We recently had the privilege to talk with Stephen Wolfram at the Ninth International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS). Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language. He is also the author of A New Kind of Science and is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research.
Wolfram is also one of the founding fathers of the complexity science field and was the featured keynote speaker on the first night at ICCS, hosted by the New England Complex Systems Institute. He spoke for an hour and a half at the event and was followed by a very eager crowd of followers after his talk. Many of these complexity thinkers, practitioners, students and researchers lingered to ask him questions, hoping he would elaborate on his very thought-provoking presentation. During this time, Angie and I anxiously waited in our podcast booth for him to come speak with us, and after nearly 2 hours of patiently addressing his crowd’s questions, Wolfram walked into our booth. We asked him if he was up for an interview after such a long evening, and with no hesitation he sat down and put on his microphone headset.
We discovered Complexity Labs several months ago after watching educational videos on their Youtube channel. Since then, we have read a number of their complexity related articles and have formed a supportive working relationship with their founder, Joss Colchester. We believe Joss and the Complexity Labs team are making a very important contribution to the complexity and systems thinking communities with their easily accessible learning content. Since Complexity Labs was established a few short years ago, they have made great impact producing over 300 video lessons, which have been viewed 2 million times.
We are currently in a podcast series on the complexity of artificial intelligence and we recently shared our interview with AI researcher, leading Complex Systems Scientist, Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, Melanie Mitchell.
Mitchell’s background originally stems from Mathematics and Physics. She became curious about how intelligence emerges from a complex system after reading Douglas Hofstadter’s book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Hofstadter later became her Phd advisor after she sought him out at the University of Michigan. Mitchell attributes her professional journey to his guidance, as well as, Professor John Holland, who was a pioneer in the field of genetic algorithms. Holland was also an early founder of the Santa Fe Institute and encouraged Mitchell’s involvement with the Institute.
In our upcoming episode, we share our interview with the co-author of Embracing Complexity: Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence, Jean Boulton, who is also an academic and management consultant, specializing in complexity theory. Our conversation with her was very rich, covering concepts from how complexity thinking compares to systems thinking, change management, complexity as a worldview, and even how this field is shining a light on climate change. We covered a lot of ground in the time we had with her, although we wish we could have talked longer. Her humility and brilliance were captivating and just minutes into our conversation, we realized that she lives and breathes complexity, using this worldview to frame how she thinks, feels and acts.
In our most recent episode on the HumanCurrent podcast, we aired our interview with the brilliant Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, English author, and researcher in the field of parapsychology. He has been named one of the world’s most innovative scientists and “a pioneer who is paving the way for the future of the sciences” by Deepak Chopra.
Angie and I were thrilled when we were given the opportunity to speak with Dr. Brizendine on the HumanCurrent. We had previously read “The Female Brain” as a part of our office book club, and after having some rich and interesting discussions about it, our team felt deeply inspired by her research and desired to learn more. We collaborated together to craft some of our curious questions for Dr. Brizendine. We wanted to know more about how modern-day life affects the female brain because we are an office of mostly females, who recognize the struggle to find balance in work, home, and personal life.
So, one of the questions we decided to ask Dr. Brizendine in our interview with her was, how does she think modern-day life has influenced the female brain?
How much can stock can we put in certainty? What causes financial panics? Most people blame politics, bad statistics or greed. Turns out it's more complex than that--but not all that complicated...