The changes in this 3rd printing mainly concern various typographical corrections, and reference omissions that came to light in the previous printings. Many of these reached the authors' notice through their own re-reading, that of their students and a number of colleagues mentioned in the Preface. The authors also included a few telling examples as well as improved a few statements, with slightly weaker assumptions or have strengthened the conclusions in a couple of instances.
Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.
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.
In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.
These research fields are under very active development and the present volume should be of interest to students and researchers working in applied mathematics or in system engineering.
This volume contains selected contributions presented during the International Working Conference on Analysis and Optimization of Differential Systems, which was sponsored by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) and held in Constanta, Romania in September 2002. Among the aims of this conference was the creation of new international contacts and collaborations, taking advantage of the new developments in Eastern Europe, particularly in Romania. The conference benefited from the support of the European Union via the EURROMMAT program.