Join us at Horizon Bookstore, lower level in Traverse City on Wednesday, February 8th, 6-8 pm for a discussion of chapter 1 and 2 of “Thinking in Systems”, by Donella Meadows….
We ask ourselves: How do we change a system, or even understand what it’s comprised of, when it’s so complex we don’t know where to begin? In Chapter one: The Basics, the author uses a cup of coffee as a means by which to explain stocks, flows, and increasing and decreasing the rate of flow. Coffee speaks to me in more ways than one, and perhaps you too?
Join us as we read and discuss the valuable information in this book and begin to explore the everyday reality of feedback loops and understand things Donella Meadows ask us to think about, like:
” If A causes B, is it possible that B causes A?”
The BIG reality check we are encountering is LIMIT TO GROWTH and COLLAPSING SYSTEMS. Regardless of how we view the economic-energy-environmental concerns that we all share, we all feel concerned and looking for answers to the “HOW’ we deal with it.
To some a book reading group might seem like it’s coming a little late, but having a resource like Donella Meadows and an opportunity for a group of us in Tc to sit around a table to read and discuss this “primer” on systems thinking is what makes sense to us, as far as getting on the same page and speaking the same language in our community, so our actions/projects/programs are well designed and able to proceed full-steam ahead.
Begins: Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, 6 -8 PM
Where: Horizon Bookstore, lower level
When: 2 x a month, or more, or less, it depends
Sponsored by: Continual U, O’k CSA, Little Artshram
and Transition Traverse City
Thinking in Systems, by Donella Meadows
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, 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.
Meadows’ newly released manuscript, 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 readers 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 readers 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 readers 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 readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.
About the Author:
A woman whose pioneering work in the 1970s still makes front-page news, Donella Meadows was a scientist, author, teacher, and farmer widely considered ahead of her time. She was one of the world’s foremost systems analysts and lead author of the influential Limits to Growth—the 1972 book on global trends in population, economics, and the environment that was translated into 28 languages and became an international bestseller. That book launched a worldwide debate on the earth’s capacity to withstand constant human development and expansion. Twenty years later, she and co-authors Dennis Meadows and Jorgen Randers reported on their follow-up study …
More on Donella Meadows here: http://www.squidoo.com/donellameadows?utm_source=google&utm_medium=imgres&utm_campaign=framebuster
AND, here is a great synopsis of the systems thinking approach, written by a bright, young man I’ve had the pleasure of spending a bit of time with, Mark Angelini and ways in which he applies this approach to his growing business as an ecological designer….