Center for Complexity in Business Holds Inaugural Conference
An audience composed of academics and business leaders gathered at the
University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business on Friday, April 24,
2009 for the inaugural Complexity in Business Conference. Organized by Smith's
Center for Complexity in Business, the conference endeavors to be the premier
meeting for the intersection of business and complex systems. The event was
invitation-only and included talks by several prominent business thought
leaders, and was co-chaired by Roland Rust, Chris Dellarocas and Bill Rand.
According to Chris Dellarocas, associate professor of information systems and
director of the Center for Complexity in Business, the conference was created
because linear thinking and established methods of conducting business are
increasingly inadequate. In other words, the business world is far too complex
anymore to be defined by any one adjective.
One of the highlights of the day came early on when Joshua Epstein, director
of the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics at The Brookings Institution,
presented on the topic of "Selected Applications of Agent-Based Computational
Modeling to the Private Sector." Epstein walked the audience through a powerful
new way of modeling complex social dynamics on computers that sparked great
interest among attendees.
Associate Professor Chris
Dellarocas, Director of the Center for Complexity, walks the audience
through the Center for Complexity’s primary goals and objectives.
Joshua Epstein, Director of
the Center and Social Economic Dynamics, The Brookings Institution,
pauses to listen to an audience member’s question during his remarks on
agent-based computational modeling.
In his welcoming remarks, Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam said that
"research on complexity in business is the wave of the future." As the topic at
hand expects to remain at the forefront of business considerations, one thing is
clear: namely, the inaugural Complexity in Business Conference was a timely and
For more information about the Center for Complexity in Business,
visit the Web site.
Pete Baird, MBA Candidate 2009, Smith Media Group