Regent’s University - MACL
Sense-Making in a
Complex World
Wickedness at Work –
Complex System Theory
Alexander Knapp
Visi...
Complex System Theory and Practice
Workshop Outline
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
1. ...
Section One - Complexity in Context
Outline of Content
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
...
Complex System Theory and Practice
Introduction
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
“The ag...
1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’
Political and International Systems
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knap...
1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’
Environmental and Ecological Systems
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@kna...
1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’
Economic and Market Systems
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
“O...
1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
…in the
World’s belly.
The ‘en...
Complexity is the
result of massive
interdependence.
Complexity can
emerge in any
system: political,
economic or social.
I...
Wicked Problems
on the global scale
can’t be solved by
any one sector.
Success is a result of
doing enough of the
right th...
Leaders engage
and manage
Wicked Problems.
Often, the best option
to do so involves
changing and building
capacity of outd...
Feedback (and
‘Feed-forward’)
loops multiply the
impact of
complexity and
generate
unexpected
variations and
consequences....
Complex systems
have ‘a life of their
own’.
This effect ‘emerges’
naturally, and ‘adapts’
over time.
1.3 Wicked Problems
W...
Wicked Problems
themselves are
interdependent,
emergent, and
adaptive.
1.3 Wicked Problems
Wicked Problems = Complex Syste...
par·a·digm shift
(noun) - a
fundamental
change in
approach or
underlying
assumptions
Each time an age of
civilisation ends...
Newton’s legacy
was to give
Western
civilisation control
over linear
process, but the
illusion of control
over non-linear
...
Newton’s legacy
was to give
Western
civilisation control
over linear
process, but the
illusion of control
over non-linear
...
Newton’s legacy
was to give
Western
civilisation control
over linear
process, but the
illusion of control
over non-linear
...
Newton’s legacy
was to give
Western
civilisation control
over linear
process, but the
illusion of control
over non-linear
...
Newton’s legacy
was to give
Western
civilisation control
over linear
process, but the
illusion of control
over non-linear
...
par·a·digm shift
1.4 Roots of Revolution
Rock of Ages
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
A...
Global human
population growth
is around 81
million annually, or
1.2% per year.
The global
population has
grown from 1 bil...
Moore’s Law is a
computing term
which originated
around 1970; the
simplified version
of this law states
that processor
spe...
Leaders engage
and manage
Wicked Problems.
Often, the best option
to do so involves
changing and building
capacity of out-...
The first step in
problem-solving
should be the
identification of
the type of
problem: linear, or
non-linear.
1.5 Wicked S...
Newton’s legacy
was to give
Western
civilisation control
over linear
process, but the
illusion of control
over non-linear
...
“How I want a
drink - alcoholic of
course - after the
heavy lectures
involving quantum
mechanics!”
- Isaac Azimov
1.5 Wick...
“Observations not
only disturb what
is to be measured,
they produce it.”
- Pascual Jordan
1.6 Beyond Newton
Beyond Newton
...
“Observations not
only disturb what
is to be measured,
they produce it.”
- Pascual Jordan
1.6 Beyond Newton
Quantum Physic...
“Observations not
only disturb what
is to be measured,
they produce it.”
- Pascual Jordan
1.6 Beyond Newton
Beyond Newton:...
“I’m disinclined to
believe in spooky
action at a
distance, but alas,
the proofs
reinforce the
supposition.”
- Albert Eins...
“I’m disinclined to
believe in spooky
action at a
distance, but alas,
the proofs
reinforce the
supposition.”
- Albert Eins...
“I’m disinclined to
believe in spooky
action at a
distance, but alas,
the proofs
reinforce the
supposition.”
- Albert Eins...
“I’m disinclined to
believe in spooky
action at a
distance, but alas,
the proofs
reinforce the
supposition.”
- Albert Eins...
“I’m disinclined to
believe in spooky
action at a
distance, but alas,
the proofs
reinforce the
supposition.”
- Albert Eins...
“It is a wonderful
feeling to
recognise the
unity of a complex
of phenomena that
to direct
observation
appear to be quite
...
