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Emerging Options
Connecting the dots as simply as possible but not any simpler
Connecting the dots as simply as possible but not any simpler

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Gunderson and Holling present a theory that embraces the inherent complexity of social-ecological systems. Natural systems are linked together forming a hierarchical structure of adaptive cycles of growth, accumulation, restructuring, and renewal. This is known as panarchy. Using this to explore complex systems unveils opportunities to create positive change and enhance sustainability.

According to this model, all complex adaptive systems go through four perennial phases, organized into two loops:

1. Front Loop (in green):
Exploitation: After a brief period of finding its bearings, so to speak, a newly
reorganized system rapidly matures through a sustained period of innovative
exploitation enabled by its new structure. This increases both its connectedness (the xaxis) and its accumulated value (the y-axis of capital). However, such increasing interdependencies lower its recovery resilience (z-axis).
Conservation: The system enters this phase as its ability to sustain innovation begins to flatten out. It eventually reaches a critical threshold where its resilience and ability to generate additional value approaches zero.

2. Back Loop (in red-orange):
Release: Some disruption (see the discussion of "revolt" that follows) causes the system to fragment to varying degrees. This phase is the phase of creative destruction.
Reorganization: Some of the fragments of the system that came apart are reorganized, sometimes in new ways with new or different parts, into a new, immature system.

Gunderson and Holling describe the separate objectives of the front and back loops, as follows:
"The first maximizes production and accumulation; the second maximizes invention and reassortment … and the success in achieving one tends to set the stage for its opposite." They add that adaptive cycles of renewal — whether in natural or human-created systems — "embrace the opposites of growth and stability on the one hand, and change and variety on the other."

I would be interested to find out more about the mathematical methodology mentioned below ...

Building tools to predict economic storms ahead
BY: JENNIFER FORESHEW From: The Australian October 16, 2012 12:00AM

A NEW tool to help understand big economic changes such as the global financial crisis could lead to better methods for advanced warning.

Charles Sturt University's Terry Bossomaier said information flow was an important characteristic of complex systems such as the environment, organisations, the economy and climate.

"Measuring information flow in complex systems, be they stockmarkets or effective commodity prices on the success of an industry, many of these (systems) are highly non-linear," he said.

"We don't have good ways of measuring these information flows accurately and what we have got is a way of doing it."

A team that included Professor Bossomaier and researchers from England's University of Sussex have developed a method of estimating the accuracy of the predictions of these flows.

"What we want to do is see if we can get better methods for advanced warning of these things," said Professor Bossomaier, who is director of CSU's Centre for Research in Complex Systems.

The tool, co-developed with the University of Sussex's Lionel Barnett, can be applied to transfer entropy, a new measure developed in the past 10 years for more realistic non-linear systems. Professor Bossomaier said the developed method of measuring transfer entropy was both more accurate and provided an immediate measure of its accuracy. "It is a mathematical methodology, which we have already written some software for implementing," he said.

The team, which has also published an algorithm, will use the tool to look at the characteristics of business cycles to see whether there are dramatic changes in the flow of information and if it is an indicator of coming recessions.

It will also investigate whether it can "see" early indications of a stockmarket crash.

"We would hope that these things would be used by economists and people interested in business processes as well as in areas like neuroscience."
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I have enjoyed this post, precisely because it is exactly the kind of problem of essential complexity that I like to exploit emergence properties in the eco-system of the problem/solution space to deliver a better outcome for diverse stakeholders.
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Interesting online complex systems modeling course ...
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The Cynefin Framework, in particular, its complex domain is one of many that underpins the emergent approach characterised by phenomenon known as social complexity where unordered ontology and heuristic based epistemology is prevalent.
It is time an emergent approach to processes received the same level of attention as Agile or Lean approaches. Therefore, it is great to know a small movement is on its way.
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"From the theories of the resource- and competence-based view we derive a capability-based modeling paradigm for representing business functions and processes. This method enables analyses of optimal process cuts within business process outsourcing decisions and gives a valuable complementary view of a firm as a structured network of capabilities."

Capability-orientated Modeling of the Firm by Beimborn, Daniel; Martin, Sebastian F.; Homann, Ulrich
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The Art of Change: Fractal and Emergent by Ruth Malan and Dana Bredemeyer.

This Executive Report explores the role of enterprise and other architects in highly adaptive, innovative, and agile organizations. We consider the pressures on organizations to master the art of change and present a fractal metaphor for the tandem role of strategy and architecture. Combining a fractal and emergent approach allows for an organic, dynamic way to express organizational intentionality to orchestrate waves of change, while embracing the need to respond extemporaneously and locally to opportunities and changes that demand surges of responsiveness.
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Again referring to my below post about the use of an information grid in the context of building an emergent ecommerce ecosystem ...
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