Solve Complex Problems Together


Meet new collaborators and learn Complexity Science by doing

    • Complexity Science is an interdisciplinary and inclusive framework for studying, designing, and controlling Complex system behavior, such as global pandemics, extreme weather events, electoral politics, economic recovery and poverty, and much more. Over the course of one weekend, you will experience Complexity from a variety of perspectives, while developing solutions to real-world problems in a team setting, such as:

      • Information flow in a time of global connectivity
      • Adaptive planning for communities amidst turbulence and uncertainty
      • Addressing climate change and extreme weather events
      • Ensuring fair and accurate elections
      • Evaluating shelter-in-place policy efficacy during a pandemic
      • Building resiliency into businesses, governments, and families
      • Healthcare policy and efficacy
      • Mental health and wellness
      • Any other difficult and ongoing problems you can identify

  • Many of the teams formed from our previous Complexity Weekends (May 2019, May 2020, Oct 2020, May 2021) have resulted in productive collaboration and continued work to this day. 


    • Here’s what to expect:

      • A pre-Weekend experience where Facilitators will share recorded introductions and engage in Q&A by text and video with registered participants
      • A weekend-long interactive online experience (May 21st-23rd, 2021)
      • Complexity Science-inspired interactive sessions & team-forming.
      • A collective brainstorming and team-formation process during the weekend itself. 
      • Participation in a global community of practice that meets (online) every month to support each other in our various Applied Complexity endeavors.

Location

This weekend event will be held entirely online (the cohort will be distributed globally)


Date & Time

  • Pre-Weekend: Early October 2021

  • All-interactive Complexity Weekend: Friday, November 12th - Sunday, November 14th, 2021

  • (Please plan to participate in the Pre-Weekend experience as much as you can and for the entirety of the full Weekend experience)

Briony Barr (brionybarr.com) & Lauren Simmonds (laurensimmonds.com). Tabula Rasa (detail). Chalk on blackboard paint. 3 x 3 m. 2015.

Lean Complexity

Gain exposure to an interdisciplinary perspective on Complexity Science and its application


Form Teams

Work on important problems in small groups, with guidance from experienced mentors and domain experts


Find Community

Join a cohort of peers, friends, cofounders, and mentors - everyone is learning by doing within diverse teams


What people are saying about the Complexity Weekend experience


"I went to Complexity Weekend not really knowing what to expect. I ended up surrounded by some of the most brilliant people I've ever met. Great content followed by lots of open time for teamwork. Not one team was judgmental about where I was at in the subject matter. When I wasn't able to find a team immediately, the Organizers helped me find one. I eventually found myself on a team working on physiology (which I know nothing about), but I learned by doing and four months later I ended up the point of contact for the team on a DARPA grant!"


"All of the Facilitators were open and ready to help. Several blew my mind. There was a lot of diversity of ideas, backgrounds, and skill levels. The technology for the conference was used well - especially the Gather platform. It felt like being in person! I do see myself continuing to work with my team. Thank you all for taking the time to make this a great experience."


"My team ranged from people with no coding desire to people who were going to start coding on something as soon as we start bringing it up in the team calls. There was so much energy and enthusiasm that it was contagious. It was a great experience and opportunity to interact with interesting and kind people, and it's something I'll never forget. I'd like to continue working with this community in the future and aim to provide a useful tool at some point along the way."


What is Complexity?

"There's no love in a carbon atom, no hurricane in a water molecule, no financial collapse in a dollar bill" - Peter Dodds

Aristotle described complex system behavior as when “the whole is more than the sum of the parts.” Complex systems consist of many components interacting with each other and their environment to produce networks of interaction, which generate novel information that makes it difficult to study components of these systems or subsystems in isolation or to completely predict their future. The main goal of Complex Systems Theory is to understand the relationship between these networks of interaction and the "emergent" properties of the system as a whole.

Our global community of practice is focused on creating immediate and lasting impact by applying Complex Systems Theory to the pressing problems of our time.


Learn More

Who Should Attend?

