Systemic Thinking for Policy Making

The Potential of Systems Analysis for Addressing Global Policy Challenges in the 21st Century

We live in a period of profound systemic change, and as in similar periods in the past, there is bound to be considerable instability and uncertainty before the new society and economy take shape. We have to identify actions that will shape change for the better, and help to build resilience to the inevitable shocks inherent in, and generated by, the complex system of systems constituted by the economy, society and the environment. These challenges require updating the way policies are devised and implemented, and developing more realistic tools and techniques to design those policies on the basis of appropriate data. In Systemic Thinking for Policy Making world experts from the OECD and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) pool their expertise and experience to propose new approaches to analysing the interconnected trends and issues shaping today’s and tomorrow’s world. The authors argue that to tackle planetary emergencies linked to the environment, the economy and socio-political systems, we have to understand their systemic properties, such as tipping points, interconnectedness and resilience. They give the reader a precise introduction to the tools and techniques needed to do so, and offer hope that we can overcome the challenges the world is facing.

Published on February 27, 2020

In series:New Approaches to Economic Challengesview more titles


Acronyms and Abbreviations
Executive Summary
Introduction to the OECD-IIASA Strategic Partnership
New Paradigms, Approaches and Methodologies2 chapters available
New Paradigms and Approaches for Economic Growth and Well-being
Methodologies and Tools for Integrated Systems Modelling
The Environment and Sustainable Development5 chapters available
Developing Pathways to Sustainability: Fulfilling Human Needs and Aspirations while Maintaining Human Life Support Systems
A Concerted Approach to Biodiversity, Water, Food, and Trade
Integrated Policies for Climate, Air, Ecosystems, Energy and Transport
Cities and the Circular Economy
Systems-based Approaches for Development Co-operation to Meet Diverse Needs and Aspirations in an Interdependent World
Social and Economic Change3 chapters available
The Potential of Integrated Education and Population Policies
Social Protection in the Face of Digitalisation and Labour Market Transformations
Innovation and New Technology for Enabling Economic and Social Progress
Systemic Risk and Resilience2 chapters available
Systemic Risk Emerging from Interconnections: The Case of Financial Systems
Strategies to Govern Systemic Risks
Proposals for the Way Forward3 chapters available
Introducing Systems Thinking into Public Sector Institutions: Learning by Doing?
Human Capabilities for Systems Leadership: Disseminating Systems Thinking through Education and Training
Outlook: Towards an OECD-IIASA Multiannual Work Programme
Powered by OECD iLibrary