© 2001

Understanding Complexity

  • Gillian Ragsdell
  • Jennifer Wilby

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Theories for Complex Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. James R. Simms
      Pages 7-13
    3. Hector Sabelli
      Pages 19-29
    4. Stanley N. Salthe
      Pages 31-38
  3. Emerging Foci on Systems Research and Practice

  4. Human Systems in the 21st Century

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 64-64
    2. Russell L. Ackoff, John Pourdehnad
      Pages 65-73
    3. Martin Zwick
      Pages 83-90
    4. John F. Haught
      Pages 119-124
  5. The Challenge of Sustainability

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125

About this book


Peter A. Coming Palo Alto, CA November, 2000 This volwne represents a distillation of the plenary sessions at a unique millenniwn­ year event -a World Congress of the Systems Sciences in conjunction with the 44th annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). The overall theme of the conference was "Understanding Complexity in the New Millenniwn. " Held at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto, Canada, from July 16-22,2000, the conference included some 350 participants from over 30 countries, many of whom were representatives of the 21 organizations and groups that co-hosted this landmark event. Each of these co-host organizations/groups also presented a segment of the program, including a plenary speech. In addition, the conference featured a nwnber of distinguished "keynote" speeches related to the three daily World Congress themes: (1) The Evolution of Complex Systems, (2) The Dynamics of Complex Systems, and (3) Human Systems in the 21st Century. There were also seven special plenary-level symposia on a range of timely topics, including: "The Art and Science of Forecasting in the Age of Global Wanning"; "Capitalism in the New Millenniwn: The Challenge of Sustainability"; "The Future of the Systems Sciences"; "Global Issues in the New Millenniwn"; "Resources and the Environment in the New Millenniwn"; "The Lessons of Y2K"; and "Can There be a Reconciliation Between Science and Religion?" Included in this special commemorative volume is a cross-section of these presentations.


Change complex systems complexity cybernetics development innovation management networks performance security technology

Editors and affiliations

  • Gillian Ragsdell
    • 1
  • Jennifer Wilby
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of PaisleyPaisleyScotland
  2. 2.University of YorkYorkEngland
  3. 3.Centre for Systems StudiesHullEngland

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

"This book is a condensation of the plenary sessions at the World Congress of the Systems Sciences … . The most intriguing feature, however, is that practically all the contributions transcend the narrow disciplinary outlook. As they all have a common framework, it is easy for the reader to connect them. Thereby, new links can be established, and that is surely what innovation is all about. This unique feature makes Understanding Complexity a potentially rich and … invaluable resource for the future of science." (Markus Schwaninger, System Dynamics Review, Vol. 21 (3), 2005)