The inter-connectedness and inter-relationship between multiple agents of the system, and between these agents and their environment. In the case of knowledge dynamics the agents can be the actors of the education system: researchers, teachers, school leaders, policy-makers, students, parents, etc. or e.g. the different groups of local actors: the teaching staff at a school, the members of a school board and so on.


Elements of the system change based on interactions between them. The interactions provide feedback on themselves (and on the relationships and actions) after a number of steps, and these feedback loops are the drivers for the evolution of the system.

Emergent order

Interactions of the agents result in some kind of global property or pattern that could not be predicted by any individual agent’s actions or interactions. Thus, unpredictable behaviors and patterns arise.

Cascading effects

Interactions are non-linear, and even small changes in inputs, interactions, or stimuli can cause very significant changes across the system.

Internal diversity

Diversity of the elements or agents is an important source of “intelligent” responses to emergent circumstances. Professional communities, at any level represent a large diversity of professional and educational backgrounds, interests and experiences, and thus can better react to the changing environment.

Neighbor interactions

Neighbors in this context are interpreted as ideas, views, etc., that must be able to interact. It is thus not necessarily enough that researchers and teachers meet and talk, what matters is that there is space and opportunity for them to compare, contrast, collide, or juxtapose their ideas.

Decentralized control

In order to enable neighbor interactions the control of the structure and outcomes of a knowledge-producing collective must be decentralized, that is, arising in local activities.