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Big Data on the Menu

Understanding the Complexity of Your Diet When I was a diabetes nurse, the first question I would invariably get from a new client was, “What can I eat and what can’t I eat”. It was also the question I most hated because it was so complicated. We are both blessed and cursed that supermarkets have forty to fifty thousand different things we might eat and none of it will either guarantee health or kill us immediately. What we [...]

When Avoiding Complexity is no Longer an Option!

 “Fostering the health of individuals, communities, organizations and our natural environment by helping people recognize, understand and use concepts emerging from the science of complexity.” The carefully crafted mission of Plexus Institute, a not-for-profit organization that was officially formed in 2001, still guides the primary work in the network, sharing knowledge and offering expertise through the continuing exploration of complexity in all our human systems, large and small. Our definition of “health” is broad, holistic, relative and [...]

2019-12-29T13:37:55-05:00Complexity Matters Posts|

Plexus Fractals

What is a Plexus Fractal? Plexus Fractals are self-organizing groups of people who want to get together face-to-face periodically to learn about complexity and its applications, share experience and problems, and network with others with similar interests. On a regular basis someone in the Plexus Network will ask, "Why don't we reboot local Fractals?" In the past, Plexus Fractals were hosted in cities across the US and Canada and were a popular way for members of the Plexus community [...]

Stories in Action: Sharing Complexity Conversations

A hallmark of Plexus Institute for nearly 20 years has been the sharing of conversations focused on applied principles of complexity across the professional, scientific and academic fields. Through hundreds of PlexusCalls, anyone could listen to, learn from, and ask questions of leading thinkers, researchers, and practitioners working to influence and lead change in the most complex and challenging situations. Today, this Plexus tradition continues with ComPlexus Podcasts.  We are in the process of recording the first series [...]

2019-10-20T18:30:24-04:00Complexity Matters Posts|

The Engineer and The Gardener: Management Science Versus Complexity Science

Let's Begin with Management Science The concept of management as a science has its origins in the aftermath of World War II. During that conflict the use of analytical disciplines drawn from operations research proved enormous useful in decision-making. After the war the hope was that the business use of operations research would form the basis for a science of management that used rational, evidence-based techniques and analytical methods to inform and improve decisions of all kinds. The result [...]

2019-08-14T13:07:58-04:00Complexity Matters Posts|

Humans, Technology and Complexity: Perks and Perils and Ageless Questions

The crashes of two Boeing 737 Max jets that took the lives of 346 people in less than five months were preceded by a complex series of engineering, economic, corporate and regulatory decisions whose combined interplay contributed to tragic unintended consequences. The fallout from the two disasters in Indonesia and Ethiopia is no less complex. Government oversight responsibilities, corporate practices and the impact of intense airline business competition are under scrutiny as the investigations of [...]

Plexus Partners Catalyze “The DNA of Collaboration” In New #Tweetchat Event

JOIN Plexus Catalysts Bruce Waltuck and Denise Easton for a Saturday morning #Tweetchat with author/consultant/change leader Chris Jones on the dynamics of collaboration through a complexity perspective. Since 2012,Chris has led a group of OD practitioners in monthly discussions on complex challenges in organizations. With Plexus, #orgdna is continuing its exploration of sense-making in complexity. Please meet #orgdna! As always, the Plexus Institute supports and partners with others around the world, working to achieve positive change through the application [...]

Plexus Network, Meet #orgdna

Plexus Network, Meet #orgdna Our ongoing conversation on complexity has new energy.  Plexus Institute has partnered with DNA of Collaboration founder Chris Jones and #orgdna community to expand conversations on social complexity.  #orgdna is a self-selecting community of #orgdev and #complexity thinkers exploring collaborative aspects of the organization since 2012. As we encounter experiences that require new responses and ways of thinking to address complex structural and behavorial patterns in our working environments, traditional organizational practices routinely [...]

Creating and Distributing Value – Where to Begin?

The complex topic of "value" in human systems is the focus of Chris Lawer’s current work at Umio where he explores the difficult-to-grasp and oft-debated concept of value, with a particular focus on health and care (eco)systems. Chris begins with the main theories of value that have emerged over two millennia of debate, and the two primary forms of value – exchange and use - which for more than two centuries, have underpinned the prevalent neo-classical economic view. He will [...]

Researchers + Practitioners = Social Good

What Happens When Researchers and Practitioners Connect to Advance Social Good in a Complex World? Plexus Institute is all too familiar with the failure of  social policies because outdated linear approaches are used to manage disruptive, emergent processes. The result can lead to  institutional disarray  and failure with direct consequences on the lives of individuals and their communities.​ CAPS 2019 is the 3rd International Conference on Complexity and Policy Studies. When: April 15-17, 2019 Where: Washington, DC The conference is [...]

Is Your Mind Playing Games?

Why are family reunions and holiday gatherings so often prone to free-floating angst, irrational episodes and inexplicable outbursts? Such eruptions may have origins that are utterly obscure or only dimly remembered, but complexity science can help us make sense of them. In his extraordinary book The Developing Mind, How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, psychiatrist and scholar Daniel J. Siegel talks about the family not only as a complex system, but as a supersystem, composed [...]

Witness a Self Organizing System at Pebble Ledge Ranch

A zebra chasing bubbles, a pony drumming, horses helping people heal, leaders listening from within, a herd running free - just another day at Pebble Ledge Ranch.     Meet Toby, grazing in the field. If you look closely, you'll see Holly, the zebra, in the background of the photo above!  The herd at Pebble Ledge Ranch shifts and changes with the cycle of the moment, the cycle of life, the cycle of nature.  These horses are not kept [...]

2019-02-14T16:12:25-05:00Complexity Matters Posts|