Applications of Complexity Science for Public Policy

Government officials and other decision makers increasingly encounter a daunting class of problems that involve systems composed of very large numbers of diverse interacting parts. These systems are prone to surprising, large-scale, seemingly uncontrollable, behaviours. These traits are the hallmarks of what scientists call complex systems. This report is devoted to the proposition that the insights and results achieved through scientific analysis can be used to design and implement better governmental policies, programmes, regulations, treaties, and infrastructures for dealing with complex systems. In a complex system, it is not uncommon for small changes to have big effects; big changes to have surprisingly small effects; and for effects to come from unanticipated causes. Given the accumulating scientific accomplishments of complexity scientists, the OECD Global Science Forum asked an essential question: How can the insights and methods of complexity science be applied to assist policymakers as they tackle difficult problems in policy areas such as health, environmental protection, economics, energy security, or public safety?

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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