CCS 2016 – Determinants of creativity and innovation in science, art and technology

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Date(s) - 20/09/2016

Beurs Van Berlage

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The workshop on ”Determinants of creativity and innovation in science, art and technology” was organized in the framework of the 2016 Conference on Complex Systems and featured two keynote speakers, Prof. Stuart Kauffman and Prof. Stefan Thurner. Here is the complete program: PROGRAM The aim of the workshop was that of gathering scientists from many different disciplines (physics, mathematics, computer science, biology, social sciences, arts, etc.) to address fundamental questions about how people express their creativity and innovate both at the individual and collective levels Innovations are key factors in the evolution of human societies, since they represent the primary motor to explore new solutions in ever-changing and unpredictable environments. New technological artefacts, scientific discoveries, new social and cultural structures, are very often triggered by mutated external conditions. Unfortunately the detailed mechanisms through which humans and societies express their creativity and innovate are largely unknown and no comprehensive mathematical framework has been proposed so far. Creative solutions, novelties and innovation share an important feature: often, innovative events do not happen by chance, rather they seem to be triggered by some previous novelty or innovation. In studies of biological, technological, and cultural evolution, it has been hypothesised that one innovation can lay the groundwork for another by creating fresh opportunities. In our daily lives, a similar process may account for why one new thing so often leads to another. This idea has been beautifully summarised by the notion of adjacent possible introduced by Stuart Kauffman, one of the keynote speakers of our workshop. In this picture the advance into the adjacent possible is the driving force for correlating innovative events, and novelties are produced through an exploration of a space, physical, conceptual, technological or biological, that enlarges itself whenever one reaches a point of the space never touched before. The workshop represented the opportunity to assess where we stand by investigating the determinants of innovation processes and their evolution, progressing in their mathematical modelling, understanding their function and identifying the most thriving contexts (institutions, social organisations, business models, etc.) for creativity and innovation. The workshop featured a set of interactive installations and web-based games aimed at engaging participants in creative activities.

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