Speakers 2014

Robert R. Prechter, Jr.Robert R. Prechter, Jr., CMT, is known for developing a theory of social causality called socionomics, for developing the socionomic theory of finance (STF), and for his long career applying and enhancing R.N. Elliott’s model of financial pricing called the Wave Principle.

Prechter’s socionomic theory accounts for the character of social actions in areas as diverse as financial markets, economic trends, politics, fashion and entertainment and demographics. Under development since the 1970s, the idea first reached a national audience in a 1985 cover article in Barron’s. Prechter has made presentations about socionomic theory at the London School of Economics, University of Cambridge, MIT, University of Oxford, Trinity College Dublin, Georgia Tech, SUNY and various academic and financial conferences. In 2008 and 2010, the Georgia legislature invited Prechter to testify before its Joint Economic Committee regarding the state’s developing real estate and economic crises.

Prechter attended Yale University on a full scholarship and received a B.A. in psychology in 1971. In 1975, he joined the Market Analysis Department of Merrill Lynch in New York. In 1979, Prechter founded Elliott Wave International and began publishing monthly market analysis under the masthead, The Elliott Wave Theorist. Prechter served as a member of the board of the Market Technicians Association for nine years and as the MTA’s President in 1990-1991. He currently serves on the advisory board of the MTA’s Educational Foundation. In 2005, Prechter created the Socionomics Institute, which is dedicated to explaining socionomics, and he funds the Socionomics Foundation, which supports academic research in the field.

Prechter has authored, edited or contributed to more than 15 books. His book Elliott Wave Principle: Key to Market Behavior has been translated into a dozen languages, and Conquer the Crash: You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression was a New York Times and Amazon bestseller.

Werner De BondtWerner De Bondt, Ph.D., is one of the founders of behavioral finance and a pioneer ahead of his time in the growing field of social mood research. As the director of the Richard H. Driehaus Center for Behavioral Finance at DePaul University in Chicago, Dr. De Bondt studies the psychology of investors and financial markets.

His research is interdisciplinary. He has examined key concepts of bounded rationality, e.g., people’s tendency to exaggerate the true impact of new information, their bent towards wishful thinking, or their biased perceptions of risk. De Bondt’s research has appeared in many scholarly journals, including the Journal of Finance, the European Economic Review and the American Economic Review.

De Bondt is a frequent speaker to academics and investment professionals worldwide. He holds degrees in economics, commercial engineering and public administration, as well as a Ph.D. in business administration from Cornell University. De Bondt has served as a professor at universities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Sweden, Switzerland and at his alma mater, Cornell.

Mikko KetovuoriMikko Ketovuori, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the University of Turku in Finland. As both a scientist and musician, Ketovuori is interested in multidisciplinary, cross-cultural approaches. His work combines diverse fields of study, such as sociology, philosophy, cultural history, arts and psychology in order to find new ways of analyzing complex problems. His dissertation, for example, looked at the effects of importing the Canadian Arts Partnership Program to Finland, which allowed him to draw a comparison between the two countries. Ketovuori’s recent research uses socionomics to compare waves of social mood in Finland’s pop music with the development of Nokia.

Ketovuori has lectured internationally in a broad range of settings, including Columbia University in New York and the University of Cordoba in Spain. He has also spoken at York University in Toronto and in places as diverse as Singapore, India, Austria, Romania, Italy and Malta.

Presentation Title: The Rise and Fall of Nokia and Moods of Music in Finland

Abstract: We evaluate pop music sold in Finland from 1986 to 2014 by using VAS, or Visuo Analogue Scale, which measures the moods of music from pessimism/despair to optimism/hubris. The music is gathered from official Top 10 lists, and each of the songs is given weighted coefficient average compared to other songs of the same year. We then compare the measured moods of the music to the development of Nokia, the phone company which is as representative of the Finnish economy as was General Motors in its heyday of the United States. Since a society and its markets are homogenous, the prevailing values in society are easy to measure. The case of Nokia provides an excellent opportunity to test the ideas of socionomics, and as pre-test shows, find evidence of its validity.

