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 : 72. 75 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 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
ISBN : 9781603585811
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 71. 24 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 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
ISBN : 1603581480
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 33 MB
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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.

Striving Together

Author : Jeff Edmondson
ISBN : 9781438456065
Genre : EDUCATION
File Size : 53. 54 MB
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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

The Systems Thinking Playbook

Author : Linda Booth Sweeney
ISBN : 9781603582582
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 35. 26 MB
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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 --

Measuring And Improving Social Impacts

Author : Marc J. Epstein
ISBN : 9781609949785
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 60. 36 MB
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The world is beset with enormous problems. And as a nonprofit, NGO, foundation, impact investor, or socially responsible company, your organization is on a mission to solve them. But what exactly should you do? And how will you know whether it’s working? Too many people assume that good intentions will result in meaningful actions and leave it at that. But thanks to Marc Epstein and Kristi Yuthas, social impact can now be evaluated with the same kind of precision achieved for any other organizational function. Based on years of research and analysis of field studies from around the globe, Epstein and Yuthas offer a five-step process that will help you gain clarity about the impacts that matter most to you and will provide you with methods to measure and improve them. They outline a systematic approach to deciding what resources you should invest, what problem you should address, and which activities and organizations you should support. Once you’ve made those decisions, you can use their tools, frameworks, and metrics to define exactly what success looks like, even for goals like reducing global warming or poverty that are extremely difficult to measure. Then they show you how to use that data to further develop and increase your social impact. Epstein and Yuthas personally interviewed leaders at over sixty different organizations for this book and include examples from nearly a hundred more. This is unquestionably the most complete, practical, and thoroughly researched guide to taking a rigorous, data-driven approach to expanding the good you do in the world.

The Climate Change Playbook

Author : Dennis Meadows
ISBN : 9781603586764
Genre : Education
File Size : 65. 58 MB
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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.

Leading From The Emerging Future

Author : Otto Scharmer
ISBN : 9781605099286
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 76. 1 MB
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Our Time Is Now We have entered an age of disruption. Financial collapse, climate change, resource depletion, and a growing gap between rich and poor are but a few of the signs. Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer ask, why do we collectively create results nobody wants? Meeting the challenges of this century requires updating our economic logic and operating system from an obsolete “ego-system” focused entirely on the well-being of oneself to an eco-system awareness that emphasizes the well-being of the whole. Filled with real-world examples, this thought-provoking guide presents proven practices for building a new economy that is more resilient, intentional, inclusive, and aware. “A watershed! An inspiring, practical weaving of the inner and outer dimensions of the systemic changes so many around the world are now working toward.” —Peter Senge, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management; Founding Chair, Society for Organizational Learning; and author of The Fifth Discipline “Scharmer and Kaufer have succeeded in writing the book that has the potential to transform civilization from one based on a rapacious, ego-driven economics to a viable, ecological, awareness-based model. This is a must-read for anyone who cares. It may well be the single most important book you ever read.” —Arthur Zajonc, President, Mind and Life Institute, and author of Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry “Scharmer and Kaufer provide a creative and practical approach to shifting our economies. I see business as a movement, and this book shares that movement with the world, offering us inspiration to tap into the deeper levels of our humanity and urging us to transform the crises of our times.” —Eileen Fisher, founder, Eileen Fisher, Inc. “The shift to an eco-system economy is emerging everywhere around us. Otto’s and Katrin’s clarity in identifying that this shift requires change-makers to expand our thinking from the head to the heart has helped me to be more intentional in designing processes to awaken the hearts of entrepreneurs everywhere. This is a necessary condition for the emergence of the new economy.” —Michelle Long, Executive Director, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies “The purpose of business is to enhance the well-being of society. The 4.0 framework for transforming capitalism matters because it addresses a blind spot in our current discourse: how to create institutional innovations that could shift our economy from ego- to eco-system awareness at the scale of the whole.” —Guilherme Peirão Leal, founder and Cochairman, Natura Cosméticos

Productive Workplaces Revisited

Author : Marvin R. Weisbord
ISBN : 0787973297
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 36. 79 MB
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Purposeful Program Theory

Author : Sue C. Funnell
ISBN : 0470939893
Genre : Education
File Size : 27. 36 MB
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Between good intentions and great results lies a program theory—not just a list of tasks but a vision of what needs to happen, and how. Now widely used in government and not-for-profit organizations, program theory provides a coherent picture of how change occurs and how to improve performance. Purposeful Program Theory shows how to develop, represent, and use program theory thoughtfully and strategically to suit your particular situation, drawing on the fifty-year history of program theory and the authors' experiences over more than twenty-five years. "From needs assessment to intervention design, from implementation to outcomes evaluation, from policy formulation to policy execution and evaluation, program theory is paramount. But until now no book has examined these multiple uses of program theory in a comprehensive, understandable, and integrated way. This promises to be a breakthrough book, valuable to practitioners, program designers, evaluators, policy analysts, funders, and scholars who care about understanding why an intervention works or doesn't work." —Michael Quinn Patton, author, Utilization-Focused Evaluation "Finally, the definitive guide to evaluation using program theory! Far from the narrow 'one true way' approaches to program theory, this book provides numerous practical options for applying program theory to fulfill different purposes and constraints, and guides the reader through the sound critical thinking required to select from among the options. The tour de force of the history and use of program theory is a truly global view, with examples from around the world and across the full range of content domains. A must-have for any serious evaluator." —E. Jane Davidson, PhD, Real Evaluation Ltd. Companion Web site: josseybass.com/go/funnellrogers

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