image: detail "Caravan of Marco Polo traveling along the Silk Road." Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. c. 14th century
Lensic Performing Arts Center
Community Event
  US Mountain Time
Doyne Farmer, John Geanakoplos

We live in an age of increasing complexity, where accelerating technology and global interconnection hold more promise – and more peril – than any other time in human history. Financial crises, as well as issues around climate change, automation, growing inequality, and polarization are all rooted in the economy, yet standard economic predictions fail us. Using big data and ever more powerful computers, we can, for the first time, apply complex-systems science to economic activity, building realistic models of the global economy. The resulting simulations and the emergent behaviour we observe form the cornerstone of complexity economics. This new science, which grew in part from research conducted at the Santa Fe Institute, will allow us to test ideas and make significantly better economic predictions — and, ultimately, create a better world.

This lecture is a tale of scientific discovery and adventure, an account of how these ideas came about and the people who made them happen. Doyne Farmer fuses his profound knowledge with stories from his life to explain how we are in the early stages of a scientific revolution that could address the economic conundrums facing society.

Doyne Farmer will be signing copies of his new book, also titled Making Sense of Chaos: A Better Economics for a Better World in the Lensic Lobby in advance of this lecture, starting at 6:30. August 6th is the American debut of this book, and so the Santa Fe community will be the first to get their hands on an author-signed copy.

Following this ground-laying lecture, Farmer will be joined by economist John Geanakoplos for further discussion on contemporary economic complexity. 

Doyne Farmer is Director of Complexity Economics at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and is the Baillie Gifford Professor of Complex Systems Science at the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, as well as an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.  His current research is in economics, including financial stability, sustainability, technological change, and economic simulation.  Doyne is Chief Scientist at Macrocosm, his new Oxford spin-out company, which applies complexity economics to problems relating to climate change and the green energy transition. He was a founder of Prediction Company, a quantitative automated trading firm that was sold to the United Bank of Switzerland in 2006. His past research spans complex systems, dynamical systems, time series analysis, and theoretical biology.  He founded the Complex Systems Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and while a graduate student in the 1970s he built the first wearable digital computer, which was successfully used to predict the game of roulette.

John Geanakoplos is an American Economist. He received his B.A. in Mathematics from Yale University in 1975, his M.A. in Mathematics and his Ph.D. in Economics under Kenneth Arrow from Harvard University in 1980. He is currently the Director of the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics. He was elected a fellow of the Econometric Society in 1990 and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999. He was awarded the Samuelson Prize in 1999 (for work on lifetime financial security), and the first Bodossaki Prize in economics in 1994. He directed the economics program at the Santa Fe Institute, where he remains an external professor. He spent terms as visiting professor at MSRI in the University of California, Berkeley, at Churchill College, Cambridge, at the University of Pennsylvania, and at MIT. From 1990-1995 he was a Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income Research at Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc, and now he is a partner at Ellington Capital Management. In 1970 he won the United States Junior Open Chess Championship.

Reserve your free tickets to this event via the Lensic Performing Arts Center's box office. This discussion will also be streamed live via SFI's YouTube channel, and recorded for future viewing.

The 2024 Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture Series is free to attend thanks to generous sponsorship by the McKinnon Family Foundation, with additional support from the Santa Fe Reporter, and the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

SFI Host: 
Caitlin McShea

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