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The Hidden Dangers of Systems Thinking

In “Thinking In Systems”, the seminal work by Donella H. Meadows she identifies the dangers of systems thinking twofold:

“People who are raised in the industrial world and who get enthused about Systems Thinking are likely to make a terrible mistake. They are likely to assume that here, in systems analysis [..] is the key to prediction and control. The mistake is likely because the mind-set of the industrial world assumes that there is a key to prediction and control.”


“Systems thinking makes clear to even the most committed technocrat that getting along in this world of complex systems requires more than technocracy.”

Systems Thinking is a philosophy about connection. A way of understanding how our systems don’t live in isolation. Therefore don’t expect them to solve everything. Only expect them to change things and not necessarily always for the better.