IIASA Systems Analysis Forum (SAF)

SAF facilitates and catalyzes methodological advances needed for innovating the interdisciplinary and integrated perspectives lying at the core of the IIASA research agenda. All IIASA programs are involved in SAF activities. 

Applied systems analyses build on mathematical models and computational techniques for describing and analyzing complex systems. It is increasingly recognized that accelerating global transformations and rising levels of global interconnectedness necessitate novel methods for identifying scientifically sound options for policy advice. Among the many challenges requiring radically new approaches are decentralized decision-making and bounded rationality; compounding uncertainties and systemic risks; nonlinearities and regime shifts; social interactions and collective phenomena; spatial hierarchies and network dynamics; synergisms and antagonisms across multiple objectives; as well as scientific visualization and communication, to name just a few.

IIASA leadership in the systems analysis of global and universal problems is being extended based on methodological innovations inspired by, and co-developed with, applied research activities at IIASA. Since all IIASA programs develop methods and tools in different ways, the SAF platform helps to consolidate and support these activities and thereby optimize the cross-fertilization of methodological and applied research at IIASA. In addition, dedicated SAF activities promote exchanges among IIASA researchers and methodological experts around the world, accelerating knowledge transfer and methodological inspiration. 

Co-led by the Advanced Systems Analysis and Evolution and Ecology Programs, the SAF pursues these objectives by building synergies between in-house capacities, world-leading experts, and IIASA member countries. Specific activities include: 

  1. Regular conferences to attract world leaders in systems-analysis methodology to discuss challenges and opportunities in the context of IIASA research
  2. Regular internal calls for proposals for exploratory, methodologically oriented, small-scale projects are issued
  3. Presentations by methodological innovators from around the world and discussions
  4. Workshops and schools on systems-analysis methods, models, and tools 
  5. Partnership with the Complexity Science Hub Vienna 

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Last edited: 18 January 2017


Elena Rovenskaya

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Advancing Systems Analysis Program


Ulf Dieckmann

Principal Research Scholar Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Systemic Risk and Resilience Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Principal Research Scholar Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group - Advancing Systems Analysis Program

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