Growth, Innovation, and the Accelerating Pace of Urban Life: Are 21st Century Cities Sustainable?

Growth, Innovation, and the Accelerating Pace of Urban Life: Are 21st Century Cities Sustainable?

An Oppenheim Lecture featuring Geoffrey West, Distinguished Professor and Past President of The Santa Fe Institute.

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About the Speaker

Dr. West is a prize winning theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics and biology, ranging from the elementary particles and their cosmological implications to the origins of universal scaling laws and a unifying quantitative framework of biology.


His recent work focuses on developing an underlying quantitative theory for the structure and dynamics of cities, companies, and long-term global sustainability. Dr. West’s work shows that sustainability depends on how cities grow, how people innovate and how much we can accelerate the pace of innovation and life. Join us as he talks about how quantitative theory and data can explain the environmental sustainability of cities and businesses. 


Geoffrey West is Distinguished Professor and former President of the Santa Fe Institute (2005 – 2009) and an Associate Fellow of the Säid  Business School, Oxford University. Previously, he was leader of high energy physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he remains a Senior Fellow. He received his BA from Cambridge University in 1961 and PhD in physics from Stanford University in 1966. After spells at Cornell and Harvard Universities, he returned to Stanford in 1970 to join the faculty. His research in biology includes metabolic rate, growth, aging & mortality, sleep, cancer, and ecosystem dynamics. Recent work focuses on developing an underlying quantitative theory for the structure and dynamics of cities, companies and long-term global sustainability, including rates of growth and innovation and the accelerating pace of life. Among recent awards are the Mercer Prize from the Ecological Society of America, the Weldon Prize for Mathematical Biology and the Glenn Award for Aging research. His work was selected as a breakthrough idea by Harvard Business Review (2007) and he was selected for Time’s 2006 list of “100 Most Influential People in the World”.


Co-Sponsored by: UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy


Co-Hosted by: UCLA Department of Urban Planning, Luskin School of Public Affair, UCLA IoES Center for Sustainable Urban Systems, UCLA IoES Corporate Partners Program, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, Luskin School of Public Affairs.