nudge theory

Cass Sunstein on Nudge Theory

In this excerpt from the event, ‘Why Nudge?’, renowned public thinker Cass Sunstein defends his groundbreaking nudge theory.

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TED: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness

In this TED talk Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”

emergence in biology

A biological perspective of emergence (Video)

A short video exploring the properties of emergence in biology. Discussing how and why ‘irreducible’ or ‘unexpected’ properties arise out of a collection of more fundamental properties.


Twelve Simple Rules of Systems Thinking for Complex Global Issues

We are increasingly aware that many our living systems – human and natural – are at risk today, as we face incredibly complex and interconnected challenges related to global security, environmental degradation, and inter-woven economies. Understanding the nature and dynamics of living systems, therefore, can shed light on how we think about our problems and our resources, and about the assumptions and the choices we make.


Hidalgo: Relationships between individual and collective knowledge

In this video Cesar Hidalgo at MIT asks intriguing questions about how social and economic systems interact. He sees networks as holding the knowledge and know-how necessary to ‘crystallise’ information into the things we use every day. The capacity of a network to hold this sort of knowledge and know-how is thus for him directly linked to economic activity. It helps explain how economic growth is variable and differs from place to place. It says that a theory of economics that doesn’t take into account the social complexity of society and its networks is incomplete. This 20 minute address at the RSA is a rapid tour through Cesar’s work. It is expanded in more depth in his book ‘Why information grows’. If you are exploring how social networks relate to economic activity this is well worth a look.


A Physics Talk for Non-Physicists: Chaos, Complexity, and Entropy

Chaos is a purely mathematical concept; it is an undeniable mathematical fact. We know that theoretical physics is built on mathematics, and that all theoretical physicists are applied mathematicians. The first question that I want to examine, then, is: why is it that, among all the practitioners of science, applied science, engineering disciplines, and human sciences, physicists were practically the last ones to be interested in chaos and to use it in their work?