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Complexity science and 21st century issues

A two day symposium at LSE on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 March

Twenty years ago the Santa Fe Institute in the USA began researching complexity theory - the idea of organisations as evolving organisms.

This month a two day symposium in London, co-sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute, Exystence, the European Commission and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), celebrates that 20th anniversary at the SFI. The symposium also recognises the work being done by European scientists as part of the European Complex Systems Network of Excellence known as 'Exystence', funded by the Future Emerging Technologies section of the European Commission, and academics based in the Complexity Research Programme at LSE.

The symposium will look at new directions in 'complex evolving systems'. Key elements include creating enabling environments that help new ideas emerge and evolve, exploring the space of possibilities for continuous innovation, the self-organisation of staff, and stressing communication and feedback through dialogue.

Speakers at the March symposium will include:

  • Lord Robert May, Royal Society, giving the opening lecture
  • Dr Charles F Sabel, Professor of Law and Social Science, Columbia Law School, on Efficiency and governance in the age of search networks
  • Professor W Brian Arthur, Science Board member, Santa Fe Institute, on Technology and complexity
  • Dr Bryan D Gross, president and chief executive officer, MPSI Systems Inc. on Complexity and consumer behaviour
  • Dr Robert A Eisenstein president, Santa Fe Institute, on Future directions in complexity science at the Santa Fe Institute
  • John S Leggate, CBE, CIO, and group vice president, British Petroleum
  • Dr Luc Steels, Sony Labs, Paris, on Robot cultures and emergent languages
  • Eric Beinhocker, senior advisor, McKinsey & Company, London, SFI Business Network, on Where does wealth come from? A complexity economics perspective

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly, director of the LSE Complexity Research Programme, said: 'We are delighted to co-host this symposium with Santa Fe and the European Commission. It will bring together people from business, government and the public sector to think about what organisations can learn from complexity theory to facilitate innovation and create long term sustainability and wealth.'

To register for the conferences please see www.lse.ac.uk/complexity| or contact: Slavica Savic, tel: 020 7955 6308, email: S.Savic@lse.ac.uk|

Ends

Contact Eve Mitleton-Kelly at E.Mitleton-Kelly@lse.ac.uk| or on 020 7635 5553.
Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7582 or j.a.higgin@lse.ac.uk|

Notes

Professor Eve Mitleton-Kelly edited Complex Systems and Evolutionary Perspectives of Organisations: the applications of complexity theory to organisations, published by Elsevier (October 2003). For more information on the LSE's Complexity Research Programme, see www.lse.ac.uk/complexity|

LSE has an institutional alliance with Columbia University.

The Santa Fe Institute is a private, non profit, multidisciplinary research centre, see http://www.santafe.edu|

For more on Exystence, the European Complex Systems Network or Excellence, see www.complexityscience.org|

8 March 2004

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