own writing, to give a flavour of their work and to give readers a sense of which thinkers are most relevant to their own interests.

Systems thinking is necessarily interdisciplinary, so that the thinkers selected come from a wide range of areas – biology, management, physiology, anthropology, chemistry, public policy, sociology and environmental studies among others. Some are core innovators in systems ideas; some have been primarily practitioners who also advanced and popularised systems ideas; others are well-known figures who drew heavily upon systems thinking although it was not their primary discipline. A significant aim of the book is to broaden and deepen the reader’s interest in systems writers, providing an appetising ‘taster’ for each of the 30 thinkers, so that the reader is encouraged to go on to study the published works of the thinkers themselves.

List price of the book (paperback) is GBP 39.99 / EUR 69.95 / USD 89.95, though Amazon UK currently have it for less. ISBN 978-1-84882-524-6, 316 pp.

See it on Google Books: http://bit.ly/lJnNx, or at the publisher's website: http://bit.ly/JWu9m.

Best wishes
Magnus Ramage

Dr Magnus Ramage
Lecturer in Information Systems
Communication and Systems Department
The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Teiana on Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:48 pm

hmm. they didn't ask me, and i have been doing a lot of 'thinking'. <sighs.

so, andrea, are you one of the 30 thinkers? i am amazed they found 30. I will have to read the book :-)
H.R.H. 8-)
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Andrea on Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:19 pm

Teiana wrote:so, andrea, are you one of the 30 thinkers?


very funny! :lol: I just about have enough time to keep up with a very small fraction of developments in the field, let alone come up with any original ideas of my own!

I think one of the problems with the current state of play in systems research is that the field has got so big that it's hitting against the cognitive limitations of even the brainiest of people (and I don't consider myself in that category). The inevitable outcome is that most people just end up championing one particular approach e.g. SSM or Complex Adaptive Systems or VSM etc. That to me defeats the whole idea of systems thinking. That's why I think Magnus and Karen have done such an amazing job at trying to "appreciate the perspectives" of at least 30 great systems thinkers (there were many more that where discussed but weren't included in the book e.g. Buzz Holling, Fritjof Capra, Joanna Macy, Ervin Laszlo, to name a few of the great systems thinkers that have had a significant influence on me -- but at least Meadows, Odum and Lovelock are included :-) ).
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Andrea on Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:02 pm

Lots of great things currently being written about Russell Ackoff -- undisputedly one of the greatest systems thinkers we have ever had. He died on October 29th.

Every time I get cold feet with regards to implementing a risky systemic intervention, I think of his work, and then blaze ahead! :D

this is what The Economist says about him: http://www.economist.com/daily/columns/ ... 7&fsrc=nwl
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby jamesWtc on Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:55 pm

It's rather expensive for 316 pages book. No discount for OU students?
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Andrea on Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:18 pm

jamesWtc wrote:It's rather expensive for 316 pages book. No discount for OU students?


you can get it for free if you take one of the core courses on http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/postgradua ... on/f47.htm :P
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby jamesWtc on Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:48 pm

Andrea wrote:
jamesWtc wrote:It's rather expensive for 316 pages book. No discount for OU students?


you can get it for free if you take one of the core courses on http://www3.open.ac.uk/study/postgradua ... on/f47.htm :P


haha... ok. for postgraduate, i will wait for few more years to read it then. :)
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Helen on Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:00 pm

Hi there

through the strange workings of OU mailings, I actually have three copies of this book! and they say they don't want them back...

So two going spare if anyone wants to claim them (pick up from newcastle upon tyne or could stretch to posting them if I get myself organised)

Any takers?

Helen
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Ercesuzan on Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:54 pm

Hi Helen

I have sent you a pm. Thanks for the kind offer, it looks an interesting book just looked at Amazon for some more info.
All for now, take care
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Re: Ramage and Shipp (2009) Systems Thinkers

Postby Helen on Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:42 pm

Replied to the email you sent me - hope you got it
Helen
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