Introduction to Systems Thinking

970 views
890 views

Published on

Slides for discussing basic concepts from Thinking in Systems by Donnella Meadows.

Published in: Business, Technology
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
970
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
19
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
33
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Introduction to Systems Thinking

  1. 1. “Lifelong learnersare the best teachers.”–Aunt DorisPedagogy for the Professoriate:The Personal Meets the Political,Denise Patmon
  2. 2. making theinvisible visible
  3. 3. Seeingrelationships andsystems
  4. 4. Yi-YiEdward Yang
  5. 5. “We never livethe same day twice.”
  6. 6. So what’s the sameabout yesterday and today?
  7. 7. Circumstances, behaviorsand the systems thatmake them possible.
  8. 8. Systems
  9. 9. Why do we care?
  10. 10. Systems affect us,and we affect systems,for better and for worse.
  11. 11. We are (surrounded byand enmeshed in) systems.
  12. 12. Objectscan seemingly existin isolation physically,
  13. 13. but are actually oftenconnected to other thingsthrough relationships.
  14. 14. Example:Food (cheesesteak sandwich)
  15. 15. ($6)
  16. 16. ConnectionsBBC, James Burke
  17. 17. SystemsElementsInterrelationsFunction/Purpose
  18. 18. Elementsthe things that make up a systemInterrelationsrelationships among the elementsFunction/Purposewhat the system does
  19. 19. SystemsCausal Relationships
  20. 20. SystemsStocksFlows
  21. 21. Stock“...an accumulation of material orinformation that has built up over time”Flowsthe “filling and draining” of stocks
  22. 22. Figure 38.9
  23. 23. Finding Flowslook for what’s movingin or through the system
  24. 24. ExampleSystems
  25. 25. Personal Finances
  26. 26. Every month, Zulari is paid $2000 by directdeposit to his savings account, and hisemployer makes a contribution of $200 toZulari’s retirement account. He then movessome money from his savings account intohis checking account to pay his rent ($800)and credit card bills (typically around $400)and the checking account fee ($10/month).If possible, Zulari moves some of theremaining money from his savings accountto his retirement account. The rest hekeeps in his savings account which has aninterest rate of 1.5%.
  27. 27. What doesthis systemlook like?
  28. 28. What happens if payrollmakes a mistake, andZulari doesn’t get a paycheck?
  29. 29. Acid Rain
  30. 30. Rain of pH 3.5 periodically fallson a pond that has a pH level of about 7.After 6 months, the pond water pHis still about 7.After a year, the pond water pHhas dropped to about 5.5.
  31. 31. What doesthis systemlook like?What couldexplainthe behavior?
  32. 32. Metabolism
  33. 33. We get energy from food, andexpend energy on activities.
  34. 34. Albert running (to class)90 Cal in 10 min3/5 Twinkie
  35. 35. What doesthis systemlook like?
  36. 36. Boundaries,mental and “actual”
  37. 37. Example:Perfluorinated Compounds
  38. 38. Common Chemicals Could Make KidsVaccines Less Effective by JON HAMILTON04:05 pm http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/01/24/145745691/January 24, 2012 common-chemicals-could-make-kids-vaccines-less-effective Stig Nygaard/FlickrEven in the remote Faroe Islands, some children have high levels of perfluorinated compounds in their blood. The chemicalsmay interfere with the immune system.The more exposure children have to chemicals called perfluorinated compounds, theless likely they are to have a good immune response to vaccinations, a study just
  39. 39. What was the PFC systemsupposed to look like?
  40. 40. Thinking in terms ofan isolated system(manufacturing with PFCs)can be too simplistic.
  41. 41. At least two (sub)systems:Industrial ManufacturingHuman Immune System
  42. 42. And many more:Human BodyEcosystemsWaste ManagementEconomic Systems
  43. 43. Example:Environmental Impact ofa Water Treatment Facility
  44. 44. Even when we build physical boundaries,they can’t fully isolate the systemand can have negative consequences.
  45. 45. Example:Food Productionand Food Safety
  46. 46. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/04/23/151047957/how-making-food-safe-can-harm-wildlife-and-water
  47. 47. There is no single,legitimate boundaryto draw around a system
  48. 48. Resilience(a measure of)a system’s abilityto survive and persistwithin a variable environment
  49. 49. Diversity andRedundancy
  50. 50. VulnerabilitySensitivityAdaptability
  51. 51. Fracture CriticalSystems thatcannot withstanda single-part failure(additional perspectives:http://places.designobserver.com/feature/fracture-critical/11477/)
  52. 52. Self-Organizationcapacity of a systemto make its own structuremore complex
  53. 53. Hierarchyaggregation of subsystemsinto larger subsystems
  54. 54. Hierarchylevels of system structureeach with unique properties
  55. 55. Hierarchical systemsare partially decomposable
  56. 56. System elementsare separablebut not separate.—after George Lakoff
  57. 57. System structureis the source ofsystem behavior.
  58. 58. Example:The Dilution Effect
  59. 59. Pathogens, Hostsand Vectors
  60. 60. System behaviorreveals itselfas a series of eventsover time.
  61. 61. Living withSystems
  62. 62. What’s “wrong”with these pictures?
  63. 63. ($6)

×