“It is a wonderful
feeling to
recognise the
unity of a complex
of phenomena that
to direct
observation
appear to be quite
...
“It is a wonderful
feeling to
recognise the
unity of a complex
of phenomena that
to direct
observation
appear to be quite
...
“A great
technological
dilemma threatens
our planet today;
ascent has taken
place without any
corresponding
elevation of
i...
1.7 Whither Wickedness?
Complexity: The Business
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
In the...
“A great
technological
dilemma threatens
our planet today;
ascent has taken
place without any
corresponding
elevation of
i...
“You think
because you
understand ‘one’
you must also
understand ‘two’,
because one and
one equals two.
But you must also
...
“You think
because you
understand ‘one’
you must also
understand ‘two’,
because one and
one equals two.
But you must also
...
Wicked Reading
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
Complex System
Theory and
Development
Pr...
Session One - Complexity in Context
© Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net
Questions?
Regent’s University - MACL
Sense-Making in a
Complex World
Wickedness at Work –
Complex System Theory
Alexander Knapp
Visi...
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"Managing Complexity" Executive MBA Presentation (1/3)

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This presentation, companion resource to the Regent's University (London) Masters in Creative Leadership module on "Sense-Making in a Complex World" explains how models of new science (including quantum physics, non-linear dynamic, complex system theory and others) provide better options to classical tools when trying to understand and manage Wicked Problems.

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  1. 1. Regent’s University - MACL Sense-Making in a Complex World Wickedness at Work – Complex System Theory Alexander Knapp Visiting Lecturer, International Relations, Business and Strategy
  2. 2. Complex System Theory and Practice Workshop Outline © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net 1. Complexity In Context 2. Complexity In Focus 3. Complexity Toolbox Why? What? How? “We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough?” - Niels Bohr
  3. 3. Section One - Complexity in Context Outline of Content © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net 1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’ 1.2 Complexity in Context 1.3 Wicked Problems 1.4 Roots of Revolution 1.5 Wicked Solutions 1.6 Beyond Newton 1.7 Whither Wickedness 1.8 Session Two: Focus “How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress!” - Niels Bohr
  4. 4. Complex System Theory and Practice Introduction © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “The age of Nations is past. It remains for us now, if we do not wish to perish, to set aside the ancient prejudice and build the Earth.” - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Alexander Knapp, Visiting Lecturer  Twenty years in international politics and business  Ten years post-conflict, complex emergencies  Delivered £500m+ in international projects
  5. 5. 1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’ Political and International Systems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “Today the rule of law is at risk around the world…In too many places, hatred, corruption, violence and exclusion go without redress. The vulnerable lack effective recourse and the powerful manipulate laws to retain power and accumulate wealth. At times even the necessary fight against terrorism is allowed to encroach unnecessarily on civil liberties.” UN Secretary General Kofi Annan UNGA - 21 September, 2004 “It is not an accident that our fragmentary form of thought is leading to such a widespread range of crises – social, political, economic, ecological, in the individual and in society as a whole…”
  6. 6. 1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’ Environmental and Ecological Systems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net "Over the past few years, we've seen an increasing trend toward greater activity in the Atlantic Basin and increased strength in storms…leading us to believe that we are going to start seeing more intense and frequent hurricanes. That may be bearing itself out right now as rising ocean temperatures from global warming fuel the destructive storms.” Marshall Shepherd Research Meteorologist, NASA 24 July, 2004 “It is not an accident that our fragmentary form of thought is leading to such a widespread range of crises – social, political, economic, ecological, in the individual and in society as a whole. To develop new insights into fragmentation and wholeness requires creative work…”
  7. 7. 1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’ Economic and Market Systems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “On Oct. 16, 2001, Enron was forced to disclose $1 billion in losses…forcing the company into bankruptcy proceedings, wiping out thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in savings. Enron was the first of the recent business scandals that have devastated investor faith, contributed to a multi-trillion-dollar market downturn and made corporate reform a political imperative.” The Washington Post July 28, 2002 “It is not an accident that our fragmentary form of thought is leading to such a widespread range of crises – social, political, economic, ecological, in the individual and in society as a whole. To develop new insights into fragmentation and wholeness requires creative work… The result: losing one’s whole way of thinking…and gaining a different approach in which all elements fit in a new order and in a new structure.” - David Bohm
  8. 8. 1.1 ‘An Uneasy Feeling…’ © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net …in the World’s belly. The ‘enteric nervous system’ has – the brain in your gut – has over 100 million neurons, more than the spinal cord, or all the nervous system combined. ‘Gut feelings’ are often intellectual conclusions reached by innate non-linear analysis before being ‘rationally’ recognised by the brain.
