We have shared over 100 episodes on the Human Current podcast and have explored the very essence of complex systems throughout many different conversations. We continue to learn from others about interdependencies, patterns, relationships, emergence, self-organization, feedback loops, and many more trademarks of complex adaptive systems. All of these concepts have helped us better understand the inner workings of our reality. They are packed with meaning and tangible understanding. Yet, there is another concept that continues to reveal itself to us time and time again, which is harder to grasp with the mind: wholeness. Wholeness is the very essence of what it means to be a living system.
At first thought, it seems like a straightforward term that you can wrap your head around without having to sit with it for very long. When you do sit with it for a while however, you realize it’s loaded with mystical complexity.
Peter Senge said, “systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots.”
Wholeness is all around us. We can use systems thinking and complexity thinking to see it and to tap into it, but we are learning that something more is needed, something beyond knowledge or reason, in order to fully appreciate what wholeness really means.
Here are a few quotes to help you grasp wholeness with your mind (and maybe a few insights for how else we might seek wholeness):
We recently had the privilege to talk with Stephen Wolfram at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS). Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language. He is also the author of A New Kind of Science and is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research.
Wolfram is also one of the founding fathers of the complexity science field and was the featured keynote speaker on the first night at ICCS, hosted by the New England Complex Systems Institute. He spoke for an hour and a half at the event and was followed by a very eager crowd of followers after his talk. Many of these complexity thinkers, practitioners, students and researchers lingered to ask him questions, hoping he would elaborate on his very thought-provoking presentation. During this time, Angie and I anxiously waited in our podcast booth for him to come speak with us, and after nearly 2 hours of patiently addressing his crowd’s questions, Wolfram walked into our booth. We asked him if he was up for an interview after such a long evening, and with no hesitation he sat down and put on his microphone headset.
This is a very exciting time for The Human Current! We have just come back from a wonderful conference week at The Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS) and are about to release our 100th podcast episode!
While at ICCS we collected 30 interviews and have released 8 of these interviews so far, including Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, Professor Ricardo Hausmann, Steven Hassan, Professor Natalia Komarova & Professor George Church!
Soon we will share our interview with one of the founding fathers of complexity science, Stephen Wolfram.
We discovered Complexity Labs several months ago after watching educational videos on their Youtube channel. Since then, we have read a number of their complexity related articles and have formed a supportive working relationship with their founder, Joss Colchester. We believe Joss and the Complexity Labs team are making a very important contribution to the complexity and systems thinking communities with their easily accessible learning content. Since Complexity Labs was established a few short years ago, they have made great impact producing over 300 video lessons, which have been viewed 2 million times.
It’s no secret that I love my work as a podcast co-host and an organizational change consultant. As a co-host of The HumanCurrent, there are two questions that I am frequently asked: how do we (my co-host and I) practice what we talk about in our podcast and how do we live out our Twitter handle @Letsworkhappy. I love these questions so much that I’ve written this blog to share some of our practices.
My hope is that everyone can experience happiness at work and perhaps by me sharing these favorite practices, you can apply at least one of them at your work. Cheers to working happy!
The co-hosts of The HumanCurrent are very excited to announce they are collaborating with Complexity Labs for a series of live streaming video conversations about all things complexity.
We are calling this video discussion series "Complexity Live" and it will be a once a month event hosted on Google Hangouts (YouTube Live) at Complexity Labs Youtube Channel .
Our very first Complexity Live will take place Friday, June 8th at 6PM GMT and anyone with a curious mind can listen in and ask questions while the conversation unfolds.
We recently had the privilege to talk with physicist, complexity scientist, and MIT professor, Cesar Hidalgo, on our podcast. Hidalgo is also the author of Why Information Grows, The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies, a wonderfully insightful book which explores “what information is, where it comes from, and why it grows”…
Bringing our whole self to work is essential for us to thrive as humans and companies to survive in today’s environment. I was thrilled (and relieved) to learn that there are thousands, perhaps even millions, of people who also believe that our whole selves cannot be separated into parts and that this was increasingly being practiced in companies around the world.