Complex Adaptive Systems

In order to deal with turbulent circumstances, the adaptability of systems can be increased if the collective capacity to manage resilience is improved (Walker et al., 2004). This requires a collective view on the future 'dream', the collective future objective. This collective view can be better developed if the characteristics of self-organisation are taken into account. Self-organising systems are capable of increasing adaptability, or increase their overall fitness (Homan, 2005), and reach their complexity level by organising them-selves. When a new 'view on the world' (i.e. a climate proof region) is shared by thousands of individuals, who start to aim for the same objectives, the system will auto-develop from that point on. Johnson (Johnson, 2001) describes the following guidelines:

1. Put more agents/cells (individual elements: streets, people, buildings) into the system and give them a longer trail, i.e. more impact;

2. Follow those trails, which make agents more sophisticated. The trail needs to be enlarged and interconnected to create a higher level order;

3. A huge pool of individuals and some simple rules;

4. Create the un-average. Social un-average elements are important as the announcers of what is happening in the system. The law of the few states that there is always a small number of un-average exceptions with extraordinary creativity, which may flourish between a 'bunch of average'. These exceptions play a crucial role in bringing the system to a higher level of complexity. If they are able to give a push or an impulse the system starts to evolve;

5. Unexpected solutions cause the adaptation of the system, which makes it more resilient and better prepared to adapt;

6. The regional city landscape is the complex adaptive system (Jacobs, 1961). Find the kind and number of nodes (for example shopping mall areas), the transport system (freeway/internet), interactions and information-flows of our time. What are the new 'neighbours, sidewalks, communities, strangers and cities' (Jacobs, 1961)?

7. Formulate the positive and negative feed back loops in order to reach a resilient regional community

To improve collective management of resilience a collective new view on the world needs to be created and stimulated. Usage of advertisement and the creation of love marks (Roberts, 2006) may be useful here.

The improvement of the adaptability of a self-organising system can be sustained best in complex systems, because the actors in these systems have, if compared to simple - closed/linear - systems, better capacity to do so (Fig. 8.5).

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