Search results for: systems-thinking-for-social-change

Systems Thinking For Social Change

Author : David Peter Stroh
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Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation. How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results. Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert. Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people end homelessness and increase affordable housing, improve public health, strengthen public education and access to early childhood development services, protect child welfare, reform the criminal justice system, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more. The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want.

Exam Prep for Systems Thinking for Social Change

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Macro Social Marketing Insights

Author : Ann-Marie Kennedy
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Macro-social marketing is an approach to solving wicked problems. Wicked problems include obesity, environmental degradation, smoking cessation, fast fashion, gambling, and drug and alcohol abuse. As such, wicked problems are those problems that are so complex and multifaceted, it is difficult to define the exact problem, its contributing factors, and paths to a solution. Increasingly, governments, NGOs, and community groups are seeking to solve these types of problems. In doing so, the issues with pursuing macro-level change are beginning to emerge. Issues stem from the interconnected nature of stakeholders involved with a wicked problem—where one change may create a negative ripple effect of both intended and unintended consequences. Macro-social marketing, then, provides a holistic and systemic approach to both studying and solving wicked problems. Within the chapters of this book, macro-social marketing approaches to analysing and defining wicked problems, to identifying stakeholders and potential ripple effects, and to implementing macro-level change are presented. In this emerging area of academia, the theories, models, and approaches outlined in this book are cutting edge and provide a critical approach from top researchers in the area. Both practical and theoretical aspects are presented as well as caveats on such societal and/or country-wide change. A must-have for social marketing academics and those interested in macro-level change at a practical or theoretical level.

Systems Thinking for Management Consultants

Author : Rajneesh Chowdhury
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This book discusses how systems thinking and approaches can aid management consultants in navigating the complexities of client advisory in current realities. It thereby brings to the forefront aspects of holism, flexibility and responsibility - the keys to success in today’s world. Management consultants are called in to offer an independent expert view of an organisation/ a situation and are expected to address some of the most pressing problems businesses face. The client does not exist in a silo, but in a complex environment that lies at the intersection of a range of internal and external factors that are often unseen and unpredictable. The organisation itself presents an alien territory that the consultant is expected to acclimatise to within a very short period of time, and come up with solutions that “insiders” would not have been able to visualise. The book presents a range of ideas, concepts and reference cases that are relevant and topical for consultants in their daily work. It argues that systems thinking allows holism and flexibility in management consulting – while holism is about the ability to encompass the environmental and organisational complexity, flexibility is about the ability to think creatively and adopt different approaches to accommodate this complexity. With commentaries, case studies, conceptual models and perspectives that cut across multiple industries, sectors and countries, this book is a valuable resource for academics and professionals alike. The book’s inner pages and its page on contain additional comments providing perspectives of clients, industry experts and academia.

Critical Systems Thinking and the Management of Complexity

Author : Michael C. Jackson
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The world has become increasingly networked and unpredictable. Decision makers at all levels are required to manage the consequences of complexity every day. They must deal with problems that arise unexpectedly, generate uncertainty, are characterised by interconnectivity, and spread across traditional boundaries. Simple solutions to complex problems are usually inadequate and risk exacerbating the original issues. Leaders of international bodies such as the UN, OECD, UNESCO and WHO — and of major business, public sector, charitable, and professional organizations — have all declared that systems thinking is an essential leadership skill for managing the complexity of the economic, social and environmental issues that confront decision makers. Systems thinking must be implemented more generally, and on a wider scale, to address these issues. An evaluation of different systems methodologies suggests that they concentrate on different aspects of complexity. To be in the best position to deal with complexity, decision makers must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches and learn how to employ them in combination. This is called critical systems thinking. Making use of over 25 case studies, the book offers an account of the development of systems thinking and of major efforts to apply the approach in real-world interventions. Further, it encourages the widespread use of critical systems practice as a means of ensuring responsible leadership in a complex world. Comments on a previous version of the book: Russ Ackoff: ‘the book is the best overview of the field I have seen’ JP van Gigch: ‘Jackson does a masterful job. The book is lucid ...well written and eminently readable’ Professional Manager (Journal of the Chartered Management Institute): ‘Provides an excellent guide and introduction to systems thinking for students of management’

Systems Thinking for Sustainable Development

Author : Edward Saja Sanneh
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This book presents a systems thinking approach in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals for sustainable national development in vulnerable countries. Systems thinking is a process for understanding the interrelationships among the key components of a system; this book illustrates sustainable development as a system. Key environmental issues are discussed showing their relationship to socioeconomic aspects of development, in the light of increased climate threats and environmental disasters.

