Humanity is in a crisis of consciousness. Society and the way we interact with each other is broken because we too often see the world in separate, static, and linear ways. Our reductive thinking keeps us stuck in the past, with no clear path for how to move forward, for we are in constant conflict with the complex, dynamic, and evolving world around us. Luckily, an opportunity for change is presenting itself. We have a new approach to the art of inquiry, called complexity science, which can guide us forward. A complexity science approach allows us to explore and address questions beyond the the scope of “traditional” science, including human behavior, cultures, and social movements. Complexity science pushes us to look at history, not for answers but for a map toward a more positive future and every February in the United States, we are presented with an opportune time to reflect on the past. Black History Month, which stems back to the 1920’s as “Negro History Week”, is here to remind us that the past contains important insights. Unfortunately, over the years we have missed too many of these insights and desperately need to expand our thinking in order to move forward in a positive way. With a collective shift in human consciousness, guided by missing lessons from our past and complexity science, we can work together to achieve positive change.
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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.
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.
As a systems thinker, I don’t ever recall a time that I couldn’t see systems. However, as I was learning about the various complexity terms and aspects, light bulb after light bulb went off, and having the words that explained what I understood gave me more confidence. What I learned from my MA was rich and invaluable, and while it did not result in me being fluent in "complexity speak", the following are some of the terms that have especially resonated with me and continually show up in my work, life, and all the things I do.
In our upcoming episode, we share our interview with the co-author of Embracing Complexity: Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence, Jean Boulton, who is also an academic and management consultant, specializing in complexity theory. Our conversation with her was very rich, covering concepts from how complexity thinking compares to systems thinking, change management, complexity as a worldview, and even how this field is shining a light on climate change. We covered a lot of ground in the time we had with her, although we wish we could have talked longer. Her humility and brilliance were captivating and just minutes into our conversation, we realized that she lives and breathes complexity, using this worldview to frame how she thinks, feels and acts.