What is Systems Thinking?
Everything is Related
Systems Thinking is an approach to understanding anything and everything! The idea is that everything is related – everything is part of a system!
A great example of applying a Systems Thinking approach is the plastic recyclable water bottle:
It’s good to drink lots of water (sustains human health!)
It’s good to drink filtered water (it’s convenient to buy it in a plastic water bottle!)
When it’s empty you can recycle the water bottle (great! But maybe there’s a better solution)
What’s the problem with recyclable plastic water bottles?
Recyclable plastic water bottles are part of a complex system that uses a lot of resources beyond water!
The system includes:
- drilling for oil to make the plastic (uses a lot of energy!)
- making bottles (uses a lot of energy!)
- filling bottles (uses a lot of energy!)
- transporting bottles (uses a lot of energy!)
- refrigerating bottles (uses a lot of energy!)
- recycling bottles (uses energy!)
And what is source of the energy?
- Coal? (large carbon emissions!)
- Natural gas? (about half the carbon emissions…)
- Wind? (zero carbon emissions!)
- Solar? (zero carbon emissions!)
Buy a permanent water bottle
and refill it yourself at a water bottle re-fill station!
You can refill it at home and at three locations on campus:
- The Memorial Student Union Building
- The Steinke Physical Education Center
- The Student Recreation Center (coming soon)
To learn more:
This page was last updated on: August 07, 2013