"'The Difference': A New Way to Think About Diversity and Its Benefits"
Dr. Scott Page
Professor of Political Science, Complex Systems & Economics, University of Michigan
External Faculty, Santa Fe Institute
Author, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
February 5, 2009
Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building
In this wide-ranging discussion, Dr. Page will summarize and extend the main ideas in his book, The Difference. Those ideas build from a complex systems perspective from thinking of the world as consisting of interconnected, multi-dimensional problems. He will explain why in complex domains collective diversity may be at least, or more, important than individual ability. Although Dr. Page's work is technical in nature, this talk will be accessible to the entire community.
Dr. Page is Professor of Political Science, Complex Systems, and Economics at the University of Michigan and External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, and is author of two books of note. The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies is about how we think in groups and why difference beats out homogeneity in terms of innovation. One book review notes "The Difference makes the case that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality. Page shows how groups that display a range of perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts. He examines practical ways to apply diversity's logic to a host of problems, and along the way offers fascinating and surprising examples."