The world is made of interconnecting complex systems. To manage how such complex systems work and interact, we tend to impose simplicity on them, breaking them into their component parts or focusing on one or two aspects we deem important. Our brains are trained to deliver understanding by repackaging complexity, automatically reducing and simplifying it.
All too often, though, that means the solutions we devise fall short. An algorithm aiming to deliver more justice, for instance, instead perpetuates the biases and flaws in the data it digests. Repackaging home loans to reduce risks to investors brings the global financial system to its knees. A paper bag at the grocery store reduces plastic consumption yet may require cutting down a tree that cleans our air.
At the Center of Complex Interventions, we support research to better understand the interplay within and among complex systems. We can then produce and deploy solutions to benefit society and our world while preserving the balance and equilibrium of complex systems. In this way, we will gain and share insight and know-how across, rather than within, disciplines to resolve challenges arising within and among complex systems like healthcare, the environment and society.