Innovating in Complexity (Part II): From Single-Point Solutions to Directional Systems Innovation

“Arkwright’s Cotton Mill by Moonlight” — painted by Joseph Wright. Technological innovation has given us 250 years of development — but will not solve the most pressing and tangible problems of the 21st century.

Rethinking Revolutions

The World as a Complex Adaptive System

Cynefin Framework by David Snowden (Source: Wikipedia)
The global food system is a prime example of a complex adaptive system. How can we transition it toward a socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable alternative? (Source: shiftN, via Belchior et al. 2016)

Shifting the Innovation Paradigm

An example of how the cleantech universe is typically conceptualized — as a collection of discrete categories. Categorization leads to inherently unsystemic innovation mindsets and practices. Notice the stark difference between this visual representation and that of the global food system above. (Source: Cleantech East)

Our Building Blocks

1) Mission-led

2) Portfolio-based

EIT Climate-KIC’s innovation portfolio, clustered by Impact Goal. Our portfolio is accessible through an online platform powered by our community member Exaptive.

3) Community-delivered

Directional Systems Innovation in Practice

Our Capability Space



A collection of stories exploring the most powerful levers for addressing climate change

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Dominic Hofstetter

I write to inform, inspire, and trigger new strategies for tackling climate change.