“A system is an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something” 1. A system has:

  • elements
  • interconnections
  • a function or purpose

A system is more than the sum of its parts. It may exhibit adaptive, dynamic, goal-seeking, self-preserving, and sometimes evolutionary behavior1.


Meadows, D. H. Thinking in Systems: A Primer. (Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vt, 2008).