Reading List



The Wholeness of Nature:

Goethe's Way toward a Science of Conscious Participation in Nature

Henri Bortoft - Lindisfarne Press - 1996

An excellent in depth exploration of different ways of perceiving science, nature and humankind.


The Web of Life:

A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems

Fritjof Capra - Doubleday - 1996

An accessible introduction to essential principles of ecology and living systems, with an aim to illuminating their implications for how we design sustainable communities.


Engines of Creation:

The Coming Era of Nanotechnology - K. Eric Drexler - Anchor Books, Doubleday 1986

A very good introduction to the technology which lies ahead. If read with the thought in mind of what this will mean to social, institutional and economic change, it will stretch the mind.


The Soul's Code

In Search of Character and Calling

James Hillman - Random House, Inc. - 1996

A penetrating exploration of the wholeness of mind, body, spirit and soul, as opposed to the Newtonian/Cartesian concept that they are separate entities and that the self is separate from the world.


Birth of the Chaordic Age

Dee Hock - Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc - 1999

Dee Hock skillfully weaves together the story of VISA with his own remarkable life story and visionary philosophy to describe a new form of organization he calls "chaordic".


The Self-Organizing Universe:

Scientific and Human Implications of the emerging Paradigm of Evolution

Erich Jantsch - Pergamon Press - 1980

One of the first books to provide an overview of the emerging paradigm of self-organization, with an emphasis on sociocultural systems. A classic, though challenging.


Out of Control:

The Rise of Neo Biological Civilization

Kevin Kelley - Addison-Wesley Publishing - 1994.

An interesting compendium of where such thinking about self-organizing systems and the technologies for creating them are leading in a variety of fields.


Earth In Mind:

On Education, Environment and the Human Prospect

David W. Orr - Island Press – 1994

An educator and environmentalist explores the deep connections between education, ecology, agriculture, ethics and the politics of place.


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See the Chaordic Commons Library




Bunsha: Improving Your Business Through Division

Kuniyasu Sakai and Hiroshi Sakiyama.

Intercultural Group Inc. (ICG pocket business book not easily available.) - Small book by noted Japanese businessman about a successful, radically different way of structuring ownership and management. Explodes some myths about how Japanese manufacturing works.



The Dance of Change:

The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations

Peter Senge and others – 1999

Leaders in the field of organizational learning share lessons learned from their experience. A useful collection of perspectives that goes beyond theory to see how well ideas can actually be practiced in contemporary business and organizational settings.



The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos

M. Mitchel Waldrup Simon & Schuster - 1992

A good summary of the scientific work now emerging, with rather more emphasis on the Santa Fe Institute and personalities therein.


Leadership and the New Science

Margaret Wheatley - Berrett-Koehler - 1992

A fundamental overview of some of the core concepts and fields pertinent to chaordic organization.

A good foundation for understanding complexity theory.


A Simpler Way

Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kellner- Rogers Berrett-Koehler – 1996

Provocative observations about the fundamental processes of self-organization and the application of living systems theory to the organization of human activity, by two leading organizational theorists.


Bionomics: Economy as Ecosystem

Michael Rothschild - Henry Holt & Co. - 1990

A lengthy but well-written book with an ecological perspective on economics, which contains some of the themes of Chaordic organization.