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Science and Leadership Advisors
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Plexus Advisors include thought leaders in a wide variety of disciplines who share our deep interest in complex systems. They include researchers, practitioners, educators, and leaders whose work influences and inspires us.

About Plexus Advisors (pdf)

Ruth AndersonRuth A. Anderson, RN, PhD, FAAN, is one of the nation's leading nurse scientists applying complexity science to research, practice, and education. She has published numerous articles on how relationship patterns and complexity-inspired management practices improve patient outcomes and work environments of healthcare organizations. She is the Virginia Stone Professor of Nursing at Duke University School of Nursing.

Alan BarstowAlan M. Barstow is an author, consultant and educator specializing in organizational design, and the process of change. He has been active in several collaborative health care projects, including the Healthcare Forum's project entitled "Transforming Healthcare Delivery: Building the Learning Organization by Linking Systems Thinking & Total Quality," and a program developed by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts entitled "Strengthening Hospital Nursing: A Program to Improve Patient Care."

James BegunJames W. Begun, PhD, a highly regarded teacher and scholar known for his work to strengthen the relationship of complexity science to health care management education and research, is the James A. Hamilton Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. His publications include the book, Strategic Adaptation in the Health Professions: Meeting the Challenges of Change.

Ori BrafmanOri Brafman is the coauthor, along with Rod A. Beckstrom, of The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, a book that has been hailed as a must read by theoreticians and business executives. Brafman is a life-long entrepreneur whose projects include a wireless start up, a health food advocacy group, and a network of CEOs working on public benefit initiatives, which he co-founded with Rod Beckstrom.

Kevin DooleyKevin Dooley, PhD, an internationally respected scholar and teacher in the areas of quality management, innovation, and complex systems, is professor of supply chain management at Arizona State University, and COO of Crawdad Technologies. He has published over 100 research articles and co-authored an award winning book, "Organizational Change and Innovation Processes."

Glenda EoyangGlenda Eoyang, is a pioneer in the field of human systems dynamics. She applies principles of self-organizing systems to help people thrive in unpredictable environments. Since 1988, she has provided training, consulting, coaching, research, evaluation, and facilitation support to organizations in the public and private sectors. She is currently serving as founding Executive Director of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute, a network of professionals working at the intersection of complexity and social sciences.

Ary GoldbergerAry Goldberger, MD, a cardiologist, directs the Margret and H.A. Rey Institute for Nonlinear Dynamics in Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA. He is also program director of the NIH Research Resource for Complex Physiologic Signals. He is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Ary is one of the country's leading physician researchers on complexity and human health. He has long-standing interest in electrocardiography and non-invasive electrophysiology and is the author of two standard textbooks on ECG analysis. He and colleagues at Beth Israel have also created ECG Wave-Maven, an open-access program for medical students and clinicians.

Jeffrey GoldsteinJeffrey Goldstein, PhD, is a professor at the Adelphi University School of Business and an associate clinical professor at Adelphi's Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies. He is a pioneer in the application of complexity theory to organizations and leadership, and wrote The Unshackled Organization, a widely acclaimed book on the subject. He is the author of more than author of over 100 articles and 10 books.

John HollandJohn Holland, PhD, is one of the acknowledged founders of the emerging science of complexity. He is professor of psychology, electrical engineering and computer science at University of Michigan. He serves on the Santa Fe Institute Board of Trustees and the board's Executive Committee, and is a member of the Institute's external faculty. Among John's many publications are Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity and Emergence: From Chaos To Order. Among his many awards is a MacArthur prize.

June HolleyJune Holley has been weaving economic and community networks for almost 20 years. She served as a Founder and Executive Director of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) and currently devotes her energies to helping communities around the globe form Smart Networks by training and supporting Network Weavers.


Deb JohnsonDebera Johnson started her career at Pratt as a student in the Industrial Design program and returned to the department to teach and was selected to chair the ID program from 1998 until 2005. Currently she is Pratt’s Academic Director of Sustainability and has been working across the institute to implement Pratt’s strategic commitment to link the greening of its campus with greening of its academic programs.

Neal KaufmanNeal Kaufman, MD, is Co-Director of the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Commissioner, First 5 LA Commission - a $110 million per year government based foundation charged with improving outcomes for young children. In 2004, after his 26 year career in academic pediatrics, Dr. Kaufman founded DPS Health to develop and provide effective technology-enabled behavior change interventions. He is a leader in local, state and national efforts to: improve the health of individuals by improving the health of neighborhoods and communities; educating patients and providers; delivering healthcare to high risk and vulnerable women and children; and advocating for healthy communities.

