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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'The publication of Thinking in Systems is a landmark ... This book is destined to shape our understanding of socio-ecological systems in the years to come in much the same way that Silent Spring taught us to understand the nature of ecosystems in the 1960s and 1970s.' Oran R. Young, Professor, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara 'Thinking in Systems is required reading for anyone hoping to run a successful company, community, or country. Learning how to think in systems is now part of change-agent literacy. And this is the best book of its kind.' Hunter Lovins, founder and President of Natural Capital Solutions and coauthor of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution 'When I read Thinking in Systems I am reminded of the enormity of the gap between systemic thinkers and policy makers. If this book helps narrow the gap, it will be Dana's greatest contribution.' Lester Brown, Founder and President, Earth Policy Institute 'Dana Meadows was one of the smartest people I ever knew, able to figure out the sensible answer to almost any problem. This book explains how she thought, and hence is of immense value to those of us who often wonder what she'd make of some new problem. A classic.' Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy 'An invaluable companion piece to Limits to Growth, this is also a useful standalone overview of systems-based problem solving, a simple book about a complex world graced by the wisdom of a profound thinker committed to shap[ing] a better future.' Publishers Weekly 'In Dana Meadows's brilliantly integrative worldview, everything causes everything else; cause and effect loop back on themselves. She was the clearest thinker and writer co-creating the art and science of systems dynamics, and Thinking in Systems distills her lifetime of wisdom. This clear, fun-to-read synthesis will help diverse readers everywhere to grasp and harness how our complex world really works.' Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute and co-author of Natural Capitalism 'Dana Meadows' exposition in this book exhibits a degree of clarity and simplicity that can only be attained by one who profoundly and honestly understands the subject at hand in this case systems modeling. Many thanks to Diana Wright for bringing this extra legacy from Dana to us.' Herman Daly, Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland at College Park 'The publication of Thinking in Systems is a landmark ... Dana Meadows' final contribution is the best and most accessible introduction to this way of thinking we have. This book is destined to shape our understanding of socio-ecological systems in the years to come in much the same way that Silent Spring taught us to understand the nature of ecosystems in the 1960s and 1970s.' Oran R. Young, Professor, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara 'An extremely interesting read, and in particular relevant for people dealing with changes in complex structures, such as organisations, architectures, or business processes ... Absolutely recommended.' Enterprise Agility 'An inspiring sequel to Dana Meadows' lifetime of seminal contributions to systems thinking, this highly accessible book should be read by everyone concerned with the world's future and how we can make it as good as it possibly can be.' Peter H. Raven, President, Missouri Botanical Garden 'Dana Meadows taught a generation of students, friends, and colleagues the art and science of thinking beyond conventional boundaries. For her systems thinking included the expected things like recognizing patterns, connections, leverage points, feedback loops and also the human qualities of judgment, foresight, and kindness. She was a teacher with insight and heart. This long anticipated book, t --Alistair Brown, Green World.

Présentation de l'éditeur

Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. 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. 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 continue to learn. 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. A vital read for students, professionals and all those concerned with economics, business, sustainability and the environment

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4.3 étoiles sur 5
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Ouvrage de qualité (et de référence ?) sur la compréhension et l'analyse des systèmes.
Pas nécessairement toujours facile à lire = attention et concentration requises pour (bien) assimiler les nombreux concepts.
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I have to admit the author is bright and you can tell by reading the book. But it gets too confusing at some point. It relates to several graphs, conceptual facts.

Not a big fan.

