Page of shells from "Cabinet of Natural Curiosities" (c. 1734) by Albertus Seba.
New York City, NY
Topical Meeting

All day

Our campus is closed to the public for this event.

It has been almost 70 years since the British Naval historian, Cyril Northcote Parkinson, posited Parkinson’s Law, which asserts that that the growth in the number of government civil servants was independent of the work they needed to perform. More recent research suggests that regulatory functions scale predictably across many different systems. For example, the number of regulatory genes in bacteria scales superlinearly with the total number of genes. The number of edits on open knowledge platforms, such as Wikipedia, also appear to scale superlinearly with the total number of articles. These findings stand in contrast to social organizations such as federal agencies and universities where the managers appear to scale sublinearly with the total number of employees. How these findings can inform thinking about regulation at the organization, industry, and national levels remains an unanswered question.

Complexity science can also offer insights into the role of regulation in promoting or retarding innovation and growth. Bottom-up search is essential to exploration, but some top-down regulation is often necessary to avoid chaos. There is value in identifying the minimum interventions needed to optimize search and discovery. Unlike most ideologically driven discussions of regulation, this meeting will explore epistemically grounded insights about regulation.

In addressing these issues, this meeting will convene investors, government regulators, organizational leaders, social scientists, and natural scientists.


08:30 AM - 09:00 AMBreakfast
09:00 AM - 09:15 AMWelcome and Introduction
William Tracy
09:15 AM - 10:00 AM20th Century Regulation and Organizational Structure
Richard Langlois
10:00 AM - 11:00 AMDiscussion on Regulating Complex Systems
David Krakauer, Melanie Mitchell, Zeynep Tufekci
11:00 AM - 11:15 AMMorning Break
11:15 AM - 12:00 PMIndustrial Policy, Geopolitical Strategy, and Semiconductors
Chris Miller
12:00 PM - 1:15 PMLunch
1:15 PM - 2:45 PMRegulatory Functions: From Cells to Society
Vicky Chuqiao Yang, Chris Kempes, Sid Redner, Geoffrey West
2:45 PM - 3:15 PMAfternoon Break
3:15 PM - 4:00 PMRegulatory Capture
Bill Gurley
4:00 PM - 4:45 PMTechnology and Regulation
Tim Wu
4:45 PM - 6:15 PMCocktail Reception


Bill GurleyBill GurleyBenchmark & SFI Trustee
Chris KempesChris KempesProfessor at the Santa Fe Institute
David KrakauerDavid KrakauerSFI President and William H. Miller Professor of Complex Systems
Richard LangloisRichard LangloisProfessor of Economics at University of Connecticut, and Author of "The Corporation and the Twentieth Century"
Chris MillerChris MillerAssociate Professor at Tufts University, and Author of "Chip War"
Melanie MitchellMelanie MitchellSFI Professor, Science Board Co-chair & Science Steering Committee
Sid RednerSid RednerProfessor at the Santa Fe Institute
Zeynep TufekciZeynep TufekciProfessor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and NYT Columnist
Geoffrey WestGeoffrey WestPast President, Shannan Distinguished Professor, and Science Steering Committee Member at the Santa Fe Institute
Tim WuTim WuProfessor of Law, Science and Technology at Columbia Law School, and Former Special Assistant to the President for Technology and Competition Policy
Vicky Chuqiao YangVicky Chuqiao YangAssistant Professor in Management of Technological Innovation and System Dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management


Casey CoxCasey CoxDirector of the Applied Complexity Network at the Santa Fe Institute
David KrakauerDavid KrakauerSFI President and William H. Miller Professor of Complex Systems
William TracyWilliam TracyVice President for Applied Complexity, SFI

More SFI Events