Chapter 2 – The systemic perspective

Systems like our society or globalized markets that are changing more and more rapidly are defined by a multitude of complex and systemic interdependencies. Also, problems like the ones addressed here, the so-called „Wicked Problems“, don’t have easy solutions that are either right or wrong. Their solutions are only more or less suited for the respective system. Linear problem-solving is outdated – the nature of current challenges is systemic. But what does this really mean? How do we even recognize this „systemic nature“? And why do social systems resist change?

Characteristics of social systems and complex problems

Here we are starting a journey into our systemic way of thinking. We investigate the overall picture that we pieced together out of isolated observations from a high-level perspective. We have the goal to identify and to uncover relations but also contradictions that we were probably unaware of until now. In some way we try a systemic analysis of the current „as-is“- status, and we explain some general concepts that we consider important for understanding the subsequent content. Therefore, we address very briefly some basic terminology and approaches of systems theory.