- THE NEXT SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
- What’s a Wicked Problem?
- Definition: complex adaptive system (CAS)
- Project Guts: What is a Complex Adaptive System?
How do the lessons of Complex Adaptive Systems impact Activist Organizing?
We have internalized the notion that the change framework for a society is a machine or, these days, a computer program. This internalization begins at an early age and is a constant meme in our environment. Because we view our society in this way, our efforts to change that society are reduced to tactical and operational plans that would only produce reliable and consistent effects in machines or computer programs or problems that are short enough or small enough so that it doesn’t matter how we view them.
But our society and all the important systems of support and oppression that people with disabilities face every day are not machines or computer programs. They are Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), and if we persist in not embracing this reality, our change efforts will fade as the ripples of a small pebble dropped in the ocean, or they will produce consequences we never intended, including a worse version of what we tried to change.
There is no way around this reality. A constant din of simple silver bullet change plans will not save us.