Summary of the lesson
- System thinking is a fundamental perspective (or paradigm) of Futures Studies; it is the lens through which futures thinkers view the world. They see it as a system. That is a set of interconnected elements that is coherently organized in a pattern or structure; which is dynamic.
- However, times when we don’t need to fully understand the system, linear thinking can be quicker and more effective. It can help us move away from trying to out-think the situation.
- But linear thinking will not answer all the questions…It is because, our world is made of many complex relationships and interrelationships; where various components affect each other in various, and often unexpected, ways.
- One way to start to shift from linear to systems thinking is to practice identifying whether something is the problem or merely a symptom of something deeper.
References and further information
- Strachan G. (2009) Systems thinking – the ability to recognize and analyse the inter-connections within and between systems in The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy, http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/5926/Systems-Thinking.pdf
- Stibbe, Arran (Ed) (2009) The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy: skills for a changing world. Green Books. http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/stibbe-handbook-of-sustainability/chapters
- Monat J. P., Thomas F. Gannon (2015), What is Systems Thinking? A Review of Selected Literature Plus Recommendations, American Journal of Systems Science; 4(1): 11-26, http://article.sapub.org/10.5923.j.ajss.20150401.02.html#Sec3
- Dorner D. (1997), The Logic of Failure: Recognizing and Avoiding Error in Complex Situations, Basic Books, pp. 240 https://www.amazon.com/Logic-Failure-Recognizing-Avoiding-Situations/dp/0201479486 https://pl.scribd.com/document/385200229/dietrich-dorner-the-logic-of-failure-recognizing-and-avoiding-error-in-complex-situations-basic-books-1997#
- Parsons T., The Social System (2005), Routledge Sociology Classics, Taylor & Francis e-Library, pp. 448 http://home.ku.edu.tr/~mbaker/CSHS503/TalcottParsonsSocialSystem.pdf
- Gregory P. R., Stuart R. C. (2014), The Global Economy and Its Economic Systems, South-Western CENGAGE Learning, https://www.amazon.com/Global-Economy-Economic-Systems-Economics/dp/1285055357
- Pidwirny, M. (2018). Understanding Physical Geography, 1st Edition. Our Planet Earth Publishing http://www.physicalgeography.net/understanding/contents.html
- General Assembly Resolution on Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, (A/RES/64/236) http://www.un.org/en/ga/president/65/issues/sustdev.shtml
- Healy T. (2005), The Unanticipated Consequences of Technology, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, https://www.scu.edu/ethics/focus-areas/technology-ethics/resources/the-unanticipated-consequences-of-technology
- Bibus C. J. (2012), Lessons from Dietrich Dörner’s The Logic of Failure, Wharton County Junior College, History Department, http://cjbibus.com/STCT_DornerquotationsWhole.htm#r107
- Ollhoff J., Walcheski M. (2006), Making the jump to systems thinking, The Systems Thinker, Pegasus Communications, Vol. 17, No 5 https://thesystemsthinker.com/making-the-jump-to-systems-thinking/
- Ison, R. L. (2008). Systems thinking and practice for action research. In: Reason, Peter W. and Bradbury, Hilary eds. The Sage Handbook of Action Research Participative Inquiry and Practice (2nd edition). London, UK: Sage Publications, pp. 139–158. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/0b10/2ba530b5ec731cb2cc859a19dc0ed08eee47.pdf