The Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) – a Brazilian think-tank linked to the government – is making a request for proposals for eight IDB consultants to contribute with chapters to a book on Complex Systems applied to Public Policies.
Here are the 8 topics:
Complexity methods in education
Complexity methods applied to transport planning
Complexity theory in applied policy worldwide
Cities as complex objects
Economy as a complex object
Society as a complex object
Methods and methodologies of complex systems’ modeling
Complex Systems: concepts, literature, possibilities and limitations
obs. I've worked at Ipea for more than 5 years and I know some of the people leading the project. I can tell it is awesome to work with them and this is a great opportunity to expand the impact of complexity studies to policy applications.
On one hand, the project aims at pushing forward the modeling frontier, its methodologies and applications for the case of Brazil. On the other hand, the project pursues actual improvement on the understanding of public policies’ mechanisms and effects, through complex systems’ tools and concepts.
The book encompasses five broad themes: (1) concepts and methods; (2) computational tools; (3) public policy phenomena as complex systems (specifically: society, economics, ecology and cities); (4) applied examples in the world and its emergence in Brazil; and (5) possibilities of prognosis, scenarios and policy-effect analysis using complex systems tools.
The consultant is expected to deliver a proposed extended summary, a preliminary version to be discussed in a seminar in Brazil (July-September 2014) and the final version of the chapter.
[image credit: ? ]
Book Outline: Complex Systems and Public Policy
Complex systems in the context of this project are defined as systems in which a number of agents interact in a complex, non-linear manner and behavior emerges from simple rules. Simulation approach of these systems from a public policy perspective represents modeling relationships among citizens, firms, and institutions, bounded by regulatory measures, and spatial, political, and budgetary constraints. In sum, working with Complex Systems and Public Policies means creating experimental computational environments where relevant characteristics are formally described, and from which insights for policy improvement can be easily and low-costly evaluated.
LIST OF CHAPTERS
PART I. Complexity: theory and methods 1. Complex systems: concepts, literature, possibilities and limitations 2. Methods and methodologies of complex systems’ modeling 3. Operating complex systems
PART II. Public policy objects and complex systems’ approach 4. Society as a complex object 5. Economy as a complex object 6. Cities as complex objects 7. Ecology as a complex object
PART III: Applied modeling of complex systems to public policies. 8. Complexity theory in applied policy worldwide 9. Applications for Brazil
PART IV: Applications: specific cases 10. Agent-based models applied to transport planning 11. Learning analytics and agent-based modeling in education 12. Evolutionary models for the analysis of the Legislative
PART V: Complex public policies 13. The relevance of multiple models, sectors, and scales for public policy analysis 14. Simulating: scenarios, prospection and impact analysis for public policy
Yesterday, I attended a great presentation by Greg Asner at the School of Geography and the Environment (Oxf). He talked about this amazing project that uses cutting-edge technology to study ecological systems, biodiversity etc. The kind of work that makes census data and household surveys look like child toys.
He gave a similar presentation though much shorter at TED Talks last year.
You may ask why I went to this presentation.. after all it's not much related to urban development, transport policies or demography. In the end, I think that some people are so good in what they do you can always learn something from them, no matter what their field of research/activity is. Besides, science is fun.