New England Complex Systems Institute
238 Main Street Suite 319, Cambridge, MA 02142
Phone: 617-547-4100 Fax: 617-661-7711
An archive of selected NECSI-affiliated seminars on various topics:
In an informal seminar with staff of the international food assistance organization, Yaneer Bar-Yam presents an overview of complex systems principles and NECSI research on food prices, ethnic violence, social unrest, and spatial sentiment patterns.
World Food Programme presentation, recorded on September 23, 2013
Panel discussion on the importance of trade, impediments to trade, and how trade can advance the development agenda, chaired by The Honorable Ann M. Veneman, former executive director, UNICEF; former secretary, US Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam, president, NECSI
Dr. Shadrack Ralekeno Moephuli, president and CEO, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa
Mr. David C. Nelson, global strategist, Rabobank International
Mr. Michael Smart, vice president, Rock Creek Global Advisors LLC
Chicago Council Global Food Security Symposium Discussion, recorded on May 21, 2013
How can we manage the financial crisis? How do civil unrest, religion, and rumors spread, and how is that related to epidemics and earthquakes? Can human behavior and societal systems be studied in the same way as biological systems and complex man-made systems?
In this webinar, MIT visiting professor and NECSI faculty member Dr. Dan Braha will demonstrate how the field of complexity research provides clues to these intriguing questions. He will focus on why and how complex socio-economic systems evolve and why these large scale engineering systems fail and offer guidelines that can be applied across industries and organizations around the world.
Dr. Braha's webinar is part of the MIT System Design and Management Program
Systems Thinking Webinar Series, which is designed to disseminate information on
how to employ systems thinking to address engineering, management, and
socio-political components of complex challenges.
Recorded on February 11, 2013.
Only 15 years ago, complex systems science had to justify its existence. Today it is taking the world by storm. Networks, big data, cascading crises, extreme events, the word "systems," and many other ideas are widely accepted and the basis for new advances and increasing the scope of science.
What is this movement about, what changes are in store, and what are the opportunities for engagement?
This video was recorded in two parts.
NECSI Online Seminar, recorded Monday, December 17, 2012
part I: 4m, part II: 1h30m
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which has caused extensive loss of life and up to $50B in property damage, Yaneer Bar-Yam discusses in a NECSI Online Briefing how lessons from Sandy, and from Hurricane Katrina before that, can help cities, states, and the nation better prepare for large-scale crises. The work described was done in collaboration with Paul Seguin, Yavni Bar-Yam, Vedant Misra, and Dion Harmon.Click here to see video:
NECSI Online Seminar, recorded Thursday, November 15, 2012
Food price spikes in 2007-2008 and 2010-2011 triggered food riots across the world - including the Arab Spring. NECSI quantified the heightened propensity for violence, unrest and revolution during times of high food prices. NECSI predicted another price bubble and corresponding surge in violence by the end of this year, but the worst U.S. drought in half a century has accelerated this process. Yaneer Bar-Yam presents NECSI's findings linking high food prices and unrest, and outline the significant causes of a decade-long price run-up: excessive financial speculation and the large-scale conversion of corn to ethanol. The work described was done in collaboration with Marco Lagi, Karla Z. Bertrand, Yavni Bar-Yam, Dominic K. Albino, and Greg Lindsay.Click here to see video:
NECSI Online Seminar, recorded Monday, October 29, 2012
Presenting a few perspectives on the current trends in education from the perspective of a complex systems scientist. Among the likely topics: centrally prescribed metrics and standardized testing, charter schools, and innovations in mathematics education. Discussion based on analysis of complexity and scale, the substructure of neural cognition, and other relevant complex systems insights.
Kaput Center Seminar at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth,
recorded Wednesday, March 14, 2012
At the dawn of Western philosophy and science, some 2,700 years ago, Heraclitus declared, "The world bubbles forth." There is, in this fragment of thought, a natural magic, a creativity beyond the entailing laws of modern physics. Heraclitus was right about the evolution of the biosphere and human life. We live beyond entailing law in a natural magic we co-create. This talk was developed in collaboration with Giuseppe Longo.
NECSI and MIT/ESD Seminar recorded on Wednesday October 19, 2011
This talk addresses common misconceptions about the predictability of high dimensional complex systems, from weather to economic markets and social systems, using specific quantitative approaches that are able to predict human collective behaviors. It also considers the possibility of developing early warning signs for crises in a wide range of natural and engineered systems. There are important implications for the future of science, and the responsibility of science for society. Audience questions about both practical (policy) and philosophical aspects of these issues (free will) are discussed.
NECSI and MIT/ESD Seminar recorded on Friday, April 8, 2011