The systems approach to problem solving: concepts and tools

December 6, 2012 | 17:00 h - 18:30 h

Systems analysis is widely admitted, conceptually and methodologically, as an important framework to understand complexity which is inherent in socio-political and socio-ecological processes. To support the aim of establishing a working group on complex systems analysis at ZEF, Prof. Ernst Berg will give a kick-off lecture on this subject.


Date: Thursday, December, 6, 17:00 h


Venue: ZEF conference room, ground floor, Center for Development Research / Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF), Walter-Flex-Straße 3, 53113 Bonn (Directions)



The lecture will delineate the systems approach, aiming at coping with the complexity of real world phenomena, which is mainly caused by the non-linearity and the dynamics of the systems to be analyzed. Examples from the fields of economics and ecology are used to illustrate these properties and their impacts. The role of models as instruments to support nonlinear and multi-causal thinking will be emphasized. Finally, modeling concepts and tools for model development will be presented and discussed.


Biography of the speaker:

Ernst Berg is a Professor for Environmental and Production Economics at Bonn University, Institute of Food and Resource Economics. He obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Bonn in 1976. During his scientific career, he held Professorships in Horticultural Economics at the University of Hanover and in Farm Management at the Technical University of Munich before he returned to the University of Bonn in 1993. Here he served as Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture from 1998 to 2000 and from 2004 to 2006. His main research interests comprise dynamic systems analysis and modeling, environmental and resource economics and risk management. Recent research activities include modeling the structural development of the dairy sector in Germany, and the design and economic analysis of risk management tools.


Alma van der Veen