Working With Complexity - The EMK Method

Working With Complexity - The EMK Method

Murmuration
Key Info: 
  • Learn how to address a complex problem that appears to be intractable and not susceptible to other approaches
  • Conduct in-depth interviews to elicit deep reflection on the challenges the organisation is facing
  • Analyse data generated from interviews, using a method unique to the EMK Complexity Methodology, which identifies the multi-dimensional problem space

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly

Fee: 
£ 1 495.00
Includes private and simple accommodation with shared bathroom, all meals, field trips, materials and teaching sessions from the first lunchtime you arrive through until the lunchtime before your departure.
We recommend attending this course as a fully residential participant however you may choose to book as a non-residential participant. Please call 01803 847237 for more details.

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.

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 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, Interviewing Technique and Individual Analysis

This week will introduce participants to some key concepts in complexity science that underpin the EMK Complexity Methodology. Participants 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 following week. 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 the course.

Week 2 – Group Analysis, Enabling Environments and Reflect-Back Workshop

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 to be presented to the interviewees and others. The Group Analysis and the setting up of the Enabling Environment will be the main feature of Week 2.

 

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly
Eve Mitleton-Kelly

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly is a Fellow in the Engineering Department at Cambridge University (2017-); was Founder and Director of the Complexity Research Programme at the London School of Economics (1995-2017); 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 45 research projects funded by the EPSRC, ESRC, AHRC, the European Commission, business and government to address complex problems. She has developed a theory of Complex Social Systems and a methodology to address complex problems. She has edited, co-edited and co-authored 5 books and has written extensively on the application of complexity theory to address complex problems. Her latest edited volum, the “Handbook of Research Methods in Complexity Science: Theory and Applications” includes 26 chapters written by over 50 international authors and was published by Edward Elgar in January 2018.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.
 

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?
     

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.