Systems Thinking for Social Change

A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results

David Peter Stroh

Chelsea Green, 2015

Do you wish that your efforts to create social change could have a more powerful impact?

In his new book Systems Thinking for Social Change, noted author and consultant David Peter Stroh offers a clear path forward: applying systems thinking principles and tools enables you to achieve greater results with fewer resources in more lasting ways.


The book enables nonprofit executives, public sector leaders, corporate social responsibility managers, and social change agents to contribute more effectively to society by helping them understand what systems thinking is and why it is so important in their work. It also gives concrete guidance on how to incorporate systems thinking in problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning without becoming a technical expert.

You learn to:
  • Ask powerful questions which naturally stimulate systems thinking, create catalytic conversations, and motivate continuous learning.
  • Empower people to identify where they can have the greatest impact on others – by first reflecting on and then shifting their own intentions, thinking, and actions.
  • Mobilize diverse stakeholders to take actions that increase the effectiveness of the whole system over time instead of meeting immediate self-interests.
  • Help people avoid the unintended negative consequences of well-intentioned solutions.
  • Identify ways to best integrate and leverage limited resources for lasting, system-wide improvement.
  • Harness the emotional, behavioral, spiritual, and cognitive power of systems thinking.

Excerpts: Click here to read the introduction and first chapter.

Reviews and Praise:

“An elegant and cogent guide to what works” – Peter Senge, MIT and Academy for Systemic Change

“Stroh gently asks us to embrace a new way, not merely of thinking but of being in the world.  A remarkable book." – David Nee, Growth Philanthropy Network 

“If there is only one book you read on systems thinking, it should be Systems Thinking for Social Change.” –    Gene Bellinger, director, Systems Thinking World, Inc.


The book can be ordered through one of the following channels: