For Researchers 2016-10-27T11:21:32+00:00

1. For Researchers

Over the past few decades, complexity has become a hot topic in the sciences and today researchers are using it across a wide variety of domains, from linguistics and cognitive science to business management, finance, and engineering. Complexity theory has the potential to reinvigorate virtually any domain with a fresh perspective and a new set of ideas and methods. Unfortunately all too often the ideas of complexity theory are shrouded in the complicated physics and mathematics of nonlinear systems making them opaque to many.
It doesn’t have to be like this though, the core concepts of systems and complexity theory can be abstracted away from their specific origins and find universal application in any domain; this is exactly what we are here for, to help those outside of the area gain access to this approach without the weeks, months or even years of hard labour that is often required to make headway. We sift through complexity theory to find the basic, essential ideas. We then structure them and try to make them relevant to the various domains of application.

2. Understanding Our Platform

The area of complex systems can look overwhelming and intimidating when first presented with all of its new concepts, models, and methods, students and researchers often struggle to make sense of this zoo of ideas and can become over focused on specific areas without seeing how they interrelate. Likewise, it is well known in pedagogy that people learn best when they have some form of overall model or schema of the subject within which they can fit in the specific domains, without this one can end up seeing the trees without the forest and the result is incomplete understanding. To this end, we are developing a framework designed to help give some overall structure to the domain, it should not be taken as a formal model of any kind more as a practical heuristic in assisting you in the formation of your own understanding of the subject.


Systems Thinking
Systems Theory
Systems Models

Complexity Theory

Adaptive Systems
Network Theory
Nonlinear Systems

Complexity Science

Nonlinear Physics
Systems Ecology
Complexity Economics
Social Complexity

Complexity Management

Complex Project
Systems Management


Life Cycle Design
Systems Architecture
Services Design
Engineered Systems

3. Where to Start

So where should you start? Behind all areas of complex systems are a few core concepts derived from systems theory, if you can fully understand these then you should be able to apply them to any area and derive valuable insight. These basic ideas include holism & synthesis, emergence & synergies, relationalism & networks, feedback dynamics & evolution. By taking our “Introduction to Systems Thinking” and “Systems Theory” course this will give you a solid grounding in the basic ideas. We would then recommend the “Introduction to Complexity Theory” course this will give you an overview to complexity. As a researcher, the reference section should be your friend, where the search bar gives you one-stop access to all of the content on the site in text format (mostly with citations but we are still working on some of the legacy content) and the glossary will give you snappy definition.

4. Get Support

We are here to help you on your journey into using complex systems in your research project if you have any questions or need support feel free to contact us, or even better post a question in the support forum and we will get back to you with 24 hours. Oh! and we would love some feedback about your experience on the site, it helps to improve the service for others.

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Support Forum