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In his new book Making Sense of Chaos Doyne Farmer presents a manifesto for how to do economics better. He describes how rebellious economists and other scientists are revolutionising our ability to predict the economy, developing new approaches to answer questions such as: What causes financial turbulence? Why do markets malfunction, and can we make them work better? Is dealing with climate change going to be costly and slow?

These issues are all rooted in the economy, yet mainstream economics has been limited in helping to solve our most pressing problems. By 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.


About the speakers

Prof J Doyne Farmer is an American complex systems scientist and entrepreneur who pioneered many of the fields that define the scientific agenda of our times: chaos, complex systems, artificial life, wearable computing, and more. 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 at the University of Oxford, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He was a founder of Prediction Company, an early quantitative automated trading firm and recently founded Macrocosm, a new company using complexity economics to guide the green energy transition.

Dr Nicola Ranger is Director of the Resilient Planet Finance Lab at the University of Oxford, Executive Director of the Oxford Martin Systemic Resilience Programme and leads the Resilience and Development Group of the Environmental Change Institute. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking of the Oxford Martin School. She brings 20 years' expertise in risk, analytics, economics, finance and fiscal policy as a practitioner and researcher across industry, government, IFIs and academia. She is a Visiting Academic at the Bank of England, a member of the European Commission’s High Level Expect Group on Sustainable Finance in Low and Middle Income Economies and a member of the UK’s Green Technical Advisory Group. Nicola is also co-Chair of the Resilient Planet Data Hub, an international public-private partnership with the UN and Insurance Development Forum providing open data and analytics on climate and nature. Nicola joined Oxford from the World Bank’s Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice.


Please register to attend online or in person by filling in the form at https://app.onlinesurveys.jisc.ac.uk/s/oxford/registration-making-sense-of-chaos

For more information, please email complexity@inet.ox.ac.uk or call 01865 610403.

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