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Mallika J.
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I thought the simplest way to address these 10 tests was to address each one individually. Test #1: Mission -> Vision are short and simple; While the MENV vision and mission are somewhat wordy, they are a single sentence each, rather than a paragraph. To me, the message of each... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2017 at Mouserat
I’ll be the first to admit that I was a little confused by direction taken by Section 3 of Systems Thinking Made Simple. While Section 1 was all about how to democratize systems thinking, so that anyone could apply to any problem, Section 3 seemed primarily targeted at company founders... Continue reading
Posted Apr 25, 2017 at Mouserat
In section two of Systems Made Simple, the Cabreras introduce their tool for system visualization: meta-mapping. As a data visualization enthusiast, I agreed with many of the points they made about not over-using colors, different shapes, and relational lines. In addition, I thought they offered an intuitive tool for visualizing... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at Mouserat
Last week I found myself trying to explain to a colleague what systems thinking was. It was too bad I hadn’t started Systems Thinking Made Simple, or I have done exactly what the Cabreras say not to do, which is simply provide a laundry list of concepts encompassed by the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2017 at Mouserat
In the first two chapters of her book, A Finer Future is Possible, Hunter Lovins outlines how the neoliberal economic mode of thinking came to dominate global discourse and drove our society to push the limits of what our environment can bear. I found these chapters to be a succinct... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2017 at Mouserat
Within the energy industry, people are focused on efficiency. Efficiency means lower costs, less land needed for power plants, and, in the case of fossil fuel resources, fewer emissions. It also generally means higher returns for shareholders and lower rates for customers. However, as a heavily technological system, resilience within... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at Mouserat
My first job was at a company that had just experienced a major change. The company used to run a statewide energy conservation program, and had recently lost that contract to a competitor. In addition, they were subject to some longer-term pressures, such as the increasing need for computer systems... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at Mouserat
Often as knowledgeable practitioners in a certain field or subject matter, it can be easy to overlook the opinions of stakeholders. We find ourselves thinking “well, if people only understood how their actions were affecting our planet, they would listen to me!” However, to take this approach to stakeholders if... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2017 at Mouserat
For this class, we started our exploration of systems with the analog of blind men reaching erroneous conclusions about an elephant, by only experiencing and understanding one part of the larger system. Now, we have moved on to the messier idea of “soft systems thinking” which characterizes the world as... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2017 at Mouserat
In Chapter 6, Meadows introduces a list of leverage points, ordered from the least effective to most effective places to seek change. Easterbrook then applies these leverage points to the climate and financial systems, in order to demonstrate how the solutions we typically pursue to societal problems often target the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at Mouserat
1) “The Sustainable Economy” provides a good example of how a system can self-organize to respond to changing circumstances. Meadows defines self-organization as “the capacity of a system to make its own structure more complex” (Meadows, 79). The formation of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition demonstrates the capacity of private companies,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Mouserat
This week’s reading got me thinking about how the characteristics of systems can interact to affect a systems function or purpose. I work part-time at a company called the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), located in the Sustainability Innovation Lab at Colorado (SILC). ISET works on a variety... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Mouserat
Thinking in Systems provides an alternative to “science, logic, and reductionism,” which typically take precedent over “intuition and holism” in postindustrial society (Meadows, 4). The objective of systems thinking is to understand not just the elements of a system, but how those elements relate to each other in order to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2017 at Mouserat