This is a fascinating thinkpiece from four leading thinkers at the Boston Consulting Group, Martin Reeves, Ron Nicol, Thijs Venema and Georg Wittenburg. As well as discussing the power of evolutionary approaches in business, it showcases BCG’s work with agent-based modelling to strengthen strategic thinking (about which more on this blog soon). Much of relevance […]


Following the response to my post earlier this week on systemic innovation, here are NESTA’s top tips for effective systems innovators.  1. Even a great product is no guarantee of success Superstar designers might garner the acclaim for iconic products, but much of the value they create lies in the systems that support and enable them. Products […]


Some readers may already know how big a problem fishing nets pose globally – I have to admit that I had no idea. Every year, it seems, almost three quarters of a million tonnes of abandoned and lost fishing nets “pile up on beaches, create a navigational hazard for boats, or settle to the ocean […]


A guest cross-post by Melanie Mitchell of the Santa Fe Institute.  In 1894, the physicist and Nobel laureate Albert Michelson declared that science was almost finished; the human race was within a hair’s breadth of understanding everything: It seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have now been firmly established and that further advances […]


In this guest cross-post, Geoffrey West, former President of the Santa Fe Institute, argues that just as the industrial age produced the laws of thermodynamics, we need universal laws of complexity to solve intractable problems of the post-industrial era, and that ‘big data’ needs such ‘big theory’. For more on this topic, see David Hales’ guest […]


A wonderfully written piece in today’s FT Magazine by Stephen Foley, on the changing role of physicists in financial markets. A short extract below, and the full article is here (sign up may be required but is free for a certain number of articles). ‘…complex systems are not systematically predictable. They’re only predictable in some regimes…’ The […]