Mapping Complexity’s Adjacent Possible: Where Are We (Not) Headed?

On 27 Sept 2022, Lasse Gerrits and I had the opportunity to present on our Atlas of Social Complexity project for the RICH, the Radboud Interfaculty Complexity Hub. The focus of our presentation was, Mapping Complexity’s Adjacent Possible: Where Are We (Not) Headed?

It was a lot of fun and a really brilliant group of faculty and students. Thanks again to Marcos Ross, Hitomi Shibata, and Jerrald Rector for organising the event, and to everyone for the excellent discussion, which helped us to develop our ideas further. In particular, we enjoyed the discussion on the need for vertical (multi-level) systems thinking (Jerrald Rector) and the importance of integrating complexity thinking into primary, secondary and university education (Hubert Korzilius), as well as the possibility of developing a series of formalisms for systems thinking (Fred Hasselman).


The origin and development of the complexity sciences is well-documented. Once deemed a minority interest, the complexity sciences have been taken up in many fields such that some of its aspects have become adopted generally. The complexity map, which we have developed (2021), demonstrates this widespread popularity.A major challenge remains: the complexity sciences have run into a series of intellectual traps – e.g., quants over qual, poor knowledge of social science – which presently have the study of complexity on a bit of a problematic course. Looking to the future, can these present challenges be addressed? If so, to what extent or in what ways? What do such near and distant future adjacent possibilities look like? Can we map them? Where is the frontier of the complexity sciences headed, or not headed? The purpose of this highly interactive workshop is to explore the future (the adjacent possible) of the complexity sciences, and for participants to have an active hand in shaping what that future map looks like.


CLICK HERE for the PDF of the presentation


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