The 145th RIHN seminar

Date: July 18th, 2017 (Tuesday) 13:00 - 15:00
Place: Lecture Hall, RIHN( → Access)

Dr. Stephane Grumbach(Senior Scientist at INRIA, Director of IXXI, Rhône-Alpes Complex Systems Institute)

Stéphane Grumbach, senior scientist at Inria, is a specialist of data. He has worked on complex data types, such as spatial, statistical, as well as biological data, and has designed a compression algorithm for DNA sequences. His main interests are targeted to topics at the intersection of disciplines. His current research focuses on the disruptions of the digital revolution, particularly on intermediation platforms, which transform data to create new economic and societal means.

He is director of IXXI, the Complex Systems Institute at ENS Lyon, promoting cross-disciplinary research to address contemporary challenges, and heads the Dice research group from Inria devoted to the Economy of Data.

He has been strongly involved in international relations, has spent eight years in China, first as a diplomat and then in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he headed the Sino-European IT Lab, LIAMA.

Title: Digital Revolution and Planetary Boundaries
Language: English
Contact: IWASAKI YumikoE-mail


The mastery of matter followed by energy has permitted a rapid growth of human industries, which lead to the emergence of the technosphere, a complex intertwined system of energy production, agriculture, raw material extraction, transportation and administration. The level of appropriation of natural resources by the technosphere challenges now its own sustainability. While it increasingly clearly influences earth climate and ecosystem, it also becomes more autonomous from human decisions. This characterizes the anthropocene with new boundaries and a need for alternative political answers.

Meanwhile, in the last decades, technological development has lead to the mastery of information, and as for energy the capacity to abstract it mostly from physical constraints. The impact of the digital revolution on society is radical. It complexifies the organization, increases reticulation and deepens interdependencies between actors. How does this phenomenon relates to the anthropocene? In this talk I will elaborate on the striking contemporaneity of both rapid revolutions, which both seem to rub away borders, weakening nations and established powers, leading to new asymmetries, new appropriation. Can the digital revolution be a consequence of the end of abundance?