A conversation with British economist, entrepreneur and author Paul Ormerod.

Moderated by LI's Director of Operations, Nick Martin.

Social and economic worlds have been revolutionised and we are increasingly aware of the choices, decisions, behaviours and opinions of other people. 

The financial crisis has shown us that conventional economics is drastically limited by its failure to comprehend networks. As our societies become ever more dynamic and intertwined, network effects on every level are increasingly profound. To grapple successfully with the current financial crisis, businesses and politicians need to grasp the perils and possibilities of positive linking.

As Ormerod shows, network effects make conventional approaches to policy much more likely to fail. But they open up the possibility of truly 'positive linking'—of more subtle, effective and successful policies, ones which harness our knowledge of network effects and how they work in practice.

About the Speaker

Paul Ormerod is a British economist who is currently researching complex systems, nonlinear feedback, and the boom and bust cycle of business and economic competition. He studied economics at Cambridge and has worked in business and academia including time at The Economist and as a director of the Henley Centre for Forecasting. He is a Fellow of the British Academy for the Social Sciences. He is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, and an honourary Doctor of Science at the University of Durham.

Ormerod has published three best-selling books on economics: The Death of Economics (1994), Butterfly Economics (1998) and Why Most Things Fail (2005).