WIT Press

UNLOCKING COMPLEXITY: BIG SCIENCE PROJECT AND RESEARCH AGENDA

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/DNE-V11-N4-563-572

Volume

Volume 11 (2016), Issue 4

Pages

9

Page Range

563 - 572

Author(s)

JOHN L. MOTLOCH

Abstract

This paper begins with the Big History story of complexity emerging through cycles of innovation and co-adaptation and humanity’s role in this story. It addresses the current compromised status of complex adaptive systems, and potential for complexity science to re-empower these systems. It calls for a Big Science Project and Research Agenda that addresses symptomatic problems and the causal problem of loss of system co-adaptation needed to sustain complexity. Due to urgency, it calls for research and implementation that simultaneously promotes collaboration and co-adaptation at the scale and speed needed, while also addressing today’s profound problems and need to re-provision the planet and humanity for a sustainable future. The paper has a meta-level focus on re-empowering complex adaptive systems by closing life-cycle loops, increasing process-level biomimicry, and other actions that increase whole-system health and resilience. It calls for systemic change that includes optimizing the energy-water-food nexus, bio-remediating hydrocarbon residuals, re-empowering resource cycles, replacing fossil-fuel and chemical-based agriculture with clean energy produced organic food and human behavior that interconnects more deeply with the complex adaptive system. The paper proposes a global network of centers and institutes where people learn to thrive into the future by collaborating with complex adaptive systems. It addresses these education-research-demonstration centers for learning and research focused on generating, applying, managing, and diffusing knowledge to transform dysfunctional ecological and social landscapes into fully-functional complex eco-social systems.

Keywords

big history, big science, centers and institutes, co-adaptation, complex adaptive systems, EWF Nexus, knowledge system, unlocking complexity