Project Description
Best Resources For Learning Systems & Complexity
An often asked question “what are the best books for learning about systems thinking and complexity?”
Systems Thinking Books (7)

Thinking in Systems: A Primer
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth―the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet― Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001. Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systemsthinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21stcentury life.
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The Fifth Discipline
Senge's bestselling The Fifth Discipline led Business Week to dub him the "new guru" of the corporate world; here he offers executives a stepbystep guide to building "learning organizations" of their own.
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The Systems View of Life
Over the past thirty years, a new systemic conception of life has emerged at the forefront of science. New emphasis has been given to complexity, networks, and patterns of organisation, leading to a novel kind of 'systemic' thinking. This volume integrates the ideas, models, and theories underlying the systems view of life into a single coherent framework. Taking a broad sweep through history and across scientific disciplines, the authors examine the appearance of key concepts such as autopoiesis, dissipative structures, social networks, and a systemic understanding of evolution.
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An Introduction to General Systems Thinking
Weinberg distills the essence from von Bertalanffy’s classic and manages to present it in a very accessible fashion. The book has been out of print for quite a while so it is great to see a new edition. The message and information contained in here, although originally published in 1975, is now more relevant than ever.
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When a Butterfly Sneezes
A musthave resource for any parent or educator who wants to help children think about interconnections in our world. Each chapter focuses on a favorite children's picture bookand reveals the systems principle inherent in the story, general points for discussion, illustrations of key concepts, and questions to spark conversation for both younger and older readers.
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Systems Thinking: Coping with 21st Century Problems
By examining the links and interactions between elements of a system, systems thinking is becoming increasingly relevant when dealing with global challenges, from terrorism to energy to healthcare. Addressing these seemingly intractable systems problems in our society, Systems Thinking: Coping with 21st Century Problems focuses on the inherent opportunities and difficulties of a systems approach. Taking an engineering systems view toward systems thinking, the authors place a high value on the thinking process and the things applied to this process.
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Systems Thinking For Social Change
Donors, leaders of nonprofits, and public policy makers usually have the best of intentions to serve society and improve social conditions. But often their solutions fall far short of what they want to accomplish and what is truly needed. Moreover, the answers they propose and fund often produce the opposite of what they want over time. We end up with temporary shelters that increase homelessness, drug busts that increase drugrelated crime, or food aid that increases starvation.
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Systems Theory Books (4)

Introduction to Systems Theory
Niklas Luhmann ranks as one of the most important sociologists and social theorists of the twentieth century. Through his many books he developed a highly original form of systems theory that has been hugely influential in a wide variety of disciplines. In Introduction to Systems Theory, Luhmann explains the key ideas of general and sociological systems theory and supplies a wealth of examples to illustrate his approach. The book offers a wide range of concepts and theorems that can be applied to politics and the economy, religion and science, art and education, organization and the family.
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General Systems Theory: Ideas & Applications
The world in which classical positivistic science and technology obtained great success has vanished. However, the way of thinking promoted by that epoch still lingers in our social consciousness, sometimes as a burden. To conquer the shortcomings of classical analytical science in the modern, ever more complex world, systems theory and its applications within systems science present an alternative to old paradigms.
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General System Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications
Bertalanffy’s selected writings on his theory of laws applicable to virtually every scientific field. This conceptual approach has had a profound impact on biology, economics, psychology, and demography, with new relevancies today. The new foreword by University of Vienna system theory professor, Wolfgang Hofkirchner, and Centre for Systems Philosophy director, David Rousseau, discusses the theory’s contemporary applications.
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The Nature of Mathematical Modeling
This book first covers exact and approximate analytical techniques (ordinary differential and difference equations, partial differential equations, variational principles, stochastic processes); numerical methods (finite differences for ODE's and PDE's, finite elements, cellular automata); model inference based on observations (function fitting, data transforms, network architectures, search techniques, density estimation); as well as the special role of time in modeling (filtering and state estimation, hidden Markov processes, linear and nonlinear time series).
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Adaptive Systems Books (5)

Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life
This book provides the first clear, comprehensive, and accessible account of complex adaptive social systems, by two of the field's leading authorities. Such systemswhether political parties, stock markets, or ant coloniespresent some of the most intriguing theoretical and practical challenges confronting the social sciences. Engagingly written, and balancing technical detail with intuitive explanations, Complex Adaptive Systems focuses on the key tools and ideas that have emerged in the field since the mid1990s...
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Diversity and Complexity
This book provides an introduction to the role of diversity in complex adaptive systems. A complex systemsuch as an economy or a tropical ecosystemconsists of interacting adaptive entities that produce dynamic patterns and structures. Diversity plays a different role in a complex system than it does in an equilibrium system, where it often merely produces variation around the mean for performance measures. In complex adaptive systems, diversity makes fundamental contributions to system performance.
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Game Theory: A Nontechnical Introduction
Accessible introduction to enormously important intellectual system with numerous applications to social, economic, political problems. Newly revised edition offers overview of game theory, then lucid coverage of the twoperson zerosum game with equilibrium points; the general, twoperson zerosum game; utility theory; other topics. Problems at start of each chapter.
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Game Theory: An Introduction
This comprehensive textbook introduces readers to the principal ideas and applications of game theory, in a style that combines rigor with accessibility. Steven Tadelis begins with a concise description of rational decision making, and goes on to discuss strategic and extensive form games with complete information, Bayesian games, and extensive form games with imperfect information. He covers a host of topics, including multistage and repeated games, bargaining theory, auctions, rentseeking games, mechanism design, signaling games, reputation building, and information transmission games.
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Complex and Adaptive Dynamical Systems: A Primer
This primer offers readers an introduction to the central concepts that form our modern understanding of complex and emergent behavior, together with detailed coverage of accompanying mathematical methods. All calculations are presented step by step and are easy to follow. This new fourth edition has been fully reorganized and includes new chapters, figures and exercises. The core aspects of modern complex system sciences are presented in the first chapters, covering network theory, dynamical systems, bifurcation and catastrophe theory, chaos and adaptive processes, together with the principle of selforganization in reactiondiffusion systems and social animals. Modern information theoretical principles are treated in further chapters, together with the concept of selforganized criticality, gene regulation networks, hypercycles and coevolutionary avalanches, synchronization phenomena, absorbing phase transitions and the cognitive system approach to the brain.
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Systems Thinking Research (5)

Complexity and Systems Thinking
Systems thinking has evolved over the millennia as people have looked for ways to articulate the features of the world around them in a coherent manner.1 Starting from the definition of a system as an integrated whole made up of interconnected parts, various formalizations of systems thinking in a way that would be of interest to managers have emerged over time as people have looked for ways of rationalizing their interactions with the world. These formalizations give us a set of ontological and epistemological devices that have been used to define what the world is, to explain how it works, and to define and justify interventions that are intended to change, control or constrain the future behaviour of that world.
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SYSTEMS ARCHETYPES
Systems Archetypes I helps you understand the structure and story line of the archetypes–those “common stories” in systems thinking. Each twopage description leads you through an archetype and outlines ways to use the archetype to address your own business issues.
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Introduction To Systems Thinking
System. We hear and use the word all the time. “There’s no sense in trying to buck the system,” we might say. Or, “This job’s getting out of control, I’ve got to establish a system.” Whether you are aware of it or not, you are a member of many systems – a family, a community, a church, a company.
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A Definition of Systems Thinking: A Systems Approach
This paper proposes a definition of systems thinking for use in a wide variety of disciplines, with particular emphasis on the development and assessment of systems thinking educational efforts. The definition was derived from a review of the systems thinking literature combined with the application of systems thinking to itself. Many different definitions of systems thinking can be found throughout the systems community, but key components of a singular definition can be distilled from the literature. This researcher considered these components both individually and holistically, then proposed a new definition of systems thinking that integrates these components as a system
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What is Systemic Thinking?
Systemic Thinking (ST) offers you a powerful new perspective, a specialized language, and a set of tools that you can use to better understand and address stubborn recurring problems in your everyday work and life. ST is a way of understanding reality that emphasizes the relationships between a system’s parts, rather than the parts themselves. Based on a field of study known as systems dynamics, ST has practical every day application that rests on a solid theoretical foundation
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Systems Theory Course (2)

