Systems Thinking Approach To Problem Solving

To solve the problem, system structure must be understood and changed, so that feedback loops can be redesigned to cause people to behave sustainably as a natural part of their everyday existence.This takes far more work than writing a few quick new laws and pleading to save the world.

The term systems thinking is preferred to , which have looser and more intuitive meanings, and emphasize understanding the whole rather than the dynamic structure of the system.

Systems thinking is not stepping back to look at the whole, the big picture, or a higher level.

To understand a system’s gross behavior, understand its structure.

To change a system’s gross behavior, change its structure. How a system behaves cannot be determined by inspection of its parts and structure.

Lack of systems thinking produces a mental model based mostly on what you can physically see.

This tends to give a shallow understanding of the way a system works.When that solution fails, as it has for over 40 years, they just throw up their hands and call it a hard problem. Systems thinkers see the problem entirely differently.They see immense positive feedback loops causing swarms of agents to exploit the Earth for their own benefit and population growth.The solution, then, is to get them to stop behaving so irresponsibly.This can be done with laws stating what to do and not to do, plus emotional appeals to be nice to the environment.This mode becomes unsustainable when negative feedback loops finally start to push back as environmental limits are approached.They don’t see people’s misbehavior as the problem.He said, “You can divide everyone in the United States into two groups.Those who watch television and those who don’t.” He went on to explain that those who watched TV tended to think like the herd and those who didn't watch much TV were original thinkers leading far more interesting and fulfilling lives.They see the world as a rag tag collection of parts and events.Applying this mind set to the global environmental sustainability problem, they see people’s misbehavior as the cause of the problem.


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