As part of the Complexity Dialogue seminar series, the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) is hosting its first seminar of 2020 on Thursday, 23rd of January. The keynote speaker is Dr Toby Lowe, Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership and Management at the Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University in the UK. Dr Lowe’s research focusses on how organisations can improve the funding, commissioning and performance management of social interventions (across the public, private and voluntary sectors) by applying complexity theory to create a critique of New Public Management approaches, particularly highlighting the problems created by attempts to use Outcome-Based Performance Management (e.g. Payment by Results) in complex environments.

This research is informed by a new complexity-informed paradigm called the “Human Learning Systems approach” which draws on a framework called “A Whole New World: Funding and Commissioning in Complexity” that he and colleagues developed whilst undertaking action research programmes with public and voluntary sector funders and delivery organisations to explore how this paradigm is implemented in practice, and to support the development of a Community of Practice around this new paradigm.

The seminar will be held on 23 January 2020, 11.00am – 12.30 pm, in Stellenbosch at the STIAS Conference centre, 10 Marais street, Mostertsdrift, Stellenbosch ( and is co-funded by the USAID Resilient Waters project and GRAID program.

We would like to extend an invitation for you to join us for the morning. Attendance is free of charge and refreshments will be served before the seminar from 10h00-10h30.

Please click HERE to RSVP by Tuesday 21 January 2020.

Seminar Agenda:

10.30 – 11.00 Arrival and refreshments  
11.00 – 12.00 Keynote presentation “Exploring new research insights for funding, commissioning and social change in complexity” Dr Toby Lowe (Newcastle Business School, UK)
12:00 – 12.30 Q&A and open discussion Facilitated by Dr Rika Preiser (CST)
12:30 – 14:00 Lunch at STIAS Speaker and invited guests