This Complexity community of practice is for you if you are:

A Team Player

Are you eager to join a team to come up with a unique insight into important problems in one or multiple domains? Are you curious about "learning by doing" in a relational, team, and community context?  

Committed

Can you commit to making your team a long-term success? Teams will be working over the weekend to accomplish a goal together, but the real impact is by working through deep time. 


Ready For Action

Are you prepared to serve others by applying yourself to solve complex problems with the potential for immediate and lasting impact?

All backgrounds welcome - your perspective is needed! 
(No direct experience in Complexity Science is required to participate)


Briony Barr (brionybarr.com). Talking on the phone to EW. Fountain pen on paper, digitally inverted. 20 x 20 cm. 2020.

Weekend Schedule (November 12th-14th)

Participants will be working in teams over the weekend to accomplish a goal and fulfill a purpose together. We need to make sure everyone who registers can fully participate over the weekend (to the extent that their time zone permits).

As a global community of practice, we welcome participation from all time zones and plan around the reality of a global virtual event Nov 12-14, 2021. Weekend events will be occurring at all times over the weekend in the same digital coworking space, so all timezones will be included (more details will be provided to those who register). We focus on forming teams across time zones by allowing for teams to form and evolve over the course of the entire weekend, and by promoting asynchronous teamwork. You'll have time to co-create with your team no matter what time zone you're in.

Friday, Nov 12

Collective Sense-making and Community Events

Get to know the other participants and facilitators, learn about Complexity Science, and co-create Shared Truth with others.

Saturday, Nov 13


Learn Complexity Science By Doing In Teams

Form a team with other participants, choose a complex problem, and get to work.

The weekend experience is designed to be live and interactive (not just a series of talks)! 

SUNDAY, Nov 14


Team Presentations and Next Steps

Share your team's hard work and vision, make an impact, and stay connected.

Pre-Weekend Schedule (Early October - November 12th)

During this optional but highly-encouraged "lead up" experience to the Weekend event, Facilitators will make pre-recorded content available to registered participants in the 1-2 months leading up to the weekend, and you will be invited to optional events and shared discussion space for the cohort. You'll be caught up whenever you are ready to join.
This Pre-Weekend engagement phase allows all Participants to:

• Get to know the other Participants and Facilitators in their cohort

• Take the time to identify important complex problems together

• Share and inspire collaborations you are open to working on during the Weekend itself (and hopefully afterward as well)

• Get familiar with the tooling that will be used during the Weekend itself


The Pre-Weekend allows us to focus the Weekend entirely on live interactive sessions that also accommodate participants from all time zones. This way there will be plenty of time for teams to form and work together. Please devote as much time to this Pre-Weekend experience as you can. Ultimately, the value of your interactions with your cohort will be about the attention and work you put into this process.

Join the next cohort of our Applied Complexity Community of Practice


Register Now

Facilitators

Before and during Complexity Weekend, Facilitators will lead interactive sessions, mentor teams, provide Complexity Science knowledge/experience, create impactful connections, introduce problem-solving frameworks, tooling, relevant data sets, and more. The Facilitator's mission is to guide the "how" of the Weekend, by enabling teams to embrace diverse perspectives, interface with system stakeholders to gather feedback, draw inspiration from the Complexity literature, and ultimately to help teams accomplish their goals together (whether it be a research proposal, a business plan, or another outcome). Many teams that form at a Complexity Weekend event go on to do great things together and stay connected to our Applied Complexity community of practice through our monthly online events.

Shaun Applegate-Swanson

PRINCIPAL DATA SCIENTIST AT MICROSOFT; CO-FOUNDER AT COMPLEXITY WEEKEND; CO-FOUNDER AT RESEARCH MENTORS

Community Organizing • Full Stack Data Science • Data Center Security • Physics • Complex Thermostatistics

Shaun leads a team of full-stack (Python/Scala) data scientists and engineers at Microsoft, which has developed access management scoring and outlier detection systems to enforce the Principle of Least Privilege throughout data centers worldwide. A Complexity Science enthusiast, Shaun co-founded Complexity Weekend to help empower teams to learn Complexity by doing while working to solve the world's toughest problems together. His personal research interests involve combining Complexity Science with Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics axioms to peek at fundamental properties of emergent phenomena.

