This is Human Current’s final episode. Angie and Haley share exciting news about the release of their new book, Our Human Current, which includes quotes, stories and insights from all Human Current episodes. They also share how grateful they feel toward their mentor Doug, their podcast guests and listeners, and everyone else who has supported their work over the past four years. For this final episode, they also share Haley’s interview with Phil Lawson, an inventor, author and systems thinker. Lawson describes his journey in seeing the world as holistic rather than mechanistic. He also shares how his SPHERIT system, which leverages AI, helps people navigate complex situations and achieve holistic growth.
We talked with writer, researcher, and coach, Jennifer Garvey Berger, about her passion for spreading ideas about complexity, leadership, adult development, and change “so they can do the good that the world needs them to do”. She explained that “there are ideas about the world that are unbearably useful, and yet they are often locked up away from the people who could best use them.” Berger’s work and research are driven by her desire to get ideas about complexity out into the world. She expressed to us that there is joy and beauty in complexity describing it as “a fundamental energy in the world” that we should try to understand the rules and learn to play inside them, rather than try to contain and control complexity.
Later in our conversation, Berger shared insights from her new book Unlocking Leadership Mindtraps: How to Thrive in Complexity, including the five mindtraps she believes are holding us back. These are: the desire for simple stories, our sense that we are right, our desire to get along with others in our group, our fixation with control, and our constant quest to protect and defend our egos. After describing why these natural impulses are hindering us, she stated, “if we can get a handle on some of these mindtraps, that redeploys our energy and lets us work with the system instead of continually fighting against it.”
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In this episode, we talked with professor, systems thinker, and aging researcher, Alan Cohen. Cohen described how controlled experiments continue to dominate the way biologist learn and think, he suggested “this paradigm of complex systems thinking is what can guide us to understand when those controlled experiments are formative or not. The more complex the system the more a lot of factors might be interacting and the more we have to doubt how generalizable our experimental results will be.” During our conversation, Cohen also shared some of the complex questions he is researching in his lab like, “can we integrate biomarkers (Cholesterol, Albumin, Hemoglobin, Glucose) together to get a good idea of what’s happening with the aging process? And what happens if, instead of looking at them [biomarkers] one at a time, we try to integrate their signal and look at what might be happening in terms of underlying processes?” He explained that people who have “high dis-regulation levels” are at greater risk of health complications and that his research on holistic physiology is uncovering fundamental processes in the biology of aging.
In this episode, Angie talked with Francesco Filia, CEO of Fasanara Capital, an unconventional, boutique asset management company which focuses on niche investment strategies and researches systemic risk. Filia shared his perspective on the way financial markets are conventionally analyzed saying, “analysis that is typically performed on financial markets, in my opinion, is quite outdated. It has not evolved and could learn so much from nearby fields such as complexity theory.” He described financial markets as ecosystems and continued to bring many different insights from complexity into the conversation, including how feedback loops in financial markets can create instability and lead to tipping points.
In this episode, Haley talks with whole systems design practitioner, educator, public speaker, regenerative development consultant, and author, Dr. Daniel Wahl. Wahl shares stories from his journey in learning about complexity science, holistic science, and whole systems health, and how this journey ultimately inspired him to study natural design. During his interview Wahl says, “for me design is human intention expressed through interactions and relationships. It touches almost everything.” He also expresses his love for biomimicry and talks about the importance of learning from Gaia.
In this episode preview, we share a clip from our interview with whole systems design practitioner, educator, public speaker, regenerative development consultant, and author, Dr. Daniel Wahl. Wahl shares some very important insights about the hidden dangers of paradigm shifting. He also talks about Donella Meadows' later work around dancing with systems.
In this episode, Angie talks with human-centric leader, futurist, and CEO of Toffler Associates, Deborah Westphal. Westphal shares the history and legacy of Toffler Associates and provides insights into their mission to help organizations understand the dynamics of change, plan their way to the future, and adapt. She explains four macro-drivers that are causing uncommon disruption and influencing everything we know about organizations. Westphal also explores very important questions and assumptions about power structures, technology, and societal values and advocates for leaders to focus on people, rather than processes or technology.
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In this episode preview, we share a clip from our interview with Deborah Westphal, a human-centric leader, futurist and the CEO of Toffler Associates. Westphal talks about the importance of reorganizing business for the future so there is less emphasis on processes and technology and more emphasis on people and the values and questions they bring into the workplace.
In this episode, Haley talks with Dr. Mihaela Ulieru, a scholar of distributed intelligent systems, Founder and President of the IMPACT Institute for the Digital Economy, and Chief Alchemist at Endor. Ulieru talks about the interplay between society and technology and its effects on our humanity. She shares many paradoxical examples for how technology, like artificial intelligence and blockchain, can help us transcend our limitations while also preying on them. Ulieru also urges leaders to educate themselves on the ways blockchain can streamline their business, stating it’s now “a matter of survival”.
In this episode preview, we share a clip from our interview with Dr. Mihaela Ulieru, a scholar of distributed intelligent systems. Ulieru is also Founder and President of the IMPACT Institute for the Digital Economy and Chief Alchemist at Endor. In this clip, Ulieru talks about how leaders can identify whether or not their business is "blockchainable" and shares examples for how blockchain technology has been successfully leveraged within different industries.
In this episode, Angie talks with Biophysical Scientist and author of Crashes, Crises, and Calamities, Dr. Len Fisher. Fisher gives many in-depth examples for how sudden change, or critical transitions, can happen within complex adaptive systems. He unpacks how interconnectedness, unintended consequences, runaway effects, and emergence all influence systemic collapse. Fisher also shares what is needed to effectively govern of complex systems.
In this episode preview, we share a clip from our interview with Biophysical Scientist, writer and broadcaster, Dr. Len Fisher. Fisher introduces the concept of systemic risk and critical transitions in complex adaptive systems.
In this episode, Haley talks with systems thinker, entrepreneur and pragmatic implementer, Tanuja Prasad. Prasad shares details about her relationship with complexity, including how it has shifted her perspective about life, work and science. She beautifully describes the complex, nonlinear nature of systems and explains many practical concepts and applications for people working with and living within systems. Prasad also shares her passion for complexity science applications within the social impact sector.