Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Thinking in Systems: A Primer

Introduction to systems thinking

Published on Monday, April 24, 2023

Thinking in Systems: A Primer is a book by Donella Meadows. It is an introduction to the concepts and principles of systems thinking.

The book has an interesting history. It has been circulated as a draft since 1993 within the systems dynamics community for years. After the author's death, the book was reorganized by her colleagues and published in 2008.

Thinking in Systems is one of the most popular books for computer scientists, despite not being part of our core discipline. I cannot recommend this book enough! The book is great for anyone interested in understanding complex systems and improving their problem-solving and decision-making skills.


Donella Meadows was an environmental scientist and educator. Her explanations and lectures were truly inspiring for someone with minimal background in Systems theory. You can find several of her presentations from the late seventies on the YouTube channel "Donella Meadows."

Calming but passionate, she is a joy to watch!