Alex Barnes

Business Systems Analyst

Natural • Specific • Stupidity 

Alex is basically an idiot. He worked for Nortel and they went bankrupt. He worked in Tier 1 Automotive for a company that, you guessed it, went bankrupt. In the late 90s he invested in promising companies such as Nortel, JD Uniphase, Ariba and Commerce One. We all know how that ended. At least nothing has gone wrong since Alex started working in Healthcare Supply Chain...

Sam Barton

Philosophy Student, Host of the Talk of Today Podcast, Staff at Ideamarket

Philosophy • Pragmatism • Wonder • Excitement • Curiosity 

Sam is a philosophy student exploring what complexity science can contribute to questions in moral and political philosophy. He's the host of the Talk of Today podcast, and works for the truth-seeking crypto platform Ideamarket.

Shirley Bekins

Independent writer and researcher

Systems Feedbacks • Path Dependence • Poverty • Homelessness 

Shirley Haruka Bekins, Independent Writer and Researcher systems thinking homelessness poverty public policy technology Shirley explores how systems thinking and complexity science raise different kinds of questions and bring new insights into complex socioeconomic challenges. Shirley researches homelessness, segregation, and poverty through a complexity science lens. She explores path dependence, nonlinearity, non-ergodicity, hysteresis, randomness and preferential attachment. Shirley has 20 years of experience developing affordable housing with social service and healthcare facilities. Shirley has a Master’s in public administration with urban policy specialization from Columbia University.

RJ Cordes

Deployment Strategist at COGSEC, Research Fellow at Atlantic Council

Knowledge Management • Gray Zone Warfare • Team Facilitation • Crowdsourcing 

R.J. Cordes is a researcher focused on Gray Zone Warfare, Knowledge Management Systems, and Sensemaking. He contributes research to a variety of working groups and committees across DoD, IEEE, and the Private Sector working on topics like social and behavioral engineering, systems engineering, data standards, intelligence analysis, and decentralized learning systems.

Scott David

Director of Information Risk and Synthetic Intelligence Research Initiative (IRSIRI) at University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory

Risk • Law • Narrative • Policy • Situated Cognition 

Scott works at the crossroads of CogSci and Law. Spent career putting intangible assets (aka "collective hallucinations") in virtual containers so that they can be traded. Now working to help cultivate intentional minds for social resilience and sustainability. For Active Inference enthusiasts, Scott is an attorney who views contracts as synthetic Markov Blankets.

Jacob Davidson

Researcher at Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

Collective Behavior • Simulation • Decision-Making 

Jacob is a theoretical biologist, with a background in physics and engineering. He takes a quantitative approach to study the behavior of animal groups such as fish, birds, ants, and honeybees. He is interested in how groups process information, adapt to their environment, and coordinate to function together.

Denise Easton

Co founder Awareful Systems Group, President Plexus Institute

Complexity Frameworks Ecosystem • Entrepreneurial & Business Ecosystems 

Denise Easton is a consultant, entrepreneur, and author who is inspired by the “complex and emerging intersections” of strategy, ecosystems and innovation. As co-founder of the Awareful Systems Group, she is building an ecosystem of consultants, creators and researchers who recognize that Complexity Thinking is how we can better design and create resilient and sustainable organizations and communities. In addition to her consulting practice, she is the president of Plexus Institute. She co-authored the book Complexity Works! Influencing Pattern-Based Change in Teams & Organizations, an application/model for human systems analysis, process innovation, organization design, and change management.

Michaela Emch, MBA

FOUNDER, ADMINISTRATOR, AND DIRECTOR AT ECLOSIONS

Communication • Marketing • Biomimicry • Interculturality • Interdisciplinarity

Michaela is a communication and marketing specialist, translator, cultural mediator, biomimicry practitioner, safari guide, keen naturalist and biology enthusiast. She is looking for links where people have not yet connected the dots. Her Masters in International Relations, and the capacity for abstraction gained from her MBA in Aviation Management, help her handle the multicultural and interdisciplinary impact of communication across diverse fields of application.

