“Systems Thinking” and the economic power of trash

“Systems Thinking” Guru Peter Senge on Starbucks, P&G, and the Economic Power of Trash

 

BY Anya Kamenetz Fri Oct 22, 2010

 

One of the world’s top management gurus is spending a lot of time these days thinking about trash. I spoke with author of The Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge, because of his work with Starbucks on their pledge to provide recycling in all their stores. But it turns out that his interest in the waste stream goes far beyond that. True to his reputation as the major popularizer of “systems thinking,” Senge sees the potential for a whole “underground economy” of great wealth that’s literally being tossed away under our noses. “Nobody likes to throw stuff away,” he told me. “It’s just antithetical to our sense of being a person. But we’re all habituated to that way of living today.”

On the Starbucks cup:

It’s an archetypal problem and I liked it right away. What more compelling icon of the craziness: On the one hand, the convenience that we can stroll down the street sipping our latte, but then, the craziness that we can toss over our shoulder and maybe you feel a little bit better if it lands in a bin instead of the ground, but it really doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Let’s look at the whole system, all the way upstream and all the way downstream: Where does the cup come from? Who makes it? A tree or an oil well.”……………

full story at http://www.fastcompany.com/1696174/systems-thinking-guru-peter-senge-on-starbucks-pg-and-the-economic-power-of-trash

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