Whole Systems

This area is devoted to the study of whole systems.

Nature is a whole system. But also an economy, a family, a company, a community, or many other things, can be looked at as whole systems. A whole system view would include all the factors involved and examine how they relate to each other and how they work as a whole. To deal with a whole system we can't leave anything out as irrelevant. Intuition is as important as rationality, we must address both scientific and artistic approaches, both material and spritual needs, the small as well as the big, what we feel as well as what we think, what we perceive as well as what we imagine.

Whole systems are dynamic, they change they move, they develop. Frozen pictures of how things are supposed to be might do us no good, we need to deal with the live systems, whichever surprising directions that might take us in.

There is no one authority in the field of whole systems. Luckily nobody has monopolized it by putting it into a standard curriculum defining what it IS. So, we all have the opportunity to discover together what whole systems are about.

There is a Whole Systems mailing list for the exploration of whole systems principles, particularly in regards to economic, ecological, sociological and metaphysical transformation of our civilization.

4/24/2004: Note that this page has not been actively updated for a long time. Many of the links are unfortunately invalid now. However, it seems most useful to still keep it up, while we figure out a new format for keeping it current.

Subjects and Disciplines

Whole Systems Design
Networking - (50+) The Networking Institute.
Learning Organizations (100+)
Mind Mapping
Total Quality Management, Kaizen home page
Holographic Universe
Cybernetics and Systems Theory - (200+) Principia Cybernetica
General Semantics
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (50+)
NLP and the Existential Quest
Complex Systems
Modeling and Simulation
Fuzzy Logic
Memetics - understanding the spreading of useful ideas.
Patterns Home Page - patterns and pattern languages. Also check Anamorph and Patterns-Discussion FAQ
The Enneagram
System Dynamics (20+)
Spiral Dynamics


Kevin Kelly: "Out of Control"
Peter M. Senge: "The Fifth Discipline"
Buckminster Fuller: "Critical Path"
Buckminster Fuller: "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth"
James P. Carse: "Finite and Infinite Games"
Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps: "The Age of the Network"
Joel Arthur Barker: "Paradigms"
Jose Arguelles: "Earth Ascending"
Michael Talbot: "The Holographic Universe"
David Bohm: "Wholeness and the Implicate Order"
Tony Buzan: "The Mind Map Book"
James Redfield: "The Celestine Prophecy"
Alfred Korzybski: "Science and Sanity"
Alan Watts: "The Book - about the taboo against knowing who you are"
Tara Singh: "The Future of Mankind"
Peter Drucker: "Post-Capitalist Society"
T.Kun: "Project Mind"
Ken Wilber: "No Boundary"
Fritjof Capra: "The Tao of Physics"
Charles Hampden-Turner: "Maps of the Mind"
Creating a New Civilization - book by Alvin and Heidi Toffler.
Daniel Quinn: Ishmael
Whole Earth Catalog - (50+)


Whole Earth Review (50+)
The Futurist
Cybernetics and Systems
The Systems Thinker
Popular Science


Buckminster Fuller - Spaceship Earth.
Gregory Bateson - Ecology of Mind.
Arthur Koestler - Holarchies of nature
Karl Popper - Open Society
Ludwig von Bertalanffy - General Systems Theory
Alfred Korzybski - General Semantics
Barbara Marx Hubbard - Foundation for Conscious Evolution
Rupert Sheldrake - Morphogenic fields
David Bohm - Holographic physics
Edwards Deming - Total Quality
Peter M. Senge - The Learning Organization
Tony Buzan - (50+) Mind Maps, memory.
Jean Houston - Waking World. Mystery School.
Jessica Lipnack & Jeffrey Stamps - Networking
Alan Watts (10+)
Edward de Bono
Jack Sarfatti - (100+) New physics and consciousness, post- modernism.
Jay Forrester - (20+) System Dynamics.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Stafford Beer
Arthur Young - Theory of Process
Anthony Judge - Integrative Global Action. Lots of articles and studies.
Heiner Benking - Club of Budapest.


