The Systems Thinking Playbook: Exercises to Stretch and Build Learning and Systems Thinking Capabilities

L.B. Sweeney, D. Meadows

To get to know the concept of sustainability and playfully master the behavioral elements related to it, it is essential to realize that we are part of a common humanity and that our lives are inextricably linked. This not only results in social responsibility but also cooperation and common thinking. The book by Sweeney and Meadows published in 2010 provides great help in this process, which presents a lot of exercises on how to teach these complex topics based on systems thinking.

Since its publication, this book has become a favorite of K–12 teachers, but also university faculty, and corporate consultants, because it provides short gaming exercises that illustrate the subtleties of systems thinking. The thirty games are classified by these areas of learning: Systems Thinking, Mental Models, Team Learning, Shared Vision, and Personal Mastery. Each description clearly explains when, how, and why the game is useful. There are explicit instructions for debriefing each exercise as well as a list of all required materials. A summary matrix has been added for a quick glance at all thirty games. When you are in a hurry to find just the right initiative for some part of your course, the matrix will help you find it.