Navigating Complexity

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Complex Adaptive Systems theory provides a useful lens for understanding various phenomena.  This site provides a general, non-mathematical approach to work with complexity.


Complexity can be used to talk about many different kinds of systems: the ripples of sand in a desert, the pathways of ants in a colony; the behaviors of people in a society. Each of these systems is in some way 'complicated'. But is complexity just another word for 'complicated', and if not, how is it helpful to think about systems using complexity?

What, in the end, is useful about complexity?

Complex systems are not just any class of systems. They are a distinct class of systems that are capable of processing information, energy, or flows in highly efficient ways:

  • They are great optimizers - stewarding system resources effectively;
  • They can solve complicated problems - without need for top-down control;
  • They adapt - realigning to 'fit' into their changing contexts;
  • They have an alive quality to them - they feel natural.

Such systems can be harnessed to solve a host of different kinds of problems.

This site provides an introduction to the principles of complexity, how such systems are governed, and how they solve problems. It also relates complexity principles to the field of Urbanism, but the site is intended to offer a general orientation to complexity that is applicable to any field.  Welcome to the site and enjoy navigating complexity!

 

 


Photo Credit and Caption: What is Complexity?

Cite this page:

Wohl, S. (2021, 16 June). Navigating Complexity. Retrieved from https://kapalicarsi.wittmeyer.io/

Navigating Complexity was updated June 16th, 2021.

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    Navigating Complexity © 2015-2021 Sharon Wohl, all rights reserved. Developed by Sean Wittmeyer
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