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The HumanCurrent

The Complexity Podcast. Stories, interviews & casual conversations about the systems that shape our world & our work. Drawing inspiration from science, business and everyday life, we explore how understanding complex systems can help us make sense of the world.
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The Complexity Podcast 

Stories, interviews & casual conversations about the systems that shape our world & our work. Drawing inspiration from science, business and everyday life, we explore how understanding complex systems can help us make sense of the world, especially our human systems.

Oct 19, 2018

In this episode, Angie and Haley share four interviews recorded at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. These interviews include: Javier Borondo, Research Scientist and CTO of AGrowingData; Rosa Benito, Physics Professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Victor Dossetti, Research Scientist and Professor at Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla; Roozbeh Daneshvar, Blockchain Software Engineer at IBM. Each of the experiences they share highlight various research, applications, and opportunities in the field of complex system science. (Episode cover image by JK Rofling)

Oct 16, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews theoretical biologist and author, Josh Mitteldorf, at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Mitteldorf talks about the evolutionary process, including gene sharing, cooperation, and natural selection. He also shares what inspired his book, Cracking the Aging Code, and why biology needs holism.

Oct 11, 2018

In this episode, Angie talks with Dr. Loren Demerath at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Dr. Demerath is an author, researcher, theorist of social complexity, and Professor of Sociology at the Centenary College of Louisiana. He discusses the fundamental nature of complex systems and how he applies concepts of complexity science to his research on culture, social interaction, and the emergence of order.

Oct 4, 2018

In this episode, Haley talks with Simon DeDeo at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. DeDeo is an Assistant Professor in Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He talks about his current research, which explores extreme creative people and events throughout history in order to learn where new ideas come from and what people do when they get them. Describing his research as “an alternate account of what it means to be human”, DeDeo explains that we are not infinitely predictable creatures, rather we harness extreme capacity to evolve and create. Professor DeDeo also shares more about his course and research at the Santa Fe Institute.

Sep 27, 2018

In this episode, Angie talks with network science researchers, Brennan Klein and Sarah Shugars, at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Both Klein and Shugars are network science PhD students at Northeastern University, but they share very different stories for why they decided to study network science and how they plan to approach and apply their research. (The image used in this episode cover is ©JK Rofling)

Sep 25, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews Jose Mateos at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Mateos is a physicist and network researcher at the National University of Mexico. He is also on the Steering Committee for the Complex Systems Society, an international scientific community which organizes the annual Conference on Complex Systems (taking place this year from September 23-28 in Thessaloniki, Greece). Mateos talks with Haley about what makes conferences on complex systems so unique and important for solving real-world problems. He also describes his research on mobility within networks where he explores how things, like viruses and rumors, propagate within social networks.

Sep 20, 2018

In this episode, Angie talks with Irene Bosch and Elena Naumova at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Irene Bosch is a research scientist at MIT who works with Tropical diseases and viruses like Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya. Bosch discusses the lack of research and understanding around how diseases are diagnosed and spread. She also talks about the potential benefits of interdisciplinary collaborations in forecasting epidemics and bringing solutions for diagnostics. Bosch’s work colleague, Elena Naumova, a Mathematician and Director of the Tufts University Initiative for Forecasting and Modeling of Infectious Diseases, also talks with Angie about how she applies mathematical models to better understand different kinds of biological phenomenon.

Sep 12, 2018

In this episode, Haley talks with Dr. Daniel Stickler at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Dr. Stickler is a physician, author, speaker and the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of The Apeiron Center for Human Potential. During his interview, Dr. Stickler explains Apeiron’s systems-based model which focuses on human systems, homeostatic balance and optimization. He also discusses how and why lifestyle decisions are the key to creating an optimized life.

Sep 6, 2018

In this episode, Haley talks with Gad Saad at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Gad Saad is a Marketing Professor and evolutionary behavioral scientist. He is also author of The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature, which explores how evolutionary forces influence our daily lives as consumers. During his interview, Saad shares how elements of complexity theory apply to his research as a behavioral scientist. He also describes the challenges he faces when talking about evolutionary theory and behavioral science openly with the public.

Aug 30, 2018

In this episode, Haley and Angie introduce a special conversation between Gad Saad and Nassim Nicholas Taleb at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS). Gad Saad is an evolutionary behavioral scientist and Marketing professor at Concordia University and Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a best-selling author, probability researcher and former trader. During their quick and informal conversation, Gad and Nassim share details from their joint presentation at ICCS and some friendly remarks about each other’s research.  

 

Aug 23, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews Stephen Wolfram at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language; the author of A New Kind of Science; and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. Wolfram talks with Haley about his professional journey and reflects on almost four decades of history, from his first introduction to the field of complexity science to the 30 year anniversary of Mathematica. He shares his hopes for the evolution of complexity science as a foundational field of study. He also gives advice for complexity researchers, recommending they focus on asking simple, foundational questions.

