Category Archives: Complex adaptive system

Complexity Leadership Theory – An interactive perspective on Leading in Complex Adaptive Systems

Traditional, hierarchical views of leadership are less and less useful given the complexities of our modern world. Leadership theory must transition to new perspectives that account for the complex adaptive needs of organizations. In this paper, we propose that leadership … Continue reading

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Complex Systems Regime Shift – Readings I

For a Complex Systems point of view. Towards sustainability, it is important to understand the dynamics of socio-ecological systems, as complex adaptive systems. An essential aspect of such complex systems is nonlinearity, leading to historical dependency and multiple possible outcomes … Continue reading

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Complex Dynamical Systems Theory

Complexity is a systemic property. Whether in the physical or social realms, if individuals are independent or even weakly interdependent no complex physical or social structure will emerge; connectivity and interaction are necessary conditions for the emergence of complexity. The … Continue reading

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Resilience and the Behavior of Large-Scale Systems

Scientists and researchers concerned with the behavior of large ecosystems have focused in recent years on the concept of “resilience.”  Traditional perspectives held that ecological systems exist close to a steady state and resilience is the ability of the system … Continue reading

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Critical Transitions in Nature and Society

How do we explain the remarkably abrupt changes that sometimes occur in nature and society–and can we predict why and when they happen? This book offers a comprehensive introduction to critical transitions in complex systems–the radical changes that happen at … Continue reading

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Resilience and Sustainable Development – Theory of Resilience, Systems Thinking and Adaptive Governance

Resilience thinking is inevitably systems thinking at least as much as sustainable development is. In fact, “when considering systems of humans and nature (social-ecological systems) it is important to consider the system as a whole. The human domain and the … Continue reading

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Ecosystems and the Biosphere as Complex Adaptive Systems

Ecosystems are prototypical examples of complex adaptive systems, in which patterns at higher levels emerge from localized interactions and selection processes acting at lower levels. An essential aspect of such systems is nonlinearity, leading to historical dependency and multiple possible … Continue reading

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Resilience Management in Social-ecological Systems: A working hypothesis for a Participatory Approach

Approaches to natural resource management are often based on a presumed ability to predict probabilistic responses to management and external drivers such as climate. They also tend to assume that the manager is outside the system being managed. However, where … Continue reading

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Social Learning and Sustainability – Exploring Critical Issues in Relation to Environmental Change and Governance

This report addresses a critical part of the very front of social-ecological systems research. Learning can be seen as a process of change in the way we look upon the world — our thoughts, feelings and actions — which is … Continue reading

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General Theory of Stigmergy: Modelling Stigma Semantics

Stigmergy is a biological term used when discussing a sub-set of insect swarm-behaviour describing the apparent organisation seen during their activities. Stigmergy describes a communication mechanism based on environment-mediated signals which trigger responses among the insects. This phenomenon is demonstrated … Continue reading

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