Synthesis is a think-tank devoted to using the emerging paradigm of complex networks in the social sciences to tackle social and public policy concerns.
Over the past 20 years or so, social scientists have increasingly made use of advances in the natural sciences to make better sense of social systems. Fields such as network theory, non-linear mathematics and systems theory, which we refer to as the study of complex networks, give us much greater insights that help us make sense of social systems. Armed with a greater understanding, this collection of paradigm-changing toolboxes can help us to make better policy decisions, in the public, private, and “third” sectors.
The need for new thinking is clear. The world has changed radically over the past 30 years or so, with evolving and growing challenges for public policy at all levels - from local communities to the global domain. At the same time, dominant modes of thinking have been left wonting. Human society is now more interconnected than ever before, and this emphasises the need for understanding that accounts for networks which evolve over time. This is at the heart of Synthesis’ approach.