The current economic and political reality is becoming increasingly complex, not just complicated. Complicated refers to difficult and confusing, but at the end of the day solvable (and solvable with algorithms and rational approaches). Gathering garbage in a major town is very complicated, but not complex. Solutions exist based on algorithms. Complex systems are systems that are nonlinear and dynamic and that are characterized by the interaction of intelligent, autonomous agents (which is the origin of the importance of collective intelligence). That interaction creates reality as an emerging phenomenon, and is therefore not solvable by any algorithm. It creates uncertainty, it might create highly volatile markets, but it does not need to be complicated.
All human systems, based on interaction of humans, are complex by simple nature. Hence, we have an interest to understand complex systems. It not only explains what happens, it can even suggest solutions.
Furthermore, and since they are complex, human based systems are systemic (holistic) and not just systematic. Systemic means that one cannot just optimize one problem in isolation, ignoring all the other elements of the interacting network. When doing so, one creates often much more problems elsewhere than the one which would be solved. Solutions of human based systems can therefore only be systemic, considering the problem within its different networks of which it is part. Needless to say, this creates further inherent complexity.
Most of our management approaches and methods are not based on the reality of a complex, systemic world, and therefore do not give answers to the real issues of today. What we teach in business schools and what we practice in business and public policy, is based on stable, slowly growing markets, that are predictable in some way and are not disrupted. That reality is an illusion today. If we want to be able to harness the reality of today, if we want to create the future, rather than be subjected to it, we will have to understand this new paradigm. This does not need, in the first place, a new skill set (though some new skills can be useful), but it needs a shift of paradigm, a real transformation.
Transformation in our approach means that we have to understand complexity and systems, in order to use that understanding for creating solutions. Solutions, in our view, contribute to a better world, an improvement of living conditions for all, and a more just, fair and equal world. EMLyon (early maker space) is a place and an eco-system that facilitates such a transformation.
The outcome of the transformation participants will experience is to develop the mindset with which they can comfortably explore, understand and act in a hyper-complex world, disrupted by exponential technologies, while becoming the entrepreneur and creator of sustainable, scalable solutions. This transformation of people, eventually will be the engine for corporate and societal transformation.