The Systems Thinking Playbook

Author : Linda Booth Sweeney
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"More and more educators and businesspeople espouse system thinking today---this short workbook helps you do it! From two of the most gifted systems educators, this is a great tool for discovering the systems thinker in us all."---Peter M. Senge, Senior Lecturer for MIT, founder of the Society for Organizational Learning, author of the Fifth Discipline --

Systems Thinking and Modelling

Author : Kambiz E. Maani
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Systems Thinking and Modelling offers readers a comprehensive introduction to the growing field of systems thinking and modelling (based on the system dynamics approach) and its applications. The book provides a self-contained and unique blend of qualitative and quantitative modelling, step-by-step methodology, numerous examples and mini-cases as well as extensive real-life case studies. This presentation style makes the otherwise technical tools of systems thinking and modelling accessible to a wide range of people.The book is intended as a text for students in business, management, management and information systems, social sciences, applied sciences and engineering. It also has particular relevance for professionals interested in group and organisational learning, especially in the educational, social, medical and scientific fields. Systems thinking as a managerial and organisational discipline was popularised in the 1990s. Since then, interest has grown worldwide in 'organisational learning' and related disciplines. Systems thinking and modelling provide a paradigm, a language and a technology for understanding the dynamics that underlie change and complexity in business, polit

Systems Thinking System Dynamics

Author : Kambiz E. Maani
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Systems Thinking, System Dynamics offers readers a comprehensive introduction to the growing field of systems thinking and dynamic modelling and its applications. The book provides a self-contained and unique blend of qualitative and quantitative tools, step-by-step methodology, numerous examples and mini-cases, as well as extensive real-life case studies. The content mix and presentation style make the otherwise technical tools of systems thinking and system dynamics accessible to a wide range of people. This book is intended as a text for students in diverse disciplines including business and management, as well as the social, environmental, health and applied sciences. It also has particular relevance for professionals from all backgrounds interested in understanding the dynamic behaviour of complex systems, change management, complex decision making, group problem solving and organisational learning. Systems thinking and system dynamics provide a scientific paradigm, a set of tools and computer technology which can help explain the forces and dynamics that underlie change and complexity in business, political, social, economic and environmental systems. Using systems thinking and system dynamics makes it possible to: examine and foresee the consequences of policy and strategic decisions implement fundamental solutions to chronic problems avoid mistakenly interpreting symptoms as causes test assumptions, hypotheses and scenarios boost staff morale and improve productivity improve the stability and performance of supply chains find long-term sustainable solutions and avoid ‘fire-fighting’ behaviour.

Complexity Perspectives in Innovation and Social Change

Author : David Lane
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Innovation is nowadays a question of life and death for many of the economies of the western world. Yet, due to our generally reductionist scientific paradigm, invention and innovation are rarely studied scientifically. Most work prefers to study its context and its consequences. As a result, we are as a society, lacking the scientific tools to understand, improve or otherwise impact on the processes of invention and innovation. This book delves deeply into that topic, taking the position that the complex systems approach, with its emphasis on ‘emergence’, is better suited than our traditional approach to the phenomenon. In a collection of very coherent papers, which are the result of an EU-funded four year international research team’s effort, it addresses various aspect of the topic from different disciplinary angles. One of the main emphases is the need, in the social sciences, to move away from neo-darwinist ‘population thinking’ to ‘organization thinking’ if we want to understand social evolution. Another main emphasis is on developing a generative approach to invention and innovation, looking in detail at the contexts within which invention and innovation occur, and how these contexts impact on the chances for success or failure. Throughout, the book is infused with interesting new insights, but also presents several well-elaborated case studies that connect the ideas with a substantive body of ‘real world’ information.

