This is a fascinating thinkpiece from four leading thinkers at the Boston Consulting Group, Martin Reeves, Ron Nicol, Thijs Venema and Georg Wittenburg. As well as discussing the power of evolutionary approaches in business, it showcases BCG’s work with agent-based modelling to strengthen strategic thinking (about which more on this blog soon). Much of relevance […]

Physics

A wonderfully written piece in today’s FT Magazine by Stephen Foley, on the changing role of physicists in financial markets. A short extract below, and the full article is here (sign up may be required but is free for a certain number of articles). ‘…complex systems are not systematically predictable. They’re only predictable in some regimes…’ The […]

BE

Behavioural economics is not (a) about controlling behaviour (b) conservative or liberal (c) about irrationality. So what exactly is it? People are complex; they defy easy summary. Like Walt Whitman, we all contain multitudes. As a discipline, economics has been successful in part because it has ignored this complexity. Instead it has focused on explaining the institutions […]

shutdown

This is the editorial from this weeks’ New Scientist, which looks at complex systems approaches in the context of the US shutdown. I especially like the line towards the end: ‘Few politicians are familiar with this emerging science, and many will be constitutionally disinclined to embrace it.’ If history really is, in the famous dictum, […]

Got ethics?  Vintage wood type.

This week a breaking story in the UK focused on how unemployed jobseekers are being forced to complete bogus psychometric tests designed by the government’s Behavioural Insights Team (commonly known as the “nudge” unit). The story raises important issues for ethical experimentation which are very pertinent for aid efforts. The Guardian reported the story as follows: […]

AidEx

The team behind the Atlas of Economic Complexity (see my post on this here) have come up with a fascinating network-based approach for analysing the global aid system. As they put it: International development is a complex global goal that faces massive coordination barriers. The difference in income between rich and poor has expanded over […]