Where do I start if I want to learn systems thinking?

Everytime I have talked about System Dynamics or Systems Thinking I get the question “Where should I continue…?” or “I’m interested in looking into the simulations and learning more about them”. I’m always happy to hear this and recommend that you read some books that focuses more on the soft skills of ST &SD that is how to define problems and different levels of thinking and then continue with simulations.

Below you will find some of the books I do recommend as starting books.


Two of your first books regarding Systems Thinking could be:

Peter Senges – Fifth Discipline
Donella Meadows – Thinking In Systems
Uppdatering (2013-11-20): Gene Bellinger has together with Scott Fortman-Roe created an interactive book: http://beyondconnectingthedots.com/

Tracing Connections, Voices of Systems Thinkers. ISBN: 978-0970492128

International Communities
Linked in groups
Simulation Packages

Ithink has created an simulation package for Ipad, here is the link to the Ipad version.Ipad version.

iPad Stella




All of the simulators can be tested for free and several of the packages are free to use and some like Vensim provide a free version of Vensim with minimized functionality that actually works for most peoples needs. I have used all of the simulators from time to time and there are favourites and some simulators I do use for specific tasks.
Remember that some of the simulation companies have quite a lot of good material that teaches you how to use the simulator take the time and read and experiment.

Ithink, Stella , Vensim , Powersim are the “traditional” SD simulation packages.

IThink can build great stories using the interface which is good for learning.

Anylogic is a multimodel simulation package with capacity to build beautiful interfaces.

Insight Maker is a webbased simulator and a repository as well.

SysDea – also webbased and is mainly geared towards strategy simulations but can of course be used for all SD simulations.

NetLogo – supports multimodel simulations both Agent Based and System Dynamics.

Minsky – System Dynamic modelling of economic systems.