I first encountered complex adaptive systems science in 1998- literally a life-changing moment for me. One of the people whose work I found early in my complexity learning journey was T. Irene Sanders. An early student of complexity, Irene has worked particularly in applying insights and methods to the work of public policy, and military intelligence analysis. About 14 years ago, I hired Irene to be a featured speaker at a conference in D.C. that I organized on new insights for government improvement.
Over the past few months, I have been on dozens of Zooms with literally thousands of people from around the world on complexity, and leading positive change through this pandemic. The other night I revisited my bookshelf, and two books almost leapt into my hands. One was Irene Sanders’ 1998 book “Strategic Thinking and the New Science.” Re-reading the book, I found Irene’s “Futurescape” methodology to be enduring, and needed now.
A quick stop today at Irene’s website for her “Center For Complexity and Public Policy” led to me to a link for an article she wrote on “being President in a Complex World.” The article, written after the 2016 election, but before the 2017 inauguration, has interesting insights known and knowable then, and… points us to the reflection and retrospection we may make of the last four years from our perspective today.