Structure your thinking is what you can keep in mind.
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Ce livre de Donella Meadows est absolument indispensable à qui veut s'initier à la seule forme de pensée qui permet de comprendre les réalités présentes, qu'elles soient écologiques, économiques ou sociales.
La première partie (ch. 1 à 4), très pédagogique, décrit la mécanique des systèmes complexes à travers des exemples très simples. Une deuxième partie (ch. 5 à 7) nous enseigne à "penser en systèmes", en évoquant les pièges, les opportunités et les leviers des systèmes.
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On discovers reading this work a complete new way of seeing the world and our environment. I can't say the extend of new thinking I found in this book and I will certainly read and read it again.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x8d973954) étoiles sur 5 241 commentaires
100 internautes sur 115 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8daa13b4) étoiles sur 5 THE handbook for living 12 janvier 2009
Par Carolyn Thornlow - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In a nutshell, this book is about systems. So much more than this, it is a journey into the meta-rules of how the universe and everything in it comes and "plays" together. There is one thing to be understood that applies to physiology, businesses, economies, plants and puppies alike. Everything is a system. And all systems have behaviors and rules. As Donella Meadows writes: "The to recognize what structures contain which latent behaviors, and what conditions release those behaviors -- and where possible to arrange the structures and conditions to reduce the probability of destructive behaviors and to encourage the possibility of beneficial ones."

Grasping "the whole universe" is certainly a momumental task. The book brilliantly presents concepts in very graspable units. She starts with picturing what a system is -- a stock with inflows and outflows that affect its stability and all of which are further affected by feedback loops and delays.

So armed with this model, individuals may be better guided in their decisions and actions as it becomes clear that actions can beget other actions and reactions (or unintended consequences.) But there is even more complexity. For instance, policies are a way to control the stocks and flows within a system. However, one of several behavior archetypes is policy resistance which comes from the bounded rationality of the actors within a system, each with his or her own goal. Meadows takes the reader on a deep and thought-provoking journey through all the behavior archetypes of systems. The result is an empowering "forewarned is forearmed" knowledge.

That is the ultimate goal of this book. When people affect positive change in the world -- and it just may be everyone's duty to do that -- it is through smart and correct controls on a system. Ms. Meadows then gives the knowledge to do this. She lays out the leverage points in any system -- the opportunities for making things right or better. The coda is a legacy of thoughts to live by, the last and perhaps most important of which is "Don't Erode the Goal of Goodness."

With such profound applicability, this book is the handbook for living. Everyone on the planet should read it.
85 internautes sur 102 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8daa1600) étoiles sur 5 Very useful introduction 16 avril 2009
Par J. B Kraft - Publié sur
Format: Broché Commentaire d‘un membre du Club des Testeurs ( De quoi s'agit-il? )
I first learned and practiced systems analysis back in the 1970s, and it's a skill that seems neglected in the training of many young professionals I come in contact with.

"Thinking in Systems: A Primer" is a book I hoped would be informative and accessible for people who need to develop the skill or just refresh their own talents. It does present its subject systematically and without confusing jargon.

While I found the writing clear and well-organized in its development and presentation of the subject, I found many of the illustrations less than helpful. I would have liked a less holistic and more concrete development of the analysis of the examples in the book.

For use as a textbook, an appendix with a glossary of terms of art and sybols would be very helpful. Nonetheless, reading this will give the novice an appreciation of what systems analysis is, and why it is critical to problem solving. Its informal approach may be more suited for young people today than a more formal and rigidly structured treatment.
141 internautes sur 178 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8daa5150) étoiles sur 5 Freshman Initiation 13 juillet 2010
Par F. Mullen - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
In her "Note from the Editor," Diana Wright advises the reader that the manuscript for "Thinking in Systems" went unpublished for eight years before Dana Meadows' unfortunate death. Perhaps there was a reason for that: perhaps Dana Meadows recognized that the manuscript was not ready for publication. For the text is uncertain whether it is an introduction to systems analysis as a scientific endeavor, a tableau of counter-intuitive results "explained" by "systems thinking", or a pseudo-analytic basis for the usual policy preferences of the political left. In its raw form, it is a mish-mash of these and other incomplete themes, so by the end you're not sure what the point was.

Were it an introductory text in systems analysis for freshman students of English literature, the first four chapters might be ok. Meadows introduces the notions of stocks, inputs, and outputs in a way that could persuade a non-technical reader that systems analysis was a quantitative science and that the relevant quantities might be computed so long as students from another department were available. She also introduces the notion of feedback and discusses the qualitatively different forms of output resulting from positive or negative feedback. She even discusses the effects on the output of varying feedback delay. This may be about as far as you can go without introducing any math, and as Meadows did not introduce any math, this also might have been a good place to stop.

