The Third of the Grand Revolutions

There’s a lot of talk about the Digital Revolution and the effects it had, has, might have. Let’s take a step back to put things into perspective: Could it be that this revolution is a lot larger than we usually think? Are we currently experiencing the beginnings of a major transformation not only of our technological base, but of the very […]

Three days, three breakthroughs

Wow, what a ride! Just between 10 and 12 December 2015 –within the blink of an eye–  three events occurred that we will likely consider breakthroughs in a couple of years: the Paris Agreement, the launch of OpenAI, and the first successful run of Wendelstein 7-X. While one of those events is widely agreed as historic, the other two currently […]

Different scales, different purposes, all intertwined

Complex adaptive systems exists at different scales, both spatial and temporal. As Lance Gunderson and Crawford Holling described it, those different scales form of structure of nested adaptive cycles. To make this idea a bit more tangible, let’s take weather and climate: we are all exposed to the very local patterns every minute we are outdoors; we take into […]

Some second thoughts on first contact

The concept of adaptive cycles can serve as a framework for a rich discussion on innovation. However, before diving deeper into the specifics of the concept, let’s look at the basic description of the adaptive cycles again and review some of the earlier posts on this blog: to what extent do those ideas fit with this concept? I’d […]

The dynamic ups and downs of human systems

No matter how hard we try to keep things simple and under control, many man-made systems turn out to to be – or to become over time – quite complex and unpredictable. Despite our effort. Against our intentions. In stark contrast to our preference for simple, linear, static, controllable, predictable systems. Computer software, stock markets and tax codes […]