4.4 Systems diagrams
Finally, in this segment on systems, a brief word about diagrams.
A very effective way to ‘consider’ systems – i.e. to use them as heuristics – is to draw diagrams.
Earlier, you will have noted that a system is a set of interconnected elements comprising a whole within an environment (in the systems sense). Diagrams can be a very powerful way of exploring, learning about, and expressing this kind of connectivity and complexity. Certainly you can talk and write about systems, but one way to make them dynamic and immersive is to draw them. In this unit, you will meet a variety of diagram types to help you explore and learn about your perspective on environmental management systems. An overview of systems diagrams, conventions, use and worked examples are included in the free course and also in the Guide to Diagrams. Diagrams then become useful ways of comparing your perspective with others – again as heuristics for learning.
To provide you with an introduction to how important perspective is to environmental management ideas and practices, part of this unit is focused on exploring changing perspectives in environmental management.