Conference: Silent Transformations

Date: 7 – 9 March 2016

Venue: Nanyang Executive Centre, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Address: 60 Nanyang View, Singapore 639673

 

Synopsis

The fifth Para Limes complexity conference is about Silent Transformations. Silent transformations refer to processes that take place over long time spans, and that go mostly unnoticed until its effects become visible.

An uncountable number of such processes has been shaping and are shaping our universe, our world and our lives. Some of them we have recognized and are studying, like evolution, growing older or climate change. Others we are starting to recognize, like computation changing science, or IT transforming our lives. And still others we have no idea about. Some transformations have an almost timeless character and have nothing to do with humanity and its actions or concerns, like the unfolding of the universe or evolution. Others have a much shorter time line and are very much associated with human actions and concerns, like traffic becoming autonomous, or growing older. Still others are associated with human actions that fingerprint natural processes like climate change, environmental evolution and extinctions.

Once visible, the effects of silent transformations are often looked at as isolated phenomena, rather than as emerging properties of complex systems that undergo continuous change. Silent transformations somehow seems to capture an essential feature of complexity as well as the intuitive sense that science needs to find ways to recognize and understand these processes in order to be able to deal with the big problems our world is facing.

The annual complexity conference has become widely recognized as unique in South East Asia. In it some of the best scientists and thinkers in the area of complexity share their views with you. All twelve speakers in this conference are uniquely qualified to address silent transformations. To hear them share their insights and partake in their discussions will be a great experience for all participants to the conference.

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

We warmly invite you to actively take part in it.

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1 François Jullien inspired this theme with his book The Silent Transformations (2011), in which he compares Western and Eastern ways of thinking about time and the process of change.

2 The earlier conferences were: “More is Different” (2012), “A Crude Look at the Whole” (2013), “Hidden Connections” (2014), and “Emerging patterns” (2014). The first three conferences were organized by NTU’s complexity program, the predecessor of Para Limes. Para Limes alludes to a world beyond boundaries.

 

[Programme] [Photo Gallery]

 

Videos & Presentation Slides

Welcome remarks by Jan W. Vasbinder
Director, Para Limes, Nanyang Technological University

 

Opening address by Bertil Andersson
President, Nanyang Technological University

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Chair: Huang Zhilian
Interdisciplinary Graduate School, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Douglas Robertson
Fellow Emeritus at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and Department of Geological Sciences (retired), University of Colorado Boulder
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Bo An
School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Gideon Rosenblatt
Writer at The Vital Edge
Biography & Abstract │ Presentation

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Chair: Neil Huynh
Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), A*STAR
Biography

Speaker: Gregory Chaitin
Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and an Honorary Professor at the University of Buenos Aires
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Zheng Jie
School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Tom Kirkwood
Professor at the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and Copenhagen University Centre for Healthy Ageing
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Vivek Sheraton M.
Interdisciplinary Graduate School, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Eörs Szathmáry
Director, Parmenides Center for the Conceptual Foundations of Science in Munich and Professor in Biological Institute, Eötvös University Budapest
Biography & AbstractPresentation


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Chair: Jonathan Sim
College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Georges Halpern
Honorary Professor, Department of Applied Biology & Chemical Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Bobby Cheon
School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Helena Gao
Director of Bilingual Development Lab, Division of Chinese, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Siran Zhan
Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: William Laurance
Distinguished Research Professor at James Cook University in Cairns
Biography & Abstract


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Chair: Goh Woon Peng
Interdisciplinary Graduate School, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Geoffrey West
Distinguished Professor and Past President, Santa Fe Institute
Biography & Abstract │ Presentation

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Chair: Yong Ee Hou
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Krishna Savani
Assistant Professor, Division of Strategy, Management and Organisation, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University
Biography & Abstract

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Chair: Quek Wei Liang
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: Tone Bjordam
Artist
Biography & AbstractPresentation

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Chair: Darrell Tay
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University
Biography

Speaker: J. Stephen Lansing
Co-Director of Complexity Institute and Professor in the Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University
Biography & Abstract

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Closing remarks by Jan W. Vasbinder
Director, Para Limes, Nanyang Technological University