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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Government

It’s been a bad week for government and technology. It was revealed this week that the medical records of over 300,000 Californians sat on unsecured servers … leaving everything from insurance claims to social security numbers available to anyone who wanted to Google it. On the other side of the spectrum, Florida Governor Rick Scott...
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.
We're on the cusp of watching real change sweep through Libya this week as rebel fighters seize the capital city of Tripoli in their ongoing effort to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. With a new political body ready to replace Gadhafi's 42-year regime, the rebels' plight toward freedom these past six months has been fueled by...
Photo courtesy of AmericaSpeaks.
Recently one of my previous students sent me an email inviting me to write to my senators asking them to get on board with spending cuts. The email made the argument that just as individuals cannot continue to spend more than they bring in, neither can governments. She noted that she would “fire” all members of the U.S. Congress for...
Photo courtesy of eHow.com.
A sustainable organization is capable of "thriving in perpetuity." Those were the words of environmental activisit Adam Werbach—words I first came across earlier this week while reading Alexander and Kathia Laszlo's post, The Practices of Systemic Sustainability. Werbach's use of the word perpetuity stuck with me these past...
Looking at the gridlock in Congress and the failing leadership of our president, I have been reflecting on the relationship between decisions and results. It's hard to think about the wisdom of the hive when we see Congress’ ineffectiveness. Their group process also has aspects of dysfunctional groupthink, indiscriminate blaming, and the...
Photo of Rep. Trey Gowdy courtesy of The Washington Times.
Last night on CNN, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina used the "s" word to describe the kind of change he wants to see in Washington, D.C., to end the recurring debt-default issue once and for all. The "s" word he used was systemic. "Systemic change," Mr. Gowdy said, is the change he'd like to...
As America’s countdown towards default continues, we keep hearing that it’s “uncertainty” about the economy that is keeping companies with big bank on hand from hiring new employees. That seems reasonable on its face.  After all, the news reports say we’re headed towards financial Armageddon … and...
Photo courtesy of City Tour Singapore.
Omigod—I'm due to write a blog and I have nothing to say! Oh, wait, yes I do—I’ve been in South Asia for a few weeks. Why don’t I try to put together some impressions of Asia and compare it from afar to the U.S.? That's what we've been doing over dinner since I've been here. I have been in Hong Kong, Kuala...
Photo courtesy of YouTube.
Saturday, July 9, 2011, marked a great milestone for the African continent with the birth of a new nation—the Republic of South Sudan. Traditional and contemporary media outlets across the globe highlighted the new nation's independence day celebrations as they unfolded in Juba, South Sudan’s capital. As many countries welcome...
Photo of Jessica Goodell courtesy of NPR.
A segment on NPR's Fresh Air caught my attention recently, bringing to mind organizational life and the complexities of the helping human systems process. On the show, host Terry Gross interviewed Jessica Goodell, a U.S. Marine who served in Iraq with the Marine Mortuary Affairs Platoon in 2004. As Goodell talked about her memoir, Shade It...
In a recent column, Thomas Friedman proclaimed that “the Earth is full.” We’ve reached the point where we have too many people using too few resources, and trying to keep on keeping on this way will only lead to more trouble. The good news, he suggests, is that this makes fundamental transformation inevitable.  Friedman...
There is genuine delight on the growing voice of democracy in the Middle East, as we view the struggle to give birth to institutions that support and sustain social fairness and representation.  At home, our democratic institutions are showing signs of wear, as people are frustrated by the inability to drive any sort of consistent policy in a...