P.W.Anderson states in his classic paper titled "More is Different" - The ability to reduce everything to simple fundamental laws does not imply the ability to start from those laws and reconstruct the universe. He further states - The constructionist hypothesis breaks down when confronted with the twin difficulties of scale and complexity. The behavior of large and complex aggregates of elementary particles, it turns out, is not to be understood in terms of simple extrapolation of the properties of a few particles. Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors requires research (fundamental).
Complex systems are characterized by:
Inherently conflicting, unknowable and diverse requirements
Continuous evolution and deployment
Heterogeneous, inconsistent, and changing elements
Erosion of people/system boundary
New paradigms for acquisition and policy
Thus far our methods to confront complexity have been based on reductionism or analysis, determinism, dualism, correspondence theory of knowledge and rationality – analytical and logical thinking as we know it. They have worked well for us in the past and continue to drive our approaches to problem solving, change creation and innovation.
However, the new age of innovation warrants newer methods to deal with complexity. These new methods are likely to be based on a deeper understanding of indeterminacy, non-linearity, chaos, adaptation, self-organization and distributed intelligence.
Crafitti provides an integrated approach to Ultra-large scale systems design using the Lean Inventive Systems Thinking Framework.
This was presented at the DesignFirst Conference 2008 held at Bangalore.