Similarly, David Deutsch in his book The Beginning of Infinity outlines his Theory of Knowledge and how all “knowledge is interconnected”.
To solve the growing imbalances across our society including rising rates of loneliness in our communities, environmental over consumption, increasing social inequality, the growing debt across our global financial system and the challenges emerging across our organisations we need to acknowledge the complexity of the systems we inhabit, our silos of knowledge and the limitations of what we really know.
It’s only through leaning in to the uncertainty, seeking out cognitive diversity, sharing ideas, asking questions, collaborating, problem solving, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship that we have the opportunity to begin addressing the system challenges we face.
A different type of data needs to be embraced, one that begins to connect the What? (big data) with the Why? (thick data).
Deeper meaning and context can only be achieved through beginning to understand our interrelationships and interdependencies.
Systems thinker, writer, and filmmaker Nora Bateson calls this “warm data”.
At the core of this emerging science of complexity is a paradox with stability and instability being prevalent at the same time.
A world of Order and Chaos.
A world of Certainty and Uncertainty.
A world where the more we learn the more we realise how little we know.
A world where increasing digital connection is resulting in increasing social disconnection.
A world where low financial risk & volatility ultimately leads to high risk & volatility.
In a recent Esko Kilpi article ”Living with Paradoxes” he presents his perspectives that in a rapidly changing complex world our society needs to shift to a different type of thinking and decision making.
It’s through the debate of competing ideas via a thesis and antithesis that we ultimately arrive at a synthesis.
“In Hegel’s thinking, the word paradox means the natural, and necessary, presence of conflicting ideas at the same time”.
The article goes on to say…..
“ We live in a time when we have compartmentalised ourselves into disciplines, using highly engineered processes in the name of efficiency and productivity. But if success is a result of learning and innovation , we need to think differently, we need to cross boundaries to create new insights.
Crossing boundaries is always about working with differences. This is why differences are potentially conflictual in nature, and this is something we should now welcome. Conflicts give rise to the possibility of innovation and the potential for finding totally new solutions”.
A profound paradox exists in this emerging world with our greatest risk being a propensity to avoid any risk given our deep desire for certainty and knowing.
In such a complex rapidly changing environment are we prepared to listen, seek out fresh perspectives, hold conflicting ideas and embrace problem solving?
The alternative is for us to be seasick everyday…
 Leonard Cohen Poem — Good advice for someone like me