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History

The origin of Para Limes at NTU is in Institute Para Limes in Europe (IPL)
IPL was founded in August 2005 by 25 world class scientists (see Founding Fathers), including prof Bertil Andersson, at that time CEO of the European Science Foundation.
 
IPL was to be the European version of the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), and a place to breed concepts and ideas through intense multidisciplinary collaboration between scientists that practice their trade at the highest level, and with great imagination. Between 2007 and 2009 IPL organized a number of groundbreaking workshop and its signatory conference, Science without Boundaries. As the 2008 global crisis hit, some of IPL’s main sponsors withdrew their support, effectively bringing the institute to a standstill by the end of 2009.
 
But the idea survived. Still in 2009, IPL, together with SFI, organized a conference to honor professor John Holland, the father of complexity. The conference was hosted by NTU, where John was (and is) collaborating in various research projects. Inspired by that conference prof Su Guaning and prof Bertil Andersson, then respectively president and provost of NTU, stimulated a number of workshops and in July 2011 established the Complexity Program.
 
The main mission of that program was to create a Complexity Institute at NTU. The program pursued that mission by:
  • Setting up a vibrant complexity community at NTU, with participants from the other Singaporean Universities and Industry.
  • Creating national and international visibility through a series of seminars, workshops and annual top-level conferences (see past events)
  • Developing intensive working relationships with different government agencies
  • Establishing collaboration with SFI and a number of mayor complexity institutes in the US and Europe.
 
The mission was accomplished and the Complexity Institute launched during the 3rd complexity conference: Hidden Connections.
At the same time the Complexity Program changed its name into Para Limes and took on a new mission: “Exploring Complexity”.