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Power Laws and Fragility in Flow Networks

What makes economic and ecological networks so unlike other highly skewed networks in their tendency toward turbulence and collapse? Here, we explore the consequences of a defining feature of these networks: their nodes are tied together by flow. We show that flow networks tend to the power law degree distribution (PLDD) due to a self-reinforcing process involving position within the global network structure, and thus present the first random graph model for PLDDs that does not depend on a rich-get-richer function of nodal degree. We also show that in contrast to non-flow networks, PLDD flow networks are dramatically more vulnerable to catastrophic failure than non-PLDD flow networks, a finding with potential explanatory power in our age of resource- and financial-interdependence and turbulence.

 

Power Laws and Fragility in Flow Networks
Jesse Shore, Catherine J. Chu, Matt T. Bianchi

http://arxiv.org/abs/1308.0726


Via Complexity Digest
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Bill Aukett's curator insight, August 10, 2013 9:26 PM

A helpful article

From Complexity to Wisdom
Mobilizing Knowledge Through Complex Systems
Curated by Erika Harrison
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The Power of Networks | World Economic Forum 2012

The Power of Networks | World Economic Forum 2012 | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Geneva-based non-profit organization best known for its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Annual Meeting of New Champions in China (Summer Davos) and the Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai.
Erika Harrison's insight:

"*Nowadays, any organization should employ network scientists/analysts who are able to map and analyse complex systems that are of importance to the organization (e.g. the organization itself, its activities, a country’s economic activities, transportation networks, research networks).

 

*Interconnectivity is beneficial but also brings in vulnerability: if you and I are connected we can share resources; meanwhile your problems can become mine and vice versa.

 

*The concept of “crystallized imagination” refers to things that are first in our head and then become reality. This concept can be turned into network applied research on economic complexity of a country’s economic activities and development prospects".

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Jason Leong's curator insight, November 6, 9:23 PM

Network science — the mapping and visualisation of the networked systems that make up our society, economies, and organisations — is set to become the new tool for informing design. (It's about time!)

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The post-hierarchical organization

The post-hierarchical organization | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

The way we manage our organizations is largely ineffective for the complex challenges we face, whether driven by the environment, demographics, economics, or politics.

Erika Harrison's insight:

"Complex problems cannot be solved alone. They require the sharing of tacit knowledge, which cannot easily be put into a manual. In addition, tacit knowledge flows best in trusted networks. This trust also promotes individual autonomy and can become a foundation for organizational  learning, as knowledge is freely shared. Without trust, few people are willing to share their knowledge"

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Bernard VULLIERME's curator insight, October 27, 9:17 AM

L'entreprise vue comme réseau de connaissance

Geemik's curator insight, October 28, 12:22 PM

Les différentes formes de management et leur impact

George Huba's curator insight, December 20, 6:10 PM

add your insight ...

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Collective Leadership: Doing and Being « Interaction Institute for Social Change Blog

Collective Leadership: Doing and Being « Interaction Institute for Social Change Blog | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

The appropriate response to increasing complexity is one that can get beyond linear causality and into a mindset of ecosystems.

Erika Harrison's insight:

"...collective leadership is not an end in itself.  Those of us who seek social transformation are actively seeking better ways of responding to the seemingly intractable challenges of our day.  Physicist Amit Goswami charmingly speaks about the interplay between doing and being, as do-be-do-be-do.  An evolution towards collective leadership demands our capacity to simultaneously tend to both – how we are and what we do".

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Puppies! Now that I’ve got your attention, complexity theory | Nicholas Perony | TEDxZurich

Puppies! Now that I’ve got your attention, complexity theory | Nicholas Perony | TEDxZurich | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Animal behavior isn't complicated, but it is complex. Nicolas Perony studies how individual animals -- be they Scottish Terriers, bats or meerkats -- follow simple rules that, collectively, create larger patterns of behavior. And how this complexity born of simplicity can help them adapt to new circumstances, as they arise.
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The New Science of Building Great Teams

The New Science of Building Great Teams | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Business management magazine, blogs, case studies, articles, books, and webinars from Harvard Business Review, addressing today's topics and challenges in business management.
Erika Harrison's insight:

"With remarkable consistency, the data confirmed that communication indeed plays a critical role in building successful teams. In fact, we’ve found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success. Not only that, but they are as significant as all the other factors—individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions—combined".

