Systems Thinking is a way of thinking that connects everything! The air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil we walk on, the buildings we live in, the things we use are all part of a connected universe and they all interact with each other. Now we understand that people as a living system interact with nature’s systems. Nature is an ever-evolving series of inter related systems, and humans interact with nature’s systems. Exploring and understanding nature’s systems leads us to think about the complexity of the world and interact with environmental, economical and programmatic stresses across regional territories. We can address a subject with its’ history and current condition, draw out maps and observe patterns. This way of thinking connects diverse approaches to broader understandings and lead to tomorrow’s strategic solutions. Lets take climate change, urban landscapes or even today’s food problems: systems thinking can be helpful in all aspects of life and inspire great changes!
Think across boundaries!
Activity 1 defining systems
“If you tug on one thing you will find that it is hitched to all of the rest.” John Muir, Founder of the Sierra Club
What is a system? A system is a set of interrelated parts or interdependent components, Systems can be closed or open. For example our respiratory system is open as we breathe air (oxygen) into our nose and exhale carbon dioxide out. In contrast our circulatory system is partially closed as our heart pumps blood through our veins; while the blood does carry oxygen from our breathing (respiratory system), we hope we do not get a cut and lose blood. To be continued…..
Activity 2 parts to whole
Components or parts are organized into wholes. For example, our bodies have a series of systems- muscular, skeletal, circulatory, nervous, digestive and respiratory. Take a look at buildings as bodies. to see how systems of the body parallel with systems of a building. Think of three other systems and list as many of their parts that you can think of. Would this systems exist or work if one or more parts were removed?
Activity 3 objects to relationships
Activity 4 Connecting scales
Activity 5 Action Reaction
Activity 6 social+natural+human
- Scales of the Universe (Takes time to Load but worth it)
- TEDxEast - Bjarke Ingels - Hedonistic Sustainability
- MacArthur Foundation Changing Living Systems to a Circular Economy
- World Resoruces Institute Eco System Service Approach for Public Sector
- EPA Climate Change Impact on Eco Systems
- Ecological Literacy: Fritjof Capra Video 1
- McDonough: Being Less Bad is Not Good Enough
- Waters Foundation: Systems Thinking
- Systems Thinking Wiki
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