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RISD’s Center for Complexity (CfC) is hosting a five-day virtual symposium, open to all, during the week of June 15th-19th*. New content will be posted each day.

The core of the week-long event is a series of essays organized around seven themes we are calling ‘Compasses’.


Crisis & Capacity 

Culture & Constructs 

Collapse & (re)Construct 

Chaos & Control

Contact & Constraints 

Commons & Capital

Compasses & Calibrations


The title—Generation C—is meant to evoke the generational changes needed to address capitalism, climate, community, and complexity among many other challenges. We’ve adapted the term from Ed Yong’s incisive reporting. He used it to name the children now being born who will live in a society profoundly altered by COVID-19 and the choices made in response.


The CfC has assembled a group of thinkers and makers to offer their insight on a series of current and critical topics. We hope that you will find their work thought-provoking and that you will be inspired to add your wisdom to the combined insight of an engaged community thinking together.


We began our planning during a moment of disruption in public health. We make this invitation during a moment when American society has erupted in protest, confronting the racist legacies and present that shape the systems we study. The protests began as a result of police violence but are undeniably connected to the inequitable response to COVID-19 and the wider injustices that persist in our society.


This is a time for many kinds of action. This symposium is a platform to share ideas about the critical work of charting pathways forward. If you wish to think deeply with us, we welcome you to the Center for Complexity 2020 Symposium.


The opinions, performances, and publications expressed by the creators of the work on this site are those of the creators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of RISD or any project sponsors.

Symposium Code of Conduct

Our symposium is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form, whether during talks, workshops, Zoom calls, Instagram or other online media. Symposium participants violating these rules may be barred from our live events.


If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the symposium team immediately. You can reach us at


Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.


If a participant engages in harassing behavior, we may take any action we deem appropriate, including warning the offender or immediate removal from our live events. 

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