One of the lessons learned after the financial crisis of 2008, with Lehman Brothers collapsing, causing instability in the global economy, was that there is a strong need to better model the underlying financial network in an economy as a whole.
One of the crucial aspects of working together in a big consortium like NETWORKS is actually meeting each other now and then.
The world is opening up again, but I think it's fair to say the organisation of workshops and conferences is not at all back to normal yet.
Although the NETWORKS programme will continue till 2025, it somehow feels that we're entering the last phase.
One of the major challenges NETWORKS is facing concerns bridging the gap between our mathematical results and their use in the world around us.
I did a thought experiment: what would have happened to the world if corona would have hit us in 1990? Or in 2000? So my thoughts went back to my early years as an academic, wondering how we would have coped with the pandemic a few decades ago.
What is nice about math, is that its language is truly universal. Talking about many things with people from other backgrounds, one could easily end up being lost in translation.
When we wrote the grant application for NETWORKS, back in 2013, we obviously put all our energy into it, and tried to come up with the best proposal possible.