An Introduction to Self-Organization

July 16, 2014 4 Comments

“The ideas of self-organization are very important to understand the autonomy, the authenticity and basic humanity of people.”

-Fritjof Capra

One principle of “thinking like a network” that I like to highlight is the notion of moving from permission and perfection (looking for the one right answer) to self-organization and emergence.  Self-organization is a defining characteristic of living systems and connected to their adaptive capacity and development. I like this short video as an introduction to self-organization and how it highlights the importance of diversity, connectivity and “local interactions.”  NOTE: It starts to get into “network effects” and social organizations around 2:30.  The significance of understanding self-organization is essentially that we develop a better understanding of how life, including social systems, actually works and are able to work better with systemic potential, rather than trying to command and control what is much too complex.

“I think self-organization and the newer understanding of life and complexity, when it is applied to the social realm and human organizations, can help people to find their authenticity as human beings.”

– Fritjof Capra


Photo by Jun Seita



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