2022 Annual ACtioN & Board of Trustees Symposium
SFI co-founder Murray Gell-Mann once quipped “Think how hard physics would be if particles could think.” The same kind of difficulty confronts societies, economies, polities, institutions, and distributed software technologies. The outstanding 21st century question is how do we understand and guide large-scale collectives? Emergent Engineering is the name we give to this pursuit.
Traditional engineering is relatively simple. Emergent engineering is fiendishly difficult. Imagine how much harder designing a building, machine, or watch would be if their components could autonomously adapt and pursue their own objectives?
We face this challenge when tackling many of humanity's greatest challenges: ideological polarization, systemic poverty, climate change, running global organizations, hyper-inflation, technological takeover, and pandemics. All of these motivate us to engineer outcomes in systems that are collectively based on adaptive agents.
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 applied to the 21st Century’s most challenging problems, which are potentially all variants of a single dilemma.