Thought-provoking contributions on the future of society

New book Thinking Ahead – Essays on Big Data, Digital Revolution, and Participatory Market Society just published

New York | Heidelberg, 1 June 2015

The rapidly progressing digital revolution is now touching the foundations of the governance of societal structures. Humans are on the verge of evolving from consumers to prosumers, and old, entrenched theories – in particular sociological and economic ones – are falling prey to these rapid developments. The old assumptions on which they are based are questioned by Professor Dirk Helbing in Thinking Ahead. The new book is an insightful set of essays on the ways in which Big Data and complexity science are changing our understanding of ourselves and our society.

Each year we now produce as much data as in the entire history of humankind. Can we soon create a digital crystal ball to predict our future and to optimally govern our world? Do we need large-scale surveillance to understand and manage the increasingly complex systems we are constructing, or would bottom-up approaches such as self-regulating systems be a better solution to create a more innovative, more successful, more resilient, and ultimately happier society?

Working at the interface of complexity theory, quantitative sociology and Big Data-driven risk and knowledge management, Dirk Helbing advocates the establishment of new participatory systems in our emerging digital society. The systems would enhance coordination, reduce conflict and, above all, reduce the “tragedies of the commons,” resulting from conventional decision-making methods currently used.

Physicist Dirk Helbing is Professor of Computational Social Science at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences and an affiliate of the Computer Science Department at ETH Zurich, as well as co-founder of ETH Zurich’s Risk Center. He is also internationally known for the scientific coordination of the FuturICT Initiative which focuses on using smart data to understand techno-socio-economic-environmental systems.

Dirk Helbing
Thinking Ahead – Essays on Big Data, Digital Revolution, and Participatory Market Society
Springer 2015, 202 p.
Softcover € 19,99 | £ 15.00 | $ 19.99
ISBN 978-3-319-15077-2
Also available as an eBook

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About the book Thinking Ahead

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Stefanie Eggert| Springer | Corporate Communications
tel +49 6221 487 8414 | stefanie.eggert@springer.com