About the Center 

The Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy, established in 2001 as a nonprofit 501 ( c ) (3) organization,   conducts research and educational programs that promote complexity science literacy and the development and implementation of new approaches to public policy-making.  As Thought Leaders, the work of the Center is based on the premise that complex systems research provides a new sense-making framework for developing insight about the present and foresight about the future.

In the last thirty years a major revolution has occurred in the scientific understanding of complex systems—systems where the components are strongly interrelated, self-organizing and dynamic whether biological, ecological, technical or social—and complexity science represents a new interdisciplinary approach to studying these types of systems. Insights from complex systems research form the foundation of a new worldview, which promises to provide deeper insights into the challenges facing leaders in all types of organizations. 

As a result of science’s new understanding of complex systems, we are witnessing the integration of knowledge across the physical, biological and social  sciences and the humanities—motivated by the fact that the questions we face as a society are too big for any one discipline alone to answer.  In addition the 9/11 terrorists attacks challenged leaders at every level of government to find new ways of understanding and influencing the dynamics of a rapidly changing, interconnected, multi-actor world.

The Center’s work is focused at the intersection of strategic thinking and planning, futures research, intelligence analysis and public policy-making. It fulfills its mission in a variety of ways including briefings, customized presentations, research, training, facilitation, consulting and public programs.

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