Eric Berlow on “the other side of complexity”

Eric Berlow

During a program presented on July 2010 in Oxford, England, Eric Berlow shared his thoughts and feelings about how to reach what Oliver Wendell Holmes once characterized as “the other other side of complexity.”

To watch a video of his program, please click here.

Berlow is an ecologist and network scientist who specializes in not specializing. He helped found, and directs, the University of California’s first environmental research center in Yosemite National Park. After radio-collaring wolves in Alaska and tending bar in Paris, he got his Ph.D. in marine ecology studying the interconnectedness of species in nature. As a research scientist with the USGS he focuses on building better links between science and management of protected mountain ecosystems.

An ecologist, Berlow doesn’t feel overwhelmed when faced with complex systems. He knows that more information can lead to a better, simpler solution. Illustrating the tips and tricks for breaking down big issues, he distills an overwhelming infographic on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan to a few elementary points.

A TED fellow, he studies ecology and networks, exposing the interconnectedness of our ecosystems with climate change, government, corporations and more. He is helping apply network approaches to sustainable ecotourism development in the Arctic, and is co-owner of a green café in Oakland, California. He is currently spearheading “ecomimetic” approaches to corporate sustainability by visualizing and modeling energy consumption through complex, interconnected supply chains.


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