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Systems Thinking for Social Change

A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results
Narrated by: Tia Rider
Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Non-member price: $27.79

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Publisher's Summary

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 listeners 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 listenable, effective guide to understanding systems and using that knowledge to get the results you want. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015 David Peter Stroh (P)2019 Chelsea Green Publishing

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  • darlene judson
  • 31-07-2019

Listener beware: The word is causal NOT "casual"

The narrator repeatedly mispronounces causal as casual. "Casual" feedback loops and "casual" loop diagramming undermine a foundational premise of the systems thinking approach. Mentally substitute the correct word as you listen to this otherwise exceptional book.

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  • BooksGa101
  • 03-03-2020

Many of the supporting figures are not included

The reading was a bit repetitive however it does a good job explaining how to map a system.

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  • Bmerey
  • 20-09-2019

great read for anyone working in social systems

Has plenty of examples of how to work in a system not just in one area, how it effects and impacts change.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-07-2020

Systems Thinking: a way to interconnect

I have always been attracted to systems thinking, this book gave me a more in depth look of systems thinking. Not only a tool to describe interconnection but also a tool to be being interconnected, not only a thing but a being.