J. Stephen Lansing

Steve Lansing is an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute and the Complexity Science Hub Vienna; a visiting scholar at the Hoffman Global Institute for Business and Society at INSEAD Singapore, and emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona.

He is a pioneer in combining Anthropology and Complexity and in 2017, together with colleagues, showed that the self-organization of the water temple networks in Bali is not a historical accident, but an emergent property of a self-governing system of environmental management. Due to his work and engagement, Bali’s water temple networks were recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2012.

In 2019 Lansing’s book Islands of Order: A Guide to Complexity Modeling for the Social Sciences (Princeton University Press 2019 and companion website https://www.islandsoforder.com) was published. The book tells the story of patterns of gene expression, social interaction and language change on a scale of time and space that had not previously been observed.

Lansing’s current research explores how the dynamics of these centuries-old systems of adaptive governance may be relevant to the as-yet-unmanaged global commons.

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