Daniel Ari Friedman, PhD

POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCHER AT UC DAVIS; CO-FOUNDER AT REMOTOR CONSULTING GROUP; CO-FOUNDER AT COMPLEXITY WEEKEND

Ants • Evolution • Geometry • Participation • Active Inference

Daniel is a postdoctoral researcher with primary focus on the distributed physiology and evolutionary genomics in the eusocial insects. He is also interested in topics related to remote teams, cognitive security, and open science. Daniel has been involved in Complexity through located events and online communities of practice such as Complexity Weekend and previously, the Stanford Complexity Group.

Michael Garfield

HOST AT FUTURE FOSSILS PODCAST; SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST AND PODCAST PRODUCER AT SANTA FE INSTITUTE 

Science Communication • Evolutionary Biology • Paleontology • Philosophy of Science

Paleontologist-Futurist Michael Garfield is devoted to helping navigate our age of accelerating weirdness and helping cultivate the curiosity and play we'll need to thrive in it. As host and producer of Future Fossils Podcast and the Santa Fe Institute's "Complexity" Podcast, Michael acts as interlocutor for a worldwide community of artists, scientists, and philosophers — a practice that feeds his synthetic and transdisciplinary "mind-jazz" essays, music, and fine art.

Avel Guénin-Carlut

Founder of Kairos Research; Research coordinator at Active Inference Lab

Physics of Life • Cultural Evolution • Epistemology • Active Inference • Consciousness 

Serval is a physicist and philosopher who studies the physical grounding of life, intelligence and consciousness. Their focus is on applying this field of research to understanding human societies, and building social organisation that will withstand the test of the Anthropocene.

Qing Ze Hum

Product Manager at Tribe

Systems • Incentives • Metrics • Social Benefit • Sustainability 

Qing Ze is currently obsessed with learning about Web3, hoping to never miss a quest by rabbithole and documenting along the way. He gave in and created a Twitter account (@f_shbiscuit) and has been overwhelmed by the pace of change and knowledge generation in Web3. He currently works in Singapore on Tribe Academy’s educational offerings, but conducted research on blockchain security prior to joining Tribe.

Tyler Jaynes

Graduate Student at the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College

Artificial Intelligence • Bioethics • Emerging Technologies • Nanotechnology • Nervous System-Machine Interactions 

Author of several published works, Tyler has presented on potential directions for medical technology and other emerging technologies internationally. Although his writings primarily focus on the potential rights owed to sufficiently-qualified artificial intelligence(s), his works also probe into the nature of "human" and "cyborg" statuses and the nature of IoT-hosted spaces--ranging from how virtual property can be legally attributed and accounted for, to full-dive virtual reality attainment.

Justin Kline

Co-Founder of Influencer Marketing Company, Markerly

Marketing • Influence • Advertising • Social Responsibility • Streamlining Processes for Content Creation 

During Justin’s 9-year tenure he has led the company’s growth, guiding strategic direction, product development, and developing Markerly’s platform and media practice. During Markerly’s ascension as a pioneer of influencer marketing, Justin has spearheaded award winning campaigns for Fortune 500 brands, Non-Profits, and Government organizations. Justin has also developed a unique methodology that allows for influencer marketing to be holistically integrated within broader media plans to maximize impact–developing technology to streamline the process.

V. Bleu Knight, PhD

INDEPENDENT Data ScienCE CONSULTANT

Python • Agent-Based Modeling • Neuroscience • Bioinformatics • Optimization • Data Analytics

Bleu is interested in solving complex problems using data sources that are large and diverse. Her PhD research leveraged informatics to understand the biological identity of neural cell subtypes. More recently, she has been using augmented intelligence and agent based modeling to solve problems at industry scale. She has also been exploring how the exploitation of environmental resources establish networks fo information transmission.

