Broadcast 8/6/2017 at 04:24:22
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Yaneer Bar-Yam is Director of the New England Complex System Institute , in Cambridge, Massachusetts, author of Making Things Work; Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World. He's used complexity theory and quantum mechanics theory to predict that the Arab Spring would happen, and applies these approaches to social problems, health care, education, warfare, terrorism and more.
First question. What is complexity theory, how does it relate to systems theory and how do you use this approach to deal with social, political issues and the like, and your message that no single person can deal with the problems or the complexity of our modern world.
In your book, Making Things Work, you say that sometimes, putting a person in charge can make things worse
You've said, "if we stick to hierarchies we're going to fail, but there are other structures that can work. More network distributed organizations, that a cultural shift happening, where people are realizing that how much you rely on leaders is actually causing systems to be less successful.
Hierarchy is a concept, among humans, that I believe took root in a strong way, after humans domesticated and dominated, animals and land, which brought about civilization. But before civilization, hominids were more bottom up, less hierarchical.
You've suggested that we need to shift from our current representative democracy from a hierarchical model to a more lateral or horizontal decision-making structure--but that we don't have a formula for such a process. Please talk about the considerations and offer your thoughts on what we need to to and how to get there.
You talk about how the world became more interdependent in the 1980s.
How does your approach offer hope to people dealing with problems and people hoping to make change happen?
How does this work apply to the military, health care, education, terrorism, business, management, leadership You refer to the idea of distributed network.
You say that new patterns of thinking are needed.
Civilization as organism
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