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:
Many of the teams formed during our previous Complexity Weekend cohorts (May 2019, May 2020, Oct 2020, May 2021) have resulted in productive collaboration and continued work to this day.
This weekend event will be held entirely online (the cohort will be distributed globally)
Pre-Weekend: Starts October 4th, 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.
Gain exposure to an interdisciplinary perspective on Complexity Science and its application
Work on important problems in small groups, with guidance from experienced mentors and domain experts
Join a cohort of peers, friends, cofounders, and mentors - everyone is learning by doing within diverse teams
"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."
"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.
This Complexity community of practice is for you if you are:
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.
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.
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.
Get to know the other participants and facilitators, learn about Complexity Science, and co-create Shared Truth with others.
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)!
Share your team's hard work and vision, make an impact, and stay connected.
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.
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.
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 such as social and behavioral engineering, systems engineering, data standards, intelligence analysis, and decentralized learning systems.
Circular Economy • Biomimetic Transformation • Regeneration • Networked Capability Building • Anthro Complexity
Kai Costantini is a former Executive Search professional now operating as a Talent Agent specializing in bioeconomy. Kai functioned as a consultant on innovation, strategy, and talent capability building in startups and small- to mid-sized enterprises. She held positions as IT Systems Manager and IT Project Coordinator for a multi-country enterprise resource planning migration. Kai operates at nodes which leverage systemic change, in an open distributed manner, fostering networked capabilities. Kai studied in the UK and France, and specialized in Circular Economy, Biomimicry, and Human Capital in North America. She develops material reasoning artifacts and acts as a Biomimicry Steam educator.
Risk • Law • Narrative • Policy • Situated Cognition
Scott works at the crossroads of Cognitive Science and Law. He spent his career putting intangible assets (aka "collective hallucinations") in virtual containers so that they can be traded. Scott now works 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.
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.
Complexity Frameworks Ecosystem • Entrepreneurial & Business Ecosystems
Denise Easton is a consultant, an entrepreneur, and an author, who is inspired by the “complex and emerging intersections” of strategy, ecosystems, and innovation. As a 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 the 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.
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.
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.
Science Communication • Evolutionary Biology • Paleontology • Philosophy of Science
Paleontologist-Futurist Michael Garfield is devoted to helping navigate our age of accelerating weirdness and to cultivating the curiosity and play we'll need to thrive in it. As host and producer of the Future Fossils Podcast and the Santa Fe Institute's "Complexity" Podcast, Michael acts as an 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.
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. His focus is on applying this field of research to understanding human societies and building social organisation that will withstand the test of the Anthropocene.
Archaeology • Anthropology • Human Evolution • Technology Change • Human-Environment Interaction
Jenn Huff is a quantitative anthropologist and archaeologist who works on deep time questions about human evolution, human migrations into new landscapes, exchange networks, risk & uncertainty, technology change, and human-environment interactions. She is currently working on a book that looks at human evolution and recent cultural perspectives to explore how humans cooperate; and what that means for us in the past, present, and future.
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.
Artificial Intelligence • Bioethics • Emerging Technologies • Nanotechnology • Nervous System-Machine Interactions
As the 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.
Marketing • Influence • Advertising • Social Responsibility • Content Creation
During Justin’s 9-year tenure at Markerly, he has led the company’s growth, guided its strategic direction, directed its product development, and established its platform and media practice. While Markerly established itself as a pioneer in influencer marketing, Justin spear-headed award-winning campaigns for Fortune 500 brands, Non-Profits, and Government organizations. Along the way, he has come up with a unique methodology that allows for influencer marketing to be holistically integrated within broader media plans to maximize impact, and has developed technology to streamline this process.
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 of information transmission.
Quantum Computing • Quantum Information Science • Research Mentorship
Jason works at the SEI Emerging Technology Center at CMU as a Research Scientist in advanced computing (currently focusing on quantum computing). He has experience working in High Performance Computing, and has worked on the commercialization of automated code generation. He builds entirely cloud-based software development frameworks focusing on lifecycle, Agile methodologies, Continuous Integration, and the Internet of Things. Jason earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, using high performance computing (commodity supercomputing) to perform quantum chemistry-based materials science modeling/simulation. Jason also works with Research Mentors, and is available to guide new researchers as they learn to publish in peer-reviewed research journals.
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.
Philosophy of Law • Ethics and Political Philosophy • Responsibility • Algorithms
Andréa has pioneered the application of psychoanalysis to innovate 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.
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 involves the development of token engineering research streams, the creation of network design and incentive mechanism structures, and the 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.
Immersion • Investigation • Insightful Questions • Strategy
Jenny’s career spans some of the world’s top branding agencies including Landor and Bulletproof, where she provided several global brands with powerful and innovative solutions. Jenny is a strategist who believes good design is all about problem solving and should always be based on insight. Her skills are invaluable in unravelling clients’ complex challenges, providing unique and provocative perspectives and identifying the essence from which a brand can amplify and evolve.
