Publications

We are eager to bring the ideas behind the Adaptable Solutions Consortium to a wide audience. Accordingly, our publications will span the range from newspaper and magazine articles, to online forums, peer reviewed papers in specialist and general science journals, and book length treatments. Below is a sampling of the publications we have produced on applying adaptable systems thinking to pressing societal concerns

Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease

(Basic Books, 2012) is Dr. Rafe Sagarin’s treatment of the surprising and counter-intuitive lessons from nature that can help anyone or any organization become more adaptable in how they deal with risk. 

Learning from the Octopus is a paean to biomimicry and a handbook on “natural security” from an unlikely, but enlightening, source.”The Scientist

“[An] open challenge to the status quo.”Discover

Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World

 (University of California Press, 2008) is an edited volume with contributions from psychologists, evolutionary biologists, national security experts, virologists, and counter-terrorism experts, that outline the many ways in which lessons from nature can help us understand and respond to a wide range of threats in our world. 

 

"A fascinating read, and an essential and novel perspective on international security. Sagarin and his collaborators are not afraid to think outside the box, effectively making the case that we need to think about these problems in new ways."—Simon Levin, Princeton University

Adaptability and Business

Rafe has a blog post on the Harvard Business Review.  This article raises a key fault with even the best innovators--we can never predict the future (case in point: even the great Steve Jobs was way off on his prediction that the Segway would be "bigger than the PC").  Organisms in nature don't even try to make predictions--they just adapt.  Here's how.

Nature and Adaptability: Solutions for an Uncertain World

Rafe's new article on Adaptability in a special issue of Live Better magazine devoted to a "Systems View of Life".  Live Better is produced by the Center for a Better Life™, which is "focused on bettering the human condition, within a real-world scenario, using a sustainable business model."  That mission statement pretty much sums up natural adaptable systems--they have to be real-world (there's no other one to go to) and they have to have a sustainable "business model".  Here is a link to the article.

Natural security: how biological systems use information to adapt in an unpredictable world

Terry Taylor and Rafe have a new paper out in Security Informatics on how natural models can inform informatics approaches to security.  Available as an open access article here.

Nature's lessons for adapting to the terrorist threat

An Op-Ed piece syndicated by McClatchy Newspapers

Natural Security for a Variable and RIsk-Filled World

A more extensive treatment of these concepts for the Homeland Security Affairs journal

Decentralize, adapt, and cooperate

A short overview of the basic concepts of “Natural Security” appear in this article from Nature