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Complexity Thinking and Systems Theory: Special Issue of Emergence: Complexity and Organization

Written/Edited by: Kurt A. Richardson, Wendy J. Gregory and Gerald Midgley
2007, ISBN 9780979168857 (260 pages), ISCE Publishing

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This special issue brings together, among others, a collection of papers and articles that are drawn from no less than three recent complexity conferences. All of the academic and practitioner section papers were selected from the recent ANZSYS/ISCE collaboration that resulted in the International 11th ANZSYS / Managing the Complex V conference that was held December 5-7, 2005 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The purpose of this event was to provide a lively forum for discussion and debate for a wide range of academics and practitioners in the fields of systems thinking, complexity science and management. People from other disciplines who had an interest in the application of systems thinking and complexity approaches were also invited to participate. The event brought together thinkers and practitioners in the fields of systems and complexity as it seemed to the organizers that there had been a significant international resurgence in these areas in recent years. The fields of systems and complexity have many similarities, yet they are being developed by two overlapping research communities that have unique insights to bring to bear on the management of 'wicked' problems. By providing forums in which people working at the frontiers of complexity and systems thinking can learn from one another, significant new insights for action can emerge. At the end of the day, it is important to the vast majority of those working with complexity and systems ideas that they are able to make a positive difference in people's lives. It is therefore vitally important that we share our insights and build a community of practitioners that can take the research agenda forward. A primary goal of the 11th ANZSYS / Managing the Complex V event was to bring together as many people as possible engaged in complex environmental, social and business issues, with the intention of promoting an intense and lively debate with real implications for systems and complexity practice. The hope of the organizers is that this conference was a step in the

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