Emergent Engineering considers the challenges and opportunities that arise when attempting engineering projects in systems with adaptive agents. A fuller exposition of these idea can be found in this recent chapter by David Krakauer, and this recent Aeon article by Jessica Flack and Melanie Mitchell.
There is an important role for SFI’s practitioner community in the continued development of this area of research. Toward that end, ACtioN is hosting a series of discussions aimed at exploring the application of emergent engineering, and learning from naturally occurring social experiments. The first discussion, which took place on September 24, broadly surveyed this area. This longer follow-up discussion session will use emergent engineering as a lens to examine organizational change attempts that produced unexpected, unplanned, or ill-understood outcomes.
Participating Researchers Include:
David Krakauer is the president and William H Miller Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. He works on the evolution of intelligence and stupidity on Earth. He is the founder of the InterPlanetary Project at SFI and the publisher/editor-in-chief of the SFI Press. His most recent book is an edited volume, Worlds Hidden in Plain Sight.
Anjali Bhatt is interested in how cultural diversity is generated or constrained in human organizational settings. Her current research investigates how cultural diversity is influenced by demographic flow across organizational boundaries, such as worker mobility or post-merger integration. To understand these processes, Anjali bridges sociological research with models from evolutionary biology and analyses from computational linguistics. By understanding the mechanisms underlying cultural diversity and change in organizations, she hopes to provide insights into the role of corporations in building diverse and inclusive communities and enabling cultural change around societal issues like sexual harassment and climate change.
Anjali completed her Ph.D in organizational behavior from Stanford Graduate School of Business and her A.B. in chemistry & physics from Harvard College. She has spent several years working as a social impact consultant.