What would happen if we locked 100 people in a complex with access to barely enough food for everyone? What if we made it so only one person had the power to say who could eat what and when? Would such a society always fall into totalitarianism? What simple changes to such a society would make a difference?

We know that power can be structured by simple rules in some societies. Bee colonies have a queen with access to the best food and lays all the eggs. Are there simple rules for human societies? How do people organise themselves politically?

We'll be investigating questions like these in the workshop using a systems modelling approach. It's possible to create simulation models on computers where individual 'agents' behave and interact according to simple rules. We can then observe and study the artificial societies and political systems that we create.

You can see some examples of simulation models from the excellent explorable explanations.

The workshop will be hosted by Dr John Bryden, a research fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London and a fellow of Newspeak House. It will start with a background talk about the topic. Examples of simulation models will be provided to get you started.

You'll need to bring a laptop and an aptitude for programming. We're going to be using python, so it would be good if you have python 3, matplotlib and scipy installed.


Newspeak House

133 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 7DG, UK

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