Emergence: why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

The article promotes the importance of understanding `emergence’, defined as the process by which an outcome occurs out of the interactions of many individual components, whose complexity and number makes it largely unpredictable.

Emergence: why the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Kyle Findlay

The world we live in is staggeringly complex. We recognise and deal with this fact on a daily basis, whether as marketers, scientists, politicians or homemakers. Despite uncertain returns, we hammer away at our paths in the hope that we have at least some influence on our environment.

However, sometimes the effect we have is totally unintended and unpredictable. While we may be able to understand and rationalise the outcome afterwards, we often could not have done so up-front. 'Emergence' is a blanket term that describes...

Not a subscriber?

Schedule your live demo with our team today

WARC helps you to plan, create and deliver more effective marketing

  • Prove your case and back-up your idea

  • Get expert guidance on strategic challenges

  • Tackle current and emerging marketing themes

We’re long-term subscribers to WARC and it’s a tool we use extensively. We use it to source case studies and best practice for the purposes of internal training, as well as for putting persuasive cases to clients. In compiling a recent case for long-term, sustained investment in brand, we were able to support key marketing principles with numerous case studies sourced from WARC. It helped bring what could have been a relatively dry deck to life with recognisable brand successes from across a broad number of categories. It’s incredibly efficient to have such a wealth of insight in one place.

Insights Team
Bray Leino

You’re in good company

We work with 80% of Forbes' most valuable brands* and 80% of the world's top top-of-the-class agencies.

* Top 10 brands