  9. 9. Complexity is the result of massive interdependence. Complexity can emerge in any system: political, economic or social. Its effects are heightened by linear institutions unfit to manage non-linear problems, and multiplied by resource scarcity. 1.2 Complexity in Context Context © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Globalisation Recession Complexity Definition – The setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed. + = Institutions x
  10. 10. Wicked Problems on the global scale can’t be solved by any one sector. Success is a result of doing enough of the right things at the same time, not as much doing things in the right order. 1.3 Wicked Problems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Academic Research, analysis and education International Global regulatory framework INGOs Engine of popular conscience Conflict Management Global Warming Biodiversity/Ecosystem Loss Deforestation Maritime Safety and Pollution Illegal Drugs Education Digital Divide Natural Disaster Prevention/Response Reinventing Taxation Biotechnology Trade and Competition Corporate Resources pacing change Fisheries Depletion Water Deficits Global Financial Systems E-Commerce Intellectual Property Rights International Migration/Labor Infectious Diseases Poverty Alleviation
  11. 11. Leaders engage and manage Wicked Problems. Often, the best option to do so involves changing and building capacity of outdated institutions. 1.3 Wicked Problems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net 1. Planetary, “make-or- break” issues 2. Urgent, disproportionate impact of delay 3. Cost of action far less than cost of inaction 4. Complex, global gains at local losses 5. Insufficient capacity of current institutions “Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well-informed just to be undecided about them.” - Laurence J. Peter Insufficient capacity of current institutions
  12. 12. Feedback (and ‘Feed-forward’) loops multiply the impact of complexity and generate unexpected variations and consequences. 1.3 Wicked Problems Deconstructing Global Warming © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Ice-Caps Melting Average Temp Increase of 3ºC Terrestrial CO2 Out- Gassing Species Die-Off Rise in Sea Level Drop in Food Output Increase in Migration Deforestation Increase in Disease Changing North Atlantic Current European Ice-Age Fisheries Depletion Rise in Poverty Deconstructing Global Warming
  13. 13. Complex systems have ‘a life of their own’. This effect ‘emerges’ naturally, and ‘adapts’ over time. 1.3 Wicked Problems Wicked Problems = Complex Systems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net A Complex System cannot be described without describing each part but each part must be described in relation to other parts. These systems contain continuously changing relationships that aren’t easily measured or simply altered in a predictable way.
