ABOUT THE NAME

Our name is borrowed from the theory of the Adjacent Possible, coined by evolutionary biologist and complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman to describe the realm of possibilities just beyond reach at any given moment, but unlockable with novel action, context, or re-configuration. Kauffman arrived at the theory of the Adjacent Possible in his effort to understand the evolutionary journey of systems towards complexity. Later, innovation scholar Steven Johnson took this biological theory and re-applied it to human ingenuity.

We borrow from the conceptual history of the term, but also apply the Adjacent Possible to the realm of human collaboration. We look for the points of intersection and divergence between different fields and practices, creating the conditions for inspiration to flow and solutions to emerge. We also tell the stories of these convergences and relationships, making these experiences accessible to adjacent audiences.

From the theory of the Adjacent Possible, we learn that it is natural and expected that unimaginable challenges will require inconceivable feats of adaptation and ingenuity. As the rate and magnitude of these challenges increases, we must look beyond our traditional disciplines. To this end, Adjacent Possibilities heeds Johnson’s reminder that “chance favours the connected mind,” and strive to connect the not yet connected.