New Civilization Network - (100+) Cooperation for a better world.
The World Game Institute - (20+) Making the world work.
Soros Foundations, Open Society Institutes - (50+)
The Networking Institute (50+)
Integrative Global Action - Union of International Associations. A monumental site.
The Change Project - change in organizations, communities, families and individuals.
International Institute for Sustainable Development
Institute for Global Communications - The Progressive Directory
Idaho Systems Institute
Institute for Business and Social Architecture
Global Business Network
World Future Society
Buckminster Fuller Institute
Center for Process Studies
Whole Systems Design Program - Antioch Center for Creative Change at Antioch University Seattle.
Institute of Noetic Sciences
Santa Fe Institute - (50+) multi-displinary studies, complexity.
OneWorld Online - (500+) global justice, conflict, aid, trade, education, health, human rights, population.
Netherlands Design Institute - economics, knowledge systems.
University of Houston - Future Studies
MIT Organizatonal Learning Network
Leading Edge Research - far out science


Geosphere Project - visualizing planet Earth.
Intentional Communities - (100+)
The Venus Project (10+) Redesigning a culture.
Arcosanti - (40+) arcology project. Paolo Soleri.
Global Energy Network
Oceania - (20+) the Atlantis Project.
The Quality Community Page (7)
Tetworld - Global game and peace through development project

Models and Tools

Mind Mapping
New Civilization Game by Bill Robertson.
Infinite Games - A vision of life as play and possibility.
Activity Alignment
Meta Programs
Symbol Test - Test people's attitude to work.
Cognitive Tools - for collaboration between teams.
The Fourth Wave: A Normative Forecast for the Future of "SpaceShip Earth - by Oliver W. Markley.
Fourth Wave Concept Overview by Bob Debold.
Open Network and the Emergence of Freeorder - Pattern research.

Global Systems

Monetary System for the New Millenium - by Roger Langrick.
A Warning to Humanity - from the leading scientists of the planet.
Global Resource Bank - proposal to U.N. conference.
An afternoon with Jeremy Rifkin - long transcript.
Shared Energy Grid? - a thread of messages.
The Web and the new civilization - by Tom Munnecke.


Whole Systems Quotes
The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World - by Vaclav Havel, president of the Czech Republic.
A Call for New Values Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Hundredth Monkey by Ken Keyes.
Chief Seattle
Declaration of Evolution by Timothy Leary.
Onar Am - (30+) the origins of knowledge.
Buddhist Economics by E.F.Schumacher.

Other Links

Gaia, Our Living Earth
Alexander Chislenko - futurism, knowledge, and more.
ISWorld Net - information technology, information infrastructure.
Virtual Chaos - a theory of everything.



Mailing lists

Whole Systems
Whole Info
Learning Organizations

Essays by Flemming Funch

Abundance Economics
The Whole View
Re- cycling/re-using
Scarcity Money
The Eyes of a Child
The Great Pirates
The Whole Reality
Science and Sanity
Radiant Thinking
Society and Culture
The Fifth Discipline
Fundamental Social Laws - proposed basic rules.
Knowing who you Really are - Alan Watts.
Shifting the Burden - a system template.
Resource Ethics - principles for dealing with resources.
Ephemeralization - doing more with less.
New Civilization Network - proposal for new network of teams.
Just in Time
Proactive Money
Free Resources
Economy - how the money system works.
Going beyond Normalcy
Backlogged Progress
Pattern Languages
Master and Apprentices
Teen-age Society
Social Artistry
Profit Reframed
Universal Wholeness Math
Discontinuious Trends

Essays by Donovan Sullivan

Starship Earth
Nate Tour and his mother

Essays by Kirby Urner

New Circuit Designs for Planet Earth

Essays by Joachim Steingrubner

The General Theory of Relativity of Suffering and Enjoying

Essays by Ian Cruikshank

Various postings to wholesys-l

"The essential new quality implied by the quantum theory is... that a system cannot be analyzed into parts. This leads to the radically new notion of unbroken wholeness of the entire universe. You cannot take it apart. For if you do, what you end up with is not contained within the original whole. It is created by the act of analysis."
- David Bohm -
Wholeness and the Implicate Order

Whole System Glossary under construction.

Return to World Transformation home page (1000+).

New Civilization Network home page (100+)

Translations of this page: Belarusian

This page is maintained by Flemming Funch <ffunch@newciv.org>.