Systems Intelligence – competences in Human Action and Organizations

Systems Intelligence emphasis is on interactive participation in systems with feedback and subtle interrelations. It is a form of holistic and instinctual thinking that we believe is vital, indeed fundamental to human nature. Systems Intelligence is a survival asset we have as a species. By Systems Intelligence we mean intelligent behavior in the context of complex systems involving interaction and feedback. A subject acting with Systems Intelligence engages successfully and productively with the holistic feedback mechanisms of her environment. She perceives herself as part of a whole, the influence of the whole upon herself as well as her own influence upon the whole. By observing her own interdependence in the feedback intensive environment, she is able to act intelligently. Like the forms of intelligence described by Howard Gardner in his ground-breaking work, as well as Emotional Intelligence as explicated by Daniel Goleman, Systems Intelligence deals with the structures human agents use in order to conduct their lives successfully. Systems Intelligence, as defined here, is a fundamental human competence not covered by Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligencies or the theory of Emotional Intelligence. Our conviction is that Systems Intelligence is a key form of human intelligence and a fundamental element in the adaptive human toolbox. Systems Intelligence points beyond the forms of intelligence of  Gardner and Goleman in linking intelligence with the concept of a system. At the same time, Systems Intelligence reaches beyond traditional Systems Thinking in its pragmatic and active, personal and existential emphasis. The term was coined by Raimo P. Hämäläinen in a research seminar we facilitated at the Helsinki University of Technology in the fall of 2002 on creative problem solving.


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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