03 June 2019
Understanding Systems Science: A Visual and Integrative Approach
Systems thinking is considered a much-needed competence to deal better with an increasingly interlinked and complex world. The many streams within systems science have diversified perspectives, theories and methods, but have also complicated the field as a whole. This makes it difficult to understand and master the field. Short introductions to fundamental questions of systems science are rare. This paper is divided into three parts and aims to do the following: (1) to provide a broad overview of the structure and purpose of system science; (2) to present a set of key systems principles and relate them to theoretical streams; and (3) to describe aspects of systems-oriented methodologies within a general process cycle. Integrative visualizations have been included to highlight the relationships between concepts, perspectives and systems thinkers. Several new attempts have been made to define and organize system concepts and streams in order to provide greater overall coherence and easier understanding.
Last edited: 13 June 2019
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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