But sadly, the editors chose to publish what came next. Next was chapter 5, "Systems Traps...and Opportunities." Here we find discussions of a variety of very complicated systems--Romanian and Swedish abortion policy, for example--whose analysis is beyond most humans, let alone freshman literature students. From these discussions Meadows derives generalized "systems traps" and "ways out".

Her first trap, for example, is called "policy resistance": "When various actors try to pull a system stock toward various goals, ...[it] just pulls the stock farther from the goals of the other actors and produces additional resistance...." Translation: people disagree. And here's the "way out": "Let go. Bring in all the actors and use the energy formerly expended on resistance to seek out mutually satisfactory ways for all goals to be realized...." Translation: can't we all just get along. And so on. The "traps" and "ways out" are of a nature so obtuse as to defy any sort of concrete analysis, and as insights they are the sort that cease to seem profound after sophomore year.

And it gets worse. Chapter 6, "Leverage Points--Places to Intervene in a System," might have been a good place to discuss system sensitivity analysis--in a qualitative way, of course--but instead it leans heavily toward the justification of pet liberal causes like environmentalism, government regulation of industry ("The power of big industry calls for the power of big government...; a global economy makes global regulations necessary"), and high taxes on anyone with more wealth than a Dartmouth professor. Chapter 7, "Living in a World of Systems," sets new standards for sentimental whole-earthism, recommending, on the strength of "the tool of systems thinking," that the future be "brought lovingly into being," that we learn to "dance with great powers" as the Eskimo "have turned snow into ... a system with which they can dance." Be caring, be good: these are the final admonishments before the book, thankfully, ends.

In addition, there is economic illiteracy displayed throughout, as for example this, which follows an inept discussion of Adam Smith's "invisible hand": "Economic theory as derived from Adam Smith assumes first that 'homo economicus' acts with perfect optimality on complete information, and second that when many of the species 'homo economicus' do that, their actions add up to the best possible outcome for everybody." This is utter nonsense. Smith says nothing about perfection of optimality nor completeness of information. He merely observes that, in the aggregate, a collection of humans seeking their individual interests often advances the economic welfare of society as a whole. And he certainly does not assert that everybody will arrive at "the best possible outcome." The "invisible hand" operates even in the presence of individual failure and distress, and in some ways because of them.

Winding up for the conclusion, Meadows admits that "[s]ystems thinking has taught me to trust my intuition more and my figuring-out rationality less...." If you've gotten this far in the book, you will certainly agree, for in writing it she gave intuition free rein while rationality was on the Costa del Sol. If you're a student of Dana Meadows, this book will give you considerable insight into her intuition and her prejudices. If you are simply interested in some qualitative discussion of systems, there are some not-bad introductory bits in the first four chapters. But if you're going to buy just one book on systems analysis, buy a different one.
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8daa5144) étoiles sur 5 Best intro and comprehensive guide on systems 7 mars 2011
Par Robert Richman - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Incredibly easy to understand, comprehensive summary of systems theory. The world looks very different after reading this book, and can help anyone who is looking to create or change systems.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8daa5180) étoiles sur 5 Zoom Out Before Zooming On and In 25 octobre 2010
Par Quercus - Publié sur
Format: Broché
In the middle of the book, Donella outlines the 12 most strategic intervention points within a system. Her number one, most strategic intervention point is in transcending paradigms. That's what this book fosters -- transcending paradigms.

Become a meta thinker, look at the systemic whole before becoming entranced and consumed by the minuscule details. If zen could be put into scientific models, I see it taking a form very similar to this book. Systems thinking is a zen level of thinking, beyond our egoic tendencies and habits -- finding where information or resources flow from, end up, what feedback loops are perpetuating or limiting the system. We are ourselves very complex systems, embedded within millions of systems. This book is a wonderful introduction to systems thinking, and will benefit all who pick it up.

As a whole-systems designer, this reading has had huge implications on my professional and personal works. Step back, take a deep breath, observe before interpreting, see the system flow. That's HUGE, no matter where you live, work, play, this writing will add new dimensions to your mental models. One may find themselves instead of observing isolated events or objects, seeing the many influences, interconnections and feedback loops that create and give life to observed reality.
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