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Understanding the environment: Flows and feedback
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently...
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently dominating society, rooted in unlimited economic growth unperceptive to its social and environmental impact, cannot resolve the converging environmental, social and economic crises we now face. The primary aim of this unit is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- use the sign graph diagramming technique to develop and communicate a systemic understanding of complex situations;
- identify feedback relationships as fundamental controllers within systems and as points of intervention to enact change.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Unit outline
- 2 Section 4 Resources - Flows and feedback
- 3 Section 4 Activity
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Understanding the environment: flows and feedback
This unit will allow you to extend your visual modelling skills through the use of the sign graph diagramming technique. You will explore the dynamic relationship between social, economic and ecological factors whose interdependencies will determine the complex dynamics of the future as it unfolds. Your final task will be to identify points of intervention within this complex system in order to "nudge" the situation towards a more favourable outcome.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Understanding systems: making sense of complexity (T214) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Environmental Studies courses or view the range of currently available OU Environmental Studies courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 27th July 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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