  14. 14. Wicked Problems themselves are interdependent, emergent, and adaptive. 1.3 Wicked Problems Wicked Problems = Complex Systems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Wickedness in the World
  15. 15. par·a·digm shift (noun) - a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions Each time an age of civilisation ends, it’s replaced by a new set of assumptions about how the world really works. Change of institutions to adapt isn’t guaranteed; survival is not mandatory. 1.4 Roots of Revolution Rock of Ages © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Age of Cycles - Survive, scavenge, plow, sow, cultivate, protect, harvest, store, survive. Repeat. Age of Progress - Most efficient route between A and B…faster, cheaper, better…deconstruct to construct First… Then… Next… Finally…
  16. 16. Newton’s legacy was to give Western civilisation control over linear process, but the illusion of control over non-linear ones. 1.4 Roots of Revolution Newton’s Legacy © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net The Universe as a giant clock, and God the cosmic clockmaker, each part has its purpose, and to understand each piece is to understand the whole… Executive Directors Management Staff Organizational Chart Reporting Schedules Deconstruction Six-Sigma Functional Groups
  17. 17. Newton’s legacy was to give Western civilisation control over linear process, but the illusion of control over non-linear ones. 1.4 Roots of Revolution Newton’s Legacy © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net The Universe as a giant clock, and God the cosmic clockmaker, each part has its purpose, and to understand each piece is to understand the whole… Executive Directors Management Staff Organizational Chart Reporting Schedules Deconstruction Six-Sigma Functional Groups First Law “A body continues to maintain its state of rest or of uniform motion unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force.” Second Law “F = MA: the net force on an object is equal to the mass of the object multiplied by its acceleration.” Third Law “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
  18. 18. Newton’s legacy was to give Western civilisation control over linear process, but the illusion of control over non-linear ones. 1.4 Roots of Revolution “A Body In Motion…” © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “The Board of Directors, after consultations with the Executive (and other staff as appropriate) has adopted the attached five-year Strategic Plan and wishes to inform all employees…It will be reviewed periodically as necessary.” - Internal Memo Fortune 500 Company New York, NY, USA
  19. 19. Newton’s legacy was to give Western civilisation control over linear process, but the illusion of control over non-linear ones. 1.4 Roots of Revolution Force = Mass x Acceleration © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “In response to increasing market volatility, we are pleased to announce the merger of Delta with Northwest Air, a bold move that will consolidate our positions and lead the industry…” - E-mail Announcement Merger Approved 29 October, 2008
  20. 20. Newton’s legacy was to give Western civilisation control over linear process, but the illusion of control over non-linear ones. 1.4 Roots of Revolution Action – Reaction © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “…[W]ith the goal of creating an integrated set of business processes where the possibility of error or inadvertent change is limited by design to no more than six degrees of standard deviation from the norm.” - Training Manual “Six-Sigma” Introduction
  21. 21. par·a·digm shift 1.4 Roots of Revolution Rock of Ages © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Age of Cycles - Survive, scavenge, plow, sow, cultivate, protect, harvest, store, survive. Repeat. Age of Progress - Most efficient route between A and B…faster, cheaper, better…deconstruct to construct First… Then… Next… Finally… Age of Revolution - Change is no longer additive, it doesn’t move in a straight line, multivariate acceleration and random mutation (noun) - a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions Each time an age of civilisation ends, it’s replaced by a new set of assumptions about how the world really works. Change of institutions to adapt isn’t guaranteed; survival is not mandatory. ? When?
  22. 22. Global human population growth is around 81 million annually, or 1.2% per year. The global population has grown from 1 billion in 1800 to 7 billion in 2012. It is expected to keep growing to reach 11 billion by 2100. 1.4 Roots of Revolution Population – Resource Strains © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net 8 Billion2020 6 Billion2000 5 Billion1990 3 Billion1960 Population (Est.)Year Global Warming, Biodiversity/ Ecosystem Loss, Fisheries Depletion, Deforestation, Water Deficits, Maritime Safety and Pollution, Poverty Alleviation, Conflict Management, Education, Infectious Diseases
  23. 23. Moore’s Law is a computing term which originated around 1970; the simplified version of this law states that processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years. Put another way, the capability of technology to change and adapt increases by 50% ever single year. 1.4 Roots of Revolution Technological Folding © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Version 7.0 7.1 8.07.5 Digital Divide, Natural Disaster Prevention/Response, Reinventing Taxation, Bio- and Nanotechnology, Global Financial Systems, Illegal Drugs, Trade and Competition, Intellectual Property Rights, E-Commerce, International Migration/Labor
