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Workshop: Modeling Challenges for Sustainability

This workshop is part of a Future Earth Cluster Activity entitled "Linking earth-system and socio-economic models to predict and manage changes in land use and biodiversity" and co-organized by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). The aim of the Cluster Activity is to bring together the modeling communities in the Earth system-, Biodiversity- and Socio-economic sciences in order to significantly advance the capabilities and approaches used to model human-environment systems, and to develop an integrated socio-environmental modeling framework. A focus is placed on the interactions between societal and environmental dynamics on one hand, and land use, biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services on the other, with the aim of identifying chances to create new opportunities for societies to develop.

As part of this action, two preparatory workshops were held in Paris and Aix-en-Provence in June 2015 and January 2016. The workshop also links to the recently held “Human Dimension” workshop organized by the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System in Boulder, CO, USA (May 24-27, 2016, co-funded by the Future Earth Cluster Activity and National Science Foundation). Another workshop will be held in Berlin, Germany in March 2017, at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Sustainability Science. Its topic will depend on the outcome of this workshop in Kyoto.

Finally, this series of events will feed into the revival of the Analysis, Integration and Modelling of the Earth System project (AIMES), a long-standing modeling project that has substantively contributed to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other events in the history of sustainability modeling (Schimel et al, 2016). AIMES 2.0 (see van der Leeuw 2013) has finally found a home for itself in an IPO to be jointly funded by the Stockholm Resilience Center and the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. In that context it will also contribute to the “World in 2050” modeling effort supported by these two institutions and Columbia University in New York, USA.

The organization of the  workshop

After an introduction of all participants, this workshop will not have the format of a series of presentations. It is aimed at triggering and fostering an open discussion between all participants on ways to achieve the two goals mentioned above and elaborated in the draft white paper that has been sent to all participants:

  1. Search for the best way to develop approaches to integrated modeling of natural and social dynamics;
  2. Search for ways to make these models multi-scale and able to include transitions between system states.

The Workshop is held at RIHN, where the Regional Centre for Future Earth in Asia is hosted.