The following graphic is from a video presentation by Monica Anderson entitled Science beyond Reductionism.
“Reductionism – the idea that difficult problems should be attacked by dividing them into simpler problems – is one the most effective strategies in the hard sciences. The justification “The Whole equals the sum of its Parts” has been used for thousands of years. Physics and related sciences, and the support disciplines of mathematics and computer science are all permeated by this Reductionist stance, and for good reason: It has worked really well. We have found compact explanations for all kinds of phenomena and have solved countless problems using these strategies.”
However, we now know reductionism is limited when working in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment. A non-linear, holistic approach is necessary. If the present Engineering S-curve is applied science, then the emerging Sense-making S-curve is applied complexity science.
The applications in this section are formatted as follows:
- Intractable or wicked problem(s) to be resolved
- Making sense of dominating paradigms and widely-held beliefs and what new states are emerging
- Strategies as dynamic flows in the Cynefin Framework
- Execution of chosen strategies