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Mapping Weak Signals

Inspired by: other » A New Model of Chaos

version: 1 / created: 2011-02-02
id: #1553 / version id: #1553
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Jari Kaivo-oja
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Last changed by: Jari Kaivo-oja
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Source of inspiration

Other, please specify:   MIT Technology Review

The source of the Weak Signal is

MIT Technology Review: Web: http://www.technologyreview.com/web/28827/?mod=chfeatured

Signal's headline

(max. 9 words)
A New Model of Chaos

Signal's description

(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Weak Signal (approx. 150 words)
Researchers develop a mathematical model that could help us make sense of how conflicts get messy. Researchers in the Cornell University describe a model for predicting how a social group will break apart during a turbulent split.


Conflict, management, model, chaos, turbulence


(max. 250 characters)
A couple goes through a bitter breakup and their mutual friends have to choose sides. Sociologists have studied this type of situation. Some researchers have looked at ways to model it mathematically. A new model of chaos is developed.

Signal's first apperance


Signal's potential evolution

It could lead to...
issue type of issue/development potential impact on society timeframe for the issue to become at least 50% probable
#1 Social conflicts re-emerging
mainly beneficial

Under what assumption the Weak Signal might evolve.

Chaos theory has been developed a long time. Now a new model of chaos is developed at the Cornell university. In a paper published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Cornell University describe a model for predicting how a social group will break apart during a turbulent split. Jon Kleinberg, a professor of computer science at Cornell, who led the work, says researchers have traditionally focused on predicting how a group will look once the conflict has shaken out. He says this work proposes a way of looking at the process of the split itself. Kleinberg notes that his group's model doesn't apply to every situation. Instead, it portrays extremely polarizing conflicts. A sociological theory called "structural balance" describes the decisions that group members are forced to make when a group splits completely apart. The model best fits " situations where the logic starts to become, 'If you're not with me, you're against me,'" Kleinberg says.


please specify
please select
Level 4: important for the whole world Social conflicts are universal.

Filters preventing the signal's monitoring

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
affective filters (emotions, anxiety, self-doubt)
social filters (class, status, education level)

Key driving forces of this signal

Please use these boxes to provide up to 2 drivers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
Driver 1 Driver 2
Social Understanding logic of social conflicts
Economic Social conflicts have high costs
Values/Ethical/Cultural Social conflicts are often culturally rooted.

Major risks & opportunities associated to the signal

Please choose the most appropriate timeframe option(s) to which you would like to provide inputs.
Risks Opportunities
before 2015 Better ways to solve social conflicts
between 2015-2025 Better ways to solve social conflicts
between 2025-2050 Better ways to solve social conflicts
beyond 2050 Better ways to solve social conflicts

Potential stakeholders' actions

short-term actions
(after 2015)
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) Understand this new chaos model
Business actors (incl. SMEs) Understand this new chaos model
Academic/Research sector Understand this new chaos model
Non-for-profit organisations (e.g. NGOs, political parties, social movements, voluntary associations) Understand this new chaos model
Media Understand this new chaos model
General public Understand this new chaos model

Signal's relevance for European Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts New model of conflict management possible
Social cohesion and diversity Social conflicts decrease social cohesion
Globalization vs. localization Understanding global conflicts
Sustainability and climate change Climace change policy conflicts

Signal's relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Social Sciences and Humanities Social conflicts is a key issue in social sciences and humanities

Pan-European strategies influencing the signal

please justify:
particularly relevant
Increasing the efficiency and impact of public research through Joint Programming (i.e. combining national and pan-European research efforts) or the optimisation of research programmes and priorities, for example. Social conflict management has always positive effects

Research-friendly strategies potentially improving understanding of the signal

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here
please justify:
particularly relevant
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.
Relevant for social cohesion policy of the EU

Signal's relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
This signal has many potential applications.