economic growth and sustainability systems thinking for a complex world

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Economic Growth And Sustainability

Author : Karen L. Higgins
ISBN : 9780128031087
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 70. 67 MB
Format : PDF
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How to sustain our world for future generations has perplexed us for centuries. We have reached a crossroads: we may choose the rocky path of responsibility or continue on the paved road of excess that promises hardship for our progeny. Independent efforts to resolve isolated issues are inadequate. Different from these efforts and from other books on the topic, this book uses systems thinking to understand the dominant forces that are shaping our hope for sustainability. It first describes a mental model - the bubble that holds our beliefs - that emerges from preponderant world views and explains current global trends. The model emphasizes economic growth and drives behavior toward short-term and self-motivated outcomes that thwart sustainability. The book then weaves statistical trends into a system diagram and shows how the economic, environmental, and societal contributors of sustainability interact. From this holistic perspective, it finds leverage points where actions can be most effective and combines eight areas of intervention into an integrated plan. By emphasizing both individual and collective actions, it addresses the conundrum of how to blend human nature with sustainability. Finally, it identifies primary three lessons we can learn by applying systems thinking to sustainability. Its metaphor-rich and accessible style makes the complex topic approachable and allows the reader to appreciate the intricate balance required to sustain life on Earth. Highlights the application of system thinking in economics Identifies systemic leveraging actions for achieving sustainability Outlines a comprehensive and integrated plan for achieving sustainable stewardship in the future

Thinking In Systems

Author : Donella Meadows
ISBN : 1603581480
Genre : Science
File Size : 47. 97 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.

Multi Stakeholder Decision Making For Complex Problems

Author : Kambiz Maani
ISBN : 9789814619752
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 67. 66 MB
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In the complex world of today, important policy and business decisions are still made with a 17th Century reductionist mindset and approach. Yet, complex challenges such as climate change, poverty, public health, security, energy futures, and sustainability transcend any single science, discipline or agency. Rather, they require integration of social, economic, cultural, political, and environmental concerns to achieve acceptable and sustainable outcomes. This entails synthesis of diverse knowledge and perspectives in a transparent and unifying decision-making process, engaging stakeholders with competing interests, perspectives, and agendas under uncertain and often adversarial conditions. Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems — A Systems Thinking Approach with Cases brings together a unique self-contained volume to address this challenge. The book introduces the systems approach in non-technical language for multi-issue, multi-stakeholder decision making supplemented by numerous case studies including business, economics, healthcare, agriculture, energy, sustainability, policy, and planning. The book provides a fresh and timely approach with practical tools for dealing with complex challenges facing evolving global business and society today.

Systems Thinking For Social Change

Author : David Peter Stroh
ISBN : 9781603585811
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 39. 3 MB
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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 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.

The Systems Thinking Playbook

Author : Linda Booth Sweeney
ISBN : 9781603582582
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 74. 26 MB
Format : PDF
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"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 Bubble Economy

Author : Robert U. Ayres
ISBN : 9780262323949
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 21. 25 MB
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The global economy has become increasingly, perhaps chronically, unstable. Since 2008, we have heard about the housing bubble, subprime mortgages, banks "too big to fail," financial regulation (or the lack of it), and the European debt crisis. Wall Street has discovered that it is more profitable to make money from other people's money than by investing in the real economy, which has limited access to capital--resulting in slow growth and rising inequality. What we haven't heard much about is the role of natural resources--energy in particular--as drivers of economic growth, or the connection of "global warming" to the economic crisis. In The Bubble Economy, Robert Ayres--an economist and physicist--connects economic instability to the economics of energy. Ayres describes, among other things, the roots of our bubble economy (including the divergent influences of Senator Carter Glass--of the Glass-Steagall Law--and Ayn Rand); the role of energy in the economy, from the "oil shocks" of 1971 and 1981 through the Iraq wars; the early history of bubbles and busts; the end of Glass-Steagall; climate change; and the failures of austerity. Finally, Ayres offers a new approach to trigger economic growth. The rising price of fossil fuels (notwithstanding "fracking") suggests that renewable energy will become increasingly profitable. Ayres argues that government should redirect private savings and global finance away from home ownership and toward "de-carbonization"--investment in renewables and efficiency. Large-scale investment in sustainability will achieve a trifecta: lowering greenhouse gas emissions, stimulating innovation-based economic growth and employment, and offering long-term investment opportunities that do not depend on risky gambling strategies with derivatives.

Beyond Growth

Author : Herman E. Daly
ISBN : 9780807047064
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 67. 48 MB
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"Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics." --Utne Reader "Considered by most to be the dean of ecological economics, Herman E. Daly elegantly topples many shibboleths in Beyond Growth. Daly challenges the conventional notion that growth is always good, and he bucks environmentalist orthodoxy, arguing that the current focus on 'sustainable development' is misguided and that the phrase itself has become meaningless." --Mother Jones "In Beyond Growth, . . . [Daly] derides the concept of 'sustainable growth' as an oxymoron. . . . Calling Mr. Daly 'an unsung hero,' Robert Goodland, the World Bank's top environmental adviser, says, 'He has been a voice crying in the wilderness.'" --G. Pascal Zachary, The Wall Street Journal "A new book by that most far-seeing and heretical of economists, Herman Daly. For 25 years now, Daly has been thinking through a new economics that accounts for the wealth of nature, the value of community and the necessity for morality." --Donella H. Meadows, Los Angeles Times "For clarity of vision and ecological wisdom Herman Daly has no peer among contemporary economists. . . . Beyond Growth is essential reading." --David W. Orr, Oberlin College "There is no more basic ethical question than the one Herman Daly is asking." --Hal Kahn, The San Jose Mercury News "Daly's critiques of economic orthodoxy . . . deliver a powerful and much-needed jolt to conventional thinking." --Karen Pennar, Business Week Named one of a hundred "visionaries who could change your life" by the Utne Reader,Herman Daly is the recipient of many awards, including a Grawemeyer Award, the Heineken Prize for environmental science, and the "Alternative Nobel Prize," the Right Livelihood Award. He is professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs, and coauthor with John Cobb, Jr., of For the Common Good.

Plan B

Author : Lester Russell Brown
ISBN : 0393325237
Genre : Nature
File Size : 45. 92 MB
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Provides alternative solutions to such global problems as population control, emerging water shortages, eroding soil, and global warming.

The Great Convergence

Author : Kishore Mahbubani
ISBN : 9781610390347
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 77. 14 MB
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The twenty-first century has seen a rise in the global middle class that brings an unprecedented convergence of interests and perceptions, cultures and values. Kishore Mahbubani is optimistic. We are creating a new global civilization. Eighty-eight percent of the world's population outside the West is rising to Western living standards, and sharing Western aspirations. Yet Mahbubani, one of the most perceptive global commentators, also warns that a new global order needs new policies and attitudes. Policymakers all over the world must change their preconceptions and accept that we live in one world. National interests must be balanced with global interests. Power must be shared. The U.S. and Europe must cede some power. China and India, Africa and the Islamic world must be integrated. Mahbubani urges that only through these actions can we create a world that converges benignly. This timely book explains how to move forward and confront many pressing global challenges.

Doughnut Economics

Author : Kate Raworth
ISBN : 9781603586757
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 42. 5 MB
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A Financial Times "Best Book of 2017: Economics” 800-CEO-Read “Best Business Book of 2017: Current Events & Public Affairs” Economics is the mother tongue of public policy. It dominates our decision-making for the future, guides multi-billion-dollar investments, and shapes our responses to climate change, inequality, and other environmental and social challenges that define our times. Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike. That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design. Named after the now-iconic “doughnut” image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like. Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas—from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science—to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow? Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.

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