Monday, January 19, 2015

Complexity Collaboration Will Deliver to Business Down the Road

Sometimes as a thought leader, you have to get out on the edge a bit, to peer over the cliff. Well last Friday I attended an all day session announcing a collaboration between Arizona State University (ASU) and the Santa Fe Institute (SFI). What I saw is encouraging. First of all we have a famous institution (SFI) that has linked with business in the past on various topics collaboration linked with one of the largest Universities in the country. A university that has a strong IT bent along with many other schools. Announcements are one thing, but attitude is another. I was encouraged by the vision of bringing these two fine organizations in cooperation.

What ASU Brings to Bear?

Michael Crow, the president of ASU, wants to fight the piety of typical universities and link them to other institutions for leverage. He also wants to link to real business and primary education tributaries. Michael has committed resources and heads of individual schools to leverage SFI and complexity specifically to deal with the emerging problems that business faces today.

What SFI Brings to Bear?

Jeff Sabloff, the president of SFI, wants to leverage the already mature research in complexity theory and other areas of research and plug these emerging research areas closer to the leaders and teachers that link to the ASU biosphere. His associates are already working with several heads of ASU departments.

The Proof Will Be?

ASU and SFI put a number of their smart folks on the podium to proclaim fertile areas of effort that they expected to pursue. This elite panel proclaimed any number of areas for collaboration and progress. These area were all dealing with growing complexity issues and felt they needed to collaborate. while I will list some of the areas, the proof will be when the collaborations bear fruit in terms of papers and actual use by other communities in the business and primary education worlds.

Example Fertile Areas of Innovative Cooperation:

City Architecture
Visualizing and Animating Areas of Science
Adaptive Processes and Computing Systems
Medicine in Following and Treating Adaptive Diseases
Generating Art & Music

Net; Net:

It is refreshing to hear academia wanting to cooperate to push complexity forward as the world tackles more emerging and adaptive situations. Normally I don't trust academia because of the piety you find there, but this one looks real good. I will be following closely as I am a big supporter of SFI and am seeing managing emerging processes as a growing challenge. I stayed the whole day, even though expected to run away around lunch time. For a person with ADD, that is saying something. We will see if my BS meter goes off over time :)

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