Abstract for: How Social Networks Trigger Tipping Points

New social movements, technologies and public-health initiatives often struggle to succeed, yet many diseases disperse rapidly. Can viral diffusion be a model to improve spread of beneficial behaviors and innovations? Prof. Centola will discuss breakthroughs in the science of network diffusion, and how these have improved understanding of how changes in societal behavior - in voting, health, technology, finance, vaccination, and disease prevention - occur, and how social networks can influence how they propagate. Many accepted ideas about viral spreading have in fact been responsible for causing past diffusion efforts to fail. Prof. Centola presents new findings to enable social change efforts to trigger tipping points much more effectively.