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How to take a systems view of life

Dr Fritjof Capra is a world famous systems theorist whose work has given mainstream audiences a better understanding of the complex interconnected relationships between nature and human society. His bestselling books on the systems view of life, a term he coined, elucidate beautifully the ways ‘conceptual changes in science’ have come to effect ‘broader changes in our worldview’.

On his book Patterns of Connection, Capra explains to me that as “systems thinking and the systems view of life is inherently multi-disciplinary” in the book he chose to touch on “all these dimensions of life, the biological, the cognitive, the social, the ecological and integrate them into a synthesis”.

Patterns of Connection is filled with essential essays that bring to life five illuminating decades of Capra’s amazing life. Which are, he says, ‘not only an account of my intellectual journey but also an account of the various social movements that I encountered and became part of’.

Patterns of Connection is a collection of essays with a narrative that interweaves the essays, and gives the historical and philosophical context,” he says. “And it is really the story about how my thinking evolved over five decades. So in this narrative I talk about all my books so when you read this one, you get all the references because it’s really an account of my journey.”

The book begins with his vivid memories of the world he was experiencing in the 1960s, a time when he was studying eastern philosophy and taking psychedelics: a time, which he labels, as the ‘great formative years of my life’.

For more on these years and where the story has gone since, catch up with this memorable podcast for more from Capra, and from the pages of Patterns of Connection.

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Written By

Marc is Editor-at-Large for Innovators Magazine and host of INSIDE IDEAS, his OnePoint5Media video podcast show. Marc is a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network, Resilient Futurist, and award-winning Global Food Reformist.


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