Stuart KauffmanStuart A. Kauffman, PhD, MD, is a pioneer in complexity science research, is the founding director of the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics at the University of Calgary, Canada, where he is also a professor. He was an early member of the Santa Fe Institute, and is still an external faculty member. He is an emeritus professor of biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, a McArthur Fellow and a Trotter Prize winner. His new book is Reinventing the Sacred, A New View of Science, Reason and Religion. His other books include Origins of Order and At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self Organization and Complexity.

Scott KelsoJ.A. Scott Kelso, PhD, is Glenwood and Martha Creech Chair in Science, professor of psychology, biological science and biomedical science, and founder of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of Dynamic Patterns: The Self-Organization of Brain and Behavior, (MIT Press 1995) and The Complementary Nature, (MIT Press, 2006) and is editor in chief of Understanding Complex Systems, a new book series by Springer-Verlag. Kelso is a pioneer in the field of Coordination Dynamics, the science of coordination, which has led to many applications and developments in the neural, cognitive, behavioral and social sciences.

Larry LiebovitchLarry Liebovitch, PhD, Graduate Programs Director of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science of Florida Atlantic University, and Professor at FAU's Center for Complex Systems and Brain Science, Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, and the Department of Psychology. He is a physicist and astronomer who has applied nonlinear methods to analyze molecular, cellular, physiological and psychological systems. He has written more than 75 articles and book chapters and is the author of Fractals and Chaos Simplified for the Life Sciences.

Robert LindbergRobert Lindberg, MD, practices internal medicine in Darien, CT. Bob is on the teaching faculty of the Columbia University School of Medicine and also New York Medical College. He is among the first physicians to incorporate complexity concepts into the practice of medicine. He has been recognized in both the Guide to America's Top Physicians and Best Doctor directories.

Reuben McDanielReuben R. McDaniel, Jr., EdD, a widely respected organizational theorist, is Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Regents Chair in Health Care Management and professor of management science and information systems at the University of Texas at Austin. Reuben was one of the first to research the impact of complexity-inspired leadership approaches in health care organizations.

Gerald McGinnisGerald E. McGinnis, founder in 1976 of Respironics, Inc. (RESP), an international medical device company, served as the company's president and chief executive officer until he was elected in 1994 to his current position as board chairman. A mechanical engineer by training and utilizing more than 15 registered U.S. patents, he pioneered development and worldwide marketing of numerous medical technology products including development of patient airway interface devices, non-invasive patient ventilation devices and positive pressure airway devices for treating obstructive sleep apnea in home care.

Gareth MorganGareth Morgan, PhD, is currently distinguished research professor at York University, Toronto, and founder of Newmindsets, an internet-based management learning system. Gareth pioneered the approach of using multiple lenses and metaphors to deepen our understanding of organizations in his classic text Images of Organization.

Thomas PetzingerThomas Petzinger, Jr., a consultant and entrepreneur, spent 22 years as a reporter, columnist, bureau chief and Washington economics editor at The Wall Street Journal. He is author of The New Pioneers: The Men and Women Who Are Transforming the Workplace and Marketplace, an Top 10 bestseller. He is currently chairman and CEO of LaunchCyte LLC, a bio-informatics technology network in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Paul PlsekPaul Plsek is an internationally recognized consultant, author and educator on improvement and innovation in organizations. He is dedicated to applying insights from complexity science and innovation research to issues of organizational leadership. Paul speaks and conducts workshops widely on the topic and serves as an advisor to the Institute of Medicine in the US and the National Health Service in the UK.

Birute RegineBirute Regine, EdD. earned her degrees from Harvard in developmental psychology, is a researcher and writer who specializes in the dynamics and development of relationships and women’s role in the workplace, and is trained in gestalt therapy. Regine speaks to corporations and at national conferences on transforming the workplace to be personally fulfilling, humane, and economically successful.

Patricia RushPatricia Rush, MD, MBA, an internal medicine physician with expertise in chronic illness, has created an innovative primary care practice using complexity science principles. Dr. Rush is dedicated to creating an effective, universally-available system for promoting health, and reducing disparities in health of marginalized populations. Her work focuses on the basic foundations of how we understand health and disease. In the past ten years Dr. Rush has also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine - as a 2000 year old medical system based on non-linear dynamics.

