In recent years, problems such as environmental and economic crises and pandemics caused by new viruses have been occurring on a global scale. Globalization brings about benefits, but it can increase the potential risks of “systemic problems”, leading to system-wide disruptions. The coronavirus pandemic, declared on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization, has revealed social disparities in the form of a higher risk of death for people of low-socioeconomic status and has caused massive destruction of the economy and of globalization itself. Extensive efforts to cope with these challenges have often led to the emergence of additional problems due to the chain of hidden causation. What can be done to protect against such emerging challenges?
Despite the resulting complexity, once these individual problems are considered as different aspects of a single whole, seemingly contradictory issues can become totally understandable, as they can be integrated into a single coherent framework. This is the integrationist approach in contrast to the reductionist approach. Situations of this kind are truly relevant to understanding the question, “What are creative complex systems?” This book features contributions by members and colleagues of the Kyoto University International Research Unit of Integrated Complex System Science. It broadens our outlook from the traditional view of stability, in which global situations are eventually stabilized after the impact of destruction, to “creative” complex systems.