The Complexity of Human Civilization

Human Civilization – Defining Complexity

Human Civilization – A Complex(ity) Transition

There is evidence that a transition in the structure of human organizations is occurring with intriguing consequences. Historical and contemporary evidence suggests that human organizations are undergoing a transition away from hierarchical control. From a complex systems perspective, a hierarchical system implies that the complexity of the behavior of the entire organization (at its own scale) must be less than the complexity of the controlling individual. Thus, the transition away from hierarchical control is consistent with a transition in complexity—previously human organizations behaved in a manner that is simpler than an individual, now they are more complex. For an individual, the consequences of this transition are manifold and manifest. There is increasing specialization of social and professional contexts. As individuals, we cannot fully understand the social and economic processes that are going on around us. However, as components of a complex system, we are protected from many dangers. Our ability to predict the collective behavior of human civilization is limited. Nevertheless, there are a variety of intriguing questions that may be discussed.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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