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Systems Thinking

  • By: Franziska Hasselmann
  • In: Green Business: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Nevin Cohen & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Sustainability, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

The essence of systems thinking is to view a problem as a whole, comprised of parts that interact with and affect one another. A change to one system component has widespread impact, affecting every other part. Thus, solutions to problems are found by considering these impacts. This is in contract to reductionism, which seeks for answers to a problem by considering each individual piece, regardless of its interaction with other pieces of the whole. Systems thinking is a learning process that also enables an individual to simplify a situation perceived as complex. Systems thinking has had a significant influence on the environmental movement through writers ranging from John Muir and Aldo Leopold, to Donella Meadows and Bill McKibben. Application of systems thinking by green businesses ...

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