Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World

Yaneer Bar-Yam, President
New England Complex Systems Institute

MAKING THINGS WORK: Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World

Today, as individuals and as a society, we are faced with highly complex challenges. When we don't solve them correctly they rapidly become crises. This book explains how we can use complex systems research to solve complex problems in: ♦ healthcare ♦ education ♦ military conflict ♦ ethnic violence and terrorism♦ international development.

Highly complex problems cannot be solved by any one individual. Traditional organizations, traditional forms of control and planning are not effective. Making Things Work draws on insights from complex systems research about emergence, complexity, patterns, networks and evolution. It explains how effective organizations form through cooperation and competition, and how to make non-hierarchical distributed organizational structures effective at their tasks.

Annotated Table of Contents

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About the author: Yaneer Bar-Yam is the President of the New England Complex Systems Institute and author of Dynamics of Complex Systems, the premier textbook on the science of complex systems. He has been working with: military planners on military organization, technology and transformation; healthcare executives on medical errors and quality of care; systems engineers on Air Force real time systems; members of the intelligence community on ethnic violence and terrorism; educators on education system reform; and executives at corporations on corporate effectiveness in an uncertain highly competitive world. Here he shares insights about ways to apply concepts from the study of complex systems to real world problems.

This book deals with pressing issues confronting our society and gives a new perspective on how they can be addressed using novel tools from the study of complex systems. The scientific study of complex systems is attracting the attention of executives and policy makers because our society has reached a remarkably high level of complexity. New ideas are essential to meet the challenges we face.

ISBN 0-9656328-2-2
Knowledge Press
"Complexity is the science of the 21st century. The catch is that we may have to wait decades to see it applied. Bar-Yam offers a convincing case, however, that the applications have arrived: many complex problems occurring in business and society can be successfully solved using the insights and tools of the emerging field. A thought provoking work by one of the field's prominent thinkers."

-- Albert-László Barabási, Author of Linked: The New Science of Networks

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