Understanding and managing complex systems

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) together with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) organised a symposium concerning fundamentals and applications of complexity science.

How can we manage the financial crisis? How do infection diseases spread or do languages develop? What can we learn from social networks? Surprisingly evolutionary dynamics of cancer and the emergence of human culture can be described with similar mathematical theories. On the other hand, can phenomena such as human behaviour and societal systems be approached the same as phenomena like biological systems and complex man-made systems? What are essential messages and methods developed from complexity science? Internationally recognized experts in the field of complexity research will introduce several topics and current state of the art.


Evolving cooperation, by Martin Nowak (evolutionary dynamics), Harvard University

Crises in the brain. What can we learn from modern network theory?, by Kees Stam (neurophysiology), VU University Amsterdam

Physical Complexity in Socio-Economic Systems, by Dan Braha (innovation, organisation and complexity), University of Massachusetts

Complexity in Cities: Are Cities Becoming More and More Complex?, by Michael Batty, (physical geography), Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London

Poster Pitches

Host-pathogen co-evolution from an immuno-epidemiological perspective, by Rob J. de Boer, Utrecht University

Identification of synaptic gene networks in complex brain disorders using a Bayesian framework, by Niels Cornelisse, VU University Amsterdam

Coupling of self-assembly and metabolism in protocells, by Wouter Hendriksen, Technische Universiteit Delft

Food for thought and thought for food: the local-global entanglement of the Slow Food movement, by Arnoud Lagendijk, Radboud University Nijmegen

Understanding financial instability through complex systems, by Daan in 't Veld, University of Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance

Critical transitions and early-warning signals in spatial ecosystems, by Koen Siteur, Utrecht University

Complex dynamic arrest, by Bernard Nienhuis, Institute of Physics, University of Amsterdam

Plenary discussion

Plenary discussion led by Pieter Hooimeijer, Utrecht University