Applied Complexity Network (ACtioN)

Organizations suffer when their leaders rely on simplistic, linear, or classical thinking to address complex problems.

Leaders spend the majority of their time confronting complex problems in domains as diverse as R&D, regulation, technology change, operations, organizational structure, IT, strategy, security, marketing, politics, international relations, and more. The Santa Fe Institute's Applied Complexity Network helps members effectively employ complex systems insights to better achieve their organization’s goals. SFI is the world headquarters for complex systems science. By jointly exploring a variety of complex systems from different perspectives, ACtioN members gain new understandings that enable them to engage their own organizations and more effectively address challenges.

For more information, please contact us at

ACtioN Events

ACtioN Events help you explore how complexity thinking applies to your world. In this section, you can learn about upcoming ACtioN events. When logged in with your ACtioN ID, you can view videos and wiki data from past Topical meetings. Jointly organized by SFI and member organizations, Topical meetings take advantage of SFI’s unique convening power to bring together the best thinkers from SFI and beyond. When the co-hosting members do not object, videos of meeting lectures are made available for members who were unable to attend. To encourage an unhindered exchange of ideas, some discussions are excluded from the recordings. Beyond Topical meetings, this section also provides information on educational and scientific events of broad interest to ACtioN members.


Member Benefits

To bring the benefits of complex systems thinking to the whole organization, ACtioN provides accessible educational materials and recruitment programs. To make complex systems insights applicable for each member, ACtioN facilitates directed engagement with the world’s best complex systems scientists. To further the dissemination of best practices for harnessing the advantages of complex systems thinking, ACtioN cultivates a community of scientists and decision-makers acting on complex systems.

ACtioN Topical Meetings

Jointly organized by SFI and member organizations, these meetings take advantage of SFI’s unique convening power to bring together the biggest thinkers from SFI and beyond to explore how complexity thinking applies to relevant real-world challenges.

Scientific Meetings

Members have unique opportunities to participate in select, advanced scientific workshops at the Institute.

Applied Topical Meetings

These meetings follow shortly after select scientific SFI workshops and highlight the workshop insights that are most relevant for business and organizational decision makers. 

Annual ACtioN Symposium

Our annual multi-day ACtioN symposium offers members a unique opportunity to participate in in-depth discussions that kick off a new research theme for the Institute.

ACtioN Complexity Explorer

This section features curated educational content, highlighting timely insights from topical meetings, short courses, conferences, and interviews on a variety of topics—all demonstrating how complexity applies to real-world challenges. 

Applied Complexity Short Courses

Designed to present the latest complexity ideas and technologies with a view to real-world application, SFI periodically organizes Applied Complexity Short Courses which range from overviews of complexity science to carefully designed curricula focusing on the application of particular aspects of complex systems theory.

Complex Systems Summer School

SFI's Complex Systems Summer School offers a month-long multidisciplinary introduction to complex behavior in mathematical, physical, living, and social systems. Five tuition-free seats are reserved for ACtioN members.


SFI's Studio Workshop can offer a small cadre of decision-makers from a single firm an opportunity to deeply explore the implications of complex systems on their work. These workshops are particularly useful in helping firms to achieve consensus while avoiding the perils of groupthink, and exploring new ideas and opportunities. The theories discussed, and the SFI scholars involved, are custom selected to maximize their impact on challenges faced by the firm. 

Bespoke Applied Complexity Short Courses

Action members can work with SFI to create customized education programs specifically targeting the needs of their organization.

Join ACtioN

Whether you’re grappling with the seemingly random whims of the global economy, rebooting your R&D program, or tackling any other complex challenge, ACtioN is an invaluable resource for breakout thinking. As an ACtioN member, you’ll connect with brilliant thinkers and join like-minded professionals who, like you, are applying complexity concepts and modeling to help their organizations thrive. Interested? For more information about joining ACtioN, contact us via email.

Contact Us

Contact us to learn what ACtioN membership can do for your company.