CCSE Distinguished Lecture Series - John Casti - The X-Center

3/11/2013

Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises Distinguished Lecture Series - Worlds in Crisis: Complex Systems and the Flow of Human Events - Dr. John L. Casti - The X-Center - Vienna, Austria

  • Lecture 1: Seven Shocks to Shake the World | Monday, March 18; 4:00-5:00 PM
    Discussion of a number of global shocks—economic, geopolitical, technological, environmental, demographic, and financial—that threaten our 21ST-century way of life. We will consider how such shocks might occur, their possible effects, and how we might actually benefit as well as suffer if such shocks take place. In each case we point out the intrinsic system-theoretic aspects of the shock, as preliminary to understanding the question of what can be done and how to mitigate the shock’s negative impact on modern life.
  • Lecture 2: Seven Shocks for Finland: A Case Study |Tuesday, March 19; 4:00-5:00 pm
    Exposition of an exercise carried out in Finland recently, which illustrates how one might approach the question of shocks to a society and how to prepare today for a very uncertain future. This lecture presents several lessons on how researchers can communicate with decision-makers in government and industry to help them understand real-world rather than purely academic problems of pressing concern.
  • Lecture 3: Prosperity on the Edge of Collapse, or Why the Trend is not Your Friend | Friday, March 22; 4:00-5:00 pm
    Presentation of an entirely new paradigm for thinking about human social processes, one that breaks from the classical Newtonian view of the world as being composed of faceless particles being moved about by mysterious forces. Instead of focusing on tools appropriate for such a physics-based Weltanschauung, we suggest that in the human domain tools from dynamical system theory, probability and statistics are incapable of even formulating the questions of principal concern, let alone answering them. As an alternative, this talk presents ideas from complexity science and mass psychology that appear to hold far greater promise. The use of these ideas will be illustrated by examples ranging from the Fukushima meltdown to the “meltdown” of the global financial markets and the Euro zone.

BIO: Dr. Casti received his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Southern California. He worked at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA, and served as a profesor in the USA before becoming one of the first members of the research staff at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Vienna, Austria. He has also been on the faculty of the Technical University of Vienna and the Santa Fe Institute in the USA.

He has published eight technical monographs in the area of system theory and mathematical modeling, as well as 12 volumes of popular science, including Paradigms Lost, Complexification, Would-Be Worlds, The Cambridge Quintet, and Mood Matters. His 2012 book, XEVENTS addresses the role complexity overload plays in the creation of potentially life-changing events such as the crash of the Internet or the outbreak of a global pandemic.

Dr. Casti is currently Director of The X-Center, a prívate research institute in Vienna focusing on the development of tools for anticipation of extreme events in human society.

The Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises (CCSE) focuses its research on four key domains – Healthcare Delivery, Financial Systems, Sustainable Energy, and National Security – from the lens of Complex Systems and Enterprises.
For more information on the CCSE:
www.stevens.edu/ccse

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