16 Transforming Your Regional Economy through Uncertainty and Surprise: Learning from Complexity Science, Network Theory and the Field

  • June Holley
Section IIID Fundamental Uncertainty in Business and Business Decision Making
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


The field of regional development blossomed in the last decade, as researchers and practitioners increasingly asserted that the region was the most effective geographic unit for supporting the excellence and innovation of entrepreneurs.1 Much of the discussion of regionalism continued to be mired in concepts and language of the industrial age. Many regions started their regional renewal processes with large convening of area power brokers, who create a common vision of the future of the region and then develop a plan intended to move the region toward that vision. Uncertainty is reduced as much as possible and surprise is viewed as unwelcome. Unfortunately, this type of linear, rational process is seldom effective in dealing with uncertainty and an unknown future, and has had little success in solving the massive problems of poverty and environmental degradation that continue to plague inner cities and rural communities.

  1. 1.

    See, for example, the many studies by the European Union and the work by Michael Porter.


Social Capital Regional Economy Social Entrepreneur Policy Network Cluster Policy 
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Authors and Affiliations

  • June Holley
    • 1
  1. 1.Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) 

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