Systems Thinking

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Papers
Introduction to Systems Thinking
A short, non-technical introduction to systems
thinking (requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later)
People often ask me how to learn more about systems thinking. The Systems Thinking in Action conference is one excellent way; you can learn more and also interact with some of the leading experts in the field. This year, the conference will be held in Boston from November 13-15.

I have been to the conference several times and have always found both the learning and the networking valuable.

- Editor

How Systems Thinking Can Improve the Results of Innovation Efforts
An examination of how using systems thinking can
prevent the potential waste of valuable innovation
efforts (requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or later).

To request a copy of Worldview & Economics:
A Systemic Analysis
  (copyright 1994 Daniel
Aronson, 52 pp) , send email to thinking@thinking.net

Links to Sites Related to Systems Thinking

The System Dynamics Society
http://www.systemdynamics.org  
The homepage of the System Dynamics Society, including a history of system dynamics, a brief description of its tools and applications, information about the annual system dynamics conference, and information on the System Dynamics Review, a refereed journal.

Systems Thinking Practice
http://sgzz.ch/?Systems_Thinking_Practice
A map of systems thinking, cybernetics, cognition, and other resources on the Web

The Learning Org Discussion Pages
http://www.learning-org.com
The home of the Learning-Org list, which has over 2000 members on several continents.
Older messages are archived by thread, date, and subject.

Mental Model Musings
http://www.systems-thinking.org/index.htm
This has a large amount of information on the history, development, and principles of systems thinking. There are also additional links to other systems thinking-related issues, such as the different systemic situations that appear frequently across disciplines, called "Archetypes."

Systems Thinking: Archetypes
http://www.systems-thinking.org/arch/arch.htm
This link takes you directly to the article referenced under the link above this oen, on "archetypes."

The System Dynamics Mailing List and Discussion Pages
http://www.vensim.com/sdmail/sdmail.html
Contains a mailing list and discussion group about system dynamics.

The MIT System Dynamics Group
http://web.mit.edu/sdg/www/
In addition to information about the MIT System Dynamics Group and its publications, this page has links to the System Dynamics in Education Project, and other resources about system dynamics-based computer models.

The Principia Cybernetica Web
http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/cybsysth.html
The Principia Cybernetica Web site includes a section on cybernetics &;systems theory. As the Principia Cybernetica Project uses it, "systems theory" is the result of the investigation into general principles of systems. As such, systems science is closely related to, but not identical with, systems thinking and system dynamics.

Bibliography of the works of Chris Argyris
http://www.actionscience.com/argbib.htm
One of the best-known writers on learning in organizations and the organizational defensive routines that prevent it. He wrote several of the classic works on impediments to learning, including Overcoming Organizational Defensive Routines, Knowledge for Action, and several articles he wrote for the Harvard Business Review (for example, "Teaching Smart People How to Learn").

Paper on "Organizational Learning and Information Systems"
http://www.e-papyrus.com/personal/orglrn.html

Some notes from the keynotes at the 1995 Systems Thinking in Action conference
http://world.std.com/~lo/95.10/0082.html
The Systems Thinking in Action conference, presented by Pegasus Communications, is the largest systems thinking conference. This link includes notes on the keynote addresses at the 1995 conference.

Whole Systems Design Association
http://www.earthcorps.com/wsda

Deming Institute
http://www.deming.org/
The Institute founded by W. Edwards Deming in 1993. Contains information and a list of resources for learning more about his work.


Recent Projects Using Systems Thinking Innovatively

The Boston Indicators Project, a joint effort of The Boston Foundation and the City of Boston, Massachusetts, used systems thinking in their 2002 report, Creativity & Innovation: A Bridge to the Future. The Foundation worked with systems thinking consultants (Daniel Aronson, Four Profit Inc; Phil Clawson, Community Matters Group; and Brendan Miller and Osamu Uehara of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to help find a core theme in the changes in the 200 indicators related to the greater Boston area's economic strength, civic life, community fabric, health status, diversity, and other areas. As a result, the report highlights the connections between economic innovation, transportation, the cost of living, diversity, demographics, and many other areas.

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©Copyright 1999 Daniel Aronson. Documents (c) their authors.  all rights reserved.
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