Connessi | Connected. A Conversation with Guido Caldarelli and Alessandro Vespignani

Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venezia
plus DEC, 14 2022

Renaissance Florence, 18th-century London, China, Wuhan market in 2019. What do these situations all have in common? Something unthinkable until recently and which we now know how to measure. It is the form of connections, i.e. the links between people that makes it possible to explain and also measure why the Medici family took control of the city, why cholera spread through the metropolis, and what happens if a virus jumps from one species and decides to infect a traveller just before he sets off for the airport.


Understanding, measuring and thus being able to predict the development of social phenomena and relationships between people becomes possible by representing connections through networks.

This mathematical tool combined with computational power and the creation of impressive computer memories not only allows us to investigate the past to discover the links and relationships that have shaped history, but for the first time it also lets us describe the evolution of a planet that reached eight billion human inhabitants just a few days ago. What does this great opportunity entail? Can we predict the next financial crises? Can we manage pandemics? Can we imagine the behaviour of entire populations like Asimov did in his psychohistory? And ultimately, how does the awareness of this connection with all the other inhabitants of this planet alter our human dimension? If my freedom ends where the freedom of others begins, then are we less free than when there were only a few million of us?


We will discuss these issues with Prof Caldarelli (Ca’ Foscari) and Prof Vespignani (North-Eastern University and ISI Turin), international experts in the science of complex systems and the application of networks to the study of society.


The event will be moderated by Maria Teresa Laudando


The event is organised in collaboration with:


To take part, please register here.