Explores embracing the beauty of life’s chaos rather than grasping for control
ARLINGTON, Va. – September 23, 2021 – Today, Neil Chilson, the senior research fellow for technology and innovation at Stand Together – a philanthropic community tackling some of the biggest challenges of our times – launches his book, Getting Out of Control: Emergent Leadership in a Complex World.
Chilson makes the case that the best response to many of our world’s complex problems is an emergent mindset that seeks opportunities to “get out of control.” This mindset requires people to embrace their autonomy as individuals and admit limitations as part of something larger.
History has shown that the key to progress is not top-down control, but bottom-up innovation that empowers those closest to a problem to be part of the solution. Chilson’s book explains why effective people seek to influence rather than control. It articulates the importance of emergent order – order with no single individual or entity in control.
“Faced with this complexity, society has grown obsessed with asserting control,” says Chilson. “CEOs want to control their companies; politicians and policymakers want to control the economy. Everyone is trying to figure out how to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control. We want control because as humans, we have a limited ability to comprehend complexity.”
Our obsession with control is misguided, Chilson argues. He offers six principles of the emergent mindset that allow people in public and private life to maximize influence and collaboration and avoid the pointless pursuit of control in our out-of-control world. He also demonstrates how emergent order creates a vibrant environment for bold entrepreneurship, upward economic mobility, inclusive workforces, lower cost of living, dedicated environmental stewardship, and robust health care.
Chilson offers new perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of governance in an age of complexity. Readers will learn why so often we fail to improve ourselves, and how our influence can improve ourselves, our communities, and our world. In this complex world, our hope as leaders lies not in gaining control, but in influencing the order that emerges when we choose to let go of control.
About Neil Chilson
As a Senior Research Fellow of Technology and Innovation at Stand Together, Chilson focuses on promoting digital free speech and fostering a culture and a regulatory environment that welcomes innovation as the best way to improve individual and societal well-being. Previously, he was Chief Technologist at the Federal Trade Commission, where he focused on understanding the economics of privacy, convening a workshop on informational injury, and establishing the FTC’s Blockchain Working Group. Prior to his appointment, he was an advisor to Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen. Prior to the FTC, he worked at Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP, advising clients on telecommunications, privacy, cybersecurity, and related issues.
Neil contributes regularly to The Washington Post, USA Today, Entrepreneur, and Morning Consult. He holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Harding University.
About Stand Together
Stand Together empowers people dedicated to helping others improve their lives. Our philanthropic community tackles some of the biggest challenges of our times, including reforming the nation’s criminal justice system, strengthening K-12 education, helping neighbors beat poverty and addiction, empowering everyone to find fulfilling work, and more. We can all make a greater difference by uniting than we can by acting on our own. Learn more at www.standtogether.org. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Instagram, and YouTube.
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Name: Gabrielle Cipriano
Company: Stand Together