Divergence and emergence

  • Networked thinking is based on two key principles: divergence and emergence. 
  • Starting from any relevant node in the network, the divergent phase consists in branching out from that original point in many directions, without trying to evaluate the validity of any particular idea.
  • When enough nodes are added to the network, patterns start to emerge. It may be specific clusters, or strong ties between particular nodes.
  • Divergence and emergence allow networked thinkers to uncover non-obvious interconnections and explore second-order consequences of seemingly isolated phenomena.
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Problem Solving

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Networked thinking

This is an explorative approach to problem-solving, whose aim is to consider the complex interactions between nodes and connections in a given problem space.

Instead of considering a particular problem in isolation to discover a pre-existing solution, networked thinking encourages non-linear, second-order reflection in order to let a new idea emerge.

Thinking in networks can be done at an individual level, but the power of networked thinking becomes apparent in a collaborative setting.

Marcelo Gleiser

“Asking who is right misses the point, although surely the person using tools can see further into the nature of things. Indeed, to see more clearly what makes up the world and, in the process to make more sense of it and ourselves is the main motivation to push the boundaries of knowledge.”

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