Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Working With Complexity – The EMK Method 2018

Working With Complexity – The EMK Method 2018

Course dates: 
Monday, 5 November, 2018 to Friday, 16 November, 2018
EMK Complexity Methodology Short Course with Eve Mitleton-Kelly

Join Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly from the London School of Economics (LSE) for this two week training in addressing complex organisational, societal and global issues. Eve has worked for over 20 years in both the public and private sectors, advised the United Nations, European Commission, five government administrations and many organisations in the EMK Complexity Methodology for working with complex problems. This is a rare residential opportunity to train with her.Complex problems, whether organisational, societal or global, often appear not only difficult but intractable, and seem not to have an effective solution. The main reason is that the approach used is often inappropriate.

At a Glance

  • Be introduced to some key concepts in complexity science that underpin the EMK Complexity Methodology
  • Learn how to address complex organisational, societal and global issues
  • Be taken through a group analysis process

About This Course

Complex problems have many aspects and multiple interacting causalities, yet we often focus on a few or even a single cause. We also insist on finding a ‘solution’ when such a solution would only be applicable within a certain set of circumstances and may no longer be relevant when those circumstances change.

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly has worked with the sciences of complexity for over 20 years to address practical problems in both the private and public sectors. She has worked with the UN, the European Commission, advised five Government Administrations and many organisations. In the process she has developed the EMK Complexity Methodology to address these problems.

This two-week long, course is for academics, business-people, policy-makers, Overseas Development professionals or anyone looking to effectively address complex problems in their work or lives.

Week 1 – Key Concepts and Enabling Environments
During the first week participants will be introduce to some key concepts in complexity science that underpin the EMK Complexity Methodology. They will be trained on how to conduct in-depth interviews in small groups and how to analyse the findings individually before experiencing a group analysis process. The key feature of the approach is to identify the ‘critical co-evolving clusters’ in the problem space, i.e. those issues which are not only closely linked, but which influence each other and change the behaviour of the interacting entities. Using those clusters the participants will be shown how to help set up ‘enabling environments’ that address the critical clusters sustainably. Participants will conduct a series of interviews to enable them to use real data for the analysis and this will significantly increase the benefit they will derive from both modules.

Week 2 – Case Studies and Group Analysis
Working on a common theme (e.g. leadership or sustainability) all participants will be taken through a group analysis process to (a) identify the multiple dimensions (social, cultural, political, economic, technical, physical, etc.) in the problem space; (b) identify the critical co-evolving clusters; (c) prepare for the enabling environment by addressing key critical co-evolving clusters at multiple scales (individual, group, organisational); (d) prepare and present findings and recommendations at a Reflect Back Workshop. The Group Analysis and the setting up of the Enabling Environment will be the main feature of Week 2.

To derive maximum benefit, students are expected to attend the entire course for two weeks.

What Past Participants Have Said

Awesome experience ! I feel much more enriched. Inspired and empowered to do change.

It was really a positive experience that I could not have expected to experience at this level of intensity in such a positive way.


Eve Mitleton-Kelly

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly is Senior Fellow in IDEAS, the Centre for the Study of International Diplomacy, External Affairs, & Strategy, LSE; founder and Director of the Complexity Research Programme, LSE; CEM Fellow, Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, visiting Professor at the Open University; member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems (2012-2014); SAB member of the ‘Next Generation Infrastructures Foundation’, TU Delft; on Editorial Board  of ‘Emergence: Complexity & Organisations’; Policy Advisor to European and USA organisations, the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the UN OCHA and UNEP, several UK Government Departments; an Indonesian Government Agency on deforestation; Scientific Advisor to the Governments of Australia, Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, Singapore and UK.

Eve’s research has concentrated on addressing apparently intractable problems at organisational, national and global levels and the creation of enabling environments based on complexity science. She has led, and participated in 49 research projects funded by the EPSRC, ESRC, AHRC, the European Commission, business and government departments, to address complex problems. She has developed a methodology to address complex problems; has edited, co-edited and co-authored 5 books and has written extensively on the application of complexity theory to address complex problems. EMK has been commissioned by Edward Elgar to edit a Handbook on Research Methods in Complexity Science to be published in January 2018.

£ 1 495.00
Includes private accommodation, all meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Monday 5 November to Friday afternoon, 16 November. The above fee is for 13 nights accommodation and all vegetarian meals from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure.