Baby steps into complexity science

I spent a yesterday at Imperial College, immersing myself in a new community, which is always an interesting experience. New personalities, new language, new networks…

These were Complexity Science people, coming together for a workshop convened by my Open U. colleague Jeff Johnson. Convened under the EU ASSYST Project, the workshop Towards a Science of Socially Intelligent ICT was the first in a series of events for people in the complex systems community to wrestle with what they called yesterday “social intelligence”, which turns out to be what others might call collective intelligence, sensemaking, social learning…  Some of the participants also had interests in modelling complex adaptive systems tied to social phenomena, and coupling these with social media platforms and sensor networks. Speaker videos should appear on the workshop website shortly.

I outlined some preliminary thoughts on the three very big questions set by Jeff, to which there are clearly only emerging responses:

  1. What is ICT-enabled ‘Social Intelligence’?
  2. What theory(s) exists on Socially Intelligent ICT?
  3. Engineering principles for SocialIy Intelligent ICT?

The three tables on slides 3-5 extend my longer EDUCAUSE talk, introducing complexity and resilience into the swirl of ideas in my head right now, around learning to learn, sensemaking and collective intelligence.

2 Responses to “Baby steps into complexity science”

  1. The notion of “social intelligence” makes me think of “augmented social cognition” (both the term and the name of a group at PARC.

  2. Hi Jodi — yes, there are now so many terms swirling around! Different groups inhabit different communities, so part of all this is to join the dots up, as well as see where they are complementary.


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