Simon Levin to Give Lecture on Business Strategy

Simon Levin, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, will give the Raben/Sullivan & Cromwell Fellow Lecture on Monday, January 30, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge. Levin’s lecture is titled “Evolutionary Perspectives on Business Strategy.”

Levin argues that the challenges faced by companies and by genomes are remarkably similar. “In evolution and business alike, the tradeoff between exploration and exploitation is key to survival, and the discounting of future scenarios fundamentally affects the resolution,” he says. “Biological organisms, populations and communities have their parallels in workers, companies, and the global economy, and in both there are conflicts among the interests of agents at different levels of organization.” The lecture will explore the similarities and differences between natural and business ecosystems, and ask how an evolutionary perspective can be useful in dealing with the economic marketplace.

Simon A. Levin received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Maryland. During his career at Cornell University between 1965–1992, he held many positions including Chair of the Section of Ecology and Systematics and Director of the Ecosystems Research Center. He was also the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences  from 1985 to 1992. Since 1992, he has been at Princeton University where he is Director of the Center for BioComplexity. His research interests are in patterns and processes of ecosystems and the biosphere, infectious diseases, and the interface between basic and applied ecology. Levin has mentored more than 100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and has published widely. He is the editor of the Princeton Guide to Ecology and the landmark Encyclopedia of Biodiversity.

The John R. Raben/Sullivan & Cromwell Fellowship Lecture brings to the Law School a leading expert in securities law or the accounting for business enterprises, who delivers a public lecture at the School.