Complexity and the Economy

At TEDxZurich last year, physicist and investment manager James B Glattfelder broke down the links between complexity science and global economics ownership networks. Outlining his research on the interconnections among international financial institutions, he explained that complex systems follow two basic principles:

  1. Complexity is the result of simple rules of interaction, and the whole is more than the sum of its parts. 
  2. Every complex system is understood as a network of interactions among nodes and links with a center of dominant nodes and a periphery of less influential notes. 

I mentioned some complexity rules in a post on writing a few months ago. This is information that scientists and designers are relying on more and more. The more we know about complex systems and self-organization, the smarter our decisions about and in them can be.

Ideas relating to finance, economics, politics, society, are very often tainted by people’s personal ideologies. I really hope that this complexity perspective allows for some common ground to be found. It would be really great if it has the power to help end the gridlock created by conflicting ideas, which appears to be paralyzing our globalized world. Reality is so complex, we need to move away from dogma. —James B. Glattfelder


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