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Technology and Evolving Systems: (Simplifying) The Complexity and Integration
February 24-25, 1999 in Miami, FL



overview speakers agenda

conference overview
As we witness the growth and evolution of the Internet, it becomes clear that information systems have reached an important transition point of scale, complexity, and entanglement with social and economic processes. Systems of this sort are truly evolutionary - they are not designed, replaced, or updated in isolation. They cannot be shut down or checkpointed, and improvements are merged into the system as it continues to function. Several generations of code may have to coexist in real time, and no one set of managers or designers hold the power to control the future evolution of such systems; at best, managers, designers, and users have greater or lesser degrees of influence that afford some capabilities for control or prediction. Such systems begin to have characteristics that we associate with biological and ecological systems, including both smooth evolutionary responses to changing conditions, and sudden disruptive changes that amplify small inputs into large reorganizations.

Since such evolutionary systems are becoming crucial to the way we conduct business, it is important to understand their growth and evolution. In this session, we will focus on three related topics:

• The technologies and architectures that can be used to insulate components from uncertain future evolution, or to enable and to structure evolutionary change when it is not possible to ‘take the system offline’;
• Models of evolutionary systems that can help us understand the processes of evolution that occur in such systems; and
• The relation of information systems evolution to business and industry evolution in an ‘information economy.’

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Tim Andrews, Chief Technology Officer, Viant Corporation
Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School
Douglas Engelbart, Director, Bootstrap Institute
Alan Kay, Vice President and Fellow, Walt Disney Imagineering and TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board Member
Stuart Kauffman, Founding General Partner and Chief Scientific Officer, Bios Group LP
Robert Lucky, Corporate Vice President, Applied Research, Bellcore and TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board Member
Eric Raymond, President, Open Source Initiative
David Reed, Information Architect and TTI/vanguard Advisory Board Member
Dr. Richard Schroth, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Insights and TTI/Vanguard Advisory Board Member
Tom Sterling, Senior Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Professor, Caltech

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