Casual Loop Diagrams handbook

Technical Paper #2024-3

Version Number: 1.0

June 27, 2024

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Michael Lawrence

This handbook explains how to read and draw a causal loop diagrams (CLD)–a systems mapping technique that helps us to think through our mental model of a system, increase our understanding of a system, and communicate our knowledge to others. It clarifies some common sources of confusion, provides step-by-step instructions for drawing CLDs, offers advice for using this tool most effectively, and presents three examples of CLDs that elucidate crucial real-world challenges.