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The Nexus

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The Nexus

Augmented Thinking for a Complex World – The New Convergence of Art, Technology & Science

MIT Press,

15 mins. de lectura
8 ideas fundamentales
Audio y Texto

¿De qué se trata?

The existential problems facing humanity require complex solutions, generated in a cross-disciplinary idea space that supports left- and right-brain thinking.

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Humanity faces massively complex problems on a global scale today, ranging from epidemics to environmental degradation. These problems demand complex, coordinated solutions, explain Julio Mario Ottino and Bruce Mau. Throughout history, moments of “genius” and periods marked by innovation, creativity and discovery, such as the Italian Renaissance, have occurred when ideas and practitioners from the arts, sciences and technology cross-pollinated. Drawing inspiration from diverse disciplines such as painting and quantum physics, Ottino and Mau call on innovators to find a shared language with which to tackle the challenges and complex problems the world faces today.


Existential challenges require a boundary-pushing approach to problem-solving.

Humankind must collaborate to find solutions to existential challenges by embracing augmented thinking and blurring boundaries between art, science and technology. Conceptualize the harmonious convergence of these three primary fields of human creativity as occurring in an idea space – the “Nexus.” Expand the commonly understood definition of creativity to extend beyond the arts and into technology and science by supporting innovators with a conceptual framework rooted in complex systems theory.

Creating a Nexus fuels powerful mind-set shifts for people working in:

  1. Business – Future leaders need to become “whole-brain thinkers,” deconstructing problems and finding solutions with skills including empathy and logic, which associate with opposing sides of the brain. Leaders must develop open-mindedness and mental flexibility, overcoming the desire for simplistic, “sanitized” ideas and becoming more comfortable with ambiguity.
  2. Creative fields – Artists often view those working in ...

About the Authors

Founding co-director of Northwestern University’s Institute on Complex Systems Julio Mario Ottino is a Guggenheim Fellow. Designer and educator Bruce Mau is CEO of the design consultancy Massive Change Network.

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