04.05.2011 - 06.05.2011
ƒet11: The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition. Budapest, 4-6 May 2011
The European Future Technologies Conference and Exhibition 2011 is the second part of a unique European forum on visionary, high-risk and long-term research in information science and technology. The event, which features an exceptionally broad range of scientific fields, will sow the seeds for new ideas across disciplines that will reshape the future.
What are the achievements and possibilities for Agent Based Modeling, as applied in the context of social sciences, economics and finance, and what are its weak points?
Leading exponents in the field will lead a theoretical discussion while the demands and expectations of practitioners and decision makers will be highlighted by a senior European official.
Steven Bishop chaired the presentation of the FuturICT flagship project which goal is to create a large-scale process of knowledge integration to understand complex, global interactive systems with a focus on sustainability and resilience. FuturICT aims to build a Knowledge Accelerator focused on a sophisticate simulation, visualization and participation platform called the Living Earth Platform. Speakers of the session included Dirk Helbing (ETH-Zurich), David Price (UCL, UK), Roland Siegwart (ETH-Zurich, Switzerland), Paul Lukowicz (Univ. of Passau, Germany), Rosaria Conte (Inst. Cognitive Sci. & Tech, Rome, Italy) and Lászlo Barabási (Univ. Notre Dame, Indiana, USA). Due to the interest generated by this flagship initiative, a second open session was devoted to answer questions in a open round fashion.
The Spanish node for this project has already been constituted following a meeting in Barcelona: www.futurict.es
Our society is innovation dependent. This dependence is tied to and supported by a particular way of viewing the socio-technological world, which emerged over the last thirty years, in a context characterized by Cold War triumphalism, the ICT revolution, globalization and increasing competition from developing economies in Asia and Latin America. According to this view, the principal, indeed overriding, policy aim for local, regional and national government is sustained economic growth, and the engine of growth is innovation. The costs of not innovating – or of subordinating innovation to other values, from cultural enrichment to social justice – is prohibitively high: competition at the level of firms and of national economies doom dawdlers to failure and descent into economic decline and social chaos.
But there is another side to innovation dependence. Recently, our society has encountered some serious difficulties: the financial crisis, the specter of global environmental change and resource exhaustion, and increasing resistance from individuals, groups and societies that reject the belief and values on which it is based. These problems are anything but exogenous. Their roots lie in the dynamics of the very innovation processes that our society is dedicated to promote. Cascades of innovation take society on rides in directions that nobody intended beforehand and that are very hard to adjust en route. These cascades combine force with a lack of control in a way that is unsettling even when the effects seem mostly positive, but can be disastrous when their destructive potentials dominate. For our future as a species, and that of our society, a much better insight into the relationship between innovation, their unintended consequences and sustainability is therefore essential.
FET recently initiated the Coordination Action INSITE to form a community of researchers and policy-makers to consolidate a deeper understanding of the dynamics of innovation cascades and explore the implications of this understanding for the design of innovation policy processes that monitor these cascades and, to the extent possible, guide them in socially benign directions. In this session, we will present the core ideas behind INSITE. Next, we will discuss some proposals for which kinds of models, used in which ways, can help policy makers as they confront inherently unpredictable innovation cascades. Finally, we will explore ways in which the emerging world of social innovation can help to put the "social" back into the European Union's conception of a "social market economy", and present some ideas about how to develop ICT to facilitate the formation of networks of social innovators, to monitor and evalute the results of the experiment these networks carry out, and to promote the scaling up of successful experiments.
David Lane (Economics, University of Modena and European Center for Living Technology) and Sander van der Leeuw (School of Sustainability, Arizona State University and Santa Fe Institute) will present the core ideas of INSITE on Innovation and Sustainability. Claes Andersson (Complex Systems, Chalmers Institute of Technology) will lead the discussion on modeling pragmatics for innovation policy. Filippo Addarii (Executive Director, Euclid Network) and Alberto Massini-Zannetti (TheHub, London and Milano) will lead the discussion on social innovation.
The Second Global Systems Science Conference will take place on June 10–12th, 2013 in Brussels.
The 2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance “Allocation and Access in the Anthropocene” will be held on 1st–3rd July 2014 at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.