Complexity Applied: A one-day inter-disciplinary dialogue

September 23rd 2010, at the Cambridge Judge Business School

Speakers included:

Eric Beinhocker, author of ‘The Origin of Wealth’

Peter Allen, Complex Systems Research Centre, Cranfield School of Management

David Stainforth, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Sandra Chapman, Centre for Fusion, Space and Astrophysics, Warwick


Complexity theory has been embraced by a wide range of disciplines – physics, biology, earth sciences and economics, strategy development, urban planning and climate modelling to name but afew. It developed, through the 20th century, out of early systems thinking, non-equilibrium thermodynamics and evolutionary theory. But is there one theory or many? Are some of these applications more metaphorical than scientific? Is complexity primarily a worldview or a methodology? Can we deepen our knowledge by sharing views across disciplines?


This workshop, sponsored by the Institute of Physics Nonlinear and Complex Physics group, provided a forum to explore the way complexity is understood by different disciplines and provide the opportunity for cross-disciplinary learning and debate.


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