Building Relationships • Architecture and Alchemy of Conflicts
A passionate researcher in relationship entanglements, Lucia guides individuals into a transformational journey where conflicts, as an alchemy process, become a new golden resource for the good of life. She supports her clients with a systemic comprehension of their invisible patterns, mending separation stuck in conflicts and traumas.
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 to ensure 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.
Sensing • Language • Somatic • Visual Practitioner
Barb is a co-founder at the Awareful Systems Group, an artist, and a registered architect. She helps organizations see and learn the language of their ecosystem, so that an understanding of what is can be used to create a vision of what could be. Her long career includes work with Children’s National Hospital Brainy Camps, The Gifted and Talented/Learning Disabled Network, and architectural work on both large institutional and small house additions.
Transdisciplinary • Living Systems • Multi-scale • Participatory • Community Development
Stephen is a multi-scale community development practitioner, who uses contextual drama and participatory arts. His work is underpinned by multi-level system approaches and enactive embodied sensemaking. More recently he has been using Active Inference and non-linear dynamical systems approaches to unify the range of practices he is working with.
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.
Health • Environment • Physics
Mike Taylor is an independent theorist specializing in the application of Complexity Science to health and compassion. His Unified Theory of Meaning Emergence takes a major stride in connecting the mathematics of complexity with self-transcendence and compassion. He has spoken at international, national and regional conferences on Complexity in health, business and nursing and is developing the platform of social compassion as a method of rapid social change.
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 to a solid technological background accumulated over 20 years. As an Innovation Leader at world-class consulting firms and a co-founder at 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 researcher has enabled him to train future generations of professionals and to lead scientific projects in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Complex Systems. He has mentored young developers in various universities such as MIT, and has served as a speaker in 20+ conferences.
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.
Community Organizing • Full Stack Data Science • Data Center Security • Physics • Complex Thermostatistics
Shaun co-founded Complexity Weekend to help empower teams to learn Complexity by doing while working to solve the world's toughest problems together. At Microsoft, Shaun leads a team of full-stack (Python/Scala) data scientists and engineers, which has developed access management scoring and anomaly detection systems to enforce the Principle of Least Privilege throughout data centers worldwide. His personal research interests involve combining Complexity Science with Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics axioms to peek at fundamental properties of emergent phenomena.
Coordination Problems • Initial Conditions • Emergent Intent • Group Priority
Park Bach is a researcher currently paying attention to the very forefront of the online human interaction economy, hoping to catalogue and discern the direction of non-localised intent that exists within it. With Figment providing staking infrastructure for 40+ Web3 protocols, she lends a hand in making sure that they are up to date with the changes happening with protocols, all while writing articles outlining essential information on staking for potential customers.
Dare • To Be • Stupid
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. During the Weekend, Alex will challenge you to be Natural instead of Artificial, Specific instead of General, and use Stupidity instead of Intelligence.
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. He grew up in Asia connected to the internet, which solidified his identity as a global citizen. Sam now seeks to discover models that work for the whole planet and all who call it home.
Systems Feedbacks • Path Dependence • Poverty • Homelessness
Shirley explores how Systems Thinking and Complexity Science raise different kinds of questions and bring new insight to socioeconomics. She researches homelessness, segregation, and poverty through a complexity science lens, including how path dependence, nonlinearity, non-ergodicity, hysteresis, randomness, and preferential attachment may affect these systemic challenges. Shirley has 20 years of experience developing affordable housing with social service and healthcare facilities, and has a Master's in Public Administration with an Urban Policy specialization from Columbia University.
Systems Modeling • Environmental Sciences • Ecosystem Thermodynamics • Ecosystem Services
Jessica is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Sciences in Ada, Oklahoma. She is interested in modeling complex environmental interactions, especially water and soil quality issues, and how they relate to ecosystem conservation and management. Jessica enjoys introducing Complexity Science in the classroom to engage creative solutions and critical thinking. In her spare time, she manages her family farm, reads, and embarrasses her kids with her super-nerd powers.
Evolutionary Computation • Coevolutionary Algorithms • Agent-based Modeling • Simulation
Anthony Bucci received a B.S. in Mathematics from CWRU and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Brandeis University. Since then he has applied insights from Complexity Science in a variety of domains including more recently large scale infrastructure simulation, NLP and ML, structured knowledge extraction, cybersecurity, and computer science education research. A long-running theme of this work is the complexity that arises in interactive domains.
We are currently seeking Facilitators for our next Complexity Weekend event (in November 2021).
Please contact [email protected] if you are interested.
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 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 participating?
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 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 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 Q2 2022). 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]
Applied Complexity community of practice
Register now to join our next global cohort, as we come together before and during the
November 12th-14th weekend to learn Complexity Science by doing.
Want to keep up to date with future Complexity Weekend Events?