(L-R) University of the Witwatersrand and Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, the inaugural locations for the Complexity Global School for Emerging Political Economies. (image: Wits; IITB)

Applications for the first Complexity Global School (CGS) for Emerging Political Economies are now open. CGS seeks applications from graduate students and early-career scholars, as well as change-makers in civil society and industry, based in South Asia and Africa. All accepted participants will receive full scholarships, and travel stipends where applicable.

The inaugural 12-day intensive program is a collaboration between the Santa Fe Institute (USA), Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India), and University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), and will run December 3–15, 2023, concurrently in both India and South Africa. South Asian applicants will be based at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and African applicants at the University of the Witwatersrand’s Rural Facility. Students at each location will get to interact and collaborate virtually with participants in the parallel location. Small online discussions will allow participants quality access to all instructors regardless of location. Powered by academic communities that are intellectually, geographically, and disciplinarily diverse, this mix of thinkers is designed to enhance the epistemic quality of scholarly inquiry. 

"IIT Bombay aims to be a thought leader in helping address the urgent needs facing both India and the planet. Critical to this enterprise is forging new approaches to political economy. The New Political Economy Initiative (NPEI) at IIT Bombay is leading this challenge,” says Anush Kapadia, Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at IIT Bombay and Associate Faculty in the Centre for Policy Studies, IITB. “Working in four main research clusters, the NPEI seeks to build up structural approaches to studying the complex division of labor that is the economy. As such, the NPEI forms part of a broader effort in IIT Bombay's rapid expansion into areas of vital interdisciplinary research across several fronts." 

“CGS offers a fantastic opportunity for curious and engaged thinkers to explore innovative solutions to complex problems,” says David Francis, Deputy Director at the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at University of the Witwatersrand. He adds that the African CGS participants “will be based at the Wits Rural Campus, allowing students to immerse themselves in the program in a beautiful setting on South Africa’s lowveld. The instructors are top faculty members from SFI and Wits University, as well as partner institutions around the world.”

Almost all of the CGS faculty — which includes experts such as Jenna Bednar, Simon DeDeo, David Feldman, Mirta Galesic, Chris Kempes, David Krakauer, Henrik Olsson, Scott Page, Eleanor Power, and Geoffrey West — will be onsite at either of the two locations. CGS will focus on the latest complex methods, models, and frameworks in thinking about economics and governance. Fiercely epistemological, CGS will provide an array of rigorous tools for analyzing complex phenomena in the social, economic, and political spheres.

“SFI’s Emergent Political Economies Program seeks to reimagine the core assumptions of economic, political, and social life, but these domains are increasingly dominated by complex global problems. Complexity Global School will offer the SFI community a unique opportunity to work with leading faculty and students from around the world. In addition to disseminating complexity insights more broadly, CGS is a great opportunity for SFI to develop a more global perspective,” says Will Tracy, SFI’s Vice President for Applied Complexity. 

Applications will close on August 20, 2023. Visit santafe.edu to apply