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Predictability
vs
Unpredictability
Sharon Richardson
www.joiningdots.com
@joiningdots
ReadMe.1st
This was a talk delivered for ‘300 seconds’ hosted by the
Guardian newspaper in London, November 2013.
The clue is in the title: each talk lasted no more than 5
minutes. My session was about unpredictable systems
trump predictable ones…
This was a completely visual presentation and the slides
don’t really work on the own. A few post-its have been
added to add a little context
Enjoy! 
Predictable
Unpredictable
Why embracing the
unpredictable can lead to more
resilient systems
Predictable is great when you
know where you are going and
what to expect…
…not so much when you don’t.
When facing uncertainty, small regular adjustments
based on feedback outperform long-term plans based
on assumptions
When there is stability and scale, there
is usually a hierarchy…
Networks adapt better to
uncertainty but can fall into chaos
(…but the benefits are
rarely evenly distributed…)
The Internet has changed
the game
…it is considered a
‘scale free’ network
Uncertainty is the new
normal
Lose control of a car and the
crash is inevitable
But with a horse, anything is
possible (the rider doesn’t fall)
(video removed)
Sharon Richardson
www.joiningdots.com
@joiningdots

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