Jason Larkin

Researcher @ NEX

Quantum Computing • Quantum Info Science 

Jason works at the SEI Emerging Technology Center at CMU as a Research Scientist in advanced computing, currently in quantum computing. Jason has experience working in High Performance Computing from SpiralGen, Inc, a startup company formed under the Spiral code generation project at Carnegie Mellon University Electrical Engineering department (PI Franz Franchetti, Jose Moura). He worked on the commercialization of automated code generation (High Performance Computing, Formal verification ADAS, AADL OSATE, the DARPA HACMS project). He worked to build an entirely cloud-based software development framework focusing on lifecycle, Agile methodologies, Continuous Integration, and Internet of Things. He got his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon, using high performance computing (commodity supercomputing) to perform quantum chemistry-based materials science modeling/simulation. Jason also works with ResearchMentors and has has facilitated previously in that context.

Alexandra (Sasha) Mikhailova

PHD CANDIDATE AT UC DAVIS (NEUROSCIENCE PROGRAM)

Neuroscience • Microscopy • Communication • Education • Collaborative Drawing 

Alexandra has a background in translational neuroscience studying brain injury in early development. She is now pursuing a PhD examining how immune molecules regulate the proper establishment of connections in the brain. Her research is inherently interdisciplinary, and she hopes to bridge even more fields through Free Energy thinking and collaborative drawing.

Andréa Naccache, MBA

RESEARCHER AND CONSULTANT; FOUNDER AT THEGREATUNLOCK.COM

Philosophy of Law • Ethics and Political Philosophy • Responsibility • Algorithms

First, Andréa has pioneered the application of psychoanalysis to innovation in contemporary arts and businesses. Her book, Brazilian Creativity, was a finalist for the Jabuti Award (2013). Now she is launching a line of research on innovation, justice, and algorithmic randomness, presenting her thesis at Stanford for consecutive years. With an MBA and a Ph.D. summa cum laude, she founded NdC, serving innovation conditions to multinational brands since 2007.

Krzysztof (Kris) Paruch

RESEARCHER AT RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR CRYPTOECONOMICS AT UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, VIENNA

Mathematical Modeling • Crypto Economics • Distributed Systems • Incentive Design • Mechanism Design

Kris researches Crypto Economics and Complex Systems Engineering. With a formal education in technical-economic Mathematics at the University of Technology in Vienna and five years working experience in banking and software integration, he understands the financial and regulatory background at the intersection of real-world and cryptoeconomics. His focus at the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics at WU Vienna is the development of token engineering research streams, the creation of network design and incentive mechanism structures, and valuation and modeling of crypto assets. His specializations are agent-based economic modeling, game theory and optimization methods, as well as monetary and environmental policy economics.

Siddhant Shrivastava

RESEARCHER AT ITRUST CENTRE FOR RESEARCH IN CYBER SECURITY AT SINGAPORE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AND DESIGN

Cyber-physical Systems Security • Extended Reality • Distributed Teams • Workforce Training • Telerobotics

Siddhant applies (emerging) technology to connect anything that computes, controls, and networks across scales. More specifically, he works on ensuring the security/safety/service of cyber-physical systems. These systems span everything from country-scale critical infrastructures to cybernetic implants inside our body, and affect all of us. He has worked in space, finance, design, robotics, and learning/training.

Palma Strand, JD

PROFESSOR OF LAW, DEPARTMENT OF INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES, CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY; CO-FOUNDER AND RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CIVITY

Civity • Social • Relational • One-on-one • Culture

Palma is a Professor of Law in Creighton University’s Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program. She is also co-founder and Research Director of Civity, a national non-profit that works with people to build relational infrastructure necessary for communities of belonging. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Omaha Council for Racial Justice and Reconciliation and a lead facilitator of Conversations About Race and Belonging.

