DOI link for Systems
The goal of this chapter is to inspire students and give them a framework for the entire course. Chapter 1 orients students to the purpose of the coursebook: empowerment for personal happiness and change agency for a sustainable world. It then provides an explanation of what systems thinking is, largely based on the work of Donella Meadows. It explains aspects of systems, including interdependence and feedback looks. Leverage points, following the scholarship of Kambiz Maani and Robert Cavana, are explained. The explanations are given with stories and illustrations to encourage the student to discover their own ideas for systems change. Applications of the concepts are given with highlights about the history of gross domestic product as a metric; the Easterlin Paradox; happiness measurements, national rankings and implications; and sustainability and prosperity. Throughout the rest of the coursebook, systems thinking is used, with application of interdependence, feedback loops and leverage points to explain concepts and the potential implication of change.