César A. Hidalgo

Founder, Datawheel | Director, Center for Collective Learning & ANITI Chair, Université de Toulouse | Author, "How Humans Judge Machines"
How do teams, cities, and nations learn? How does knowledge flow between industries, countries, and organizations? Can we create tools to facilitate collective learning? Professor César Hidalgo is an author, scholar, and Director of the Center for Collective Learning and the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Institute (ANITI) Chair at the Université de Toulouse. His work has helped uncover the path dependencies that constrain the ability of teams, cities, and countries to learn. His scholarly publications have been cited nearly 10,000 times and include papers in top journals, such as Science, Nature, PNAS, and the American Economic Review.

Cesar's latest book, How Humans Judge Machines, is a look at understanding the ethical consequences of AI. His previous, Why Information Grows, has been translated into a dozen languages and was commended by The Economist, The Financial Times, Nature, and by Paul Romer, former Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Hidalgo is a founder of Datawheel, an award winning company specialized in the creation of data distribution and visualization systems. His work with Datawheel has produced tools including The Observatory of Economic Complexity, the most popular tool in the world to visualize international trade data; DataUSA, the most comprehensive visualization of U.S. public data; and Immersion, a tool that allows people to map social networks directly from email communication patterns. His tools have received 100s million of views from dozens of millions of people and have received design awards, including a 2017 Webby Award for the best Government and Civil innovation and a 2016 Information is Beautiful Award.

In his role as ANITI Chair, he is currently working to reconceptualize democracy and civic engagement through AI-powered "digital twins," removing the need for politicians. Previously, he's used artificial intelligence to evaluate the physical aesthetics of cities, understand its social and economic consequences, and explore the social and economic factors that predict future urban change. His AI work and tools have the potential of saving millions of dollars in information and knowledge intensive industries, from consumer product companies, to construction, mining, real estate, and delivery.

Hidalgo is an experienced speaker who has spoken at over 150 different events, including academic conferences, professional events, and art festivals in fields as diverse as data mining, network science, economics, complex systems, data visualization, finance, and computer science, among others.


  • ANITI Chair Université de Toulouse
  • Honorary Prof. University of Manchester
  • 2018 Lagrange Prize, the highest award given to a Complex Systems scholar
  • PhD, Physics, University of Notre Dame
  • Bachelor in Physics, Universidad Católica de Chile


Information Visualization

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Evolution of Information

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Economic Development

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Complexity and Networks

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Big Data

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Revolutionizing Politics: Embracing Augmented Democracy & Collective Intelligence
César A. Hidalgo
Why Information Grows
César A. Hidalgo
Using Data Fingerprints to Predict the Future | Wired 2014
César A. Hidalgo
Understanding Economic Complexity
César A. Hidalgo
Networks Understanding Networks | MIT
César A. Hidalgo
Meritocracy and Topocracy of Networks
César A. Hidalgo
How the medium shapes the message | TEDxYouth@BeaconStreet
César A. Hidalgo
How Humans Judge Machines | Talks at Google
César A. Hidalgo
Economic Complexity and The Wealth of Nations
César A. Hidalgo
Complexity | TEDxBoston
César A. Hidalgo
A bold idea to replace politicians using AI
César A. Hidalgo


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Tomorrow, an augmented society? The assumed bet of César Hidalgo
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The Pitchforks Are Here
Pitchfork Economics Podcast
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Pro-network Economics Is Pro-growth Economics: A Review of 'Why Information Grows'
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Information in Societies, Economics, and the Universe
Sean Carroll's Mindscape Podcast
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How Humans Judge Machines
Expansional View Podcast | Harvard Business Review
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How do we forget what was once famous?
The World



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Artificial Intelligence
Big Data & Data Science
Smart Cities

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