Book Talk: 'Making sense of chaos: a better economics for a better world' with Prof Doyne Farmer

Past Event

02 May 2024, 5:00pm - 6:15pm

Oxford Martin School & Online
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Event Recording:

We live in an age of increasing complexity, where accelerating technology and global interconnection hold more promise – and more peril – than any other time in human history.

The fossil fuels that have powered global wealth creation now threaten to destroy the world they helped build. Automation and digitisation promise prosperity for some, unemployment for others. Financial crises fuel growing inequality, polarisation and the retreat of democracy. At heart, all these problems are rooted in the economy, yet the guidance provided by economic models has often failed.

Using big data and ever more powerful computers, we are now able for the first time to apply complex systems science to economic activity, building realistic models of the global economy. The resulting simulations and the emergent behaviour we observe form the cornerstone of the science of complexity economics, allowing us to test ideas and make significantly better economic predictions – to better address the hard problems facing the world.

In this talk Doyne Farmer, author of Making Sense of Chaos: A Better Economics for a Better World presents a manifesto for how to do economics better. He will fuse his profound knowledge and expertise with stories from his life to explain how we can bring a scientific revolution to bear on the economic conundrums facing society.

This is a joint event with INET Oxford.

Farmer Doyne 2020

Professor Doyne Farmer
Director, Complexity Economics programme, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

J. Doyne Farmer is an American complex systems scientist and entrepreneur who was a pioneer in many of the fields that define the scientific agenda of our times: dynamical systems, chaos, complex systems, artificial life, wearable computing, time series analysis, theoretical biology, and the theory of prediction. Currently he is Director of the Complexity Economics programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Baillie Gifford Professor of Complex Systems Science in the school of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, Senior Associate Research Fellow at Christ Church College, Chief Scientist at Macrocosm, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

Previously, he was an Oppenheimer Fellow and the founder of the Complex Systems Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. While a graduate student he led a cooperative calling itself Eudaemonic Enterprises who built the first wearable (and concealed) digital computer and used it in casinos, successfully beating the house. He was a founder of Prediction Company, an early quantitative automated trading firm that was sold to the United Bank of Switzerland in 2006.

His current research is in economics, including agent-based modeling, financial instability and technological progress, and a founder of Macrocosm, a new company using complexity economics to guide the green energy transition.