Last Friday we brought together all the academic staff and postgraduate researchers who are affiliated to the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition in one way or another. My Co-Director, Prof Jannie Hofmeyr (systems biologist and complexity thinker), gave a history of our institutional evolution, and I introduced our intellectual project. Jannie and I see the CST as the home of the ‘Stellenbosch School of Thought’ because CST is quite unique in bringing together complexity thinking, sustainability science and transdisciplinary research. All the staff and postgraduate researchers then briefly introduced themselves and their research topics. It was a truly inspiring occasion – as the saying goes ‘build it and they will come’. Doing this kind of advanced research on African soil is a great privilege indeed. No-one can predict the synchronicities that will emerge from the connections that will be made between people with such diverse disciplinary backgrounds rooted as we all are in the challenges of the African context. But one thing is for sure, five years from now we will have made a significant impact!