  24. 24. Leaders engage and manage Wicked Problems. Often, the best option to do so involves changing and building capacity of out-dated institutions. 1.5 Wicked Solutions © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net 1. Planetary, “make-or- break” issues 2. Urgent, disproportionate impact of delay 3. Cost of action far less than cost of inaction 4. Complex, global gains at local losses 5. Insufficient capacity of current institutions “Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well-informed just to be undecided about them.” - Laurence J. Peter “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.” - Abraham Lincoln “Problems that are created by our current level of thinking can’t be solved by that same level of thinking.” - Albert Einstein “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” - John Muir
  25. 25. The first step in problem-solving should be the identification of the type of problem: linear, or non-linear. 1.5 Wicked Solutions Building a Better Model © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Linear Problem-Solving – ‘Somewhere out there is the perfect answer; we just have to have enough data and processing power to find it.’ Nonlinear Problem-Solving – ‘The problem has too many moving parts to understand fully; we’re going to have to choose between and test imperfect options.’ Time Problem Solution Gather Analyze Formulate Implement GAFI and the Earthquake
  26. 26. Newton’s legacy was to give Western civilisation control over linear process, but the illusion of control over non-linear ones. 1.5 Wicked Solutions Building a Better Model © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “The purpose of models is not to fit the data, but to sharpen the questions.” - Samuel Karlin
  27. 27. “How I want a drink - alcoholic of course - after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics!” - Isaac Azimov 1.5 Wicked Solutions Building a Better Model © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net 1) Accepts that there isn’t one ‘perfect’ solution; So, We’re Looking for a Model that: 2) Recognises massive interdependence within the system; 3) Controls for small changes having large and (often) unpredictable effects; 4) Understands that not all elements of the problem may be accessible to influence at any given time; 5) Includes flexibility so that solutions can adapt to the problem changing over time; and 6) Can incorporate a variety of divergent input from a range of stakeholders key to its implementation. Quantum Mechanics
  28. 28. “Observations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it.” - Pascual Jordan 1.6 Beyond Newton Beyond Newton © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Quantum physics is a relatively new‘lens’ though which to view the world, both at a small- and at a large-scale… There is no place from which to observe reality without influencing it somehow; The presence of an observer within a complex system changes it fundamentally, as much as any of the other ‘direct’ participants, creating constant new evolution. Complex Systems are characterized by their interconnection and interdependence.
  29. 29. “Observations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it.” - Pascual Jordan 1.6 Beyond Newton Quantum Physics: The Dual-Slit Experiment © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net There is no place from which to observe reality without influencing it somehow;
  30. 30. “Observations not only disturb what is to be measured, they produce it.” - Pascual Jordan 1.6 Beyond Newton Beyond Newton: In Practice © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “As things began to settle down, we got word at headquarters about a small town on the border between two ethnic groups’ territories. Violence was nearly non- existent, and trade was vigorous between the otherwise warring factions. So we went to see. Immediately after our arrival, conflict flared and we had to pull back. The next day - reports of trade. We visit, and violence. We couldn’t understand what we weren’t seeing.”
  31. 31. “I’m disinclined to believe in spooky action at a distance, but alas, the proofs reinforce the supposition.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Beyond Newton © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Quantum physics is a relatively new‘lens’ though which to view the world, both at a small- and at a large-scale… Transition of matter or energy can take place from one location to another without following a Newtonian law of motion; Cause and effect are not (or not obviously) tied together within the system - actions in one area can cause unexpected results in another, or multiple other areas, and often redouble their impact. Success is no longer doing things in the right order, but rather doing enough of the right things at the same time.
  32. 32. “I’m disinclined to believe in spooky action at a distance, but alas, the proofs reinforce the supposition.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Quantum Physics: Entanglement © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Transition of matter or energy can take place from one location to another without following a Newtonian law of motion;
  33. 33. “I’m disinclined to believe in spooky action at a distance, but alas, the proofs reinforce the supposition.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Beyond Newton: In Practice © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “We introduced a new strain of rice more adaptable to wider temperature and moisture variations, hoping to stabilise and improve the region’s food production through increasing drought. However, it was actually too effective, and its shallow but pervasive root systems crowded out other deeper-rooted plants nearby, resulting in unchecked flooding and soil/crop loss that actually ended up lowering productivity by 42%.
  34. 34. “I’m disinclined to believe in spooky action at a distance, but alas, the proofs reinforce the supposition.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Simple Minds, Wicked Problems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Tic - Tac - Toe Success is no longer doing things in the right order, but rather doing enough of the right things at the same time.
