Noah Raford on How Systems Change

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Raford explains how complex systems change, based on the newest findings of resilience literature.


"This segment introduces a model of adaptive change developed at the Stockholm Resilience Institute, which explain empirical change in complex ecosystems. The work has been expanded to other classes of socio-ecological systems, with preliminary mapping to social and economic systems as well.

In this segment I use the example of how forest ecosystems grow and change to demonstrate the life-cycle of similar kinds of complex systems, drawing from an example in the US automobile industry, used by David Hurst in his older book, Crisis and Renewal: Meeting the Challenge of Organisational Change.

The basic message is that all complex ecosystems go through dynamics of expansion, climax, collapse, and re-organisation. This implies that the larger and more connected an organisation or an industry is, the closer it gets to self-organised criticality and, therefore, collapse." (