More video interviews from ‘Innovation Dialogue: Strategy and Complexity’

Development Policy07 Dec 2009Louise Stoddard

Jeroen Warner and Annelies Heijmans (Wageningen UR Disasters Studies Group) facilitated a round table on ‘Complexity in disaster and conflict situations’. Jeroen: ‘In disaster situations, interactions can be complex or complicated. Complex situations require adapting to the situation; controlling, rigid ways of responding do not work in complex situations.’

Heather Baser (formerly with ECDPM) facilitated a round table on capacity development from the perspective of complex adaptive systems. ‘Complexity is understanding the context in which you work, having a broad vision but not necessarily having a detailed plan, trying to deal with the unpredictable.’ The participants in the round table recommended building/supporting a community of practice that helps people in how to use complexity theory in capacity development.

John Dore (AusAID, M-POWER) facilitated a round table on water governance. ‘Complexity theory explains what I am seeing in practice and explains the futility of looking at the world in linear ways. It helps in looking at water govenrnance and politics. Providing space for experimentation is crucial.’

Katrien Termeer (Wageningen UR) summarizes the workshop she facilitated on ‘Complexity, leadership and governance’, in which she elaborated on strategies for public leaders to deal with complex governance systems. To deal with complexity, it is useful to recognize ongoing processes of change.

Alan Fowler (professor, Institute of Social Studies) explains what complexity means to him: ‘Imagination in action to make you more resilient to cope with change’.

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