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MIT System Dynamics Seminar | Institutional Ensembles and Cultural Institutional Capacity

October 13, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

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Please visit the MIT System Dynamics Seminars page for more information.

You are invited to attend the System Dynamics Seminar being held on Friday, October 13th from 1:00-2:30pm EST (please note the time change) in the Jay W. Forrester conference room, E62-450, or via Zoom: (Password: SDFA23). Our guest speaker will be Scott E. Page (University of Michigan) presenting Institutional Ensembles and Cultural Institutional Capacity (see abstract and brief bio below, announcement and paper attached). Lunch will be provided to those attending in person and a reminder email will be sent out closer to the date.

If you would also like to schedule a 30-minute 1:1 meeting with him before or after the seminar, please fill out the following Doodle poll by COB Friday, October 6th and I will confirm times and location with a calendar invite: Please notify me if you need to meet over Zoom instead.


We construct a series of models within a systems framework to analyze the interdependence between a society’s composition of institutions and its cultural-institutional capacity: the knowledge, behaviors, beliefs, norms, and networks that enables institutions to operate. In our models, a society selects a mixture of institutions of various types to allocate resources and take actions. These include markets, hierarchies, democracies, community-based institutions, or even algorithms. These institutional choices contribute to the production of cultural-institutional capacity, and, conversely, cultural-institutional capacity influences how well each institutional type performs. Cultural-institutional capacity building can be self-reinforcing. Markets can produce greater capacity for markets. It can also be generic and improve all institutional types. Neither of these forms of capacity building necessarily produces efficient ensembles of institutions. Paradoxically, systems with both forms can result in the collapse of an institutional type that builds generic capacity.

About the Presenter

Scott E. Page is the John Seely Brown Distinguished University Professor of Complexity, Social Science, and Management at the University of Michigan, and the Williamson family Professor of Business Administration, professor of management and organizations, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; professor of political science, professor of complex systems, and professor of economics, LSA. In 2011, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Read more here.


October 13, 2023
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
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MIT Jay W. Forrester Conference Room
77 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139 United States
+1 617-253-1571
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MIT System Dynamics Group
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