Essays on Systems Thinking Is Critical in Developing Solutions to Sustainability Challenges Essay

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Systems’ Thinking Is Critical in Developing Solutions to Sustainability Challenges" is a great example of a business essay.   The main pressing policy challenges for the government include addressing very complex policy issues. The high complexity level of these policy problems has led them to be called wicked problems. In this context, the word wicked is used to refer to a problem that is extremely resistant to resolution; it doesn’ t mean evil. Examples of wicked problems include climate change, obesity, overfishing and indigenous disadvantage. Wicked problems challenge the governing structures, the skills base and the organizational capacity of the government (Clarke and Stewart, 1997).

Successful resolution or even just controlling these wicked problems depends on the re-evaluation of a number of the conventional ways of operational and solving problems in the country. It needs wider recognition and understanding of the fact that there are no simple solutions and quick fixes. Solving wicked problems is an emerging art. System thinking plays a significant role in tackling wicked problems (Roberts, 2000). This paper will draw on climate change to demonstrate that systems’ thinking is critical in developing solutions to sustainability challenges.

It will discuss factors such as behaviour change, effective working across organizational boundaries, supportive structures and skill-base, accountability frameworks and citizens’ and stakeholders' involvement in problem-solving. The present debate as regards the factors causing climate change and its solutions illustrates most of the features of wicked problems. The world’ s climate is made up of subsystems such as the ocean, the atmosphere, the land and human beings. These systems interact to cause climate change, hence making it a complex problem. Almost all human activities are assumed to affect the climate, including traveling, cooking, and making books among others.

Climate change also tends to affect every aspect of our lives as it jeopardizes our access to clean water, national security, our health, food prices and economic opportunity for the future generation.

Bibliography

Bentley, T. and J. Wilsdon, J. 2003. ‘Introduction: The Adaptive State’, in T. Bentley and J. Wilsdon (eds), The Adaptive State— Strategies for Personalising the Public Realm, Demos, London, p. 26.

Booth Sweeney L. 2010. The systems thinking playbook: Exercises to Stretch and Build Learning and Systems Thinking Capabilities. Chelsea Green Publishing.

Clarke, M. and Stewart, J. 1997. ‘Handling the Wicked Issues—A Challenge for Government’ (University of Birmingham, School of Public Policy Discussion Paper), University of Birmingham, p. 4.

Conklin, J. 2006. Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex, p. 34.

Dickerson, K., D. Torres, J.-M. Canet, J. Smiciklas, D. Faulkner, C. Bueti, and Vassiliev, A. 2010. “Using ICTs to Tackle Climate Change,” Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), Brussels, Belgium, Tech. Rep.

Gundersson L and Holling CS. 2002. Panarchy: Understanding Transformations In Human And Natural Systems. Island Press.

Meadows DH. 2008. Thinking in systems: A primer. Chelsea Green Publishing.

Mulgan, G. 2006. ‘360 Degree Improvement and the Imperative of Social Innovation’ (Address to the National School of Government, UK Public Services Reform Conference, London, pg 3.

Mulgan, G. and Lee, A. 2001. Better Policy Delivery and Design: A Discussion Paper (UK Cabinet Office, Performance and Innovation Unit), p. 4.

Roberts, N. 2000. ‘Coping With Wicked Problems’ (Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, Department of Strategic Management Working Paper).

Sterman, J. D. 2012. Sustaining Sustainability: Creating a Systems Science in a Fragmented Academy and Polarized World. In M. P. Weinstein & R. E. Turner (Eds.), Sustainability Science: The Emerging Paradigm and the Urban Environment (pp. 21– 58). New York, NY: Springer New York.

Sterman, J.D. 2011. “Communicating climate change risks in a sceptical world, “Climatic Change, vol. 108, no. 4, pp. 811–826.

Turner, G. M. 2008 .A comparison of The Limits to Growth with 30 years of reality. Global Environmental Change, 18(3), 397–411.

Walker BH. and Salt D. 2006. Resilience thinking: sustaining ecosystems and people in a changing world. Island Press.

Weinberg GM. 2000. An Introduction to General Systems Theory. Dorset House; 2001.

Jackson MC. Systems Approaches to Management. Springer.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us