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Robert Wright: The logic of non-zero-sum progress

"Author Robert Wright explains "non-zero-sumness," a game-theory term describing how players with linked fortunes tend to cooperate for mutual benefit. This dynamic has guided our biological and cultural evolution, he says -- but our unwillingness to understand one another, as in the clash between the Muslim world and the West, will lead to all of us losing the "game." Once we recognize that life is a non-zero-sum game, in which we all must cooperate to succeed, it will force us to see that moral progress -- a move toward empathy -- is our only hope".

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The Re-Emerging Art of Funding Innovation (SSIR)

The Re-Emerging Art of Funding Innovation (SSIR) | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
A growing number of foundations are reintroducing risk-taking into their processes and portfolios as one way to create breakthrough change.
Erika Harrison's insight:

"The idea of “funding experiments” requires foundations to develop a deep appreciation for iteration, failure, and learning. Social change is a messy and uncertain process, and innovations rarely follow a linear path. They move ahead in fits and starts, through repeated trial and error. And because it’s hard to know the path forward from the start, supporting this type of experimentation requires an unusual degree of flexibility. Innovation funders often use an emergent approach, adapting their strategies as they learn more about issues and leverage points. They leave themselves open to possibilities. And they trust and support recipients as they learn and find new solutions that are built on the backs of early failures.

Innovation funders also experiment with their own strategies, trying continuously to challenge their thinking, adapt to changing circumstances, and take advantage of serendipitous opportunities. They work hard to improve their peripheral vision and to explore trends and strategies that may emerge from beyond their usual field of view. As Lori McGlinchey of the Open Society Foundations explains, “We don’t want our ideas to get stale. So we often look for ways to refresh and sharpen our thinking within the foundations. We’re encouraged to seek out interactions with contrarians—people who may be approaching the issues we work on from a different perspective. The question is how to increase our access to forwardthinking people and ideas that will help us anticipate future challenges coming five or ten years down the road.”
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The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge | Brain Pickings by Maria Popova

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge | Brain Pickings by Maria Popova | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

"The real enemy is the man who tries to mold the human spirit so that it will not dare to spread its wings."

Erika Harrison's insight:

"In an age obsessed with practicality, productivity, and efficiency, I frequently worry that we are leaving little room for abstract knowledge and for the kind of curiosity that invites just enough serendipity to allow for the discovery of ideas we didn’t know we were interested in until we are, ideas that we may later transform into new combinations with applications both practical and metaphysical".

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Tobias Beckwith's curator insight, July 9, 12:07 PM

Wizards are curious - and you never know what will turn out to be practical...

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Developing a Culture of Knowledge Management (SSIR)

Developing a Culture of Knowledge Management (SSIR) | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
The three types of data foundations need—and how they must use them.
Erika Harrison's insight:

"Will foundations learn to use data? Philanthropy has evolved from an early notion of “giving away money” to the strategic practice of “social investment." But for strategic philanthropy to realize its true potential, foundations need to learn how to manage information (data) to produce and share knowledge. Doing so will depend on changing internal incentive systems, in which foundations employ static data primarily as means for approving strategies and monitoring grants. Foundations will need to view their grants management systems as virtual work spaces, and the digital information that flows through them as knowledge assets".

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Pierre Levy's curator insight, April 12, 8:08 PM
Data and knowledge management... for philanthropy!
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Not Business As Usual - The Documentary | Institute B

"Not Business As Usual is a provocative look at capitalism and its unintended price of success. The film tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of conscious capitalism through the stories of local entrepreneurs who have found innovative ways to bring humanity back into business".

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The Next Big Thing You Missed: The Sharing Economy Goes Corporate | Wired Business | Wired.com

The Next Big Thing You Missed: The Sharing Economy Goes Corporate | Wired Business | Wired.com | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
The entire "I sell you stuff, you buy it" premise of the consumer economy is being undermined, and big companies that want to survive need to learn to share.
Erika Harrison's insight:

"The language of corporate competition doesn’t always sit that comfortably with the rhetoric of sharing, which largely originated among grassroots internet communities and non-profits. Like so much else in the history of the web, which began as a more decentralized, bottom-up approach to publishing and communication, the corporate co-opting of sharing is already well under way.

 

That could mean the exact kind of centralized control the sharing economy’s democratizing effects were supposed to undermine. Or it could mean that sharing goes from a niche market of tech-savvy early adopters to a mainstream reimagining of consumer culture as commonplace in Sarasota as San Francisco. Or, as is the case with just about everything else online, it could mean a little of both".

