SYSTEMS THINKING FOR SOCIAL CHANGE A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SOLVING COMPLEX PROBLEMS AVOIDING UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES AND ACHIEVING LASTING RESULTS

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Systems Thinking For Social Change

Author : David Peter Stroh
ISBN : 9781603585804
Genre :
File Size : 42.42 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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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.
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Systems Thinking For Social Change

Author : David Peter Stroh
ISBN : 9781603585811
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 62.56 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
Download : 405
Read : 423

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.
Category: Business & Economics

Measuring And Improving Social Impacts

Author : Marc J. Epstein
ISBN : 9781351276221
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 52.79 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Docs
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Identifying, measuring and improving social impact is a significant challenge for corporate and private foundations, charities, NGOs and corporations. How best to balance possible social and environmental benefits (and costs) against one another? How does one bring clarity to multiple possibilities and opportunities? Based on years of work and new field studies from around the globe, the authors have written a book for managers that is grounded in the best academic and managerial research.It is a practical guide that describes the steps needed for identifying, measuring and improving social impact. This approach is useful in maximizing the impact of different types of investments, including grants and donations, impact investments, and commercial investments.With numerous examples of actual organizational approaches, research into more than fifty organizations, and extensive practical guidance and best practices, Measuring and Improving Social Impacts fills a critical gap.
Category: Business & Economics

Thinking In Systems

Author : Donella Meadows
ISBN : 1603581480
Genre : Science
File Size : 21.93 MB
Format : PDF
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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.
Category: Science

Resilience Thinking

Author : Brian Walker
ISBN : 1597266221
Genre : Nature
File Size : 77.35 MB
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Increasingly, cracks are appearing in the capacity of communities, ecosystems, and landscapes to provide the goods and services that sustain our planet's well-being. The response from most quarters has been for "more of the same" that created the situation in the first place: more control, more intensification, and greater efficiency. "Resilience thinking" offers a different way of understanding the world and a new approach to managing resources. It embraces human and natural systems as complex entities continually adapting through cycles of change, and seeks to understand the qualities of a system that must be maintained or enhanced in order to achieve sustainability. It explains why greater efficiency by itself cannot solve resource problems and offers a constructive alternative that opens up options rather than closing them down. In Resilience Thinking, scientist Brian Walker and science writer David Salt present an accessible introduction to the emerging paradigm of resilience. The book arose out of appeals from colleagues in science and industry for a plainly written account of what resilience is all about and how a resilience approach differs from current practices. Rather than complicated theory, the book offers a conceptual overview along with five case studies of resilience thinking in the real world. It is an engaging and important work for anyone interested in managing risk in a complex world.
Category: Nature

The Systems View Of Life

Author : Fritjof Capra
ISBN : 9781107011366
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 55.53 MB
Format : PDF
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The first volume to integrate life's biological, cognitive, social, and ecological dimensions into a single, coherent framework.
Category: Business & Economics

Striving Together

Author : Jeff Edmondson
ISBN : 9781438456065
Genre : EDUCATION
File Size : 56.18 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Chronicles the development of a framework for collective impact in education through the perspectives of its founders and lessons learned from pioneering sites. In 2006, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky had been suffering from many of the same challenges facing metro regions across the country. Despite significant investments in education from the public and private sectors, outcomes were alarming: Kindergarten readiness was below fifty percent, and nearly half of the students in the Cincinnati Public Schools were dropping out before high school graduation. Fortunately, a diverse group of community leaders across sectors was exploring a transformative approach to improving education as a system. This gathering of leaders was the genesis of the StrivePartnership, which served as the inspiration for the theory of collective impact. Together, these partners are building a cradle-to-career civic infrastructure based on the idea that everyone in a community has a stake in the success of every child. This book chronicles the early stages of this ongoing journey from the perspective of the founding chair and director of this work, drawing upon lessons from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky and four other pioneering local partnerships. The experiences captured in these five regions helped lay the foundation for the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network, a national community of practice on the cutting edge of social change. “I have always held that education is the responsibility of the entire community—not just the schools. StriveTogether’s experience shows that it is possible to drive the systemic change we need. I recommend this book to all who are looking for a community-wide roadmap to a better future for our children.” — Richard W. Riley, former US Secretary of Education “No one sector can tackle society’s challenges alone. Striving Together’s practical guide offers excellent tools for leaders in all sectors to use in creating collaborative solutions to improve education and outcomes for children. It’s inspiring to see communities coming together to create opportunities for all children with a cradle-to-career approach.” — Stacey D. Stewart, US President, United Way Worldwide “History provides many examples of efforts to help whole communities to thrive. Collective impact is the latest and most promising idea for how to get it done, and StriveTogether is the leading example on the ground. This book is a welcome contribution, representing the state of the art!” — Ronald F. Ferguson, Faculty Co-Chair and Director, the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University; Faculty Co-Director, Pathways to Prosperity at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Category: EDUCATION

The Climate Change Playbook

Author : Dennis Meadows
ISBN : 9781603586764
Genre : Education
File Size : 72.57 MB
Format : PDF, Docs
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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.
Category: Education

Social Theory

Author : Roberta Garner
ISBN : 9781442606487
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 56.6 MB
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The organization of this popular social theory reader, which pairs classical articles with contemporary theoretical and empirical studies, highlights the historical flow of social theory and demonstrates how disagreements and confrontations shape theory over time. Written in clear, down-to-earth language, the introductions to each selection link theorists to one another, illustrating how theoretical traditions are not rigidly separate but are always in conversation, addressing and challenging each other. The third edition incorporates significant changes: more readings reflecting a wide diversity of theorists, a completely revamped chapter on gender, new chapters on race and culture, and unique material on the "transitional giants" who have helped to transform classical theory into contemporary theory. As well, new contextual and biographical materials surround each reading and each chapter includes a study guide with key terms and innovative discussion questions and classroom exercises. The result is a fresh take on social theory that foregrounds a plurality of perspectives and reflects contemporary trends in the field, while still managing to be a teachable and affordable text.
Category: Social Science