Archive for the ‘complex systems’ Category

Interventions in a complex space

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

A little gem from Dave Snowden in a recent blogpost:

The essence of interventions in a complex space is that you get the system to model itself; you don’t (unlike systems thinking) attempt to model it. Resonates with Gell-Mann idea that the only valid model of a complex system is the system itself. Its one of the key differences between human complexity thinking on the one hand and systems thinking and aspects of computational complexity (agent based modeling) on the other. The dangers of partial or incomplete representation are too high if the system is complex and involves humans, so the focus is on whole system interventions.

Ecosystem and simplicity

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

There are two ideas or experiences very present to me now. One is the notion of ‘being an ecosystem of conversations’. This is very much how I identify myself these days as I see myself as a constant interweaving of different conversations. They all are kind of related, they build on each other, they weave concepts and ideas closer together or weave a new color in. The cloth that is woven is never finished, keeps on changing and becomes wider, bigger and deeper.
And this doesn’t only happen for myself, it also happens in the collective I’m most related to. Mostly women, I notice now.
WMtE7 yellowleaves smallTo take the notion of ecosystem as the main identification means I drop more and more any attachment to form; or maybe better to say: any attachment to stable form. What I am seeking for these days is dynamic balance. There is nothing linear in that, but it is an always moving in many directions and levels.

A second notion that is very present with me is simplicity. Not for the sake of itself, but as a necessity to come to a way of living that is really life-affirming. It is probably not a simplicity in technology – I think we will need a lot of innovation in this area – but a simplicity in processes and relationships. I think it is the simplicity of self-organisation and emergence: just enough design to let it happen, and not too much.
WMtE7 leaves smallIt makes me return to gardening: learn to make good compost to nurture your soil; observe what happens anyway and build on that. Gardening is kind of simple when you work in synergy with nature. The really complex processes are done by nature itself, we can only improve the conditions where these processes can thrive and where they have enough resilience to respond to different circumstances. It seems to me that a lot of our planning in linear time (chronos) makes things complicated and build up a lot of stress. It is weird to say maybe, but there is simplicity in trusting synchronicity, trusting the experienced timing (kairos), trusting the mystery of life itself.