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How to Build a Mass Movement Now - Jeremy Heimans - YouTube

Jeremy Heimans visits the RSA to share his innovative model of "movement entrepreneurship", and to show how individuals can work more effectively with organisations and progressive companies to help mobilise large-scale, purposeful action.

Erika Harrison's insight:

Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO, Purpose.com on movement building.

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Thinking Out Loud: How Successful Networks Nurture Good Ideas by Clive Thompson | Wired.com

Thinking Out Loud: How Successful Networks Nurture Good Ideas by Clive Thompson | Wired.com | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter | Wired Opinion | Wired.com This article is adapted and excerpted from WIRED contributing editor Clive Thompson’s new book, Smarter Than You Think.

 

"We write the equivalent of 520 million books every day on social media and email. The fact that so many of us are writing — sharing our ideas, good and bad — has changed the way we think. Just as we now live in public, so do we think in public."

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Erika Harrison's curator insight, December 1, 2013 4:33 PM

Insightful piece connecting the ideas of what literacy means in the digital era, openly sharing half-baked ideas, the hive mind and why Ethan Zuckerman, head of MIT’s Center for Civic Media, calls Ushahidi “one of the most globally significant technology projects".

 

Hat tip to Howard Rheingold and his recent adventures in social media literacies and learning in public: http://socialmedialiteracies.com/

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Six strategies for creating system change for a sustainable future

Six strategies for creating system change for a sustainable future | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Mapping and identifying opportunites, building new platforms for collaboration and letting go of prevailing perspectives are all critical for accelerating change
Erika Harrison's insight:

To work systemically towards sustainability:
1. Convene people
2. Find opportunities
3. Align visions to our living systems
4. Experiment with systems
5. Innovation and learning platforms
6. Communicate a coherent story

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Josie Gibson's curator insight, November 5, 5:08 PM

Excellent tips on how to catalyse systems change.

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Systems Thinking and the Future of Cities

Systems Thinking and the Future of Cities | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
The idea that nothing exists in isolation−but only as part of a system−has long been embedded in folklore, religious scriptures, and common sense.
Erika Harrison's insight:

In Brief

The idea that nothing exists in isolation−but only as part of a system−has long been embedded in folklore, religious scriptures, and common sense. Yet, systems dynamics as a science has yet to transform the way we conduct the public business. This article first briefly explores the question of why advances in systems theory have failed to transform public policy. The second part describes the ways in which our understanding of systems is growing−not so much from theorizing, but from practical applications in agriculture, building design, and medical science. The third part focuses on whether and how that knowledge and systems science can be deployed to improve urban governance in the face of rapid climate destabilization so that sustainability becomes the norm, not the occasional success story.


Key Concepts

Reducing wholes to parts lies at the core of the scientific worldview we inherited from Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, and their modern acolytes in the sciences of economics, efficiency, and management.The decades between 1950 and 1980 were the grand era for systems theory. However despite a great deal of talk about systems, we continue to administer, organize, analyze, manage, and govern complex ecological systems as if they were a collection of isolated parts and not an indissoluble union of energy, water, soils, land, forests, biota, and air.Much of what we have learned about managing real systems began in agriculture. One of the most important lessons being that land is an evolving organism of interrelated parts soils, hydrology, biota, wildlife, plants, animals, and people.The challenge is to transition organized urban complexity built on an industrial model and designed for automobiles, sprawl, and economic growth into coherent, civil, and durable places.A systems perspective to urban governance is a lens by which we might see more clearly through the fog of change, and potentially better manage the complex cause and effect relationships between social and ecological phenomena. The application of systems offers at least six possibilities to improve urban governance.

 

A system is an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something . . . . [it] must consist of three kinds of things: elements, interconnections, and a function or purpose.
—Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems1

 

A system [is] (a) a set of units or elements interconnected so that changes in some elements or their relations produce changes in other parts of the system, and (b) the entire system exhibits properties and behaviors that are different from those of the parts.
—Robert Jervis, Systems Effects 2

 

One of the most important ideas in modern science is the idea of a system; and it is almost impossible to define.
—Garrett Hardin, The Cybernetics of Competition3

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Josie Gibson's curator insight, September 14, 7:11 PM

Timely focus on the critical role of thinking systemically as a leader...

