Christoph E. Mandl, Managing Complexity in Social Systems
Why do policies and strategies often fail, and what can be done about it? How can complexity be managed in cases where it cannot be reduced?
The answers to these questions are anything but trivial, and can only be found by combining insights from complexity science, system dynamics, system theory and systems thinking.
Rooted in the seminal works of Gregory Bateson, Jay Forrester, Donella Meadows, Peter Senge, W. Brian Arthur, John Sterman and Thomas Schelling, this book bridges the gap between rigorous science and real-life experience to explore the potential and limitations of leverage points in implementing policies and strategies.
It also presents diagnostic tools to help recognize system archetypes, as well as the powerful language of stock and flow diagrams, which allows us to think in terms of circular causality. These tools are subsequently employed to thoroughly analyze particularly thorny problems such as global climate change, the tragedy of the commons, path dependence, diffusion of innovations, and exponential growth of inequality.
Christoph E. Mandl is co-founder of SoL Austria and Global SoL