The role of complex heterogeneous structures can be surprising and fundamental in physical sciences as well as in socio-economic disciplines. Here we discuss two examples:
1. Contrary to expectations galaxy structures never showed a clear evidence of homogeneity which is a basic assumption of the standard cosmological model. This led to long standing debate over the past 20 years ( which is still open. We review the facts and the possibility that the inclusion of this complexity in the cosmological theories could drastically reduce the need of Dark Energy, leading to a novel scenario.
2. The standard theory (D. Ricardo) of fundamental economics assumes that specialization is optimal for the industrial production of each country. Also in this case the availability of large database disprove this assumption and show that diversification is instead more important. Starting from this observation we construct a new metric for the Fitness of a Country which can be compared to its monetary performance (GDP). From this comparison one can draw interesting conclusions about its potential for growth and also identify risky situations.