2. The mindset out of which the system arises.

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Its goals, structure, rules, delays, parameters. A society paradigm is an idea, an unstated assumption that everyone shares, thoughts, or states of thoughts that are sources of systems. Paradigms are very hard to change, but there are no limits to paradigm change. 

A current paradigm is “Nature is a stock of resources to be converted to human purpose”. What might happen to the lake were this collective idea changed ?


Meadows indicates paradigms might be changed by repeatedly and consistently pointing out anomalies and failures to those with open minds. A dynamic model such as the Rippel Founfation is creating can go a long way to point out the structural and unintended failures of the current paradigm.

What are our current, common, counter-productive, failure causing, beliefs and assumptions? Here are some:

  1. Health is the absence of illness.
  2. Medical care can significantly change the health of a community.
  3. Healthcare is “delivered” by “professionals” and only experts can change one’s health.
  4. People should not die–death is bad and to be avoided at all costs.
  5. Health is an individual concern, rather than a concern of the whole community.
  6. Health is not an appropriate concern for the work place, schools and churches.
  7. Higher quality costs more rather than less.
  8. We cannot afford to care for everyone.
  9. People don’t care (are uninterested in being accountable) about their  own health.
  10. Governance and rule making is best done by governments and businesses rather than by the beneficiaries of the system itself (Ostrum, Governing the Commons).