My group, which consist of myself, Petter Törnberg and Anton Törnberg, works to develop new ways of understanding the evolution of societal systems. We work on several levels – from specific case studies up to basic concept, model and method development. The basis for our work is the realization that innovation is usefully describable on the highly abstract level of “innovation in complex adaptive systems”. In other words there are features of systems under adaptive transformation that appear to be common to just about any instance: animal culture, early hominin culture, modern culture and biological organic evolution. Darwinism (or more generally “population thinking”) has since long been the basis for such attempts, and Darwinism is a central element also of what we are doing. However we think that Darwinism needs to be scaffolded. Evolution – or innovation, whichever one prefers – is not fully reducible to the dynamics of populations. There is more to be told! There are stories that do not just emerge out of a microlevel dynamics. Without clear scale separation in these systems, the dynamics of generated higher levels of organization unfold on timescales that overlap with those on lower levels – there is in the general case no way to make a clear cut across cultural systems. We call such systems, and others like them, “Wicked Systems” (see Societal Systems: Complex or Worse below) – and to understand them we think we need a constructively critical attitude to current approaches in science, one where one takes care not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!Societal and biological systems have been described in ways that are compatible with our way of thinking for quite some time; not least lately in developmental evolutionary approaches to biology. But these efforts are scattered across very different disciplines and we think we can get a tremendous head start by combining such accounts. So we are working to produce a synthetic theory of innovation with an eye to two different, yet interestingly connected, areas: human evolution and innovation in modern societies. We are also working to develop a community interested in understanding “innovation in complex adaptive systems” more in general. For further information, please see "Additional information" below!