Community of Practice

Alex Ryan

Alex Ryan is Vice President Systems Innovation and Director of the MaRS Solutions Lab, which applies systemic design to society’s most complex challenges. He is an Executive-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. Alex Ryan is Co-Founder of Synthetikos Inc. Alex Ryan also Co-Founded Alberta CoLab, where he advised a cross-ministry systemic design and strategic foresight team working to institutionalize systems thinking, design and foresight within government policy and planning processes. The CoLab team addresses diverse issues such as energy transition, integrated resource management, stakeholder engagement, and social innovation. As a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, Alex Ryan has previously taught operational and strategic design at the U.S. School of Advanced Military Studies, and helped to institutionalize design within Western militaries, working with clients such as U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, Australian Special Operations Command, and the Canadian Forces College. He is Co-Founder of the Systemic Design Research Network and Co-Chair of the Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium ( His dissertation in applied mathematics advanced a multidisciplinary approach to complex systems design.

Systemic Design of a Force for the Australian Army in 2050

by Brandon Pincombe, Alex Ryan, Nick Kempt, Ashley Stephens, Nikoleta Tomecko, Darryn J. Reid and…

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Design in Civvies: The Promise of Creating Degrees of Freedom in Government

Author: Alex Ryan  Abstract: Both military and civilian design can be measured by the degrees…

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A Personal Reflection on Introducing Design to the U.S. Army

See Original post: In this blog, I explain how I accidentally became involved in…

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Countering Insurgency and the Myth of “The Cause”

Abstract:  It is possible for an insurgency to develop from a single cause, for the…

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Applications of Complex Systems to Operational Design

Author: Alex Ryan Abstract: Simon distinguished between the declarative logic of the natural sciences, concerned…

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Military Applications of Complex Systems

Author: Alex Ryan Abstract: This chapter presents the science of complex systems that had a significant…

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