ZEF Public Lecture: Integrated system modelling for sustainability transitions

June 15, 2023 | 13:30 h - 14:30 h

We'd like to invite you to ZEF's Public Lecture!

Topic: "Integrated system modelling for sustainability transitions"

Speaker: Jun.- Prof. Wolfram Barfuss (Argelander Professor in the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Sustainable Futures" at the Center for Development Research in the University of Bonn)

The lecture will be held in hybrid mode, so you are also welcome to join us online via Zoom: https://uni-bonn.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5IocO-oqD4sG92T_XvN_jVyAttrH6whcIqy 


Collective action is crucial to embark on sustainable development pathways. Rapid and large-scale transformation is needed to avoid catastrophic tipping points in increasingly interconnected human-environment systems. However, the question of how collective, cooperative behavior - in which intelligent actors seek ways to jointly improve their welfare in dynamic environments is unresolved. To make progress in this area, mathematical models are essential. To date, however, there is no modeling framework that can address the elements of collective behavior from intelligent actors in complex biophysical environments in a consistent, understandable, and transparent manner. 

In this talk, I'll present work toward such a mathematical modeling framework, which integrates perspectives from complex systems science, cognitive science, and social ecology. In it, we find complex transient dynamics, path dependency, and emerging social tipping points. With its help, we can investigate the critical leverage points and barriers towards sustainable outcomes in social-ecological systems.


Wolfram Barfuss recently joined the University of Bonn and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) as the new Argelander Professor in the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Sustainable Futures". After studying physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Wolfram completed his doctorate at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where he laid the foundations for his research. He then went on to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, the School of Mathematics at the University of Leeds in the UK, and, most recently, the Tübingen AI Center at the University of Tübingen, where he grew his network further and worked with colleagues from other countries and disciplines. Since 2019, he has also been a member of the Earth Resilience and Sustainability Initiative, a joint undertaking by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Princeton University, and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.


Bezawit Beyene Chichaibelu

Dr. Bezawit Beyene Chichaibelu


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