Ray Ison and Ed Straw, "The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking: Governance in a Climate Emergency" (Routledge, 2020)


The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking: Governance in Climate Emergency (Routledge, 2020) is a persuasive, lively book that shows how systems thinking can be harnessed to effect profound, complex change. 

In the age of the Anthropocene the need for new ways of thinking and acting has become urgent. But patterns of obstacles are apparent in any action – be they corporate interests, lobbyists, or outdated political and government systems.

Ray Ison and Ed Straw show how and why failure in governance is at the heart of our collective incapacity to tackle climate and biodiversity emergencies. They suggest the need for a ‘systemic sensibility’ as a first step in breaking these models, and encourage a reimagining of governance – with the biosphere situated at the center. 

They go beyond analysis of problems, providing actionable guidance for incorporating systems thinking in practice (STiP) into every level of governance, and provide the reader with 21 actionable takeaway principles for systemic governance. 

The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking will be inspiring reading for students of systems thinking that want to understand the application of their methods, specialists in change management or public administration, activists for 'whole system change' as well as decision-makers wanting to effect challenging transformations. This book is for anyone with the ambition to create a sustainable and fair world.

NBN listeners can get a discount on this book by entering the code FLR40 at the Routledge website

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Kevin Lindsay

"What is the pattern that connects the crab to the lobster and the primrose to the orchid, and all of them to me, and me to you?" - Gregory Bateson
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