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Tuesday, February 26, 2019 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

WICI Graduate Fellowship Awardees: Research Symposium

Amanda Raffoul: Are we (unintentionally) doing more harm than good? Systems Approaches to the Prevention of Eating-and-Weight-Related Disorders

Kevin Church: The Hidden Geometry of Complex Dynamics and How to Exploit It

Katharine Zywert:  Social-Ecological Systems Change and the Future of Human Health

Monday, October 27, 2008 (all day)

The evolution of economic wealth and innovation

Stuart Kauffman, one of the founders of the field of complex systems, explains the principles that he proposes underlie innovation and economic growth. He illustrates these principles with real-world examples from his experience in industry and academe.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 (all day)

Changing minds about climate change

Paul Thagard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo, addresses how neurocomputational models of explanatory and emotional coherence can explain belief change and resistance. He discusses how feedback loops can influence minds and societies at multiple levels.

Thursday, December 11, 2008 (all day)

Applications of complexity science to healthcare

Professor Brenda Zimmerman of the Schulich School of Business examines how complexity science has changed behaviours, decision making, and design in healthcare practice and public policy in the U.K., U.S.A., and Canada.

Professor Thomas Homer-Dixon of the Balsillie School of International Affairs draws from his research on how societies adapt to complex stress to explore the factors making the world’s problems harder to solve and the factors that impede the delivery of solutions to these problems when and where we need them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 (all day)

Complexity approach to change and transformation

Social innovation alters the basic routines and beliefs of a society, but the durability and scale necessary to generate this momentum requires enough interactive opportunity and action. Professor Frances Westley, director of Social Innovation Generation at the University of Waterloo, discusses how disruptive social innovations can address seemingly intractable social problems such as environmental degradation, and how a society able to consistently generate social innovations can become socially and ecologically resilient.

Professor Matthew Hoffman of the University of Toronto explores the applicability of theories of self-organized criticality to the study of innovation in global governance. He presents both an agent-based model of the evolution of social norms and empirical illustrations of innovations in global governance drawn from work on climate change and multilateral treaty-making.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 (all day)

Symmetries in economic models and their consequences

Professor Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics examines the fundamental Arrow-Debreu model of market equilibrium in neoclassical economics. He asks the basic question always raised by physicists when confronting a new system: What are the system’s symmetries? Addressing this question, he argues that many markets have multiple equilibria. He also explores the application of the principle of gauge invariance to markets — an idea originally introduced by Malaney and Weinstein — and explains some of this principle’s consequences for economic theory.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 (all day)

World and other systems: A challenge to WICI

Speaker: George Francis

For WICI to realize its potential, argues Professor George Francis of environment and resource studies at the University of Waterloo, it should draw upon a cadre of people familiar with different approaches to understanding complex systems, as well as specialists highly accomplished in particular complex phenomena. He briefly summarizes his perspectives derived from years of research and sketches a “consumers’ guide” to world-systems thinking, a well-developed body of scholarship that should be an important part of a WICI repertoire.