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  • David Brent Grantham

Capacity Acquisition in Complex Adaptive Systems


April 26, 2016


Relatively high and often extreme levels of variability and unpredictability characterize the amplitudes of modern, complex adaptive systems (cas). These systems encompass the complete spectra of biotic, abiotic and built systems within the overall Earth System, and their resilience will play a vital role in future habitability and thrivability. Accordingly, businesses and organizations can and should be viewed as cas because they impact and are impacted by this accelerating global activity. This systems within a system view creates operational and performance dynamics that can produce robust and resilient yields in both the immediate and longer terms. These yields often enable emergent coherence and order in chaotic operational environments and a certain clarity creates opportunities for acquired adaptive capacity.

Capacity gains then provide space for both individuals and organizations to successfully manage and anticipate both internal and external stochastic inputs to the system.


New complex adaptive capacities can be used to identify cues for desired conceptual and behavioral changes and modifications that manifest as cognitive, physical and sociocultural shifts as they exist in the immediate term. Such shifts become recognizable as compressed frames of reciprocal exchange, which are then coded into a coevolving network of individual agents. In many cases, these frames are most fully expressed through the algorithms of artificial environments and technologies designed to improve human adaptation to the increasingly rapid changes in the biosphere. These algorithms then create intuitive and sophisticated relationships with high degrees of efficacy that increase overall operational capacity and acuity.


This enhanced acuity supports the types of dyadic exchanges and coevolution of interwoven cas that facilitate advanced communication abilities. These problem-solving dyads include a more self-determined, self-organized type of participation that generates improved performance and greater value. The aggregation of these metrics and applications offers a portfolio of capacity acquisition opportunities that lead to the adaptations required of the agile networks that will effectively manage ever increasing levels of complexity in business ecosystems, markets and the overall biosphere. Complexity science offers adaptive and evolutionary response sequences for businesses and organizations through cyclic, flow based models that can synthesize and simplify even extreme levels of complexity.


Don't miss the stunning visuals: Harvard CID Globe



David Grantham, Founder, RedwoodAdaptive

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