Systems Thinking For Social Change

Author: David Peter Stroh
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603585804
Release Date: 2015-10
Genre:

Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation. How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results. Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert. Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people end homelessness and increase affordable housing, improve public health, strengthen public education and access to early childhood development services, protect child welfare, reform the criminal justice system, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more. The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want.

Systems Thinking For Social Change

Author: David Peter Stroh
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603585811
Release Date: 2015-09-24
Genre: Business & Economics

Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drug-related crime, or food aid that increases starvation. How do these unintended consequences come about and how can we avoid them? By applying conventional thinking to complex social problems, we often perpetuate the very problems we try so hard to solve, but it is possible to think differently, and get different results. Systems Thinking for Social Change enables readers to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert. Systems thinking leader David Stroh walks readers through techniques he has used to help people improve their efforts to end homelessness, improve public health, strengthen education, design a system for early childhood development, protect child welfare, develop rural economies, facilitate the reentry of formerly incarcerated people into society, resolve identity-based conflicts, and more. The result is a highly readable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want.

Thinking in Systems

Author: Donella Meadows
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 1603581480
Release Date: 2008-12-03
Genre: Science

In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, 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. Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking. 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 stay a learner. 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.

Systems Thinking

Author: Jamshid Gharajedaghi
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0123859166
Release Date: 2011-08-09
Genre: Computers

Systems Thinking, Third Edition combines systems theory and interactive design to provide an operational methodology for defining problems and designing solutions in an environment increasingly characterized by chaos and complexity. This new edition has been updated to include all new chapters on self-organizing systems as well as holistic, operational, and design thinking. The book covers recent crises in financial systems and job markets, the housing bubble, and environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking. A companion website is available at interactdesign.com. This volume is ideal for senior executives as well as for chief information/operating officers and other executives charged with systems management and process improvement. It may also be a helpful resource for IT/MBA students and academics. Four NEW chapters on self-organizing systems, holistic thinking, operational thinking, and design thinking Covers the recent crises in financial systems and job markets globally, the housing bubble, and the environment, assessing their impact on systems thinking Companion website to accompany the book is available at interactdesign.com

Give Smart

Author: Thomas J. Tierney
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781586489892
Release Date: 2011-03-29
Genre: Social Science

In the first half of the twenty-first century, giving to family and community foundations alone will be ten times in today's dollars what it was throughout the entire twentieth century. Yet despite tremendous innovation in the social sector, philanthropy's natural state is under-performance. Not since Andrew Carnegie wrote The Gospel of Wealth has a book been written that provides practical guidance for donors to get the most impact from their giving. Almost a decade ago, Thomas J. Tierney left Bain & Company to co-found The Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit focused on helping donors and nonprofit leaders to develop and execute strategies to accelerate social change. In Give Smart, Tierney pools his hands-on knowledge with philanthropy expert Joel L. Fleishman to create a much-needed primer for philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations they support. Drawing from personal experiences, testimonials, and Bridgespan's case studies, including those of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Give Smart picks up where Jim Collins' Good to Great and the Social Sectors left off and presents the first in-depth, expert guide for engaged donors and nonprofit leaders.

Growing Wings on the Way

Author: Rosalind Armson
Publisher: Triarchy Press Limited
ISBN: 9781908009364
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Decision making

You may be: trying to fix the healthcare system in your country... dealing with family break-up... exploring change - and making it happen - in your organisation... worrying about how to look after your elderly parents... In any case, you'll know that with some problems it's hard to know where to start - we can't define them, we get in a muddle thinking about them, we may try to ignore some aspect/s of them and - when we finally do something - they usually get worse. These problems are so entangled they become 'messy situations' and our first mistake is to try and fix them as we would fix a simple problem. But Systems Thinking offers a range of good ways of approaching these situations and unravelling them. Rosalind Armson is one of the world's foremost teachers and practitioners of Systems Thinking, and her remarkable book explains how these messes happen and what to do about them. Specifically, she sets out a series of sophisticated and challenging - but practical and easily learned - skills and techniques for thinking better when you're'in a mess'. Whether you're new to Systems Thinking or have long experience, the book invites you to develop your skills through working with your own messy situations. It's written for managers, project managers, team leaders, 'change leaders', strategists, policy makers and concerned citizens as well as university students from a broad set of disciplines. Organisations and readers in education, healthcare, environmental management, IT planning and social care are just a few of those likely to find it helpful."

The Systems Thinking Playbook

Author: Linda Booth Sweeney
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603582582
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Business & Economics

"More and more educators and businesspeople espouse system thinking today---this short workbook helps you do it! From two of the most gifted systems educators, this is a great tool for discovering the systems thinker in us all."---Peter M. Senge, Senior Lecturer for MIT, founder of the Society for Organizational Learning, author of the Fifth Discipline --

The Climate Change Playbook

Author: Dennis Meadows
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN: 9781603586764
Release Date: 2016-05-05
Genre: Education

Advocates and teachers often find it difficult to communicate the complexities of climate change, because the people they are trying to reach hold so many mistaken assumptions. They assume, for example, that when climate change becomes an obvious threat to our everyday lives, there will still be time enough to make changes that will avoid disaster. Yet at that point it will be too late. Or they assume we can use our current paradigms and policy tools to find solutions. Yet the approaches that caused damage in the first place will cause even more damage in the future. Even the increasingly dire warnings from scientists haven’t shaken such assumptions. Is there another way to reach people? The simple, interactive exercises in The Climate Change Playbook can help citizens better understand climate change, diagnose its causes, anticipate its future consequences, and effect constructive change. Adapted from The Systems Thinking Playbook, the twenty-two games are now specifically relevant to climate-change communications and crafted for use by experts, advocates, and educators. Illustrated guidelines walk leaders through setting each game up, facilitating it, and debriefing participants. Users will find games that are suitable for a variety of audiences—whether large and seated, as in a conference room, or smaller and mobile, as in a workshop, seminar, or meeting. Designed by leading thinkers in systems, communications, and sustainability, the games focus on learning by doing.

