SFI co-founder Murray Gell-Mann once quipped “Think how hard physics would be if particles could think.” The same could be said of engineering — designing a building, machine, or watch would be much harder if the components could autonomously adapt. However, this is precisely what we face when tackling many of humanity's greatest challenges. Fighting inequality, combating climate change, preventing hyper-inflation, containing a pandemic, and many more challenges, all motivate us to engineer outcomes in systems that are animated by adaptive agents. As an area of study, Emergent Engineering seeks to provide rigor to the models we use to approach these challenges.
In November 2022, our Annual Applied Complexity Network and Board of Trustees Symposium will continue to build on a series of prior ACtioN meetings and ongoing SFI research to take a broad survey of Emergent Engineering.