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 […]


This piece is cross-posted from the Global Policy blog, where it has been published as part of Global Policy’s new e-book, ‘Emergence, Convergence and the Future of Aid’, edited by Andy Sumner. Contributions from academics and practitioners will be serialised on Global Policy until the e-book’s release in the first quarter of 2014. Find out […]


The team behind the Atlas of Economic Complexity (see my post on this here) have come up with a fascinating network-based approach for analysing the global aid system. As they put it: International development is a complex global goal that faces massive coordination barriers. The difference in income between rich and poor has expanded over […]