Systems Thinking Made Simple

Author: Derek Cabrera
Publisher:
ISBN: 0996349308
Release Date: 2015-07-01
Genre:

Systems thinking can help us solve everyday and wicked problems, increase our personal effectiveness as human beings, and transform our organizations. This book is for anyone interested in learning the foundational ideas of systems thinking.

Design Thinking for the Greater Good

Author: Jeanne Liedtka
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231545853
Release Date: 2017-09-05
Genre: Business & Economics

Facing especially wicked problems, social-sector organizations are searching for powerful new methods to understand and address them. Design Thinking for the Greater Good goes in depth on both the how of using new tools and the why. As a way to reframe problems, ideate solutions, and iterate toward better answers, design thinking is already well established in the commercial world. Through ten stories of struggles and successes in fields such as health care, education, agriculture, transportation, social services, and security, the authors show how collaborative creativity can shake up even the most entrenched bureaucracies—and provide a practical roadmap for readers to implement these tools. The design thinkers Jeanne Liedtka, Randy Salzman, and Daisy Azer explore how major agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services and the Transportation and Security Administration in the United States, as well as organizations in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, have instituted principles of design thinking. In each case, these groups have used the tools of design thinking to reduce risk and manage change, use resources more effectively, bridge the communication gap between parties, and manage the competing demands of diverse stakeholders. Along the way, they have improved the quality of their products and enhanced the experiences of those they serve. These strategies are accessible to analytical and creative types alike, and their benefits extend from an organization's executives to its lowest-level staffers. This book will help today's leaders and thinkers implement these practices in their own pursuit of creative solutions that are both innovative and achievable.

Systems Thinking for Health Systems Strengthening

Author: Don De Savigny
Publisher: World Health Organization
ISBN: 9789241563895
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Education

This report investigates how systems thinking can deepen the conceptual and practical underpinnings of system strengthening initiatives. This Flagship Report from the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research makes the case for systems thinking in an easily accessible form for a broad interdisciplinary audience, including health system stewards, programme implementers, researchers, evaluators and funding partners. It presents: What systems thinking is, and what it means for the health system; A health systems case illustration that demonstrates the "Ten Steps to Systems Thinking" - practical guidance in applying the systems perspective; The challenges and opportunities to applying systems thinking in real-world settings; An agenda for expanding the use of systems thinking for health systems strengthening.

Social Change 2 0

Author: David Gershon
Publisher: Green Books
ISBN: PSU:000067209095
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Nature

If "change" is the mantra of our moment in history, Social Change 2.0 may be poised to become its bible. Drawing on his three decades in the trenches of large-scale societal transformation, David Gershon--founder and president of Empowerment Institute, and described by the United Nations as a "graceful revolutionary"--offers an original and comprehensive roadmap to bring about fundamental change in our world. His goal is to empower change agents to tackle pressing social problems or unmet social needs by providing them with strategies and tools to effect transformative change at any level of scale. From his initiation as architect of the United Nations-sponsored First Earth Run--a mythic passing of fire around the world symbolizing humanity's quest for peace on earth that drew tens of millions of participants, the planet's political leaders and, through the media, over a billion people at the height of the cold war--to his recent climate-change work helping citizens, cities, and entire states measurably reduce their carbon footprint (using his book Low Carbon Diet), Gershon offers readers strategies to evolve an effective new model for social change. These include: The first comprehensive social-change model with proven, practical strategies and tools to either launch a social change initiative or improve the efficacy of any existing change program. A "Practitioner's Guide" accompanying each chapter, to help readers apply this social change framework to their initiative. The result is a riveting, enlightening, and inspiring book that will quickly find its way onto the desks--and into the hearts--of the tens of thousands of change agents engaged in the work of building a better world. Social Change 2.0 speaks to a wide range of practitioners across the spectrum of social change including social and environmental activists, social entrepreneurs, community organizers, and civic, government, and business leaders, as well as the vast number of baby boomers looking for a way to give back and the millennials just raring to go.

Lean Startups for Social Change

Author: Michel Gelobter
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
ISBN: 9781626561519
Release Date: 2015-11-02
Genre: Business & Economics

For years, the lean startup has been revolutionizing both new and established businesses. In this eye-opening book, serial social entrepreneur Michel Gelobter shows how it can do the same for nonprofits. Traditionally, whether creating a new business or a new program, entrepreneurs in all sectors develop a plan, find money to fund it, and pursue it to its conclusion. The problem is, over time conditions can change drastically—but you're locked into your plan. The lean startup is all about agility and flexibility. Its mantra is “build, measure, learn”: create small experimental initiatives, quickly get real-world feedback on them, and use that data to expand what works and discard what doesn't. Using dozens of social sector examples, Gelobter walks you through the process. The standard approach wastes time and money. The lean startup will help your organization vastly increase the good it does.