Santa Fe Institute

Business Network FAQs

Q: How do I join the Business Network?
A: To join the Business Network, please send an email expressing your interest in Membership to the   Memberships are for a 12-month period, commencing upon receipt of the membership fee.

Q: How do most members maximize their investment in SFI and the Business Network?
A: An important criterion for successful membership is interest on the part of the participating member organization. One individual from each member company is designated as the primary representative. This representative receives all mailings, subscriptions, and announcements. But to be beneficial, the interaction needs to be two-way. The representative, along with other interested individuals from the company, are encouraged to attend SFI sponsored Topical Meetings, Theme Weeks, Symposium and the Santa Fe Institute's Complex Systems Summer School (CSSS). Occasionally, a researcher from one of our member organizations will come to the Institute and spend a day here, meeting with SFI researchers to discuss topics of mutual interest. Many members maintain contact with each other through e-mail and phone conversations, and in some instances, meetings among member companies.

Q: What is the profile of a typical member?
A: Business Network members include companies and organizations from diverse industries and government agencies around the world. Industrial research laboratories, manufacturing companies, financial institutions, and several sectors of high tech have been drawn to SFI. What unites all members is a desire to learn about the catalytic research that occurs here, and to discuss, in cross-industry groups, how results may be applied in their areas of interest.

Q: What is "complex systems research?"
A: The study of nonlinear, interactive systems from which interesting and unpredictable behavior emerges is the hallmark of the research that is pursued at SFI. This includes examining the dynamics of these 'complex systems' and how the systems evolve. The work is basic, theoretical science. Organizations that join the Business Network are often involved in applied research areas that have their roots in, or can be informed by, the work being performed at SFI. The Business Network provides a bridge between SFI's basic research and the applied work in which our members are engaged.

Q: How does SFI deal with intellectual property?
A: If an organization wishes to work with an SFI researcher on a specific project of mutual interest, the researcher brokers that relationship and the organization on terms decided by the two parties (e.g., independent contractor, consultant, non-disclosure, etc.).

Q: Can members send a researcher to SFI?
A: Yes, in fact members are encouraged to submit an application for the SFI sponsored Business Network Fellowship. In addition, visits to the Institute by Business Network members can be arranged.

About Business Network