Marilyn RymerMarilyn Rymer, MD, an internationally respected neurologist, leads the Stroke Center at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City. This center has become a national model, cited by Time magazine as one of the seven finest stroke programs in this country. Marilyn serves on the boards of many national medical and health care organizations

Arvind SinghalArvind Singhal, PhD, is the Samuel Shirley and Edna Holt Marston Endowed Professor of Communication and Director of Research and Outreach , Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies, at the University of Texas, El Paso. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of organizing for social change, positive deviance and asset-based approaches, and the entertainment-education strategy. He is author of eight books and has won numerous awards, including the highly prestigious Social Science Research Council's Communication Research as Collaborative Practice Award in 2009, and the Communication Researcher as an Agent of Change Award in 2008.

Muneesh TewariMuneesh Tewari, MD, PhD, has joined the human biology division of the Fred Hutchinson Center Research Center in Seattle. He was formerly a post-doctoral research fellow and instructor in medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. In 1990 he was named one of the top U.S. College students. He earned his MD degree and doctoral degrees in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Michigan. He served his residency in internal medicine, his specialty training in oncology, and has written frequently-cited papers in cell biology and medical science.

Peter TuddenhamPeter Tuddenham is a co-founder of the College of Exploration, an innovative, online collaborative learning environment where participants explore, learn and create with each other on a variety of ecosystem topics especially ocean, earth and climate systems. His interest in complexity emerged from his early work studying systems theories and practices and now involves studying the contributions of cybernetics, reflexivity and quantum science and thought to the language of complexity and complex systems.

Bruce WestBruce J. West, PhD, was a research scientist in industry for twenty years (La Jolla Institute), a university professor in physics for ten years (University of North Texas), and is now Chief Scientist in the Mathematical and Information Sciences Directorate at the Army Research Office. In each of these incarnations he has had an abiding interest in the application of nonlinear dynamics systems theory and complexity theory to biomedical and social phenomena. He has published eight books in these areas over the past twenty years at various levels of mathematical sophistication, founding such research areas as fractal physiology.

Edward WilsonEdward O. Wilson, PhD, considered to be one of the world's greatest living scientists, has made important contributions to the fields of population genetics, evolutionary biology, entomology, and ethology over his distinguished career. He has written or contributed to over a dozen books, and was awarded Pulitzer Prizes for On Human Nature, and The Ants. A recipient of many of the world's leading prizes in science and conservation, he is currently Pellegrino University Research Professor at Harvard University.

Brenda ZimmermanBrenda Zimmerman, PhD, is Professor of Policy/Strategic Management, Schulich School of Business at York University. She is the author of many articles applying complexity science to organizational strategy and change, and a co-author of the book Edgeware: Insights From Complexity Science for Health Care Leaders. Her gifts for scholarship, teaching and writing have brought many advancements to complexity and the management field and reached many practitioners and policy makers.

Previous Trustees, Advisors, and Influencers

These individuals have influenced the work of Plexus Institute.

Ralph StaceyRalph Stacey is Professor of Management at the Business School of the University of Hertfordshire and a Member of the Institute of Group Analysis. He is also a founding member and supervisor on an innovative Master’s and Doctoral program in complexity and organizations change. He has spent many years exploring how the complexity sciences might provide a new way of understanding stability and change in organizations. He previously served as a Plexus Institute Science Advisor.

Everrett RogersThe late Everett M. Rogers was a sociologist, communication scholar, writer, and teacher. He is best known for originating the diffusion of innovations theory and for introducing the term early adopter. Everett M. Rogers is widely known as the inventor of the "Diffusion of Innovation” theory from his research on how farmers adopt agricultural innovations. His book, Diffusion of Innovations, gave him academic fame and still remains the second most cited book title in social sciences today.

Jerry SterninThe late Jerry Sternin was the director of the Positive Deviance Initiative, and along with his wife Monique, was a pioneer in Positive Deviance. He had extensive experience working with PD around the world. Among his other accomplishments, he was the country director for Save the Children (US) in Bangladesh, Philippines, Viet Nam, Egypt and Burma. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer and Country Director in Rwanda, Mauritania, Nepal and the Phillipines, as well as Assistant Dean and Student Advisor at the Harvard Business School.

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