March 22–23, 2018

Locations: Salesforce West & The Exploratorium, San Francisco, Calif.

This Applied Complexity Short Course was generously sponsored in part by GV      


One of the things cities have that companies don’t is diversity … squeezing out the creative aspect, in the end, leads to extreme vulnerability. 

—Geoffrey West



Diversity is one of the most effective strategies for confronting complexity. From the near-demise of Xerox to NASA’s Challenger disaster, examples abound where conformity — the failure to cultivate a range of perspectives — has brought about fragility or organizational collapse.

In an accessible two-day executive education course, scientists from the leading institute for complexity science sought to teach participants about diversity, complexity, and decision-making with a special focus on how teams can harness diversity to increase their profits. The course focused on providing participants with an understanding of how diversity arises in a variety of complex systems, and how it can be applied in an organizational setting to tame uncertainty and boost innovation.



Day One

Engineering Software Diversity
Stephanie Forrest



Diversity and Complexity in Ecological Systems
Jennifer Dunne



Dynamics of Group Diversity
Mirta Galesic



Day Two

Complexity, Regularity, Diversity and Scale
Geoffrey West



Diversity That Makes Us Creative and Innovative
Hyejin Youn



Algorithms, Diversity, and Bias
Graham Spencer



Diversity: The Design Principle for an Unknown Future
David Krakauer




The Role of Diversity in Information Aggregation & Collective Computation in Nature and Society
Jessica Flack


Leveraging Diversity Bonuses
Scott Page


[These videos have been embargoed pending research still in progress. Members of SFI's Applied Complexity Network can view restricted versions of these videos by logging in with their ACtioN username and password here.]


The Applied Complexity Network (ACtioN) is the application-focused wing of the Santa Fe Institute's broader community of thinkers. ACtioN members includes firms, government agencies, and NGOs. More information about ACtioN, including upcoming meetings, can be found here.