Systems Thinking and System Change

In systems thinking, there is a concept of spontaneous emergence of new order. There are basic conditions that are necessary for this to happen. First, you need networks of communication. Typically, these involve feedback loops, as do all living systems. The second condition is openness to outside influence. So the network itself is not necessarily enough. Next, you need a disturbance from the outside, a piece of news, that travels fast. When information or a disturbance travels, it becomes amplified. And it can be amplified to such an extent that the entire network structure needs to change. This is when a new order emerges. When working to understand all the world’s problems, I have tried to find the fundamental dilemma underlying them all. It is the illusion of perpetual growth. The pursuit of unlimited growth seems to be the root cause of our multifaceted global crisis. This obsession is built into the design of the modern corporation under the capitalist system. At the heart of corporate structure is the mandate to maximize returns for shareholders, even if this means sacrificing the well-being of employees, the prosperity of local communities, and protection of the planet.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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