Talking About Systems

Linda Booth Sweeney ‘s blog Talking About Systems is a terrific resource for helping others to understand and work with living systems.

Her website is full of accessible materials to help to communicate complex concepts of systems as well as reading lists and resources.

Thinking About Systems

Living systems are everywhere. These systems – elements and processes interacting to form a whole – shape us and surround us. When we look closely, we see living systems on all scales, from the smallest plankton, to our own body, to the planet as a whole. When we understand what constitutes a living system, we also see that our watersheds, families, communities, organizations, and nations are all living systems.

To “think about systems” means we pay attention to interrelationships, patterns, and dynamics as well as to the parts. The field of systems thinking has evolved over the past 50 years as a set of methods and tools that focus on systems – rather than fragments – as the context for defining and solving complex problems, and for fostering more effective learning and design. At its best, the practice of systems thinking helps us to stop operating from crisis to crisis, and to think in a less fragmented, more integrated way. More