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 […]

HF2

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” ~ Archilochus In 2005, Philip Tetlock published a widely acclaimed book, “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?”, which presented the findings of a study of a diverse group almost 300 individuals, examining their decision-making processes over a number […]

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 […]

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 […]

This is a guest post by David Hales, a fellow associate of the new complexity think-tank, Synthesis. David specialises in computational social science and here he provides a thought-provoking response to the rise in big data, and some of the more outlandish claims made about it. For a good example of the latter, see Chris […]