Virtual
Symposium

All day

 

This event is private.

This virtual SFI Symposium will focus on the acute symptoms resulting from the decline of multiple, coupled complex systems, as well as the longer-term transformations stemming from our current crises. Specific domains of inquiry include the transformations in: market, global climate, disease and treatment, cities, and belief dynamics. The intellectual underpinning of this meeting is largely based on a recent publication by David Krakauer and Geoffrey West (here).

 

Day 1 Friday, November 13th

FROM TUNNEL VISION TO LATERAL VISION - In the Media & Elsewhere with  Gillian Tett

Gillian Tett kicked off this year's Symposium by exploring the need to integrate diverse perspectives to anticipate future crises and other disruptions. Bringing an anthropological perspective, Gillian placed particular emphasis on the informational and cultural dynamics that prevent some domains from being fully integrated into the perspectives of outsiders; examples included finance, ad tech, and epidemiology.

                                                        

From Tunnel Vision to Lateral Vision – In the Media and Elsewhere with Gillian Tett

AuthorsGillian Tett

Short Clip: From Tunnel Vision to Lateral Vision – In the Media and Elsewhere with Gillian tett

AuthorsGillian Tett

Lost Attraction: How Civilizations Transform with Marten Scheffer

Marten Scheffer continued the conversation by taking a broader look at drivers that lead to social transformation and collapse. Marten surveyed recent complexity research looking at civilization aging. Particular emphasis was placed on indicators that measure the loss of resilience associated with aging civilizations. Marten also addressed the changing drivers of discontentment and the role of discontentment generating social transformation.

Lost Attraction: How Civilizations Transform with Marten Scheffer

Short Clip: Lost Attraction: How Civilizations Transform with Marten Scheffer

Lessons Learned & Next Steps: An Epidemiological View of the COVID Crisis and its Complexities with Lauren Ancel Meyers

Focusing on the spread of COVID-19 as a concrete example, Lauren Ancel Meyers explored three functions that quantitive modeling can provide in a crisis: (i) deepening our understanding of the threat, (ii) improving our forecasting of the threat, (iii) providing insights on different strategies to contain the threat. Lauren concluded by surveying different policy goals and options for the continued mediation of the COVID crisis.

Lessons Learned & Next Steps: An Epidemiological View of the COVID Crisis and its Complexities with Lauren Ancel Meyers

Short Clip: Lessons Learned & Next Steps: An Epidemiological View of the COVID Crisis and its Complexities with Lauren Ancel Meyers

Crises, Institutional Transitions, and Economic Outcomes with Suresh Naidu

Shifting back to the social sciences, Suresh used case studies to explore how shocks and crises can push institutions out of quasi-stable equilibria. Specific examples included: the establishment of democracy, the Wagner Act, and the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi River.

Crises, Institutional Transitions, and Economic Outcomes with Suresh Naidu

Short Clip: Crises, Institutional Transitions, and Economic Outcomes with Suresh Naidu

Day 2  Saturday, November 14th 

SFI Faculty Panel on the Complexity of Crisis with Mahzarin Banaji, J. Doyne Farmer, Jessica Flack, Ricardo Hausmann, & David Wolpert

In this panel, moderated by David Krakauer, several members of SFI research community, Mahzarin Banaji, J. Doyne Farmer, Jessica Flack, Ricardo Hausmann, and David Wolpert, address crisis questions from an array of practitioners, including Valerie Plame, Esther Dyson, Ian McKinnon, Perry Chen, Toby Shannan, Seamus Blackley, Ashton Eaton, Alan Webber, and Adam Messinger.

SFI Faculty Panel on the Complexity of Crisis

Short Clip: SFI Faculty Panel on the Complexity of Crisis

Presentations on the Complexity of Crisis with Geoffrey West, & David Krakauer

First, David Krakauer puts COVID into a historical context by demonstrating how unusual COVID’s impact has been given the muted impact of similar past crises. David argues that this is a hallmark of the current “complexity crisis” and that 2020’s outlier nature stems from the concomitant failure of multiple coupled complex systems. This perspective shifts the view away from COVID itself, and towards the critical state of the coupled systems that COVID perturbed. David closes by using claustrophobia as a lens for exploring how the complexity of our current crises have led to irrational responses by so many people. In the second half of this session, Geoffrey West used his work on the scaling of human social organizations to consider the spread and transmissions of ideas, innovations, and viruses. He showed why to expect the total number of infections to increase superlinearly with the population of the network. Geoffrey also explored how changes to the relevant network could impact these transition rates.

Presentations on the Complexity of Crisis with Geoffrey West and David Krakauer

Short Clip: Presentations on the Complexity of Crisis with Geoffrey West and David Krakauer

 

Participating Speakers:

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