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 International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2007)

Going from closed to open: how may we help to make it bearable?

Lorraine Dodd

Gwyn Prins
Mackinder Centre, London School of Economics

Gillian Stamp
BIOSS Foundation

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     Last modified: June 3, 2007

As open systems-thinking encourages us to appreciate shape and form in what at first appears to be a whole mess of actors, roles, relationships, responsibilities, rules, regulations, responses, resources, etc, we need to be able to support a full, open and imaginative examination of generative structures responsible for creating possible futures. So we need to move from the comfort of probability, evaluation, closed-ness of eyes, mind and action-repertoire into the realms of possibility, feasibility, open-ness of eyes, mind and action-adaptation space. This is a difficult and potentially unbearable journey but if we are encouraging leaders to move into open adaptive systems-thinking then they will require the support of a staged appreciation to help cope with sparseness and un-knowables. There are two clear phases of (1) sunesis and (2) phronesis; but the judgements resulting from the phronesis will not be in terms of real world actions but in terms of adaptive actions and extending understanding through sunesis.

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