Systems Science Graduate Program
Systems Science Graduate Program Systems Science is the study and application of general methods of problem solving and general principles governing systems of widely differing types. Systems Science is the study of general principles governing systems of widely differing types, and the use of systems ideas and methods in interdisciplinary research and sociotechnical system design and management. Systems science draws on the natural and social sciences, mathematics, computer science, and engineering to address complex problems in the public and private sectors.
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Graduate Programs in Systems Science at Binghamton University
The Systems Science graduate program at Binghamton University offers a unique, internationally recognized, highly transdisciplinary learning and research experience that provides you with concepts, principles and methods for understanding, modeling, analyzing, optimizing and improving various forms of complex systems. Such systems thinking and problem solving skills will be an invaluable asset when you blaze a new trail in any scientific, engineering, business, or management profession, within today's increasingly complex world.
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Nonlinear Systems Courses (2)

Chaos
It has been called the third great revolution of 20thcentury physics, after relativity and quantum theory. But how can something called chaos theory help you understand an orderly world? What practical things might it be good for? What, in fact, is chaos theory? "Chaos theory," according to Dr. Steven Strogatz, Director of the Center for Applied Mathematics at Cornell University, "is the science of how things change."
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Nonlinear Differential Equations: Order and Chaos
Phenomena as diverse as the motion of the planets, the spread of a disease, and the oscillations of a suspension bridge are governed by differential equations. MATH226x is an introduction to the mathematical theory of ordinary differential equations. This course follows a modern dynamical systems approach to the subject. In particular, equations are analyzed using qualitative, numerical, and if possible, symbolic techniques.
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Nonlinear Systems Books (3)

Nonlinearity, Chaos, and Complexity
Covering a broad range of topics, this text provides a comprehensive survey of the modeling of chaotic dynamics and complexity in the natural and social sciences. Its attention to models in both the physical and social sciences and the detailed philosophical approach make this a unique text in the midst of many current books on chaos and complexity. Including an extensive index and bibliography along with numerous examples and simplified models, this is an ideal course text.
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Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity
Over the past two decades, no field of scientific inquiry has had a more striking impact across a wide array of disciplines–from biology to physics, computing to meteorology–than that known as chaos and complexity, the study of complex systems. Now astrophysicist John Gribbin draws on his expertise to explore, in prose that communicates not only the wonder but the substance of cuttingedge science, the principles behind chaos and complexity.
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Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos
This textbook is aimed at newcomers to nonlinear dynamics and chaos, especially students taking a first course in the subject. The presentation stresses analytical methods, concrete examples, and geometric intuition. The theory is developed systematically, starting with firstorder differential equations and their bifurcations, followed by phase plane analysis, limit cycles and their bifurcations, and culminating with the Lorenz equations, chaos, iterated maps, period doubling, renormalization, fractals, and strange attractors.
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Nonlinear Systems Research (4)

A TUTORIAL INTRODUCTION TO NONLINEAR DYNAMICS
This is the second and final parI. of a series of two papers on nonlinear dynamics and chaos. In the first parI some tools. developed for analysing nonlinear systems, were c!esniiJec! in conjunction with a seI. of moc!els commonly llsed as benchmarks in the literature. This papel' investigates a llllIllber of isslles concerning the modeling, signal processillg anel control of nonlinear e1ynamics. This is carrieel ou! llsillg tbe tools and 1D0elels described in the first papel'. This inwstigation has th1'Own some new light on relevant p1'Oblems such as modeI parametrization, modeI validation. data smoothing anel control of nonliear systems
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Teaching Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos for Beginners
We describe a course in Nonlinear Dynamics for undergraduate students of the first years of Chemical Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Computer Sciences. An extensive use of computational tools, the internet and laboratory experiments are key ingredients of the course. Even though their previous background in physics and mathematics might be limited, our experience shows that an appropriate selection of the contents with the use of some conceptual introductory ideas and multimedia techniques are an excellent way to introduce Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos for beginners.
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An Introduction to Chaos Theory
The science of complexity involves the principle of SelfOrganizing Criticality,of which the human brain is a great example, where large neurons organize themselves to form an extremely complex connective network which can solve complex problems with a rapidity still not matched by present day computers. It has been postulated by Walter Freeman III how chaos plays an important role in brain functioning and attempts to explain how it operates as fast as it does! This short introduction to chaos theory will outline how we can use a chaotic source to produce unlimited amounts of ‘cryptographic keys’ for secure saving of data in Cloud computing (CC).
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NONLINEAR SCIENCE from Paradigms to Practicalities
Nonlinear science is the study of those mathematical systems and natural phenomena that are not linear. Ever attuned to the possibility of bons mots, Stan once remarked that this was “like defining the bulk of zoology by calling it the study of ‘nonelephant animals’.” His point, clearly, was that the vast majority of mathematical equations and natural phenomena are nonlinear, with linearity being the exceptional, but important, case.
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Adaptive Systems Research (3)

