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The School of Complex Adaptive Systems was established as a foundational institution within the
College of Global Futures, Arizona State University’s center of experiential learning, engaged research and real-world problem-solving dedicated to the present and future well-being of our planet.


A thriving planet that allows for strategic and timely responses with a focus on global challenges and collaborative solutions.


To advance and disseminate fundamental knowledge about the structure and function of natural, social and technological complex systems.

Grown from the Global Biosocial Complexity Initiative at ASU and developed in affiliation with the Santa Fe Institute, the School of Complex Adaptive Systems develops solutions and suggests interventions that enhance resilience and stability of some of the most critical aspects of our shared global futures, with a focus on sustainability, health, economics, technology, social stability and innovation.

The school focuses on complex systems science as a common language and framework, a way of thinking and knowing, and as a set of skills required to address problems that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. We promote excellence in education and research in an integrated academic structure without unnecessary internal disciplinary barriers and by wide-ranging international collaborations.


Manfred Laubichler

Manfred Laubichler

President’s Professor and Interim Director, School of Complex Adaptive Systems Manfred Laubichler is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, whose work focuses on the structure of evolutionary theory, the evolution of knowledge, and evolutionary novelties — from genomes to knowledge systems. In addition to his ASU appointments, he is an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, an external faculty member at the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, and the vice-chair of the Global Climate Forum. His undergraduate training was in zoology, philosophy and mathematics at the University of Vienna (Austria) and his graduate training was in biology at Yale and in history/history of science at Princeton.