October 18 (the third Monday of the month, dodging Canadian Thanksgiving) is the 94th meeting for Systems Thinking Ontario. The registration will be on Eventbrite at https://ee-st.eventbrite.ca.

Ecological Economics and Systems Thinking

For this session, Katie Kish and David Mallery will lead a discussion on Ecological Economics in two parts.

(1) Where is Ecological Economics going with Systems Thinking?

In the "Critical Pluralism" paper (see below), the newest generation of EE scholars is portrayed as taking a regenerative approach to research and learning. This is best navigated with critical pluralistic approaches well-developed in systems thinking. The shift might be better supported through a wider set of systems tools, which might also have complementary effects on systems methodologies.

(2) What could a 30-year research agenda for Ecological Economics be?

The "Paying Attention" paper (see below), is one in a special section of "Ecological Economics: The next 30 years".

Katie has been working for the Global Footprint Network, that uses big data to produce the Ecological Footprint Accounts. Applying this data on individual and group behaviour change raises questions on the role and ethics associated with big data.

The special section of the journal aims to find synergies between existing work and how to evaluate matters that have urgency and importance. Katie welcomes discussion on any of these papers, and is providing access to a private cache (to those without access to a university library).


  • Katie Kish is the Senior Development Officer for the Footprint Data Foundation through the York Footprint Initiative and lecturer of Ecological Economics at the Haida Gwaii Institute, UBC. Her career has largely focused on capacity building for the international ecological economics community and training emerging scholars on the effective use of systems methodologies.

  • David Mallery is currently an instructor in the Ecological Economics course at York University. He is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Environment and Urban Change, examining the epistemological predicaments associated with mainstream quantitative methodologies informing environmental and economic policy.


Suggested pre-reading:

Topic 1:

  • Kish, Katie, David Mallery, Gabriel Yahya Haage, R. Melgar-Melgar, M. Burke, C. Orr, N. L. Smolyar, S. Sanniti, and J. Larson. 2021. “Fostering Critical Pluralism with Systems Theory, Methods, and Heuristics.” Ecological Economics 189 (November): 107171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107171. (cached on academia.edu )

Topic 2:

Registration on Eventbrite includes links to the cache of journal articles.


Post-meeting artifacts

Bloggers are encouraged to write about their learning and experiences at the meeting. Links will be added to this page.