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Hi Johnb,
OK, are you drowning in resources yet?
Forwarding this via our TSCG contact address in order to preserve the HTML table formatting.
Another response from my query to folks re systems thinking primmers and weightier tomes.
John S.

Here's the reading list so far from respondents on the Systems Thinking World group on LinkedIn. The
first two were specifically highlighted for permaculturists, the last entry as a 'fun, light read’. I've
included people's comments below. I’ve added Peter Checkland’s more recent book “Learning for
Action” to the list as it looks more like an introductory book than the SSM tome.

Donella Thinking in Systems: A

Meadows Primer

Peter Soft Systems

Checkland Methodology in Action Peter-Checkland/dp/0471986054/ref=sr_1_4?

Peter Learning for Action


Patrick The Fractal

Hoverstadt Organization sustainable-organizations/dp/0470060565

Stafford Beer The Brain of the Firm


Draper Systems One


Barry An introduction to

Richmond Systems Thinking with

Jon Walker The Viable System

Model php?page=home

W. L. Friends in High Places

Livingston Livingston/dp/0937063061

Gerald M. General Principles of

Weinberg, Systems Design Design-Weinberg/dp/0932633072

Gerald M An introduction to

Weinberg General Systems Thinking-ebook/dp/B004VS9AUS/ref=sr_1_1?
Thinking s=digital-

Chris Notes on the synthesis

Alexander of form Paperbacks/dp/0674627512

Bela Designing Social

H.Banathy Systems in a Changing systems-in-a-changing-world
World (Contemporary
Systems Thinking)

Douglas Gödel, Escher, Bach:ödel,_Escher,_Bach

Hofstadter An Eternal Golden

Robert Wootton B.A.Hons. • The Fractal Organization by Patrick Hoverstadt you should find useful.
Also "The Brain of the Firm" by Stafford Beer in which the concept of the viability of systems is
developed should be on the Essential Reading list for students.

Allen Woods • While I agree with the previous post. a penny dropping book for me is: An introduction to
General Systems Thinking By Gerald M Weinberg, ISBN 0-932633-49-8 Published by: Dorest House
Publishing of New York. Not a light read, but I came to systems thinking via Deming et al, with
hindsight not a particularly recommended route, had I been fortunate enough to be lead by the nose, as
opposed to the kind of independent bimbling I did, I am sure that this book or something like it would
have been one of the first would have been in there somewhere as directed reading.

Fabian Szulanski • Here go three nice options:

Systems One, by Draper Kaufman:
An introduction to Systems Thinking with STELLA:
Thinking in Systems: A Primer, by Donella Meadows

Roger Harnden • I still think that very little has bettered Peter Checkland's Soft System Methodology. If
your focus is the Permaculture community and hands-on experience, then Jon Walker is your man. [Of
course, one might think that 'whole systems governance' is a contradiction in terms; and, that someone
who is to teach a graduate class needs more than a 'short/introductory' book ☺☺]

Jack Ring • If you don't understand William L. Livingston III's Goal-seeking System model in Friends In
High Places, FES Publishing, then you aren't there yet. Two or more systems engaged in co-
evolutionary optimization.
Ilia Bider • I would suggest a companion to Gerry's book "An introduction to General Systems Thinking"
called "General Principles of Systems Design" (by Gerald M. Weinberg, Daniela Weinberg) as better
suited for the goal.

Patrick Hoverstadt • Thanks for the plug Robert! Knowing a few permaculturalists... I think something
system dynamicsy should work for them, so Donella Meadows "thinking in systems"
Chris Alexander also goes down well in those circles - "pattern language" is a bit chunky, but there's his
brilliant little book "notes on the synthesis of form" which has "how to design a village" as a case at the
Fabian Szulanski • Maybe Bela Banathy's work on social systems & design can add some value as
lewis campbell • Thanks for the adding to my already long reading list.... : 0 ) If you are looking for a
fun, light read, that is profound in relative systems....a satirical look some might call it..
Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid is a 1979 book by Douglas Hofstadter, described by his
publishing company as "a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll".
Published: 1979 Author: Douglas Hofstadter Original language: English

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:permaculture-] On Behalf Of Hugh Kelly
Sent: 15 August 2012 14:52
To: 'International Permaculture List'
Subject: Re: [Permaculture International] Best intro book for systems thinking/cybernetics?

I'm asking around about the best book to recommend, but in the meantime
is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the application of systems thinking, and a good portal
for connecting with the thousands of people around the world who have the same interest.
Hugh Kelly

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Graham Burnett
Sent: 15 August 2012 10:18
To: International Permaculture List
Subject: Re: [Permaculture International] Best intro book for systems thinking/cybernetics?

Got to be Donella Meadows' ' Thinking In Systems, A Primer'. Even I understood it!

On 15/08/12 18:11, John Schinnerer wrote:

> Aloha,
> What does anyone here think is the best short/intro book in terms of
> presenting, explaining, clarifying systems thinking and cybernetics as
> foundations of design?
> It could be a permaculture book, or not.
> This will be part of required reading for a graduate level class a
> colleague of mine is teaching on whole systems governance at ACU in
> January (
> The systems/cybernetics part is the needed content, and, if it were a
> permaculture book as well, that would be OK and have some side
> benefits perhaps... :-)
> thanks,
> John S.

Graham Burnett

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