Innovation: A Santa Fe Institute Perspective- Speakers

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Innovation: A Santa Fe Institute Perspective

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  • W. Brian Arthur, External Professor, SFI, IBM Faculty Fellow, and Visiting Researcher in the Intelligent Systems Lab at PARC (formerly Xerox Parc)

From 1983 to 1996, Brian was Morrison Professor of Economics and Population Studies at Stanford University. He holds a Ph.D. from Berkeley in Operations Research, and has other degrees in economics, engineering and mathematics. Brian pioneered the modern study of positive feedbacks or increasing returns in the economy--in particular their role in magnifying small, random events in the economy. This work has gone on to become the basis of our understanding of the high-tech economy. He has recently published a new book: The Nature of Technology: What it Is and How it Evolves, "an elegant and powerful theory of technology's origins and evolution." He is the recipient of the Schumpeter Prize in economics, the Lagrange Prize in complexity science, and two honorary doctorates.

  • Doug Erwin, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and Former Chair of Faculty, SFI

Doug's research involves a variety of aspects of the history of life and evolution, including ecological and developmental aspects of the origin of animals, the causes and consequences of the great end-Permian mass extinction some 252 million years ago, and the evolutionary history of really old snails. His latest project is a book on evolutionary innovation through the history of life, which will also explore the similarities and differences between economic and biological innovation.