simplicity | April 08, 2012

Eric Berlow: For Companies, Complex Problems Can Have Simple Solutions

Eric Berlow is an ecologist and complexity scientist whose work has drawn major interest from corporations and government agencies—basically, any group looking to solve seemingly enormous problems. This Senior TED Fellow draws on the methodology of ecologists—analyzing the moving parts of an ecosystem to see how they interact with each other—and applies it to large-scale societal problems, such as sustainable energy, food, and water security. At his company, TruNorth Labs, he also works with companies like Intel and Shell.

The key to finding simplicity in complexity is to isolate the key influencers—the parts of a problem that most need to be solved—and to then focus on creative solutions to fix these vital cogs. However, we can only do this if we step back and look at the system as a whole. Here's Berlow, speaking at TED:

"The more you step back, embrace complexity, the better chance you have at finding simple answers, and it's often different than the simple answer you started with."

Using cutting edge visualization technology and seldom-seen methods, Eric Berlow provide a refreshing, direct, and necessary new approach to solving our greatest issues.

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science | April 04, 2012