Linda Booth Sweeney

testimonial

“When you think of the word ‘system’, what comes to mind? If we turn to the dictionary, we get something like ‘an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole: a mountain system; a railroad system.’ One of my personal favourite ways of thinking a little more about systems comes from a most brilliant book – ‘When a Butterfly Sneezes – Systems Thinking for Kids, Big and Small’ by Linda Booth Sweeney

Carl Bate Capgemini | London
Vice President, UK Chief Technology Officer

Publications & Research

Downloads and links to publications and materials by Linda Booth Sweeney.

Books:

The Systems Thinking Playbook

by Linda Booth Sweeney and Dennis Meadows (2001). 
The Systems Thinking Playbook has become a favorite of K-12 teachers, university faculty, and organizational consultants. The book provides 30 short gaming exercises, classified by areas of learning – Mental Models, Team Learning, Systems Thinking, Shared Vision, and Personal Mastery. The companion DVD shows the authors illustrating good practice introducing and running the 30 games. The DVD is available separately for those who already own the book. The book is available through Chelsea Green Publishers. For an educator’s discount, contact me: linda@lindaboothsweeney.net.

When a Butterfly Sneezes

by Linda Booth Sweeney (2001), Pegasus Communications.
A Guide for Helping Kids Explore Interconnections in Our World Through Favorite Stories. This book highlights 12 favorite children’s stories that illustrate key systems thinking principles, and shows you how to use these stories with children of all ages. Each chapter focuses on one favorite picture book – and reveals the systems principles inherent in the story, general points for discussion, illustrations of key concepts, and questions to spark conversation for both younger and older readers. Purchase

Connected Wisdom: Living Stories about Living Systems

by Linda Booth Sweeney (2008). How do we learn to live sustainably – or within the means of nature? Through this book, readers from 10 to 110 explore, through 12 timeless folktales and modern examples, how the laws that guide living systems can also guide how we live and learn.
 The book was.designed by renowned graphic artist Milton Glaser, recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, and illustrated by award-winning artist Guy Billout. To purchase, contact Chelsea Green Publishers.

SEED has created a fantastic portal for educators, parents and others interested in fostering systems and science literacy through stories and activities. Interested? Click here.

Connected Wisdom: CD

The Connected Wisdom CD (2010), a collaboration with SEED and master storyteller and singer Courtney Campbell, includes a recording of 12 folktales from the Connected Wisdom book. The CD also includes world music, new explanations related systems thinking and living systems as well as an interview with the author. The CD is available in English only from SWPS and the SEEDSTORE. To hear a preview of one chapter from the Connected Wisdom CD, click here.

Playkits

“Thinking about Systems” Playkit:

by Linda Booth Sweeney, Drumlin Farm, the Creative Learning Exchange, with graphic design by Ann Jennings. The "Healthy Chickens, Healthy Pastures: Making Connections at Drumlin Farm and Beyond" is a systems playkit designed to help people (ages 8-88) to "connect the dots" and think deliberately about living systems in a farm setting. The kit includes a game, wikki stiks, systems glossary and more. A free curriculum guide is available here and you can download an article about the playkit here. If you are interested in a customized playkit, please contact me: linda@lindaboothsweeney.net.

Research/Articles:

Learning to Connect the Dots: Developing Children’s Systems Literacy:

How can can adults nurture children’s capacity to “connect the dots” through everyday conversations and activities? by Linda Booth Sweeney, The Solutions Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, Oct 2012 ...Read the complete article

Systems Thinking: A Means to Understanding our Complex world:

by Linda Booth Sweeney, Pegasus Communication...Read the Article

Bringing back the wolves: Yellowstone National Park is Thriving, Thanks to a Long-feared Carnivore.

By Linda Booth Sweeney. Highlights Magazine for Children, June 2011, Vol 66, p 30 Systems thinking for kids. View Article

"It All Comes Down to Dirt?" Learning While Playing with the Healthy Chickens, Healthy Pastures Playkit, by L. Booth Sweeney. Creative Exchange Newsletter, Summer, 2011.Download PDF

"Teaching about Living Systems on the Farm: Remembering What We Already Know" by L. Booth Sweeney. Link to article, Farm-Based Education Association newsletter(winter/Spring 2009). Download newsletter

Thinking About Systems: Student and Teacher Conceptions of Natural and Social Systems by L. Booth Sweeney and John D. Sterman. 50th Anniversary issue of The System Dynamics Review, 2007. A much more readable version of my Harvard dissertation. Link to Journal

Understanding Public Complacency about Climate Change.
by L. Booth Sweeney and John D. Sterman. Rotman Magazine, Spring, 2007. Download PDF

"How is This Similar to That" The skill of recognizing parallel dynamics structures on center stage, by L. Booth Sweeney. Creative Exchange Newsletter, 2005 Download PDF

"Managing Complex Dynamic Systems: Challenge and Opportunity for Naturalistic Decision Making Theory" (2004). Naturalistic Decision Making. Book chapter co-authored with Dr. John Sterman.

"Cloudy Skies: Assessing Public Understanding of Global Warming." Special edition of The System Dynamics Review (2003). Sterman and Booth Sweeney (2002) Download PDF

"Bathtub Dynamics: Initial Results of a Systems Thinking Inventory" System Dynamics Review (2001). 16 (4), pg. 249-286. Co-authored with Dr. John Sterman. Download PDF

example: system

Things are often more interconnected than we see. When we “think about systems” we begin to look for interconnections everywhere and we assume that nothing stands in isolation.