Economy and the Art of Complexity

5 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2010

See all articles by David Haley

David Haley

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 19, 2010


The biggest problem facing the IPCC is "uncertainty" - uncertainty in the significance of its data, uncertainty in the strength of its predictions, and uncertainty in the fact that we simply do not know what the future will bring. This state of indeterminacy is, I argue, the weakness of most science, most Higher Education and much of our society‟s inability to comprehend, let alone act effectively to address „the carousel of 21st Century challenges‟. Despite their potential knowledge and skills base, the arts are relegated “… to tell the good story of science”. However, the concepts of "ecopoiesis" (patterns of evolution), "ecopraxis‟ (creative processes) and "eco-pedagogy" ("fundamental culture") may offer the means for art to transcend the futility of our engineered culture. Art may provide the creative leverage, "to intervene in the system‟ and "… learn how to deal with complexity rather than rejecting it‟.

To create "capable futures", for the next generation, it is necessary to deconstruct our understanding of Climate Change and Economy. Whole systems ecology then becomes the creative determinate of culture, providing the meta-narrative [creation myth] to evolve complex futures.

Keywords: economy, art, complexity, futures, ecology, indeterminacy, climate change

Suggested Citation

Haley, David, Economy and the Art of Complexity (October 19, 2010). ESA Research Network Sociology of Culture Midterm Conference: Culture and the Making of Worlds. Available at SSRN: or

David Haley (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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