Donella Meadows spent thirty years designing and refining the techniques of “system dynamics” – the style of analysis that we will demonstrate in the “Changing” section, part II of the course. She was working on this book at the time of her death in 2001, and it was finished and edited by Diana Wright.
From the publisher’s description:
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.