Systems Thinking

  • Peter C. Bishop
  • Andy Hines


Systems thinking is a fundamental perspective of future studies. Even calling it a “perspective” underestimates its importance. Some claim that it is the paradigm of foresight. It is the lens through which futurists view the world. It embodies some of the foundational principles of foresight, such as:
  • Every entity (thing) is a system that consists of parts (subsystems) and which is also a part of larger systems — a “holon” to use Arthur Koestler’s term popularized by Ken Wilber (2001, 27)

  • Every system and every part of a system are connected to every other system, at least indirectly

  • Systems and parts of a system interact in ways that can produce surprising and counter-intuitive results

  • The tendency to produce unexpected results makes predicting the outcome of systems’ interaction difficult, if not impossible.


Mental Model Cellular Automaton System Behavior Chaotic Behavior Cellular Automaton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Peter C. Bishop and Andy Hines 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter C. Bishop
    • 1
  • Andy Hines
    • 1
  1. 1.University of HoustonUSA

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