Reference #319: Thinking in Systems


In a system, a stock is a store of quantity, or an accumulation of some resource. This may be physical, such as water in a bathtub, or intangible, such as motivation or collective knowledge.

Stocks change over time through the actions of flows. A flow may either be an inflow that increases the stock, such as rain into a reservoir, or an outflow outflow that decreases the stock, such as deaths within a population.

Much of the behaviour of complex systems can be understood by knowing the behaviour over time of stocks and flows.

Meadows. Thinking in Systems, 2008. (17-19)

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