Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity

Modern science and technology have enabled mankind to advance in spectacular ways. But this progress has come with a price to our environment, our societies and our future. 

While governments and industry grapple with solutions, they look to science to point them in the right direction and to supply a basis for sound decision making. But the standard cause-and-effect approach has so far come up short, leaving us with many more complex questions than actionable answers.

The hallmark of these urgent “wicked problems” is their complexity. 

Future discoveries in complexity science will require transdisciplinary teams with the intellectual breadth to determine the algorithms of social dynamics across diverse contexts, ranging from genomes to entire organisms, and from individuals to cultures.

In creating the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, Arizona State University has capitalized upon its uniquely diverse expertise and its institutional commitment to intellectual fusion to become a leader in this important area and to shape the scientific community’s philosophical and methodological approaches to social complexity.

Our research falls into four broad clusters:

  • Innovation and Evolution: How do novel and innovative features emerge or evolve within groups?
  • Cohesion, Cooperation, and Conflict: How do individuals within groups interact?
  • Socioecology: How do societies interact with and influence their social and physical environments?
  • Social Allometry: How do social groups change in their dynamics and structure as they grow, develop and evolve?