World has many urgent problems that may not be able to be
addressed by the current reasoning constructs and systems
of our current societies. The mental models we are all walking
around with every day are like memberships in levels of organizing,
clubs of thinking and reasoning in society that we continue
to justify is the state of the art in progress and civilization.
But is it really?
of citizens know the ozone layer and global warming is an
urgent crisis, so do governments. This winter millions of
salmon in western Canada have fallen off the food chain, millions
of eastern salmon have frozen in the Atlantic in ocean ice
storms, an unheard of statistic in our modern time. And yet
the hottest selling transportation is SUV's, that have low
emission standards and use a lot more gas. It is like we are
beginning to fall into an invisible funnel of problems that
is effecting the very survival and future of humanity. But
we continue along in the same constructs and systems and thinking.
We have to ask ourselves what is the game we are playing and
can we create a new game to move out of the funnel of problems
we are slipping into. Well basically the game we have been
playing is a system.
competitive free mostly unregulated market based economic
socially engineered system that is based on economic winning
without looking at the effects of human created processes
and their effects on the life systems that sustain all of
humanity and their effects on the social and moral fabric
of a balanced society.
of these global problems are approaching a crisis level in
the proportion to the current models and support systems that
the political nation state economic systems and Non Governmental
Organizations have to offer in handling them. Let's face it.
We all know gargantuan problems are threatening survival itself.
With problems like staggering disparity and rapid warming
of the globe, infectious disease, loss of top soil, population,
global economic disparity etc. The word complexity needs
highlighting. Where these intricately tangled global problems
are heading is entirely beyond our ability to predict or control.
Each is an immensely complex global system with a life of
As a global civilization we are in a watershed moment worldwide
in addressing global governance issues and problems. An old
top down rigid civilization is reluctantly holding onto old
outdated patterns and systems. From a systems standpoint the
old systems are based on a command and control model of civilization
that has taken us very rapidly to the current state of global
development. There is a systems principle that says a system
must be as diverse as its environment in order to remain viable.
This is a fundamental question to the current systems of our
experts are now seeing that new self organizing systems must
be formed and are indeed beginning to be formed to address
the urgent problems of our time.
system is a group of interacting, interrelated, and interdependent
elements forming a complex whole. Systems Thinking and General
Systems Theory is a body of theory and method that has been
developing for years to enable leaders, groups, managers and
organizations to better understand complex, nonlinear or 'non-straight-line
or top-down' social, organizational, political, economic and
environmental systems. Systems
Thinking, and the related disciplines of mental models, shared
vision, and team learning…are concerned with a shift of Mind
from seeing 'Parts' to seeing
' Wholes' and whole systems as methods of organizing and
reframing. Systems thinking sees the interrelationships
and interconnections and observes how systems behave over
time and what happens to systems when new elements are introduced
to the system. Systems thinking sees the way the pieces of
a system are connected (i.e. its structure) which determines
the outcomes it can generate. In systems theory changing one
part of a system may affect the behavior of other parts --
and the overall system -- in complicated ways over time. These
issues need to be understood because we are all dependent
on systems of life, systems of civilization and systems of
thinking. Human systems are the reflection of our mental
models and vice versa that are the systems we live within.
utilized by technical model builders, more recently 'Systems
Thinking' has been used as a basis for tools and processes
aimed at accelerating 'Learning Organizations' and is now
being used to look at models of accelerating Learning Societies,
restructuring environmental sustainability, assisting social
and global problems by forming new connected models and resources.
It is becoming very clear that new organizational self organizing
systems that move beyond the command and control top down
model are urgently needed to address global problems. The
very complexity of global problems demands new learning systems
that have the resources and support systems to help facilitate
solutions to urgent global problems. It appears the systems
thinking approach is a wonderful living model that can begin
to facilitate. 'Webs of Governance' in global problems that
could make a difference in our complex world.
is our view that the 'Natural Systems Thinking Process' and
methodologies are urgently needed in our world and that every
leader in economic, political and business needs coursework
in Systems Thinking, General Systems Theory and Natural Systems
Thinking and the Systems Thinking Organizational Development
Processes . If this can occur we can begin to develop the
global reasoning and new models of support systems to address
the urgent problems of our time by influencing and redesigning
organizational, social, political and economic systems to
be more in
line with Natural Systems Processes.
and Bioregionalism are active wonderful living examples of
Systems thinking theory in action.
Innovations Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus, William Morrow,
New York,NY 1997 Website: http://www.biomimicry.org
exquisitely adapted to their homes and to other organisms
while humans are not. Nature has already solved the problems
that we are trying to solve (struggle for food, water, space
and shelter in a finite habitat). Biomimicry occurs where
ecology meets agriculture, medicine, materials science, energy,
computing and commerce.
Operating System Principles:
Nature runs on sunlight.
Nature uses only the energy it needs.
Nature fits form to function.
Nature recycles everything.
Nature rewards cooperation.
Nature banks on diversity.
Nature demands local expertise.
Nature curbs excesses from within.
Nature taps the power of limits.
do We Do?
Change of heart needed, humbling us to be attentive to nature's
Must stop consuming nature's capital. Organisms in a Mature
Use Waste as a Resource.
Diversify and Cooperate to Fully Use the Local Habitat
Gather and Use Energy Efficiently.
Optimize Rather Than Maximize.
Use Materials Sparingly.
Don't Foul Their Nests.
Don't Draw Down Resources.
Remain in Balance with the Biosphere.
Run on Information.
Bioregion is an area that shares similar topography, plant
and animal life, and human culture. Bioregionalism is an aim
to be present in the bioregion community. To find a balance
between the resident community's needs for livelihoods and
the potential for natural resources in their own bioregions,
as defined by ecological, economic, and social criteria. The
Bioregionalism movement is another living example of systems
thinking in action.
links on Systems Thinking include:
appears a Systems Thinking and a systems modeling approach
to Global Problems is
something that could be discussed here. If
you would like to post your comments on
Systems Thinking and Global Problems...click here.
Self Organizing, Whole Systems,
Web of Life or Web of Governance Models to address urgent