Many would argue that standard economic theory enabled us to analyse and understand the economy as it used to be, with long stable periods punctuated only by occasional crises. However, the recent evolution of the global economy should drive us to pursue ways of expanding economic theory such that it encompasses the new structures and […]

As concern grows about H7N9 in China, this post explores the importance of managing such pandemic risks through collaboration, innovation and systemic thinking In the month of World Health Day (April 8th), the latest outbreak of bird flu in Asia provided a sobering sense of the challenges the international community still faces. To date, H7N9 […]

Many of the grand challenges that confront humanity—problems as diverse as climate change, the stability of markets, the availability of energy and resources, poverty and conflict—often seem to entail impenetrable webs of cause and effect.But these problems are not necessarily impenetrable. Powerful new tools have given scientists a better understanding of complexity. Instead of looking […]

Innovation is popular in aid at the moment, so much so that there is a steady spate of articles which range from trashing its potential contribution to development through to challenging Western, donor, countries’ assumed roles as the ‘providers’ of innovation. In this post I want to argue that there is a middle  ground between […]

This is the text of an article in the Washington Post by Dominic Basulto about last week’s events in the financial markets. Great stuff. When news first broke Thursday that JPMorgan’s credit derivatives portfolio had sustained a loss of $2 billion, and potentially as much as $5 billion, on trades gone awry, there was an […]

This is a guest post by Frauke de Weijer (pictured), policy and fragile states specialist at the excellent ECDPM think tank.  In a previous post on this blog, Ben explored the potential of complex systems research for thinking about statebuilding and fragility. In this guest post, I would like to take this discussion one step […]