There’s a well-known quote that states that “prediction is hard, especially about the future.” Well, it’s equally as true, if considerably less clever, to state that complexity is hard, especially about the real world.

It’s somewhat ironic that a discipline that draws so much on real world phenomena, arguing against the oversimplification of models, has had limited impact on business/social modeling. While many of the more beguiling concepts have embedded themselves in everyday language, complexity thinking, as a formal discipline, is clearly much less widespread. There are islands of success, but the intellectual tectonic shifts required to make them continents have not been forthcoming.

This collection is the start of an attempt to redress the balance. Each of the 18 chapters attempts to build a bridge from concepts to application. We’d be deluding ourselves, and misleading the reader, if we claimed that these pages contain off-the-shelf tools that can be applied by those with no background in complexity science. However, we hope that this collection provides inspiration to those who wish to take complexity to the masses.

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