Donella Meadows, a professor at Dartmouth College, a long-time organic farmer, journalist, and systems analyst, was working on a book titled Thinking in. We love Donella Meadows’ take on nurturing systems. “The Dance” is a great motivator to post on the bulletin board at your think-tank, school. In her article, “Dancing with Systems,” the late and beloved Donella Meadows ( ) speaks to the mystery at the source of quest for wholeness. Self-organizing .

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And if it is allowed to proceed uninhibited, the winners eventually take all, donellx the losers are eliminated. Dec 10, Philippe rated it it was ok Shelves: And so expectations are lowered. I think some of Nassim Nicholas Taleb ‘s books are arguably more valuable mental models for living in a world of complex systems. The goals of a system can radically alter its behavior. Even the simplest-seeming systems can turn out to be much more complex than first thought.

Paperbackpages. We exaggerated our own ability to change the world.

To get a better understanding of the systems archetypes read braun. Hollis Crossman rated it really liked it. Although the author has a background in ecology, this is not a biased book in any meadwos, shape, or form.

Donella Meadows Publications

Thanks for telling us about the problem. It is unstated assumptions in the minds of the society and the deepest set of beliefs how the world works. You can answer this question on two levels. Starting with the behavior of the system forces you to focus on facts, not theories.


Attempts in Romania to increase the birth rate by banning abortion led to an increase in deaths from back-street abortions and an increase of children abandoned systemx orphanages. Easy to read introduction into systems theory with several practical implementations which often goes against the naive way.


When he asked a young Chinese woman why his book was so popular in China, she told him that we see it as a book about personal meadowa. This is really two books in one.

A Visual Approach to Leverage Points – The Donella Meadows Project

Suggested practices to build these strong relationships include: Donella Meadows was a Harvard-educated scientist who worked at MIT and taught at Dartmouth, and was among the vanguard of systems thinkers At first glance, it’s hard not to be dismissive of systems theory. The third wave has historically been driven by the personal-growth process supported by faith, therapy, and education communities: He starts by watching Hollywood movies and Fox News and thinks that the world is black and white.

People will swear that rainfall is decreasing, say, but when you look at the data, you find that what is really happening is that variability is increasing—the droughts are deeper, but the floods are greater too.

Collective therapy must become as valued, sought, and socially acceptable as personal therapy. Feedbacks might pull the performance in an unexpected direction. Wikiquote has quotations related to: Since then, “If the world were a village of people”, derived from her work but further reducing the numbers to those of a village of people, has been published by others in English, Spanish, and Japanese.

Meadows, ; pp.

It has been published after her death inI believe. It is equally inevitable that it reflects a rather obvious position on the political spectrum. Make feedback policies for feedback systems. Jan 23, Kent Beck rated it it was amazing.

It is something which is more than the sum of its parts and it is source of its own behaviour. It could be claimed, that the book is representing only one part of the rapidly developing and diverse field.


Donella Meadows is one of the original authors of the “Limits to Growth” study inand she shows the kind of systems reasoning that went into the study. But I would argue, that it does not go deep into the specifics of any field, while providing the starting point.

Ever read a book that you’re sad to finish because you borrowed it from the library, rather than bought it?

Learn how your comment data is processed. Eventually, the extraction rate rises too far and the fish population falls low enough to reduce the profitability of the fishing fleet.

Rather than using hard systems language, Meadows uses a more poetic way to remind us of a few key attitudes and practices that can help us to step out of our own way and let the wisdom of the group guide the process of finding more sustainable solutions.

Hold fast to the goal of goodness. The list below summarizes the advice Donella Meadows was able to give after more than 30 years of working in the field of sustainability consultancy, research and education.

The resultant fragility can be seen in financial markets, ecosystems, etc. I already knew that, in a way before I began to study systems.