Michael Richey

From Santa Fe Institute Events Wiki

Hi everyone,

My name is Michael Richey and I live in Washington State. I am a PhD student with ESC Lille, School of Management focusing on Strategy, Programme & Project Management, my research topic is Organizations and Innovation: Understanding internal and external dynamics of networks at stake using a Complex Adaptive Systems perspective. I am also a Boeing Technical Fellow. My focus at work is on corporate engineering education, knowledge management and workforce development. My responsibilities include providing business leadership for 787 engineering, technical and professional educational programs. This includes topics in advanced materials such as composites including nanomaterials and Product Lifecycle Management methods. I also lead cross-organizational teams for academic, government and industry, developing educational undergraduate and graduate programs leveraging system dynamic modeling. The educational programs include research on human learning that draws on neurobiological, cognitive, developmental and socio-cultural theories and their related methodologies to advance knowledge of learning, including its supportive contexts and transformative technologies and learning theories into academic and industrial settings.

My SFI research questions include: (Miller & Page, 2007)

Can one construct a general theory of social organizations that is quantitative and predictive? Are there “universal” scaling laws that reveal underlying principles?• Are there average idealized social organizations? Did they evolve under “natural selection” in a “free market” environment via competition? What is the nature of their hierarchies and generic network structure? Are there universal classes of networks? Is there an optimal maximum (or minimum) size? How robust is this heterogeneous social system? What is the capacity for dynamic adaptation? What policies and procedures enable adaptation, how do they propagate through the social network? What are the effects of internal – external policy decisions, technology and global pressures to change? How do these decisions support the goal oriented behaviors of social agents? (Contagion phenomena) What computational models can we employ to better understand an innovation culture, as a complex adaptive system? What are the commonalities among adaptive agents (leadership, and extended global workforce)? Can we distill these behaviors into prototypical adaptive behaviors; can we leverage this insight to shift lifelong learning strategies? Can we identify the level of sophistication and enabling conditions? Social Niche Construction: the new business model fundamentally altered the internal agent behavior through exposure to global external agents and cultures. Can we model this new operational mode and understand how to leverage the combined intellectual capital generated from this diverse perspective? Social worlds: This new model presents an opportunity to shape – influence global behaviors by shifting the balance of local and regional control. How is this accomplished by agents within this global environment? How does this decentralized – centralized balance occur, how does this impact agent behavior i.e., heuristic business modeling for the benefit of the collective system goals? Social agents receive or acquire knowledge; the information is leveraged against a schema, processed and acted on. Within the social network, how do agents access information, what is the level of fidelity, and how do they direct their acts toward optimizing the solution space? How can societies evaluate the tangible and intangible returns from investments in innovation and global business and economic modeling, and to predict the likely returns from future investments within tolerable margins of error and with attention to the full spectrum of potential consequences? How do learning communities attempt to capitalize on the potential synergy between diverse groups of people to address multiple, diverse aims. A good example of this phenomenon is the learning cities initiative (West 2002, Yarnit 2000) which seeks to build city wide learning communities which both improve citizen learning and economic regeneration.

I hope to gain a broader understanding on complexity and complex adaptive systems, including computational modeling, social emergence, as related to sustainability, innovation and scale, the life and flow of information through social networks, innovation disruptions through user generated content, societies as complex systems, leadership and ethics relation to complex systems, singularities, and what causes the collapse of complex societies.

Re: Possible projects in mind for the CSSS.

SFI and Boeing have partnered on a research project that seeks to understand the contexts, structures and processes of social adaptive systems and innovation. We have funded research focused on understanding the global business model from an innovation and complex adaptive system perspective. The discovery phase (June 18th thru September 25th) will leverage the SFI Course graining approach to define the boundaries and primary research goals. Based on the knowledge gathered within this “Discovery” phase, we hope to create a better understanding of the social system and dynamic models and specific methods of enquiry. If there is student’s interest in exploring alignment of the SFI-Boeing research objectives to the CSSS projects, I would appreciate the opportunity to explore.

I look forward to meeting you all!