What we're about

Welcome to the complexity meetup. This is a place for all people interested in complexity issues to meet and share insights about complexity, systems thinking and holistic approaches to complex challenges. The human brain, ecosystems, economies and social networks are all great examples of complex systems as they have many parts interconnected with each other without central control or design and exhibit subtle and unpredictable behavior.

We all experience a complex, interconnected and holistic world so everyone interested is very welcome to join.

Complexity based thinking challenges many assumptions about the world, for example:

1. A system can be fully understood

2. The components of a system can be analyzed, and by adding together all the components we understand the behavior of the whole

3. The behavior of a system can be predicted

4. The outputs of a system will be proportional to the inputs

5. The system can be understood isolated from the environment, ignoring the interconnections with other systems.

6. Events have a single cause that can be isolated.

7. Unintended consequences are the rule rather than the exception. Expect unintended consequences to any attempts to make improvements, and be prepared to make changes to take account of the unintended consequences,.

8. Complex systems have paradoxical behavior. The definition of a complex system is unclear. They evolve and stay the same, some behavior is predictable e.g. adaptation to the environment and other behaviour is unpredictable

9. The examples above are over-simplifications and will not apply in all cases, complexity itself is complex so these are just some viewpoints.

By studying complex systems we hope to become more holistic and interconnected in our thinking about the world. This alternative viewpoint may contribute to being able to make improvements in complex ecological, social and economic issues or to grow organizations in challenging environments.

I hope that by popularizing insights from complexity research, this shared understanding will help people trying to make big improvements in the world to become more effective.

Another goal is that by aligning your thinking and beliefs with the behavior of complex systems, you will become more aligned with how complex systems operate e.g. your own behavior, social groups, organizations, ecosystems. Hopefully then you will be less surprised by what happens, and less emotionally attached to outcomes that cannot be controlled, and better able to flourish amid uncertainty and change.

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