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Leverage Points Ways to Intervene in a System to Change its Behavior.

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Presentation on theme: "Leverage Points Ways to Intervene in a System to Change its Behavior."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leverage Points Ways to Intervene in a System to Change its Behavior

2 12. Constants, parameters, numbers (such as subsidies, taxes, standards). 11. The sizes of buffers and other stabilizing stocks, relative to their flows. 10. The structure of material stocks and flows (such as transport networks, population age structures). 9. The lengths of delays, relative to the rate of system change. 8. The strength of negative feedback loops, relative to the impacts they are trying to correct against. 7. The gain around driving positive feedback loops. 6. The structure of information flows (who does and does not have access to information). 5. The rules of the system (such as incentives, punishments, constraints). 4. The power to add, change, evolve, or self-organize system structure. 3. The goals of the system. 2. The mindset or paradigm out of which the system — its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters — arises. 1. The power to transcend paradigms. The 12 Leverage Points (In increasing order of effectiveness)

3 The least effective leverage points are the ones most talked about, deemed most significant, and are the most technical in our society. The most effective leverage points are the ones least talked about, deemed least significant, and are the least technical in our society. The Paradox of Leverage Points

4 Notes on the Leverage Point Ranking The higher the number of the leverage point, the less effective is the leverage point The order of effectiveness was created by the author, Donella Meadows, and is based on her experience working with complex systems. Note the diversity of examples in each category Computer models that test the behavior over time of sensitive variables can help evaluate the effectiveness of leverage points.

5 The deeper you go in the iceberg, the greater leverage you have

6 EcoTipping Points: How to turn a Vicious Cycle into a Virtuous Cycle

7 Eco Tipping Points offer a new paradigm for restoring our communities, both natural and human. Conventional approaches to ecological problems – from piecemeal micromanagement, to techno-fixes, to top- down regulation – often fail, or generate new messes. But Eco Tipping Points show how the same forces that endanger environments and communities can be harnessed to heal them. What are Eco Tipping Points?

8 Feedback loops are the key to how EcoTipping Points work. EcoTipping Points set in motion a cascade of effects that reverse the vicious cycles responsible for environmental decline. The vicious cycles are transformed into "virtuous cycles" that propel the eco-social system toward sustainability. The ensuing proliferation of positive effects creates additional virtuous cycles that "lock in" the benefits. Circular chains of cause and effect amplify small causes into large effects. Feedback loops explain why vicious cycles are so hard to break. But they also expose the strategic points at which the cycles can be reversed. Like Aikido, the martial art that turns an attacker’s thrusts back on the attacker, EcoTipping Points can identify critical maneuvers for reversing the currents of ecological destruction. Instead of continuing to wear the system down, the same forces begin to build it back up. Reinforcing Loops and EcoTipping Points

9 Website: EcoTipping Points: Sample Case Study— Community Gardens in New York City Video at: Full description at: stories/indepth/usa-new-york-community-garden-urban- renewal.html#Ingredients stories/indepth/usa-new-york-community-garden-urban- renewal.html#Ingredients

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12 People living in neighborhood Quality of Neighborhood Business Income and Tax Revenue Investment, maintenance, and services S S S S R Causal Loop Diagram of the Vicious Cycle Transformed into a Virtuous Cycle by the Tipping Point of Community Gardens


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