Sustainable Lens
Resilience on Radio
Complex systems
Categories: innovation, systems

Henk Roodt

Rocket science is simple compared to the complex systems that involve modelling people and the environment.

Dr Henk Roodt knows about the development of technology. And about making that real. A Scientist/Engineer with 25+ years experience in high technology environments, he is currently Research Programmes Manager at Waikato Institute of Technology. We asked Henk to talk about his background (it’s rocket science), whether 3D printing will really change the world, and innovation processes as applied to Green-Tech. Henk is associated with Audacious – Dunedin’s student business incubator, where he is Entrepreneur in Residence.

Talking points:

It’s only when it is really big, and audacious that you go for it. Big things in the history of science were driven by real world problems.

Need to model the environment and the people at the same time. Not the physical model then slap in the people as an add-on. Start with people, the complexity of the people and their culture.

So how do you pitch the right level of modelling? (for complex problems such as hunger in Africa)…one of the things I’ve discovered is that doing mathematical models at that level is stupid. non-quantitative models, morphologies that show how things fit together, that opens up the discussion rather than bringing it into a fixed framework. A model like that gives you an instant picture at a moment in time. This sets the scene for the next level, and the next, the whole model is a work in progress.

Modelling systems is not like modelling airflow over the wing of an aircraft – sure that’s super-mathematics…but to model complex systems and people you often only need a piece of paper and a computer to help you look at all the options.

You have to make certain choices, and that comes down to ‘what are those guiding principles you have in your life that you are willing to live by?’. You have to set those up in your mind and listen carefully to that voice.

Opening up a social good category in Audacious meant they could put their emotions and their hearts into their businesses. They are mixing the social responsibility and the business – this is the edge that will deliver the social good.

I ask myself: can I change things by applying my skills?

Shane’s number of the week: 2.07&#176C is how much hotter the >Australian Spring was above average, producing the warmest spring on record.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: Sam is working up a survey into the values and educational expectations of incoming IT students.

Henk described Ken Erwin’s book Communicating the New.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments are closed.