Jason Leong's curator insight, September 29, 4:15 AM

"Despite the inherent logic of systems thinking, governments, corporations, foundations, universities, and non-profit organizations still work mostly by breaking issues and problems into their separate parts and dealing with each in isolation. Separate agencies, departments, and organizations specialize in energy, land, food, air, water, wildlife, economy, finance, building regulations, urban policy, technology, health, and transportation−as if each were unrelated to the others. So, one agency pushes hard to grow the economy while another is charged to clean up the resulting mess and so forth, which is to say that the right hand and left hand seldom knows−or cares−what the other is doing. The results are often counter-productive, overly expensive, risky, sometimes disastrous, and most always ironic."

Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, September 29, 4:57 AM

Very comprehensive and interesting.... and not only about the cities... Good...

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The Creative Climate

The Creative Climate | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Creative tension between people and within individuals is fundamental to social evolution.
Erika Harrison's insight:

"the Lennon-McCartney story also illustrates the key feature of creativity; it is the joining of the unlike to create harmony. Creativity rarely flows out of an act of complete originality. It is rarely a virgin birth. It is usually the clash of two value systems or traditions, which, in collision, create a transcendent third thing".

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Keith Hamon's curator insight, July 22, 8:12 AM

OpEd about the dialogical tension that creates creativity.

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Knoco stories: Why dialogue is so important for Knowledge Management

Knoco stories: Why dialogue is so important for Knowledge Management | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Erika Harrison's insight:

"...knowledge transfer is a social process, and if you want to transfer detailed knowledge you have to engage in conversation (specifically, in dialogue) with other human beings".

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Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.Why? Because company culture, a concept pioneered by Edgar Schein, is the operationalizing of an organization’s values. Culture guides employee decisions about both technical business decisions and how they interact with others. Good culture creates an internal coherence in actions taken by a very diverse group of employees.

 


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen, Jerry Busone, Roy Sheneman, PhD, JLAndrianarisoa, Jose Luis Yañez
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Anne-Laure Delpech's curator insight, May 23, 2:19 AM

J'aime beaucoup ces propos :

"“You can’t complain here,” Tamara explained. “If you see something wrong, you must fix it. We say it is a great opportunity to come up with a solution, and this is where many of our best programs have come from. Anything can be changed. We aren’t victim to anyone. We own the culture.”"

Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, June 11, 1:23 AM

Culture matters and it matters immensely!

Tobias Beckwith's curator insight, July 14, 11:27 AM

This seems to be a theme for my day... this is the third place I"ve encountered the idea, and it's not even 9am yet. When we seek to create change in the world, all too often we ignore the most powerful thing working against us - the culture in which we're working. So how can you work with that? Make your change "fit" the culture? Find ways to change the culture itself?

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Neil deGrasse Tyson on the New Cosmos

"This week on Moyers & Company, Bill talks with the astrophysicist about his redux of the famous Carl Sagan series and why science and science literacy matter in a democracy"

Erika Harrison's insight:

"As your area of knowledge grows, so too does your perimeter of ignorance"

With this quote during his succinct explanation of our place in an ever-expanding universe, dark matter, and dark energy, Tyson also explains some basic concepts of knowledge management, including the known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. 

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Using Empathic Listening to Collaborate

Using Empathic Listening to Collaborate | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

When you are in a conversation, do you listen with your own autobiographical filter? Or do you listen to actually understand the speaker?

Erika Harrison's insight:

Stephen Covey, author of bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, describes the power of empathic listening.

 

"Empathic listening involves much more than registering, reflecting, or even understanding the words that are said. Communications experts estimate, in fact, that only 10% of our communication is represented by the words we say. Another 30 percent is represented by our sounds, and 60% by our body language. In empathic listening, you listen with your ears, but you also, and more importantly, listen with your eyes and with your heart. You listen for feeling, for meaning. You listen for behavior. You use your right brain as well as your left. You sense, you intuit, you feel".

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The One Thing You Should Do After Meeting Anyone New - Forbes

The One Thing You Should Do After Meeting Anyone New - Forbes | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

"At 24-years-old, Francis Pedraza is the co-founder and CEO of a venture-backed company, Everest. In addition, he is an advisor to 10 tech companies, each of whom he does hundreds of introductions for in return for equity". [...]

Erika Harrison's insight:

"Relationship building has become the antithesis of this idea. It represents personalized and relevant giving in order to build a relationship.

 

Segmentation, when used properly, is one of the most powerful tools to deepen and scale the most important relationships in your life".