Suzy MoatSuzy Moat, Ph.D., is assistant professor of behavioral science at the Warwick Business School. Dr. Moat is a computational social scientist who studies how information flows between people and how it affects their decision-making. Drawing on her backgrounds in cognitive science, linguistics and computer science, Moat investigates these questions by analyzing data from online activity alongside large-scale records of real-world behavior.

In collaboration with Dr. Tobias Preis and colleagues, Moat revealed that patterns in Google and Wikipedia usage can be used to predict the stock market. Moat has a Ph.D. in cognitive science and a master’s in psycholinguistics from the University of Edinburgh and a master’s in computer science from University College London. Since 2011, Moat has secured $4.5 million in funding from UK, EU and US research agencies. Her work has been featured by worldwide news agencies, including the BBC, The Guardian, New Scientist and in presentations by CNN and at TEDxZurich.

Presentation Title: Predicting Human Behavior with Internet Data

Abstract: Our everyday Internet usage generates huge amounts of data on how humans collect and exchange information worldwide.

Our recent research asks: Can this data be used to measure and even predict human behavior?

In this talk, Suzy will describe a number of illuminating case studies linking data from sources such as Google, Wikipedia and Twitter to collective behavior in the economic domain and beyond.

Kenneth KishidaKenneth Kishida, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. Dr. Kishida holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine and a bachelor’s in genetics from the University of California at Davis.

Kishida is researching the physiological activity in individuals that are actively engaged in decision-making processes. He utilizes invasive and non-invasive techniques that have generated unprecedented insight into the function of dopamine systems in humans. Dr. Kishida’s research has appeared in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, Biological Psychiatry, Neuron and PLoS ONE. He has given presentations to the Yale School of Medicine, Duke University, Chapman University and the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency known as DARPA. His research has appeared in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Guardian and the Financial Times.

Note this presentation does not appear on the produce stream.

Alan BrochsteinAlan Brochstein, CFA, is a leading authority on cannabis-related investments as the founder of internet-based 420 Investor, which helps investors find objective information on cannabis-related stocks and capitalize on the “Green Rush.” After beginning his financial career working in the bond business in New York City, first for Kidder, Peabody from 1986-1992 and then for First Boston’s investment management subsidiary from 1992-1994, he joined Criterion Investment Management (acquired by Nicholas Applegate and then West LB) as a portfolio manager in a $10 billion fixed-income advisory business. Alan later was principal and an analyst/portfolio manager at Piedra Capital, where he focused on mid-cap growth stocks for institutional and individual clients of the firm.

In 2006 Alan began his own business, AB Analytical Services. He has been a consultant to several investment advisors and independent research firms, provides a model portfolio service to individual investors (Invest By Model), and operates The Analytical Trader, which delivers swing-trading ideas designed to offer 4:1 reward-to-risk over a two-week time-frame. Alan is a widely-read blogger at Seeking Alpha and graduated from Northwestern University with a bachlor’s degree in Economics and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences.

Presentation Title: Capitalizing on Cannabis: The Transformation of an Industry and the Creation of a New Investment Bubble

Abstract: The rapidly changing landscape for legal and medical cannabis presents opportunities for many stakeholders, including patients, consumers, entrepreneurs and government entities. Investors too, whether through publicly-traded companies or privately, are poised to capitalize on cannabis as well. 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. The opportunities ahead for investors who can navigate what will likely be a volatile environment should be quite significant.

Peter W. AtwaterPeter W. Atwater is the president of Financial Insyghts, a consulting firm that advises institutional investors, corporations and public policymakers on how social mood affects decision making and the markets.

After a successful career in financial services, including 13 years with JPMorgan where he built that firm’s asset-backed securities business, and executive leadership roles at First USA, Bank One and Juniper, Peter turned his attention to socionomics — how changes in social mood alter human behavior. Today, through his firm, Financial Insyghts, he brings a practical understanding of the world of finance coupled with a keen awareness of human decision making, enabling his clients to easily see changing behavioral trends ahead of the market.

Peter teaches an honors colloquium at the University of Delaware, Social Mood, Decision Making and the Markets, and he is the author of Moods and Markets (FTPress), which provides specific practical insights for investors on how changes in confidence drive the capital markets. Peter spoke about confidence-driven decision making at TEDx Wilmington in August 2013 and his research has been profiled by Gillian Tett in the Financial Times and Rana Foroohar in Time Magazine.