Aug 21, 2018

In this episode preview, we share a clip from our interview with Stephen Wolfram. Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language; the author of A New Kind of Science; and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. Wolfram shares with us his disappointment that the basic science of complexity has not been more explored. He states, “the great thing about the basic science is that it will survive forever”.  

Aug 16, 2018

It’s the 100th episode of the Human Current podcast! In this celebratory episode, Angie and Haley make a cheers to all the wonderful people who have supported the podcast’s mission, including cofounder Stacy Hale, Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam and community members of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI). They also reminisce about their experience at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS) and share two interviews from the event. The first interview they share is with Dr. Emma Towlson who is a Physics Professor at Northeastern University and a researcher in the Center for Complex Network Research (CCNR), with interests in the emerging field of Network Neuroscience. The second interview is with Richard Cooper, Ph.D, who is a NECSI board member and Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics at Harvard University.

Aug 9, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews George Church, who is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Science and Technology at MIT, as well as a co-author of 480 papers, 130 patent publications & the book Regenesis. Church talks with Haley at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems about his presentation on the evolution of modern biotechnology and the implications of existential risk within this field. He also talks about the goals and mission of the BRAIN Initiative, which he co-initiated in 2011, as well as why he believes people should have access to their own genome.

Aug 7, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews Boston College Professor Patrick McQuillan. McQuillan talks with Haley at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems about his current work and expertise in education reform and urban school leadership. He shares why it is so important for school leaders to decentralize control and work toward a unified school culture. Professor McQuillan also describes “the thread of adaptive leadership” as a productive approach to systemic change.

Aug 3, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews Natalia Komarova, Chancellor's Professor of the School of Physical Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Komarova talks with Haley at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems about her presentation, which explored using applied mathematics to study the spread of mutants, as well as the evolution of popular music.

Aug 1, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews the Minos A. Zombanakis Professor of the International Financial System at Harvard Kennedy School, Carmen Reinhart. Reinhart talks with Haley at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems about financial fragility and economic booms and busts. She also explains the profound complexity of financial crises describing them as black swan events which affect many systems connected to human wellbeing.

Jul 27, 2018

In this episode, Angie interviews the Head of Strategy at Basecamp, Ryan Singer. Singer talks with Angie at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems about design strategy, nonlinear dynamics, interdisciplinary work, and his personal journey of discovering complexity science and NECSI.

Jul 26, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews author, mental health counselor, change agent, and Founding Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, Steven Hassan. Hassan talks with Haley at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems about cults and mind control as “a systematic social influence process”. He also describes how a complex systems model can be used to mobilize social networks like policy makers, educators, health professionals, and law enforcement to empower individuals impacted by undue influence.

Jul 25, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews Ricardo Hausmann at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Hausmann is Professor of Economic Development at Harvard's Kennedy School and Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University. He talks with Haley about the scale of the current economic collapse in Venezuela, economic complexity, systemic resilience, and the invisible hand.   

Jul 23, 2018

In this episode, Haley talks with the President of the New England Complex Systems Institute, Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam, at the opening day of the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems. Bar-Yam talks about the diversity of people presenting and attending the conference and why the event is so important for the complexity science community and the world.

Jul 19, 2018

In this episode, Haley interviews author, filmmaker and founder of Local Futures, Helena Norberg-Hodge. Helena is a pioneer of the ‘new economy’ movement and has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological well-being for more than thirty years. During her interview, she discusses the harmful consequences of economic globalization and advocates for localism as a systemic path to return us ‘to the reality of complexity, diversity and interdependence of all life.’ Helena also shares the importance of spreading systemic and economic literacy, which is a mission she works toward at Local Futures.

Jul 11, 2018

In this episode preview, we share a clip from our interview with author, filmmaker, and founder of Local Futures, Helena Norberg-Hodge. Norberg-Hodge describes how our dependence on large global systems limits our freedom. She explains that face-to-face connection between people in community is not only important, but also relevant to systems thinking and complexity.

Jul 5, 2018

In this episode, Angie interviews best-selling author, speaker, teacher and formal leader, Margaret Wheatley. Wheatley talks in detail about her new book, Who Do We Choose To Be? Facing Reality | Claiming Leadership | Restoring Sanity, and reveals why she is so driven by her “unshakable conviction that leaders must learn how to evoke people’s inherent generosity, creativity, and need for community”. She also describes how leaders can experiment with complexity theory and systems thinking to better understand the role of interconnectedness and emergence in their work. Wheatley offers a powerful and thought-provoking message for courageous leaders of this time, calling on them to become “warriors for the human spirit”.

Jun 28, 2018

In this episode preview, we share a clip from our interview with Margaret Wheatley. Wheatley is a speaker, author, teacher, consultant, advisor & formal leader—she has developed an unshakeable confidence that leaders must invoke people’s inherent generosity, creativity and need for community. In this clip she talks about emergence, which she describes as 'the most overarching, most profound learning [she] ever got from complexity science'. 

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