Complex Adaptive Systems
To arrive at a deeper understanding of complex adaptive systems?to understand what makes them complex and what makes them adaptive?it is useful to look at a particular system. Consider the immune system. It consists of large numbers of highly mobile units, called antibodies, that continually repel or destroy an everchanging cast of invaders (bacteria and biochemicals), called antigens. Because the invaders come in an almost infinite variety of forms, the immune system cannot simply develop a list of all possible invaders
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Complex Adaptive Systems: Emergence and SelfOrganization
CAS studies indirect effects. Problems that are difficult to solve are often hard to understand because the causes and effects are not obviously related. Pushing on a complex system "here" often has effects "over there" because the parts are interdependent.
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Complex Adaptive Systems Introduction
The various groups at the Santa Fe Institute studying complex adaptive systems (CAS) have somewhat different points of view and have adopted different vocabularies. Some of us speak of "artificial life" or "artificial social life" or "artificial worlds," while others, of whom I am one, prefer to consider natural CAS and computerbased systems together. The latter include methods for adaptive computation as well as models and simulations of natural CAS.
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Systems Thinking Videos (11)

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Introduction to Systems Thinking, Part 1
Presentation on systems thinking by Martin Sandbrook of the Schumacher Institute
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Introduction to Systems Thinking, Part 2
Presentation on systems thinking by Martin Sandbrook of the Schumacher Institute
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Introduction to Systems Thinking Part 3
Presentation on systems thinking by Martin Sandbrook of the Schumacher Institute
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Introduction to Systems Thinking Part 4
Presentation on systems thinking by Martin Sandbrook of the Schumacher Institute
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Introduction to Systems Thinking Part 5
Presentation on systems thinking by Martin Sandbrook of the Schumacher Institute
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Introduction to Systems Thinking Part 6
Presentation on systems thinking by Martin Sandbrook of the Schumacher Institute
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Peter Senge Introduction to Systems Thinking
Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline, Senior lecturer at MIT and Founder of the Society for Organizational Learning shares his perspectives on leadership and systems thinking with IBM
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Systems Thinking Speech by Dr. Russell Ackoff
Dr. Russell Ackoff gives a presentation on systems thinking and the limitations of reductionist thinking
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If Russ Ackoff had given a TED Talk
This presentation is from a 1994 event hosted by Clare CrawfordMason and Lloyd Dobyns to capture the Learning and Legacy of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Russ knew Dr. Deming and speaks here about the difference between "continuous improvement" and "discontinuous improvement" as seen through the lens of systems thinking.
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Dr. Russell Ackoff on Systems Thinking  Pt 1
Dr. Russell Ackoff gives a presentation on Systems Thinking
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Dr. Russell Ackoff on Systems Thinking  Pt 2
Part 2 of Dr. Russell Ackoff talking on Systems Thinking
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Adaptive Systems Videos (9)

