Seminario RoDeO on the Road: A "grammar" of novelty?

Martedì 28 Aprile 2015, ore 14:30 - Sala Riunioni VII Piano - Massimo Warglien


Martedì 28 Aprile 2015 alle ore 14:30 in Sala Riunioni VII Piano, Massimo Warglien (Dept. of Management, Venice) terrà un seminario del ciclo RoDeO on the Road dal titolo "A "grammar" of novelty?".

Economic evolution is marked by the emergence of new objects (e.g. genuinely new products), new institutions (e.g. new organizational forms) or even new concepts (e.g. a new business model, a new strategy). These emergence phenomena imply the combination and transformation of whole pre-existing structures in new ones.: how can one formally represent and analyze such phenomena? As a non mathematician (thus from an incompetent perspective) I am attracted by the idea that a qualitative use of some abstract mathematical tools (such as those of Category theory) can help to better define what is the emergence of novelty and provide a kind of "grammatical" model of it. By grammatical model I mean a model that defines some generative mechanisms, and principles that constrain the generation of novelty. In the talk, I will mostly deal with the problem of generating novel concepts (such as new business ideas). I will introduce pre-sheaves as a structure that may help to usefully characterize conceptual structures and their combination. I will also introduce some simple "change operators" that combine and transform such structures. I will show an application to a case of conceptual change in the domain of business models (the emergence of Apple's "digital hub" strategy). While the application is mostly descriptive, I hope it can help a discussion on the potential use of category theory in what is usually considered the domain of purely qualitative discourse. Of course, I ask participants to forgive my foray into a domain in which I'm maximally incompetent.

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