Greater than the sum of our parts: The evolution of collective intelligence

“The impact of human activity on the environment is the most pressing and stark example of this. The challenge of collaborating and cooperatively adapting at scale creates many difficulties and we may have unwittingly put in place a number of cultural systems and practices, particularly in education, which are undermining our ability to adapt. These self-imposed limitations disrupt our complementary cognitive search capability and may restrict our capacity to find and act upon innovative and creative solutions.”

“Complementary cognition should be seen as a starting point in exploring a rich area of human evolution and as a valuable tool in helping to create an adaptive and sustainable society. Our species may owe our spectacular technological and cultural achievements to neurocognitive specialization and cooperative cognitive search, but our adaptive success so far may belie the importance of attaining an equilibrium of approaches. If this system becomes maladjusted, it can quickly lead to equally spectacular failures to adapt—and to survive, it is critical that this system be explored and understood further.”

Source: Greater than the sum of our parts: The evolution of collective intelligence

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