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Navigating Complexity


March 11 @ 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Hosted by Flinders @ Tonsley
Cost: free

Have you ever stopped to wonder how you make sense of complex situations? When there are many things happening at once and everyone can influence each other it can be challenging to know how to play into a situation. This session will offer you a brief introduction to complexity and open you up to different ways of making sense of complex situations.

In a scientific sense a complex system is a system where there are multiple interacting elements that all affect each other and all interact simultaneously. Think of a marketplace, a traffic network, a family, an ecosystem or even the dynamics at a party. In these systems patterns can arise spontaneously without any designer or ‘blueprint’. The dynamics in these systems are not possible to predict with much accuracy and often seem confusing and sometimes even intimidating. However, you probably understand complexity better than you realise. You are most likely trained not to notice this knowledge as you strive to make sense of your situation using primarily the analytical thinking your education has taught you to trust. This session will introduce you to other possibilities for makings sense of complex dynamics.

Your guide for this session will be Sophia van Ruth. Sophia has an MSc in Holistic Science from Schumacher College in the UK, she is also a shiatsu therapist and an InterPlay facilitator. During her MSc program she noticed how her InterPlay and shiatsu training was helping her make sense of the teachings on complex systems science more deeply. InterPlay works with improvised voice, movement and story in an system designed to make people feel safe to experiment, express, connect and play together. Shiatsu is a Japanese healing art which is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Shiatsu therapists are great systems thinkers as they are trained to focus on the relationships between the different aspects of a clients condition and relate that to the broader whole. Sophia has gone on to develop workshops teaching about complexity where she weaves in theory and practices from both shiatsu and InterPlay to help people make richer meaning of complex dynamics. She is currently based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and you can find out more about her work at

For more information and to register visit the New Venture Institute website