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The Donella Meadows Institute

The Donella Meadows Institute
Related:  Systems Thinkinghoudbaar/duurzaam

Emergence Emergence is perhaps the fundamental property of systems. The idea of emergence is implied in the well-known statement: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts” This kind of statement sometimes appears in adverts, because it implies that the customer will be getting something extra if they buy what is being advertised (which is the job of advertisers). IQ Variants Unfortunately it is a misleading slogan. In this case, the whole was less than the sum of the parts (this example reminds me of some ineffective committees I've sat on!). An example For instance, I can state that "The whole exhibits properties that are different from those found in any of its parts" Of course, this isn't a very impressive as an advertising slogan, but I want something better than a mere slogan; I want a statement that has practical value, which means that it must have some semblance of truth and reliability for me. Figure 1 Copyrighted image Credit: Open2 team Figure 2 Brain Associations New meanings Figure 3

Leading the Sustainability Insurgency Experts Weigh In I asked readers to comment on my post above and got some terrific feedback. Here’s what Dave Stangis, vice president of corporate responsibility at the Campbell Soup Company, Antonini Ballabriga, global head of corporate responsibility at banking giant Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), and Michael Jacobson, CSR Director at Intel have to say. - Gregory Unruh, March 26, 2014 Does Sustainability Require Revolution — or Leadership? Dr. Many in CSR and sustainability view their job, their role, through the lens of right versus wrong, good versus evil. I often describe my job as doing everything in my individual power to make the Campbell Soup Company the best company it can be — period. My personal mantra is driving from “people” to “process.” We have worked to establish cells of integration (you may call them insurgencies) across the company. At Campbell, we view our role in society much the same way. Reporting today must be viewed as a “real-time” process.

Systems thinking: a select glossary Copyrighted image Credit: OU This glossary contains definitions of some generalized system concepts used in Systems Practice. What is a mess? and how does it differ from a difficulty? Find out here! One of the key principles in Systems Thinking is feedback9. If you want to know more about Systems Thinking, the Open University course T205 Systems Thinking, Principles and Practice is an excellent introduction to the discipline. Definitions of some generalized system concepts used in systems practice. Boundary The borders of the system, determined by the observer(s), which define where control action can be taken: a particular area of responsibility to achieve system purposes. Closed system A system which is closed to inputs from its environment, e.g. a transistor radio is closed to energy. Communication (i) First-order communication is based on simple feedback (as in a thermostat) but should not be confused with human communication, which has a biological basis. Connectivity Difficulty Environment

Can we solve the sustainable prosperity paradox? | Be the Change in Business We’ve arrived at the perfect storm of economic, environmental, social and political challenges aimed squarely at the status quo. Much of the industrial era type work is falling victim to technological unemployment. Add to that the problem that business as usual is usually bankruptcy bound and best practice is often an ecological disaster, what can we do to solve the apparent contradiction that is sustainable prosperity? A hundred years ago, the 99% were entrepreneurs and it looks like an entrepreneurial revival is the only thing that’s going to make life prosperous again. But entrepreneurial skills can be relearnt or more correctly, unleashed again because those skills are lying dormant everywhere in society, waiting for the right environment to flourish. I call the traits of entrepreneurialism the ‘If in doubt…SOAR!’ Entrepreneurial thinking can uncover fundamental Solutions which transforms current behaviours. Ego is only scared of two things. It’s believed that people fear change.

Diffusing Systems Thinking Diffusing Systems Thinking Posted @ 9/28/2015 1:27 PM by A senior executive in a national philanthropic association recently commented: “Systems thinking has been around for many years, and I really see its value. However, many people see it as too daunting and difficult. I found her question stimulating, and it prompted me to identify limits to the diffusion of systems thinking and what can we can do to help more people take advantage of the many benefits it offers. Ambiguity about what systems thinking is. Make your definition of systems thinking explicit, e.g. to understand and reorganize interconnected elements in such a way as to achieve a desired purpose. Making it overly simple – or complex. Create systems maps that tell coherent stories of how and why people operate the way they do by surfacing recognizable patterns of behavior and underlying assumptions. Knowing what systems thinking is but not knowing how to apply it. People are not conditioned to think systemically.

Moving toward a circular economy The circular economy aims to eradicate waste—not just from manufacturing processes, as lean management aspires to do, but systematically, throughout the life cycles and uses of products and their components. Indeed, tight component and product cycles of use and reuse, aided by product design, help define the concept of a circular economy and distinguish it from the linear take–make­–dispose economy, which wastes large amounts of embedded materials, energy, and labor. In the first exhibit of this narrated slideshow, McKinsey alumnus Markus Zils explains how a circular economy works. In the second, he uses the example of a market for power drills to detail four scenarios in which circular-economy principles are applied: In the status-quo scenario, 1,000 power drills are made in China and sold in the European Union. In the refurbishment scenario, 800 drills are sold at the original price, and 200 are refurbished and sold at 80 percent of it. About the author

Insight Maker | Free Simulation and Modeling in your Browser Appropedia Beyond Connecting the Dots Welcome to the Community Exchange System Welcome to Applied Systems Thinking Break the Bank: Build Your Local Economy - Natural Health Bartering was the original means of exchanging goods and services, predating the invention of money as we know it. Garden bounty was traded for sheep’s cheese; mead was swapped for a woven blanket. Today, a resurgence in bartering is underway, as people turn away from our culture’s dominant “buy more stuff” paradigm, and instead take pride and satisfaction in the goods and services they provide, the handiwork of their friends and neighbors, and in helping make their communities more self-reliant. The growth of this direct-trade economy is accompanied by an emergence of several other exciting economic trends that diverge from business as usual. Options include seed libraries, bike-sharing programs, local currencies and socially responsible investment plans. Here’s how you can join in and be a part of the change. Self-Reliance Through DIY Projects Barter and Trade For What You Need One way you can get off the money train is to barter for some of the things you need. Bank your time. Megan E.

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