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  • Writer's pictureAdam Timlett

Turing Meta Ltd launches

Turing Meta Ltd has launched in Feb 2023 and aims to connect the latest research in 'heterodox economics' to business and organisations so that they can leverage the latest insights in this area to their own business problems.

The origins of heteredox economics

The more recent history of heterodox economics thinking stems from a reaction to the 2008 financial crash and the failure of mainstream economics to avoid, predict or effectively deal with the fallout of the crisis.

Several researchers from other disciplines outside of economics started to question the mainstream approach. These researchers include Doyne Farmer, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, Ole Peters of the London Mathematical Laboratory and the economist Steve Keen. What these researchers have in common is looking at economics problems and connecting them to mathematics and domains outside of economics. Some of them, such as Ole Peters, are looking more at the relationship to problems in biology, and connecting economics to basic problems in the mathematics of growth that occur in all systems. Others, like Doyne Farmer, are looking at connecting the computational problems of simulating economies to the methods used in climate science where large simulations are routinely used to make predictions. Steve Keen and collaborators are embeddeding economics problems in the laws of thermodynamics to better capture the relation of the economy to the physical world around us.

What all these researchers have in common is trying to make fewer assumptions about what matters in economics models and trying to tie economics theories to other domains and the world around us, so we are more sure they are right. My research, computational economics, takes these ideas about connecting economics to broader domains, and seeks to apply the idea, by taking organisational problems familar to businesses and organisations and connecting them to the broader theory of the mathematics of work. This builds on work by Doyne Farmer and others. It does this by using models of work derived from computer theory and connecting these models to economics concepts.

Computer theory

Computer theory was originally just a theory of work done by humans rather than machines. As such, it is a theory that simply defines the complexity of work required to maintain a certain level of output given varying inputs. It shows why, to maintain the same complexity of output, work often needs to grow as the inputs to the work also grows or changes. By connecting computer theory to economics and growth we can place economic ideas in a practical framework that we are more sure is right. This approach is particularly useful in modelling work which combines human labour with technologies. In doing it connects and deepens understanding of ideas such as sociotechnical systems and other ideas about how to help organise complex work by human beings and other kinds of agents working together.

The trick is to turn this work into easy to follow concepts and guidelines about how to organise work with practical benefits.

This blog will post practical information about how to apply these new ideas to organisational problems familiar to every business, especially those that deal with developing technology and innovation.

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