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Science Wants to Be Free

Science Wants to Be Free | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
On January 6, 2011, 24-year-old hacker and activist Aaron Swartz was arrested by police near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for downloading several million articles from an online archive of research journals called JSTOR. After Swartz committed suicide in January 2013, questions were raised about why MIT, whose access to JSTOR he exploited, chose to pursue charges, and about what motivated the U.S. Department of Justice to demand jail time for his transgression.
Erika Harrison's insight:

Interesting perspective on the peer-review process, among other things.

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We need to talk about TED | Benjamin Bratton | The Guardian

We need to talk about TED | Benjamin Bratton | The Guardian | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
Benjamin Bratton: Science, philosophy and technology run on the model of American Idol – as embodied by TED talks – is a recipe for civilisational disaster
Erika Harrison's insight:

Some good questions to ponder here for folks interested in 'Ideas Worth Spreading' and 'Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world'.

 

"...does TED epitomize a situation where if a scientist's work (or an artist's or philosopher's or activist's or whoever) is told that their work is not worthy of support, because the public doesn't feel good listening to them?"

 

"I'm sorry but this fails to meet the challenges that we are supposedly here to confront. These are complicated and difficult and are not given to tidy just-so solutions. They don't care about anyone's experience of optimism. Given the stakes, making our best and brightest waste their time – and the audience's time – dancing like infomercial hosts is too high a price. It is cynical. Also, it just doesn't work."

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Tina Seelig: The 6 Characteristics of Truly Creative People | 99u

Tina Seelig: The 6 Characteristics of Truly Creative People | 99u | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it
In this compelling 99U talk, Stanford professor Tina Seelig shows us how the top organizations in the world foster a creative environment.
Erika Harrison's insight:

“Often, answers are baked into the questions we ask. We need to question, examine, and reframe the questions we’re asking.”

 

About this presentation

Determined not to just write just another book on creativity, Stanford professor Tina Seelig painstakingly researched what makes good ideas spring forward. The result is her “innovation engine,” a special mix of six characteristics like attitude, resources and environment.

 

But the special concoction of forces that makes our ideas come to life is nothing with out the willingness to fail. “Most call it failure, but we scientists just call it data,” she says. The most creative organizations and people embrace experimentation to get the needed data to determine they’re on to something. 

 

“Workers are puzzle builders, they get stuck when missing a piece,” she says. Truly creative people “are quilt makers — they can fit anything together.”

 

About Tina Seelig

Tina Seelig is the executive director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the director of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) at Stanford University’s School of Engineering. She teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the department of Management Science and Engineering, and within the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. She received the 2009 Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, recognizing her as a national leader in engineering education.

 

Seelig earned her PhD in 1985 from Stanford University School of Medicine, where she studied Neuroscience. She has been a management consultant, multimedia producer, and an entrepreneur. Seelig has also written 16 popular science books and educational games. Her newest books are Wish I Knew When I Was 20 (HarperCollins 2009) and inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity(HarperCollins 2012).

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Emeric Nectoux's curator insight, December 29, 2013 1:56 AM

A must watch! Great inspiring presentation on how to innovate. 

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Wealth, Responsibility & Shifting Business Culture | Richard Branson | Business Insider

Wealth, Responsibility & Shifting Business Culture | Richard Branson | Business Insider | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

"The Virgin Founder and B-Team leader Derek Handley recently sat down with Business Insider to discuss social responsibility, business for good and the challenges facing society. “With any type of wealth comes some serious responsibility…”

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A Neuroscientist's Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious - Wired Science

A Neuroscientist's Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious - Wired Science | From Complexity to Wisdom | Scoop.it

Via Spaceweaver
Erika Harrison's insight:

Neuroscientist Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, argues that "we live in a universe of space, time, mass, energy, and consciousness arising out of complex systems.”

 

"What Koch proposes is a scientifically refined version of an ancient philosophical doctrine calledpanpsychism — and, coming from someone else, it might sound more like spirituality than science. But Koch has devoted the last three decades to studying the neurological basis of consciousness. His work at the Allen Institute now puts him at the forefront of the BRAIN Initiative, the massive new effort to understand how brains work, which will begin next year".

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Spaceweaver's curator insight, November 28, 2013 6:36 PM

Interesting

Joe Stafura's curator insight, December 2, 2013 3:13 PM

Consciousness emerges from the right combination of content and context, and therefore it isn't a unique human characteristic as much as a spectrum attribute along the evolutionary chain.

 

Our Thrive product also counts on emergent properties enabled by  content and context, as is the case in most complex systems we have learned.