“Capitalism plus technology, under many conditions, can generate externalities that exceed the political-economic damage of mercantilism — from unemployment to climate change. Adam Smith needs to meet Complexity economics.” — David Krakauer
If the contemporary global economy has made anything clear, it is that the political and theoretical methods and tools that researchers have inherited are insufficient to deal with the emergent patterns, systems, and phenomena that shape global economic life.
Through a five-year research theme on emergent political economies, funded by the Omidyar Network, the Santa Fe Institute is a hub for developing better theoretical frameworks and methods to understand the social, ecological, and material inequalities at the core of the modern economy.
A series of workshops and working groups will explore various aspects of economic complexity, from how technologies develop to urbanization, banking credit cycles and immigration, to how the arts can offer science fresh perspectives.
SFI is one of five research centers focused on the renewal of political and economic thinking in theory and policy. The four fellow centers, all supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, are housed at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Howard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Johns Hopkins University.
Ultimately, SFI’s research network and the significant network of fellow institutions together are poised to generate the kind of thinking and theory that will capture the emergent dynamics of a global economic system that we are only beginning to understand.