  35. 35. “I’m disinclined to believe in spooky action at a distance, but alas, the proofs reinforce the supposition.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Simple Minds, Wicked Problems © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Tic - Tac - Toe
  36. 36. “It is a wonderful feeling to recognise the unity of a complex of phenomena that to direct observation appear to be quite separate things.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Beyond Newton © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Quantum physics is a relatively new‘lens’ though which to view the world, both at a small- and at a large-scale… Inherent in the vastness and apparent chaos of the universe is a natural and tantalizingly simple order. The apparent chaos of a complex systems is governed by surprisingly few orderly rules, the potential energy of which can be evoked with comparatively minimal effort. Change in Complex Systems is evoked by constructively manipulating points of entry and leverage.
  37. 37. “It is a wonderful feeling to recognise the unity of a complex of phenomena that to direct observation appear to be quite separate things.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Quantum Physics: Self-Organisation © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Inherent in the vastness and apparent chaos of the universe is a natural and tantalizingly simple order.
  38. 38. “It is a wonderful feeling to recognise the unity of a complex of phenomena that to direct observation appear to be quite separate things.” - Albert Einstein 1.6 Beyond Newton Beyond Newton: In Practice © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net “It reminded me of the acid rain problem; mining and heavy industry in England poured chemicals into the air, which ended up raining down in Scandinavia, killing off entire forests and whole tracts of ocean fisheries. In global warming, the same thing is happening from the developed world (spewing CO2) causing havoc in Africa and Asia. But it works in reverse, too - remove a tonne of carbon where it’s cheap to do so (India) and the whole planet benefits.”
  39. 39. “A great technological dilemma threatens our planet today; ascent has taken place without any corresponding elevation of ideas…” 1.7 Whither Wickedness? Complexity: The Tree © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Roots Sunlight Carbon Dioxide Squirrels Worms Rain Fire Insects
  40. 40. 1.7 Whither Wickedness? Complexity: The Business © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net In the Age of Revolution, business is defined by who relates to whom. In the Age of Progress, business was defined by who was in charge of whom. “A great technological dilemma threatens our planet today; ascent has taken place without any corresponding elevation of ideas… Whatever mankind’s success in intermediate organization, it has failed to make an organization of the whole. The finest energies have gone into interim projects…”
  41. 41. “A great technological dilemma threatens our planet today; ascent has taken place without any corresponding elevation of ideas… Whatever mankind’s success in intermediate organization, it has failed to make an organization of the whole. The finest energies have gone into interim projects… We have made a world without a philosophy for ennobling it, a plan for conserving it, or an organization for sustaining it.” - Norman Cousins 1.7 Whither Wickedness? Complexity: The Planet © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net International Development Democracy Development  Decentralization Anti- Corruption  
  42. 42. “You think because you understand ‘one’ you must also understand ‘two’, because one and one equals two. But you must also understand ‘and’ and ‘equals’.” - Rumi 1.7 Whither Wickedness? Paradigm Shift © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net 1 + 1 = 2 Newtonian ThinkingQuantum Thinking “One” “One” “Two”“And”“Equals” 1 + 1 = 2
  43. 43. “You think because you understand ‘one’ you must also understand ‘two’, because one and one equals two. But you must also understand ‘and’ and ‘equals’.” - Rumi 1.8 Session Two: Focus From “Why?” to “What?” © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net The world isn’t getting more complex…instead, our understanding of its complexity is getting more complete. That understanding comes from realisation of a complex system’s elements, but also the interdependence between them.
  44. 44. Wicked Reading © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Complex System Theory and Development Practice Samir Rihani Amazon - 256pp High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them Jean-Francois Rischard Amazon - 256pp Politics is About Relationship Hal Saunders Amazon - 256pp Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos M. Mitchell Waldrop Amazon - 384pp
  45. 45. Session One - Complexity in Context © Alexander Knapp, 2014 - All Rights Reserved. alexander@knapp.net Questions?
  46. 46. Regent’s University - MACL Sense-Making in a Complex World Wickedness at Work – Complex System Theory Alexander Knapp Visiting Lecturer, International Relations, Business and Strategy

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