Complexity is a burgeoning science spilling into management practice. With its orgins in chemistry and biology, complexity is the science of many connected things. Complexity theory recognises that the relationship among these many things is frequently non-linear; a small event can have a large impact and vice versa. Chaos theory focuses on the ways nonlinearity can effect system dynamics. Complexity theory recognises that a complex system is impossible to predict in detail yet patterns re-emerge - similar but never the same. such recurrent patterns are called attractors. It recognises there is no directing force yet order can emerge - complex system are self-organising. It recognises that equilibrium is never achieved as positive feedback increases the complexity within the system.
Some dynamically dissipative systems may evolve sufficient complexity and adaptability through feedback control to meet the requirements for autopoiesis (i.e., to meet the criteria to be considered living). Complex adaptive systems meeting the criteria to be considered living have emerged at several levels of structural organization, e.g., living cells, multicellular organisms, as hives and colonies in social insects, and human-based social and economic organisations. Some argue that knowledge and autopoiesis are inseparable - neither can emerge without the other. Both knowledge and autopoiesis must be understood if we are to fully understand either.
Complexity science may be a useful metaphor for better understanding organisations or perhaps a new theoretical framework for management science. Either way this meetup is an opportunity to meet others in Melbourne who are interested in discussing this topic, sharing resources and making more connections in our complex world.