Ag Systems Intro

More Intro to Ag Systems

A Review

Working with Mental Models

Mental Models Intro ppt

Mental Models Reading

Working with “the Iceberg”

Finding Root Causes

How to find “structure”

Stories within Stories

Useful Mental Models

Changing Minds (or not)

Useful Mental Models


Don’t Think of an Elephant

Understanding Reframing

Using the “Upside Down Iceberg”

Power Point on Reframing Local Food

Lessons from Cognitive Science

Frames and Brains: going deeper

 Causal Loop Diagrams

Getting Started with CLD PowerPoint

Systems Thinking and Causal Loops

Fixes that Fail


From Causal Loops to System Dynamics

Intro to Causal Loops and System Dynamics

System Dynamics Model for Flowers (created by kids)

Causal Loops and Sustainability

The Commodity Systems Challenge

Industrial Agriculture: a slowly moving disaster


Ladder of Inference (learning perspective)

Peter Senge on the Ladder of Inference  To Download

An example of the Ladder of Inference

Climbing Down the Ladder of Inference

We Become What We Practice reading       To Download

Five Whys

The Tipping Point (ppt)


More Systems Tools

The Iceberg

Personal Holistic Goal

Five Disciplines

Mental Models

Moments of Awareness

Personal Mastery

Shared Vision

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Dancing with Systems

Systems Thinking Quotes


Interaction Institute for Social Change Resources

The Systems Thinker

The Next System Blog (Living Systems)

Karl North and Eco-intelligence

John Gerber’s Ag Systems Blogs

Ecological Tipping Point Lessons

Racial Justice and the Food System

A Gift Economy

Introduction to the gift economy

Two Economies – Wendall Berry

The Gift Economy and Schumacher College

Buddhist Economics – E.F. Schumacher

Gift Economy Story

Some Readings


Systems Change Videos


Principle References Used to Develop the Course:

  1. Capra, F. 1996. The Web of Life. Anchor Press.
  2. Krafel, P. 1999. Seeing Nature: Deliberate Encounters with the Visible World. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Vermont.
  3. Meadows, D.H. 2008. Thinking in Systems. Chelsea Green Press
  4. Senge, P. et al. 1994. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. Doubleday Publishing Group.
  5. Wilson, K. and G.E.B Morren Jr. 1990. Systems Approaches for Improvement in Agricultural and Resource Management. MacMillan Pub. Co.

Additional References Used to Develop the Course:

  1. Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., and M. Silverstein. 1977. A Pattern Language. Oxford University Press.
  2. Anderson, V. and L. Johnson. 1997. Systems Thinking Basics: From Concepts to Causal Loops. Pegasus Communications.
  3. Bateson, G. 1972. Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Chandler Publishing.
  4. Bohm, D. and D. Peat. 1987. Science, Order, and Creativity. Bantam Books
  5. Capra, F. 1984.  The Turning Point: Science, Society and the Rising Culture. Bantam. Press.
  6. Carroll, C.R., Vandermeer, J.H., and P. M. Rossett. 1990. Agroecology. McGraw-Hill Press.
  7. Edwards, C.A., Lal, R., Madden, P., Miller, R.H., and G. House. 1990. Sustainable Agriculture Systems. Soil and Water Conservation Society Press.
  8. Few, A.A. 1996. System Behavior and System Modeling. University Science Books.Holmgren, D. 2009. Future Scenarios. Chelsea Green Press.
  9. Holmgren, D. 2009. Future Scenarios. Chelsea Green Press.
  10. Lazlo, E. 2001. The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision for Our Time. Hampton Press.
  11. Margulis, L. and D. Sagan. 1995. What is Life? University of California Press.
  12. Meadows, D.H. 2008. Thinking in Systems. Chelsea Green Press
  13. Varela, F. J. 1999. Ethical Know-How: Action, Wisdom and Cognition. Stanford University Press.
  14. Von Bertalanffy, L. 1968. General Systems Theory. Braziller Press
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Intro to Walk Out Walk On