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Modeling the Emergence of Social Complexity and Order:<br/>How Individual and Societal Complexity Co-Evolve

Final Report Summary - MOMENTUM (Modeling the Emergence of Social Complexity and Order:How Individual and Societal Complexity Co-Evolve)

The Investigator Grant ‘Momentum’ (Grant 324247) stands for Modeling the Emergence of Social Complexity and Order: How Individual and Societal Complexity Co-Evolve (Momentum) is an ERC-funded project led by Prof. Dirk Helbing at ETH Zurich. Its goal is a transformative change in our understanding of co-evolution and emergence of social structure, social mechanisms and social norms, and their roles in the development and future of human society.

During the project, we have used theoretical models, data-driven empirical studies, and data-validated modeling to understand how social mechanisms emerge and how they create complex behavioural patterns in human societies across a variety of contexts that are typical of real-world human interactions. Our research has shown not only how these societal properties are created and maintained, but also how foreseeable future developments may influence them; in particular the likely impact of the digital revolution and of many human interactions taking increasingly place online, unlike in early human societies. We have used our results to determine the steps that appear necessary to maintain and improve societally positive behaviours such as cooperation and collaboration in the face of these coming developments.

The project’s results are published widely in leading journals of various disciplines and in high-impact general-interest journals, and several steps have already been taken to implement better solutions in real-world applications.