Peter graduated with honors from the College of William and Mary in 1983 with bachelor’s degree in Economics and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He currently serves on the board of the William and Mary Foundation, the College’s endowment.

Presentation Title: How to Use Socionomics in Real Time

Abstract: At Social Mood Conference 2014, Peter will share some of his real-life experiences with socionomics: from challenging money managers to view what is happening outside the markets as equally, if not more, important than what is happening inside the markets to seeing pioneering business leaders adopt socionomics as an indispensable tool for strategic planning.

Using examples from his own socionomic applications – ranging from huge unexpected wins to failures of application – Peter will share the valuable lessons he learned, some the hard way, in his years as a social mood researcher and finance professional.

Thomas BrudermannThomas Brudermann, Ph.D., is a researcher at the Institute for Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, where he focuses on human decision-making and crowd psychology.

Dr. Brudermann holds a master’s degree in informatics and a doctorate in psychology. He explores human-environment interactions and collective dynamics using methods from social sciences and complex systems sciences. Before joining the University of Graz, Thomas worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and as a lecturer at the University of Klagenfurt. His research experience also includes stays at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis  in Laxenburg, Austria, and at the National Institute for Environmental Studies  in Tsukuba, Japan.

Presentation Title: From Individual Decision Making to Collective Dynamics

Abstract: Decades of research on human decision making have yielded rich insights on psychological biases, bounded rationality and subtly applied decision heuristics. 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 indices. What is still missing is a comprehensive understanding of the underlying collective dynamics, i.e. 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.

Matthew LampertMatt Lampert is a graduate of the University of Cambridge where he currently studies as a doctoral candidate in the sociology department. Lampert contributes to the Socionomics Institute’s research program and works to build collaborative relationships with scholars in his capacity as the institute’s research fellow. He is a board member of the Socionomics Foundation and served as the Socionomics Institute’s associate director for two years before enrolling at Cambridge. Matt’s research has been featured in USA Today, CNBC, the Associated Press and The Futurist among other news outlets and academic journals.

Presentation Title: The Socio Edge: Making Socionomically Informed Decisions in an Era of Dynamic Change

Abstract: The 1990s was the Information Age, and perhaps we now live in the Age of Big Data. Yet despite the availability of more information than ever before, we are consistently blindsided by dramatic, game-changing events: the financial crisis, the Arab Spring, the rekindling of tensions and hostility in the Eurozone, the first flu pandemic in nearly a century. Having the data is one thing. Knowing what to do with it is another.

From forecasting the emergence of entirely new industries to recognizing the potential for swift and severe trend changes, socionomic analysis can cut through the noise to identify the signals that matter most and generate a strategic advantage.

Matt will emphasize the power of thinking socionomically; explore how the socio edge allowed analysts to foresee changes in the social landscape that caught most of the world off guard; consider the implications of a socionomic mindset for strategic planning; and discuss the challenges associated with the transition from thinking to acting socionomically. In a world marked by constant change and fluctuation, seeing around the corner before others do gives you the opportunity to prepare early.

Alan Hall began studying Elliott wave analysis and socionomics after meeting Robert Prechter in 1995. Alan’s grasp of socionomics made it easy for him to recognize the escalating housing mania, thus in 2004 he closed his building business and soon joined the Elliott Wave International staff as a writer. He received his degree in Fine Arts from Berry College, graduating into the world of the 1970s bear market. His range of job experiences includes decades as a custom homebuilder/designer.

Alan wrote the lead articles for the inaugural issues of The Socionomist in May and June 2009. Since then, his article topics have showcased the wide range and deep applicability of the socionomic perspective.

Alan has traveled widely and been a contributor to Global Market Perspective, The European Financial Forecast and The Elliott Wave Theorist.

Presentation Title: Technology’s Future—Jetsons or Terminator? Social Mood Influences Technological Development

Abstract: History shows that trends in social mood influence the character and direction of technological development. From the Stone Age to the atomic bomb, the man on the moon and the robotic drone, we will explore how inventors and entrepreneurs create patterns of technological development as they express and respond to social mood. Technological change is accelerating rapidly, and socionomics may be the best theoretical model for anticipating what we will do with it—and what it may do to us—in the future.

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