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Fritjof Capra, The Systems View of Life
"In this first lecture of the course, I would like to give you an outline of the new understanding of life that is now emerging at the forefront of science. As I mentioned before, it is a conception of life based on systemic thinking and some of the new concepts and mathematical techniques of complexity theory. It allows us for the first time to integrate the biological, cognitive, and social dimensions of life"
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Genetic Algorithms
A simple explanation of how genetic algorithms work.
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Peter Kollock on Social Dilemmas
In 2005, Peter Kollock spoke about social dilemmas to the Stanford seminar on "A new literacy of cooperation" that was conducted by Andrea Saveri and Howard Rheingold.
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Negative Externalities and the Coase Theorem
Prof. Sean Mullholland addresses a classic example of a negative externality, pollution, and describes three possible solutions for the problem: taxation, government regulation, and property rights. The first two options are difficult to monitor and may create perverse incentives.
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Robert Wright: The logic of nonzerosum progress
Author Robert Wright explains "nonzerosumness," a gametheory term describing how players with linked fortunes tend to cooperate for mutual benefit. This dynamic has guided our biological and cultural evolution, he says  but our unwillingness to understand one another, as in the clash between the Muslim world and the West, will lead to all of us losing the "game."
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Ending The Tragedy of The Commons
The Nobelprize winning economist argues that, contrary to the widespread theory, with the right governance, humans are likely to forge peaceful solutions to coping with resource scarcity.
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Game Theory 101 MOOC
What is game theory? Why should we study it? Game Theory 101 is a free introductory course to the basics of game theory. Over the course of the next few dozen videos, we will learn about strict dominance, iterated elimination of strictly dominated strategies, pure strategy Nash equilibrium, mixed strategy Nash equilibrium, the mixed strategy algorithm, weak dominance, backward induction, subgame perfect equilibrium, comparative statics, and more.
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Using fitness landscapes to visualize evolution in action
Bjørn Østman and Randy Olson demonstrate how fitness landscapes can be used to visualize concepts about evolution that are typically hard to understand.
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Control Systems Lectures  Closed Loop Control
This lecture discusses the differences between open loop and closed loop control.
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Nonlinear Systems Videos (6)

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Chaos Theory Video
Chaos theory contends that complex and unpredictable results occur in systems that are sensitive to small changes in their initial conditions. This small changes effect is best illustrated and commonly known as the "Butterfly Effect" which states that the flapping of a butterfly's wings in the Amazon could cause tiny atmospheric changes which over a certain time period could effect weather patterns in New York. Such systems are known as chaotic systems. Although chaotic systems appear to be random, they are not.
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Chaos Theory Documentary
One of the best educational videos on Chaos Theory and Dynamic Systems that I have ever seen. Chaos is order out of disorder, and order out of nonlinearity. When there is agreement within a system, the more complex a system, the better a bottom up/emergent organizational structure handles the diversity.
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Double Pendulum Displays Chaotic Motion
A system is considered chaotic if it is highly sensitive on the initial conditions. If a system is chaotic it doesn't mean that it is random. A chaotic system is completely deterministic. Given enough time and precise initial conditions of the system it would be possible to calculate precisely, how it will evolve
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What Is A Fractal
Fractals are complex, neverending patterns created by repeating mathematical equations. Yuliya, a undergrad in Math at MIT, delves into their mysterious properties and how they can be found in technology and nature.
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Fractals The Hidden Dimension
Fractals are typically selfsimilar patterns that show up everywhere around us in nature and biology. The term "fractal" was first used by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975 and used it to extend the concept of theoretical fractional dimensions to geometric patterns in nature.
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The Mandelbrot Set  Numberphile
Famously beautiful, the Mandelbrot Set is all about complex numbers. Featuring Dr Holly Krieger from MIT.
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Systems Theory Videos (7)

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The Web of Life
Many new trends in the field of biologyincluding systems theory, complexity theory, chaos theory, the Gaia hypothesissuggest a new approach to the understanding of living systems. this view of our intimate involvement with the web of life can lead us toward ways of living that are ecologically sound.
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On the Nature of Causality in Complex Systems
Big Bang cosmology, chemical and biological evolutionary theory, and associated sciences have been extraordinarily successful in revealing and enabling us to understand the development of the universe from the Planck era to the present, as well as the emergence of complexity, life, and consciousness here on Earth.
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Systems Theories
A very brief overview of systems theories and its key concepts
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A Philosophical Look at System Dynamics
In this lecture, Donella Meadows takes on a more philosophical concept. How can we bring ourselves to be aware of the assumptions we make as systems thinkers? She asserts that models are a set of assumptions. Donella Meadows defines some of these system dynamics assumptions (such as causal relationships and feedback loops) in this video.
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Intro System Dynamics
Introduction to System Dynamics...primarily intended for BADM495 students (though everyone is welcome to view).
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An Introduction to Systems Thinking by Gerald Midgley
Plenary talk from the First Global Conference on Research Integration and Implementation: “An Introduction to Systems Thinking: Integration and Implementation in the Face of Wicked Problems.” This talk provides an introduction to systems thinking for people with little prior knowledge of the field.
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Introduction to Systems Theory
Introductory video on General Systems Theory. This video/lecture also briefly touches on ecological theory, and chaos theory as well as some ideas from Heidegger.
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