7th Baltic Sea Science Congress

GSD Workshop:
‘Foresight studies into global system dynamics and policies’
Tallinn, 18–19 August 2009

The workshop took place in the premises of the Estonian Academy of Sciences on the afternoon of 18 August.

The key speakers were Klaus Hasselmann, Leo Mõtus (Fellow of the Estonian Academy of Sciences) and Steven Bishop.

More information about the event can be found here.

The workshop was divided into a public workshop and panel discussion held at the Estonian Academy of Sciences on 18 August, and a panel workshop of young scientists held in the Institute of Cybernetics on 19 August, organised by the Wave Engineering Laboratory.

Approximately 35 participants attended the workshop. Amongst them there were eight fellows of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, several high-level officers of the City of Tallinn, including one of the Vice Mayors, a former deputy minister, representatives of the diplomatic corps (deputy ambassador of Germany), and many PhD students.

The workshop was opened by the Vice-President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, President of the European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) Prof. Dr. Jüri Engelbrecht. He also presented a few recent examples of studies into complex systems performed in the Institute of Cybernetics.

Steven Bishop gave first a short overview of the principles, goals, achievements, and highlights of the GSD network. He then switched to the applications of mathematical models which simulate dynamics of complex systems, consisting of many interconnected parts which interact on different time and physical scales. As an example, he presented case studies discussing aggregate extraction from the English Channel and formation of sand structures under the influence of currents in terms of the method of cellular automata.

Klaus Hasselmann presented an attempt to explain the recent global financial crisis and recession in terms of simple dynamical models of the basic economic actors. He stressed that a new generation of simple coupled climate-socioeconomic system models must be developed. Applying such models, he demonstrated that in the long term, the sustainability transition can be achieved without significant delay in economic growth.

The third key speaker, Leo Mõtus (General Secretary of the Estonian Academy of Sciences) focused on dynamic models for networked autonomous artifacts. He explained that artificial systems have become too complex to be reliably handled by conventional methods and that such systems frequently demonstrate emergent behaviour that often poses major problems in modelling, monitoring, and control of large, networked system of sporadically interacting components. Suitable classes of models for such networks form situation-aware multi-stream interactive machines (as a sample of super-Turing models of computation).

Dr Ewald Quak, leading the panel discussion

Members of the panel discussion (from the left): Tarmo Soomere, Jüri Engelbrecht, Sergej Zilitinkevich, Steven Bishop, Klaus Hasselmann, Kaisa Kononen, Deniss Borodits

The panel discussion was moderated by Ewald Quak (Institute of Cybernetics). The panel members were Jüri Engelbrecht, Klaus HasselmannSteven BishopTarmo Soomere, Sergej Zilitinkevich (University of Helsinki), Deniss Boroditš (Vice Mayor, City of Tallinn) and Kaisa Kononen (Managing Director of BONUS EEIG). Many questions were addressed to Mr Boroditš who presented an overview of the policy of the City with respect to development of the coastal areas and gave a clear account of the environment policies of Tallinn in the discussion round.

The panel workshop of young scientists on the next day (19 August) took the format of a discussion meeting, and was moderated by Steven Bishop. The meeting involved eight younger scientists, ranging from BSc students to post-docs. The central topics were the opinion of participants on whether or not the global problems (such as climate change) affect their lives.  Also discussed was the perception of young scientists about how one could control and/or impact climate change.

The GSD Workshop ‘Foresight studies into global system dynamics and policies’ was
organised in Tallinn on 18–19 August 2009 jointly by the Tallinn and London teams of the GSD project (Steven Bishop and Tarmo Soomere) and several expert bodies of the Estonian Academy of Sciences. The workshop was additionally announced as a satellite event of the 7th Baltic Sea Science Congress (which took place in Tallinn University of Techology on 17–21 August 2009, www.bssc2009.org).