Human Complex Systems

Human Complex Systems are systems where the main agents are human beings.

Social complexity and anthro-complexity studies such systems. I refer to them with the generic term Human Complexity.

Human complexity fully recognises the unique qualities of the Human Element in Complex Systems, and that we are not algorithms, cellular automata, nor hives. Instead we have notable characteristics that are not found elsewhere.

# Human and non-human systems

On the contrary, a large part of the literature on Complexity, and several of the examples used to advocate or explain Complexity theory for teams and organisations, are based on complex systems with agents that are not people. Instead, the agents are algorithms as in cellular automata, in Boids, and the likes. Or molecules as in chemistry models, or cells as in biology models. Or plants, insects, or animals.

A large extent of management literature covering Complexity makes conclusions based on complex systems where the agents are algorithms, cells, or insects.

These are systems where all the agents are identical and easily replaceable, and whose behaviour to some degree can be simulated, preserving the illusion of control, and the possibility to plan upfront actions that will lead to the emergence of the desired population-wide patterns of behaviour and action. While we know those assumptions don't work in a complex system.

# The value of focusing explicitly on human systems

Focusing explicitly on human complex systems with human agents may prevent the mistake of employing the language of Complexity while referring back to previous methods, practices and way of thinking. And may suggest practical applications that have a real chance to work.

<< The future is uncertain... but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity >> Ilya Prigogine

<< It is this order of interweaving human impulses and strivings, this social order, which determines the course of historical change >> Norbert Elias

<< We are agents who alter the unfolding of the universe >> Stuart Alan Kauffman