Integrating social and complex systems science to tackle climate change challenges

23 September 2019
Energy transitions
Climate change
Extreme events
Complex systems science
Social practice theories

Workshop on Extreme events and energy transitions—Tackling the challenges of climate change by integrating social and complex systems science | JRC Ispra site (Italy) | 23-27 September 2019. 

Human activities expose us to ever more frequent extreme events such as power black-outs, droughts and extended floods. This poses challenges to energy sustainability and actions to tackle climate change through renewable energies. This workshop explored how to enable important advancements in this area by integration of complex system approaches with elements of social organisation and adaptation (social practice theories). The event was organised by Energy Efficiency and Renewables Unit C2 of the Joint Research Centre with speakers from JRC Disaster Risk Management Unit E.1, Lancaster University (UK) and Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Institute for Geosciences and Environmental Research (FR) and University of Padova (IT) and the MAGIC team from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ES).

The workshop explored important questions such as :

  1. How can the proposed ideas generate enlightened approaches to research and policy that are necessary to deal with extreme events and energy transition sustainability?
  2. Which strategies and forms of investigation might be necessary to improve the current understanding of how social and physical dimensions of socio-ecological systems interact?
  3. What concrete actions can result from these strategies and investigations, how can they generate advancements in this area and help benefit from a more active contribution of involved communities?

The workshop saw the participation of PhD students and postdoc/advanced researchers from different EU countries working on extreme events and energy transition sustainability from both a social and a physical/engineering perspective.

The workshop program as well as the presentations of MAGIC's coordinator Mario Giampietro (plenary presentation and the presentations from the session on energy sustainability and transition to renewables) are available in our documents respository.