Using Systems Thinking when developing Policy

Global policymakers and strategic planners face difficult choices—for example, what future energy sources will power cities, businesses, and transport systems? Is it possible to sustain economic growth and avoid major disruptions or ecological impacts? Our premise is that the effective pursuit of global sustainability requires a systems approach to the de-velopment of policies and intervention strategies. Absent a full understanding of system implications, there is a risk of unintended consequences; for in-stance, adoption of innovative technologies based on renewable resources (such as bio-based fuels) may have hidden adverse side effects upon agricultural productivity.

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