Edgar Valdés

Co Founder of Hadox Human Networks

Networks • Sustainability • Policymaking • Information Systems • Data Science 

Edgar is a physicist and developer working to generate high impact city science solutions with a comprehensive set of skills spawning from the social and exact sciences and solid technological background of over 20 years. As Innovation Leader at world-class consulting firms and founder of Hadox Human Networks, he has generated ideas, developed programs and integrated communities for +75 top companies. Edgar has also developed +10 artificial intelligence programs that helped raise productivity by 25% in their respective fields. His expertise as an urban scientist and machine learning has enabled him to train future generations of professionals and lead scientific projects in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Complex Systems. He participated as a mentor for young developers in various universities such as MIT and as a speaker in +20 conferences.

Jesse Woo

CS masters student at Columbia University

 Law • Policy • Privacy • Robotics • Design 

Jesse is an attorney and tech policy expert who focuses on privacy, AI, and international data flows. He is currently pursuing a masters degree in computer science at Columbia University.

Would you like to be a Facilitator for an upcoming Complexity Weekend event?

We are currently seeking Facilitators for our next Complexity Weekend event (in November 2021). 

Please contact [email protected] if you are interested.



Frequently Asked Questions

What will I get out of participating?

Join our global Applied Complexity community of practice, and come away with a healthy exposure to the depth and breadth of Complexity Science from a variety of perspectives. Meet new collaborators, co-authors, mentors, and friends while learning together through a hands-on online team experience. Work toward solutions to the most important problems of our time.

Who is this Complexity Weekend for?

This conference is intended for those who are interested in Complexity Science and are eager to have an immediate and lasting impact while so many Complex systems around us behave in ways that are volatile, harmful, or unsustainable.

What are the prerequisites for attending?

    • A healthy curiosity and willingness to work outside of your usual expertise and comfort, and a willingness to share your expertise with others. Conference engagements will occur exclusively in a Keybase team for the conference cohort, which will be shared with registrants (you can download Keybase and generate a username here: https://keybase.io/download). All sections will be held in English. 

Should I do anything to prepare for the Complexity Weekend?

Don't worry about being unprepared, as no one is an expert in all the various fields intersecting with Complexity Science. If you want to consume anything beforehand, perhaps the "Intro to Complexity" course materials from the Santa Fe Institute's Complexity Explorer platform would be best. We'll have facilitators on hand to help with whatever blocks your team as you work toward a solution to your chosen problem.

Should I come with a problem in mind that I'd like to work on already?

Feel free to come prepared with a complex problem you’d like to gather a team around to solve, or let the creativity flow as you interact with the diverse set of Complexity Thinkers during the event. The choice is up to you.

Who will own whatever is created at the Complexity Weekend?

Participants own their work. Solution proposals generated during the event will have explicit co-ownership defined by the teams themselves, and are private by default. Participants will be given the opportunity to opt-in to having their proposals summarized into a one-pager emailed to all attendees after the event and posted on the Complexity Weekend website. Teams are encouraged, but not required, to present their results at the end of the Weekend. Any degree of open-sourcing is celebrated, but not required.

How can I become a facilitator?

We are currently seeking facilitators for our next Complexity Weekend event (in May 2021). Please contact [email protected] if you are interested.

How does the Complexity Weekend community sustain itself financially?

Our community of practice is supported by a combination of individual and organizational contributions. If your organization would like to contribute money or other resources to aid in our mission to empower teams to tackle the world's toughest problems through Complexity Science, please contact us at [email protected]


With any comments, questions, or feedback, contact the Organizers at [email protected]

2021 Complexity Weekend Organizing team:
Shaun Applegate-Swanson
Lead Data Scientist at CloudKnox Security
Co-Founder at PhDMentors.org
@drProton on Keybase
Daniel Ari Friedman, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher at UC Davis
Previously organized the Stanford Complexity Group
@docxology on Keybase
V. Bleu Knight, PhD
Independent Research Consultant
Content Organizer @ Active Inference Lab
@bleuknight on keybase
Evelyn Strombom
PhD Candidate at UMN Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
@estrombom on Keybase



In Association With:




Supported By:


Complexity Weekend

Applied Complexity community of practice