Complexity-Aware Thinking is Ready for Prime Time

Complexity-Aware Thinking is Ready for Prime Time

The Netflix series, “Designated Survivor”, offers a refreshing story about a president who is able to manage incredibly difficult circumstances.

In the TV series, low-level cabinet member Tom Kirkman unexpectedly becomes president after a devastating attack on Washington, D.C. He gets in by emergency protocol because he was named “designated survivor”. In the conspiracy, his forced selection is intended to lead to social failure, making way for dictatorial takeover. Yet against all odds, he and his administration lead with aplomb.

Why? Because his thinking is different – he values civility and all life. He envisions novel solutions that work. He engenders flexible and creative thinking in others. He is unafraid of disturbing the status quo. Yes, it is fiction, but the fact that a TV scriptwriter could conjure this story tells us a new way of thinking is emergent and ready for prime time.

What’s really going on in this TV series?

It’s about the emergence of our species. Humans are continuously co-evolving with their life conditions. As the world complexifies, new capacities emerge, or not. This is what we define as human emergence.

Today’s life conditions are testing the limits of the adaptive capacities of all life forms, not just human. Earth is fragile. Society is fragile. Threats of nuclear war, the ever-widening income gap, and the sixth mass extinction challenge every basic assumption.

Surviving such complexity is challenging, and we offer a simple principle:

Be and act at least a half-step ahead of the life conditions.

“A half-step ahead” refers to the capacity to look back in from the balcony to discern what’s really going on, to flexibly morph and fit oneself to the circumstances, to lead from a strong sense of purpose that is aligned with all life. Such an individual can suss out trouble, navigate obstacles, and make quality decisions that impact positively on all life.

As long as old ways of thinking remain entrenched, latent complexity-aware capacities are unable to be released within an individual or society. Simply becoming aware that our development is not yet finished, and that more is possible, stimulates the legitimacy and utilisation of new ways and means.

How can one support one’s own emergence, or that of another?

It is possible to learn how to stimulate human emergence by using research instruments, such as those offered by 5 Deep Vital Signs. These instruments hold a mirror up to the individual or to the organisation, to reveal patterns of thinking that cannot be discovered through self-examination.

The next big wave of human emergence can only happen volitionally. In other words, we need to wilfully seek it. It is like deliberately rubbing your own magic lamp to call out your inner genie, the hidden treasure inside.

Upcoming Courses

We invite you to join us for:

Stance Matters: Releasing Latent Potential

The purpose of this programme is to release the latent complexity-aware capacities that exist within you.

Whether you are a freelance practitioner of change, a leader within an organisation, or are simply interested in your own personal development, the thinking-stance you adopt as you navigate through increasingly complex times matters.

Learn to release your hidden treasure.

Culture Scanning: Tracking the Codes

Culture-scanning is a core competency of the Human Emergence practitioner. It is the first step in any intervention. We know that it takes time to stimulate the latent capacities of an integral-holistic awareness that are prerequisites for culture-scanning. This programme is an essential module in the development of your own unique practice.

Learn more here, or make inquiries at


Christopher and Sheila Cooke, 5 Deep Limited


  1. Nice one Chris and Sheila, thanks for sharing

  2. … sounds exciting… love to you both!!

  3. Patricia and I have watched every episode of Designated Survivor since it’s original air date on ABC. By far, the best series on American TV. New episodes begin February 28. Amazing plot lines weaved through the show. Worth the hour when broadcast each week.

  4. We can’t wait for the next series either. I can’t imagine what it will be like for the president to have lost his wife.

  5. Interesting perspective on what I saw as another conspiracy-minded doom/gloom and omg, male dominated hero series. Will watch once to see if more is hidden in the all too familiar shell.

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