Date: 27 – 29 February 2012

Venue: Nanyang Executive Centre, Nanyang Technological University

Address: 60 Nanyang View, Singapore 639673

 

Synopsis

The conference More is Different is about complexity.

“The 21st century,” physicist Stephen Hawking has said, “will be the century of complexity.” Likewise, the physicist Heinz Pagels has said that “the nations and people who master the new sciences of complexity will become the economic, cultural, and political superpowers of the 21st century.”

Complexity is a movement in the sciences that greatly influences thoughts about the dynamics of our world. Instead of looking at objects of study top-down in a reductionist manner as has been done for four centuries, complexity science seeks to look at its objects of study from the bottom up, seeing them as systems of interacting elements that form, change, and evolve over time. Complexity therefore is not so much a subject as a way of looking at systems.

Complexity science is exciting. The knowledge it can deliver is crucial to coping with the grand challenges confronting humanity, such as hunger, energy, water, health, climate, security, sustainability, innovation, and the impact of technology.

Complexity science is inherently interdisciplinary. It gets its problems from the real non-disciplinary world and its energy and ideas from all fields of science, at the same time affecting each.

NTU started its complexity program in August 2011.

The conference More is Different marks the formal inauguration of a program.

The conference brings together twelve speakers the like of whom will not likely get together again. They are the founders and leaders of the field. To hear them share their insights in complexity and partake in their discussions will be a once in a lifetime experience for all participants to the conference.

The speakers cover a wide spectrum of areas, such as the evolution of language, the dynamics of the surface of the earth, sustainability, the evolution of technology, governance and the brain. They will show the enormous width of the field and indicate areas where our present insights may already have a serious impact on our actions, be it in government, in engineering or in science.

The setting of the conference is informal. After each of the talks there will be ample time for the audience and the speakers to discuss and meet.

It is NTU’s ambition to become the Asian hub in the global network of scientific institutes that focus on complexity science through genuine interdisciplinary collaboration.

The conference More is Different presents a major first step in realizing that ambition.
We warmly invite you to actively take part in it.

 

[Programme]

 

Videos & Presentation Slides

Welcome and opening address by Jan W. Vasbinder (Director, Complexity Program, Nanyang Technological University)
and Bertil Andersson (President, Nanyang Technological University)


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Chair: Jan W. Vasbinder
Complexity Program, Nanyang Technological University

Speaker: Geoffrey West
Distinguished Professor and Past President, Santa Fe Institute
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Cheung Sai Hung (Joseph)
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Sander van der Leeuw
Dean, School of Sustainability and Co-Director Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative, Arizona State University
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Michael Harold Lees
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Albert-László Barabási
Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Complex Network Research, Northeastern University
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Gaoxi (Kevin) Xiao
Associate Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Emma Hill
Nanyang Assistant Professor & NRF Research Fellow, Earth Observatory of Singapore
Biography & Abstract

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Chair: Cheong Siew Ann
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Atsushi Iriki
Senior Team Leader, RIKEN Brain Science Institute
Biography & Abstract

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Chair: Justin Dauwels
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Stan Gielen
Professor of Biophysics and Dean, Faculty of Science, Radboud University Nijmegen
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Lina Jansson
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: J. Steve Lansing
Professor of Anthropology and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona & External Professor, Santa Fe Institute
Biography & Abstract 

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Chair: Aaron Maniam
Director, Institute of Policy Development

Speaker: Sydney Brenner
Senior Distinguished Fellow, Crick-Jacobs Center, Brenner Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Biography & Abstract 

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Chair: Jan W. Vasbinder
Complexity Program, Nanyang Technological University

Speaker: Luis M. A. Bettencourt
Professor, Santa Fe Institute
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Rohan Williams
Deputy Cluster Leader, Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
Biography

Speaker: Yehuda Cohen
Director, Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering
Biography Presentation

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Chair: Markus Karner
Adjunct Professor, Singapore Management University
Biography

Speaker: W. Brian Arthur
External Professor, Santa Fe Institute
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Chew Lock Yue
Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Will Steffen
Executive Director, Climate Change Institute, Australian National University
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Closing remarks by Jan W. Vasbinder
Director, Complexity Program, Nanyang Technological University