Why do some ideas take off and others fail to spread?
We live in a world that's more connected than ever before. But even as we see our lives being shaped by the spread of ideas and trends, we sometimes struggle to grasp how it actually works. Outbreaks seem to be driven by randomness and hidden laws, and in order to understand them, we need to start thinking like mathematicians.
In this online event, epidemiologist Adam Kucharski was joined by Nesta CEO Ravi Gurumurthy to reveal how new mathematical approaches are transforming what we know about contagion - from the revolutionary initiatives that helped tackle gun violence in Chicago to the truth behind the spread of fake news. And along the way, they explored how innovations and emotions can spread through our friendship networks, and what STDs can tell us about banking.
About the speakers
Adam Kucharski is an associate professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, working on global outbreaks such as the Ebola epidemic and the Zika virus. He is a TED fellow and winner of the 2016 Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture and the 2012 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize. He has written for the Observer, Financial Times, Scientific American, and New Statesman. He is the author of The Perfect Bet: How Science and Maths Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling.
Ravi Gurumurthy joined Nesta as Chief Executive in December 2019. Ravi was previously responsible for the International Rescue Committee’s work in designing, testing and scaling products and services for people affected by crisis in over 40 countries - from reducing acute malnutrition and intimate partner violence, to expanding employment for Syrian refugees.