TAICON: The Trans-Atlantic Initiative on Complex Organizations
TAICON is a trans-Atlantic community
active in the areas of social networks and complexity, based at
Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH). These research
areas have gained in prominence in recent years, thanks to the realization
that interconnectedness and complexity are inescapable features
of social phenomena. Moreover, their significance has been amplified
by processes of globalization, which have accelerated the decline
of boundaries and facilitated an exponential increase in the rate
and volume of trans-national communication.
These themes have been developed by both social
scientists and natural scientists. Social scientists, for example,
study the role that networks and “social
capital” play in the success of organizations. Physicists
have developed tools to study the emergence of dynamic connections
in large systems (such as the World Wide Web). However, the agendas
of these research communities have not been integrated. Given that
both of these communities are concerned with processes of interconnectedness,
this failure to communicate across the topical divide is particularly
ironic. This is unfortunate, because there is great potential for
intellectual synergies from scholarly exchange between complexity
theorists and network specialists.
TAICON provides a forum to facilitate
such integration by leveraging the complementarities of Harvard
and ETH. Our collaboration aims to bring together the strengths
of both institutions while narrowing the communication gap between
the natural and social sciences. We also strive to bridge the geographic
chasm between these research communities in the US and Europe. Although
these communities are highly active on both sides of the Atlantic,
to date they have remained relatively isolated from one another.
TAICON grew out of the Cambridge
Colloquium on Complexity and Social Networks, which was founded
Project website <
PDF - PPT - Animations (WMA/AVI) - Discuss
this on our blog
architecture of real networks: from the Web to social networks
(PDF)", Albert-László Barabási, University
of Notre Dame. PPT
"Network attack" (WMV) - Animation
"Network failure" (WMV) - Animation
"Network generation" (WMV) - Animation
"Network full" (WMV)
January 30, 2006, Swiss
House, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
TAICON Seminar - Discuss
"Why the future happens..." on our blog
"Why the Future Happens: Socionomics and the Science of Surprise",
Casti, Complexica and Santa Fe Institute.
House, Noon – 1:30 p.m.
See the video stream of Duncan Watts' January 12, 2005,lecture,
Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age."