18 September 2015

Systems analysis for global transformations

A special issue of the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change explores research on uncertainty and global transformations.

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The special issue serves as a follow-up to the IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference in 2012, Worlds Within Reach: From Science to Policy. Studies in the journal focus on two major themes: dealing with uncertainty in integrated analyses of human-environment systems; and social, technical and institutional transformations in response to global sustainability challenges. 

The issue was co-edited by independent scholar and former IIASA Deputy Director Jill Jaeger, IIASA Deputy Director General Nebojsa Nakicenovic, IIASA Advanced Systems Analysis Program Director Elena Rovenskaya, and IIASA researchers Sabine Fuss, Samir K.C., and Fabian Wagner. 

Jaeger says, “After a long period of paper submission, peer review and revision, all papers in the special issue have been published. The final product reflects the range of important topics discussed at IIASA’s 40th Anniversary Conference and research challenges for the future.” 

Rovenskaya says, “This special issue presents innovative examples of IIASA work which aim to advance the methodologies of systems analysis necessary for analysis of earth system challenges. Systems analysis as an approach to study complex human-environmental systems was introduced about 50 years ago. Despite a lot of progress in methodology and applications, we still do not have a comprehensive framework of tools to support the solution of the huge social, environmental, technological and economic challenges that society is facing. This is because of the complex, uncertain, and changing nature of these challenges.”  

The special issue includes research articles on a number of topics from across IIASA’s research agenda, including food security, energy and climate, forestry, pollution, sustainable development, population, and citizen science. In addition, several articles focus on the treatment of uncertainty in systems analysis and modeling.  

Nakicenovic says, “The IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference brought together leaders of the scientific, policy, and business communities. The articles in this special issue provide an important follow-up to the conference, highlighting the breadth and depth of systems analysis research in solving issues of global change.”

Table of Contents 

  • Jaeger J, Nakicenovic N, Fuss S,  KC S, Rovenskaya E, Wagner F (2015). Special Issue based on IIASA's 40th Anniversary Conference Guest Editorial. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p.211
  • Grubler A, Ermoliev Y, Kryazhimskiy A (2015).  Coping with uncertainties-examples of modeling approaches at IIASA. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 213
  • Fuss S, Havlik P, Szolgayova J, Schmid E, Reuter WH, Khabarov N, Obersteiner M, Ermoliev Y, Ermolieva T, Kraxner F (2015). Global food security & adaptation under crop yield volatility. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 223
  • Ermoliev Y, Ermolieva T, Jonas M, Obersteiner M, Wagner F, Winiwarter W (2015). Integrated model for robust emission trading under uncertainties: Cost-effectiveness and environmental safety. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 234
  • Kryazhimskiy A, Rovenskaya E, Shvidenko A, Gusti M, Shchepashchenko D, Veshchinskaya V (2015). Towards harmonizing competing models: Russian forests' net primary production case study. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 245
  • Stigson B, Stigson P (2015). A future resource and pollution constrained world—An agenda for a new partnership between business, governments and academia. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 255
  • Messner D (2015).  A social contract for low carbon and sustainable development: Reflections on non-linear dynamics of social realignments and technological innovations in transformation processes. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 260
  • Skirbekk V, Stonawski M, Alfani G (2015).  Consequences of a universal European demographic transition on regional and global population distributions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p.271
  • Grubb M, Hourcade J-C, Neuhoff K (2015). The Three Domains structure of energy-climate transitions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p.290
  • Van Vuuren DP, Kok M, Lucas PL, Prins AG, Alekmade R, van den Berg M, Bouwman L, van der Esch S, Jeuken M, Kram T, Stehfest E (2015).  Pathways to achieve a set of ambitious global sustainability objectives by 2050: Explorations using the IMAGE integrated assessment model. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 303
  • See L, Fritz S, Perger C, Schill C, McCallum I, Shchepashchenko D, Duerauer M, Sturn T, Karner M, Kraxner F, Obersteiner M (2015).  Harnessing the power of volunteers, the internet and Google Earth to collect and validate global spatial information using Geo-Wiki. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 324
  • Valle R, Climaco J (2015). A new tool to facilitate quantitative assessment of green activities — A trial application for Rio de Janeiro. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 98, p. 336

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Last edited: 28 September 2015


Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Emeritus Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Elena Rovenskaya

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Advancing Systems Analysis Program


Systems Analysis 2015

11 Nov 2015 - 13 Nov 2015


IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference 2012

Worlds Within Reach: From Science to Policy

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313