Systems thinking: an approach for understanding ‘eco-agri-food systems’

Wei Zhang*, John Gowdy, Andrea Bassi, Marta Santamaria, Fabrice DeClerck, Adebiyi Adegboyega, Georg Andersson, Anna Maria Augustyn, Richard Bawden, Andrew Bell, Ika Darnhofer, John Dearing, James Dyke, Pierre Failler, Leonardo Galetto, Carlos Calvo Hernandez, Pierre Johnson, Sarah Jones, Gary Klepp, Adam KomarekAgnieszka Latawiec, Ricardo Mateus, Alistair McVittie, Enrique Ortega, David Phelps, Claudia Ringler, Kamaljit Sangha, Marije Schaafsma, Sara Scherr, Md Sarwar Hossain, Jessica Thorn, Nicholas Tyack, Tim Vaessen, Ernesto Viglizzo, Dominic Walker, Louise Willemen, Sylvia Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Chapter 2 makes the case for using systems thinking as a guiding perspective for TEEBAgriFood’s development of a comprehensive Evaluation Framework for the eco-agri-food system. Many dimensions of the eco-agri-food system create complex analytical and policy challenges. Systems thinking allows better understanding and forecasting of the outcomes of policy decisions by illuminating how the components of a system are interconnected with one another and how the drivers of change are determined and impacted by feedback loops, delays and non-linear relationships. To establish the building blocks of a theory of change, systems thinking empowers us to move beyond technical analysis and decision-tool toward more integrated approaches that can aid in the forming of a common ground for cultural changes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTEEB for Agriculture & Food
Subtitle of host publicationScientific and Economic Foundations
Place of PublicationGeneva
PublisherTEEB for Agriculture & Food: Scientific and Economic Foundations
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9789280737028
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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