Designing Social Systems in a Changing World

Author : Bela H. Banathy
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This book " offers resources and programs by which individuals, groups and organizations can learn to create a common ground, collectively define values and qualities they seek to realize, envision ideal images of a desired future, and bring those images to life by engaging in the disciplined inquiry of social systems design."

Thinking in Systems and Mental Models

Author : Marcus P Dawson
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Do you want to understand the roles of thinking in systems and how they affect, hinder, or aid in the fulfillment of your life? Do you want to increase your thinking skills and build effective mental models? Just as every node on a network contributes to the final result, every action of a member of a particular organizational system contributes to the outcome. Without a broad view of interconnectedness, our problem-solving skills are limited and short-sighted, and our abilities to make long-term, beneficial decisions are hampered. If we only look to the immediate and the superficial, we forget that we are reliant on the smallest of parts. If we don't acknowledge the complexity of our interdependence, then we are doomed to replicate a system that will ultimately fail. Awareness of our interconnectedness is key to solving the biggest and most complex problems that we face in contemporary society. The real question is not whether we should use system thinking, but which of the many ideas, approaches, and techniques currently associated with the field of system thinking are most useful in specific settings. In the year of 1943, Kenneth Craik, a Scottish psychologist, explained that the human mind expects events and describes fundamentals by building small-scale models of the real world. A mental model is a way we represent and understand an event, phenomenon, or system in a compact manner. There is a mental model for everything that happens around you. In this book you will learn: - The key concepts of systems thinking - How to solve any problem with step by step method - Tips to improve your decision-making process - The role of Chaos Theory in systemic thinking - What is wrong with your current way of thinking and how you can improve it - Strategies for developing habits, mental toughness, and resilience to combat mental clutter - 40 mental models that you can use in your daily life - To identify the mental models you already use every day - How to expand your set of mental models, create new ones and use them effectively ... and much more! Systems thinking provides a framework for defining and solving problems. Start by paying attention to the questions you ask to practice thinking from a more systemic perspective. Extend your sense of what constitutes "the present." Try to think as "now" in terms of a longer block of time. Ask yourself what happened just a year ago. What is going on now? What happens next year? We can grasp interconnections that we may not have seen before by extending our sense of the "now." You are changing the way you think! It is not something easy and is an extremely challenging task. Just think about it. That is the way you have thought for all these years of your life. Your behavior and perception of things are influenced by mental models. You will be astonished as to how you start seeing the world in a different light the moment you expose yourself to a new mental model. Once you start using them in your life, your day-to-day life will start becoming so much easier. There is no end to the number of mental models that exist on this earth and you will learn about so many of them in this book. Right now. Ready to get started? But don't think too much about it. Click "Buy Now"!

Designing with Society

Author : Scott Boylston
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This book explores an emerging design culture that rigorously applies systems thinking to the practice of design as a form of facilitating change on an increasingly crowded planet. Designers conversant in topics such as living systems, cultural competence, social justice, and power asymmetries can contribute their creative skills to the world of social innovation to help address the complex social challenges of the 21st century. By establishing a foundation built on the capabilities approach to human development, designers have an opportunity to transcend previous disciplinary constraints, and redefine our understanding of design agency. With an emphasis on developing an adaptability to dynamic situations, the cultivation of diversity, and an insistence on human dignity, this book weaves together theories and practices from diverse fields of thought and action to provide designers with a concrete yet flexible set of actionable design principles. And, with the aim of equipping designers with the ability to drive long-term, sustainable change, it proposes a new set of design competences that emphasize a deeper mindfulness of our interdependence; with each other, and with our life-giving natural systems. It’s a call to action to use design and design thinking as a tool to transform our collective worldviews toward an appreciation for what we all hold in common; a hope and a belief that our future is a place where all of humankind will flourish.

Growing Wings on the Way

Author : Rosalind Armson
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A collection of Systems Thinking tools and techniques explained for use in daily-life situations: Rich Pictures Mental Traps Epistemic Awareness Diagrams Complexity Identifying Themes Snappy Systems System Definitions

Systemic Intervention

Author : Gerald Midgley
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This book aims to rethink systemic intervention to enhance its relevance for supporting social change in the 21st century. It offers a new systems philosophy and methodology, focusing upon the fundamental importance of exploring value and boundary judgements as part of the intervention process. It includes four detailed examples of the practice of systemic intervention.

Teaching about the Future

Author : P. Bishop
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The faculty at the University of Houston's program in Futures Studies share their comprehensive, integrated approach to preparing foresight professionals and assisting others doing foresight projects. Provides an essential guide to developing classes on the future or even establishing whole degree programs.

Systematic Thinking for Social Action

Author : Alice M. Rivlin
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In January 1970 Alice M. Rivlin spoke to an audience at the University of California-Berkeley. The topic was developing a more rational approach to decisionmaking in government. If digital video, YouTube, and TED Talks had been inventions of the 1960s, Rivlin's talk would have been a viral hit. As it was, the resulting book, Systematic Thinking for Social Action, spent years on the Brookings Press bestseller list. Is is a very personal and conversational volume about the dawn of new ways of thinking about government. As deputy assistant secretary for program coordination, and later as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare from 1966 to 1969, Rivlin was an early advocate of systems analysis, which had been introduced by Robert McNamara at the Department of Defense as PPBS (planning-programming-budgeting-system). While Rivlin brushes aside the jargon, she digs into the substance of systematic analysis and a 'quiet revolution in government. In an evaluation of the evaluators, she issues mixed grades, pointing out where analysts had been helpful in finding solutions and where—because of inadequate data or methods—they had been no help at all. Systematic Thinking for Social Action offers important insights for anyone interested in working to find the smartest ways to allocate scarce funds to promote the maximum well-being of all citizens.

Systems Thinking

Author : Jamshid Gharajedaghi
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In a global market economy, a viable business cannot be locked into a single form or function anymore. Rather, success is contingent upon a self-renewing capacity to spontaneously create structures, functions, and processes responsive to a fluctuating business landscape. Now in its third edition, Systems Thinking synthesizes systems theory and interactive design, providing an operational methodology for defining problems and designing solutions in an environment increasingly characterized by chaos and complexity. The current edition has been updated to include all new chapters on self-organizing systems, Holistic, Operational, and Design thinking. Gharajedaghi covers recent crises in financial systems and job markets, the housing bubble, and environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking. A companion website to accompany the book is available at Four NEW chapters on self-organizing systems, holistic thinking, operational thinking, and design thinking Covers the recent crises in financial systems and job markets globally, the housing bubble, and the environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking Companion website to accompany the book is available at

Systems Thinking Approach for Social Problems

Author : Vivek Vijay
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The book is a collection of peer-reviewed scientific papers submitted by active researchers in the 37th National System Conference (NSC 2013). NSC is an annual event of the Systems Society of India (SSI), primarily oriented to strengthen the systems movement and its applications for the welfare of humanity. A galaxy of academicians, professionals, scientists, statesman and researchers from different parts of the country and abroad are invited to attend the conference. The book presents research articles in the areas of system’s modelling, complex network modelling, cyber security, sustainable systems design, health care systems, socio-economic systems, and clean and green technologies. The book can be used as a tool for further research.

The Handbook of Global Health Communication

Author : Rafael Obregon
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International in scope, The Handbook of Global Health Communication offers a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the role of communication processes in global public health, development and social change Brings together 32 contributions from well-respected scholars and practitioners in the field, addressing a wide range of communication approaches in current global health programs Offers an integrated view that links communication to the strengthening of health services, the involvement of affected communities in shaping health policies and improving care, and the empowerment of citizens in making decisions about health Adopts a broad understanding of communication that goes beyond conventional divisions between informational and participatory approaches