> Resources > Course Syllabi > Intro | Classics | Systems | Methods | Facilitation | Governance | Images | World | Leadership


Mondays, 7:00 - 9:50 pm
Dr. Wendy L. Schultz

Course Description | Assignments: Essay | System Examples | Model


Your coursepack begins with an essay by Joseph Coates discussing the relationship between futures studies and systems science. Most futures researchers consider a systems perspective a prerequisite to futures studies -- many people would argue as well that a systems perspective is a prerequisite to all scientific research post-1950 (see also Ackoff's presentation, as summarized by Wardman, in your coursepack). Clearly your faculty think an acquaintance with the basic concepts and theories is critical, else this would not be a required class.

With this essay you should explain what you personally find most meaningful about the systems perspective with regard to futures studies. What does it add to the way you observe or analyze the world or, more specifically, problems or issues with which you are most concerned? How do you think a systems perspective will enhance the research or projects you complete in the future?

As a springboard to begin your discussion, choose one book from the various bibliographies available on the Web, or one book as approved by your instructor, and include in your essay examples of concepts, insights, or analyses it provides that you find interesting and useful, particularly to futures studies. Obviously you will be best served by choosing a book that you find intriguing and germane to your own interests.

The book does not have to be about hard-core systems analysis, or causal loop or flow diagramming, or computer modelling: it can be a conceptual overview, such as Capra's The Web of Life, or Laszlo's The Systems View of the World, or it may be an introduction to chaos or complexity theories. Confirm with the instructor if you have any doubts. Again, you are not writing a book report: you are writing an essay on what you find particularly compelling or useful about the systems perspective, and citing concepts, insights, or analyses from your chosen book to strengthen the points you are making.

Length: about 2,000-2,500 words. At a minimum, the paper should describe what is meant by the systems perspective, give reasons for its use, give some examples of its use, and describe the benefits of its use.

> Resources > Course Syllabi > Intro | Classics | Systems | Methods | Facilitation | Governance | Images | World | Leadership

15 February 2003. Email IF.
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