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The Choice: Silo-Bridging, Ensemble-Based Institutional Analysis
December 13, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Business+Impact and U-M’s Center for the Study of Complex Systems will again bring together U-M scholars from across disciplinary boundaries to ponder big questions about how society should best choose the institutions/methodologies to make choices that will influence and contribute to a society’s or organizations’ ability to flourish. These institutions and mechanisms guide, manage, allocate, and harness society’s intellectual, financial, social, and ecological resources to decide on laws, policies, and leaders.
8:30-9:00 Danish Java Mingle
9:00-9:15 Welcome and Introduction
9:15-10:10 “The Five Pure Types: A Gathering of Experts”
10:30-11:45 Keynote Tom Malone (MIT)
11:45-12:45 “Dyads: Real World Choices “
1:30-2:15 “Spillovers, Robustness, and Context”
2:30-3:15 “A Deep Dive: The Legal Choice”
3:30-4:30 Micro-Charette: “Metrics for Civic Capacity”
4:30-5:00 Closings and Openings
Some featured participants include Tom Malone of MIT, Melissa Valentine of Stanford, and Scott E. Page of the University of Michigan.
The Choice consists of an interdisciplinary group of scholars focusing on how institutions influence allocations, shape our decision-making, and organize how we relate to one another politically and economically. Within any domain, be it health or education, law or the economy, a society must choose among institutional forms to distribute resources, assign power, or otherwise structure the way that we interact with one another and pursue our interests. Those institutional choices matter for their specific domains and also more broadly.
Our inquiry focuses on five core questions related to those choices:
(1) How societies choose and design individual institutions
- why do we have markets for cars and democracy for judges?
(2) How technological advances and demographic changes influence these choices
- the rise of markets to structure employer-employee relationships; algorithms for criminal sentencing
(3) How nested and linked institutions produce robust outcomes
- eg, the functionality of boards of directors atop hierarchies and federalism as a marketplace for citizens’ ideas
(4) How institutional ensembles contribute to civic capacity
- how communities build trust and order
(5) How civic capacity limits or enables institutional choices and forms
- why development projects fail in some countries; how norms can constrain or enable innovation