Earth 2100: Scenarios of Complex Futures

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Frankenstein's creature. Engraving by W. Chevalier after Th. von Holst, 1831. Featured as frontispiece to the 1831 edition of Shelley’s novel.

SFI ACtioN Applied Topical Meeting

May 22, 2019
Boston, MA

There has never been a time when an understanding of the scope and limits of individual and collective adaptation has been more important. Rapid changes in technology, society, urbanization, the climate, the economy, and education, are all challenging the established order and the effectiveness of our current models and expertise.

In a new annual workshop to be held in late spring in Boston — Earth 2100 — the Santa Fe Institute, working with its resident and Boston-area faculty and selective local experts, will investigate the range of ways in which the new sciences of complexity might help us better understand the world in which we live and the directions in which the world is evolving.

Some of the key issues that we seek to explore include:

  1. Managing rates of change and developing new mechanisms for dealing with uncertainty over both short and long time scales.

  2. Exploring the operating principles of hybrid societies–machine/human interactions.

  3. Considering the future of large scale collaborations in a densely connected human population.

  4. Speculating about possible Earth futures, including those beyond our atmosphere, into the ocean and into near-Earth orbit.

The meeting will span two days: day one focusing on the core complexity content and open only to invited scholars, and day two broadening the discussions to include ACtioN members.