By Elliott Wave International
Robert Prechter forecasted more than 10 years ago that the War on Drugs would become more violent, leading eventually to the decriminalization of the possession and sale of recreational drugs. The Socionomist followed up in 2009 with an in-depth story by Euan Wilson called “The Coming Collapse of a Modern Prohibition.” We published an update in November 2013, “Marijuana: The Mood Shifts, and Decades of Prohibition Go Up in Smoke,” that was a timely reminder just before marijuana stocks exploded in early 2014. The recent rush of new state laws to decriminalize pot bears out these forecasts.
Enter Alan Brochstein, a pioneer in the Green Rush by way of his groundbreaking website, 420 Investor, which provides investors information about how to invest in the nascent cannabis industry. He will be just one of the speakers from around the globe at the upcoming 4th Annual Social Mood Conference on April 5, 2014. Join the many people already scheduled to attend who are also interested in understanding how socionomics makes it possible to understand changes in the world — before they happen.
Here are the topics of five of the nine researchers and business people who will present their ideas in Atlanta.
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Alan Brochstein, CFA, Founder of 420 Investor.com
Mr. Brochstein has seen the herding impulse up close on a consistent basis through his investing service. The rapidly changing landscape for legal and medical cannabis presents opportunities for many stakeholders, including patients, consumers, entrepreneurs and government entities. Investors, whether through publicly traded companies or privately, are poised to capitalize on cannabis as well.
He will discuss how the combination of a rapidly changing industry and a political dynamic that touches many investors on a deeply personal level is already attracting substantial capital that might even be characterized as a bubble in the publicly traded stocks. At the same time, a highly uncertain financial regulatory environment has left the cannabis industry without ample access to traditional funding sources. Mr. Brochstein will discuss the opportunities ahead for investors who can navigate what will likely be a volatile environment.
Suzy Moat, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at the Warwick Business School, UK
Our everyday Internet usage generates huge amounts of data on how humans collect and exchange information worldwide. Dr. Moat’s recent research asks whether this data can be used to measure and to even predict human behavior.
Her talk will aim to show how large-scale patterns of communication can indeed help us to understand large-scale patterns of behavior. Dr. Moat will describe a number of illuminating case studies that link data (from sources such as Google, Wikipedia and Twitter) to collective behavior in the economic domain and beyond. For example, her team tested a hypothetical investment strategy based on big data about Google searches for financial terms such as “debt,” “portfolio” and “stocks.” It earned a 326% theoretical profit from 2004 to 2011, compared with 16% if the model had simply purchased the same stocks in 2004 and sold them in 2011.
Thomas Brudermann, Ph.D., Researcher at the Institute for Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Austria
How do ideas go viral on a large scale? Decades of research on human decision making have yielded rich insights on psychological biases. We are well aware of the power of social influence, conformity pressure and herding. At the same time, suitable methods have been developed to keep track of collective phenomena. To get an idea about ongoing processes in markets and society, we may analyze Twitter tweets, track Google search trends, observe sales figures of certain products or look at stock market indexes.
What is still missing is a comprehensive understanding of the underlying collective dynamics, that is, the missing link between decisions happening on the individual level and emergent phenomena occurring on a macro level scale. This talk will address prospects and challenges of this research as well as possible links to socionomics, and discuss under which circumstances thoughts, ideas and preferences might go viral on a large scale.
Peter Atwater, President of Financial Insyghts, a U.S. consulting firm
Using examples from his own socionomic applications � ranging from huge unexpected wins to failed applications � Mr. Atwater will discuss the valuable lessons he has learned, some the hard way, in his years as a social mood researcher and finance professional.
He will share some of his real-life experiences with socionomics, such as what happens when he challenges money managers to view what is happening outside the markets as equally important as, if not more important than, what is happening inside the markets. He will also discuss how some pioneering business leaders have adopted socionomics as an indispensable tool for strategic planning.
Matt Lampert, Ph.D. candidate at the University of Cambridge, UK
Despite the availability of information in the Age of Big Data, we are consistently blindsided by game-changing events. Mr. Lampert’s thesis is that, in a world marked by constant change and fluctuation, being able to see around the corner before others gives you the opportunity to prepare early. Socionomic analysis can cut through the noise to identify the signals that matter most. It can also generate a strategic advantage — from forecasting entirely new industries to recognizing the potential for swift trend changes. He will explore how the socio edge has allowed analysts to anticipate and adjust for changes in the social landscape that catch most of the world off guard.
Book Your Seat: The 2014 Social Mood Conference
Join these five exciting speakers at the 2014 Social Mood Conference, April 5 in Atlanta, GA.