Complexity in Human Systems Symposium – Nov 7-8 2019, Washington DC, USA

I think that if this is, as Dave Snowden claims in explaining that he set up this event, truly focused on avoiding gurus and fads (“Generally each fad provides value but suffers by (i) rejecting everything that happened in the past and (ii) seeing to claim universal applicability”), and set up to “understand differences and commonalities and in general advance the field”, then that would be a good thing.


Source: Complexity in Human Systems Symposium

Nov 7-8, 2019 | JW Marriott, Washington DC

Complexity in Human Systems: Next Paradigm of Management?

Stephen Hawking famously said that this century would be the century of complexity. From its early days in the Santa Fe Institution, complex adaptive systems theory has increasingly moved from the world of academia to practice. Sometimes known as the science of uncertainty, it provides radically new ways to understand how to create organizations that are resilient and adaptive. This day-and-a -half symposium, a joint production of the Cynefin Centre for Organizational Complexity, Information Today, Inc. and Dysart & Jones Associates, brings together some of the leading academics, thinkers, and practitioners in the field of complexity to discuss a range of topics that include the following:

  • How can government and industry more effectively navigate the multiple uncertainties of a hyper-connected world?
  • What insights does complexity science give to the development of doctrine and strategy?
  • How does complexity transform our understanding of design and innovation from the linear processes of design thinking to something dynamic and radically creative?
  • What are the models of leadership appropriate for conditions of growing uncertainty?
  • What are the implications for individual development, agency, and organization growth that arise from complexity and cognitive science?
  • What is the role of art in human intelligence? Aesthetics and semiotics can have a profound impact on organizational change.
  • What are new ways of ensuring impact that avoid the gaming and misdirection of KPIs?

This is a chance to be there at the first major event to discuss and co-create a radical new sets of ideas. In keeping with the theme, the event will not be organized around traditional keynotes, but instead on multiple structured interactions between experts and attendees to allow new insights and understanding to emerge. Einstein stated that “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” to which we can add “but not simplistic”. Watch the website for updates and new additions to our expert panels with whom you will get a chance to interact. Register and join the conversation at this exciting learning and networking event.

Facilitated By

Patrick Lambe, Partner, Straits Knowledge
Euan Semple, Author, Facilitator & Business Strategist


Sonja Blignaut, Cognitive Edge
Kevin Dooley, Arizona State University & Sustainability Consortium
Glenda Eoyang, Executive Director, Human Systems Dynamics Institute
Alicia Juarrero, President and Founder, VectorAnalytica, Inc. and Author, Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System
Benyamin Lichtenstein, College of Management, U-Mass Boston
Michael Lissack, President, American Society for Cybernetics
Martin Reynolds, Systems Thinking, Open University
Dave Snowden, Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge
Tom Stewart, Author & Ohio State University
Mary Uhl-Bien, School of Business, Texas Christian University

Thursday, Nov 7

Complexity In Human Systems

Opening Keynote Panel – 2020 & Beyond: Creating Resilience In Organizations & Society

Thursday, November 7: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

We live in a world which promises infinite choice, but are we more trapped in the patterns of past practice than we care to think? Is the hierarchical or matrixed organization fit for purpose in a world of increased uncertainty and volatility? Governments have increasing legitimate demands on their resources from citizens and the wider needs of the planet, but few resources to deal with it. Ideology and belief seem at times to triumph over fact, evidence, and reason. Have we gone beyond even post-modernism into a new world with constantly shifting paradigms and increasingly less time to adjust to them? Our panel looks at these questions from the perspectives of knowledge and complexity. They discuss transforming and revolutionizing the way we do business as we move into an uncertain future, how we satisfy our clients in an ever-changing technological age, and how, in our complex societies, we provide value, exchange knowledge, innovate, grow and support our world. Our panel of experienced thinkers and doers shares their insights about what we should be doing to further develop a sustainable ecosystem in our organizations, communities, and world.

Speakers:Patrick Lambe, Principal Consultant, Straits Knowledge, Singapore

Dave Snowden, Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge

Tom Stewart, Executive Director, National Center for the Middle Market, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

Alicia Juarrero, Founder and President, VectorAnalytica, Inc. and Author, Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System

Complexity In Human Systems Café: Networking Reception

Thursday, November 7: 5:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Speakers:Kevin Dooley, Professor, Arizona State University and Chief Research Officer, The Sustainability Consortium

Sonja Blignaut, Networks & Partnerships, Cognitive Edge

Glenda Eoyang, Executive Director, Human Systems Dynamics Institute

Alicia Juarrero, Founder and President, VectorAnalytica, Inc. and Author, Dynamics in Action: Intentional Behavior as a Complex System

Patrick Lambe, Principal Consultant, Straits Knowledge, Singapore

Benyamin Lichtenstein, College of Management, U-Mass Boston

Michael Lissack, President, American Society for Cybernetics and Executive Director Emeritus, the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence; Professor of Design and Innovation at Tongji University, Shanghai

Martin Reynolds, Senior Lecturer in Systems Thinking, Open University

Euan Semple, Director, Conference Chair, & Author, Euan Semple Ltd

Dave Snowden, Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge

Tom Stewart, Executive Director, National Center for the Middle Market, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University

Mary Uhl-Bien, Professor of Management, Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University

Friday, Nov 8

Complexity In Human Systems Symposium

Moving The Complexity Field Forward: Leadership

Friday, November 8: 8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.


Friday, November 8: 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Open Space Discussion

Friday, November 8: 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Resilience & The Future Through A Complexity Lens

Friday, November 8: 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Convergence & Manifesto

Friday, November 8: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration Includes

The Complexity in Human Systems Symposium is co-located with KMWorld 2019 and is only available as a separate registration option. Please note that registration to the Complexity in Human Systems Symposium is NOT included with Platinum, Gold, or Full Conference pass types. Separate registration is required.

  • Access to Complexity in Human Systems Syposium sessions
  • Opening Keynote Panel* and Evening Networking Cafe & Reception on Thursday, November 7
  • Light Continental Breakfast, Breaks, and Lunch on Friday, November 8

*Attendees are invited to join the KMWorld 2019 Closing Keynote Panel on Thursday afternoon. The Symposium will kick off that same evening with an opening panel discussion and networking reception.

Source: Complexity in Human Systems Symposium