Dirk Helbing

Keynote: How to Create a Better World

State of the Map EU Keynote


Planetary Nervous System, Global Participatory Platform, Social Information Technologies: How to Create a Better World

It probably started with Linux, then came Wikipedia and Open Street Map. Crowd-sourced information systems are central for the Digital Society to thrive.

So, what's next? I will introduce a number of concepts such as the Planetary Nervous System, Global Participatory Platform, Interactive Virtual Worlds, User-Controlled Information Filters and Reputation Systems, and the Digital Data Purse. I will also introduce ideas such as the Social Mirror, Intercultural Adapter, the Social Protector and Social Money as tools to create a better world. These can help us to avoid systemic instabilities, market failures, tragedies of the commons, and exploitation, and to create the framework for a Participatory Market Society, where everyone can be better off.

About the author

Dirk Helbing is Professor of Sociology, in particular of Modeling and Simulation, and member of the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich. He earned a PhD in physics and was Managing Director of the Institute of Transport & Economics at Dresden University of Technology in Germany. He is internationally known for his work on pedestrian crowds, vehicle traffic, and agent-based models of social systems.

Furthermore, he coordinates the FuturICT Initiative, which focuses on the understanding of techno-socioeconomic systems, using Smart Data. His work is documented by hundreds of scientific articles, keynote lectures and media reports worldwide. Helbing is elected member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Complex Systems and of the prestigious German Academy of Sciences “Leopoldina”. He is also Chairman of the Physics of Socio-Economic Systems Division of the German Physical Society and co-founder of ETH Zurich’s Risk Center., he became a board member of the Global Brain Institute in Brussels. Within the ERC Advanced Investigator Grant "Momentum" he works on social simulations based on cognitive agents. His recent publication in the leading science journal Nature discusses globally networked risks and how to respond. With a publication in the highly prestigious journal Science, he furthermore contributed to unveiling the hidden laws of global epidemic spreading. On January 10, he received a honorary PhD from the TU Delft, one of Europe's leading universities, jointly from the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management and the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.