Key Themes

Key topics include:

  • Conceptual, philosophical and technical issues in steering living systems — what are the key challenges, opportunities and methodologies?
  • Examples of steering living or life-like systems: Case studies, experiments and models
  • Ethical and societal issues in manipulating natural or life-like systems
  • Technical, philosophical and social implications of a “life-like” systems approach to societal issues – metaphor or more?
  • Strategies for predicting, mitigating or adapting to unintended consequences of intervention in complex systems
  • Methods for identifying key points of intervention or “system levers”
  • Manipulating selective contexts and fitness landscapes for system steering
  • Designing interventions in complex systems
  • Adaptive management, whole-systems and complexity design approaches
  • Impact of intervention in models of self-organisation and collective behaviour
  • Synthetic ecology, living technology and bio-hybrid societies and systems
  • Societal involvement in system steering: participatory approaches, narratives for understanding complexity, political processes, policy design and evaluation in the context of complex adaptive systems.
  • Experiential steering of complex systems: intuition, craft and interaction vs modelling and scientific understanding. Constructing experiential environments for understanding complexity
  • “natural complex system steerers” – niche constructors, environmental engineers etc
  • Other perspectives: approaches to steering complex adaptive systems from other domains, what can we learn?