26-28 March 2018
Stuttgart, Germany
Europe/Berlin timezone

Ortwin Renn


Monday, 26 March 2018

4:00pm - 4:45pm

Campus Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Pfaffenwaldring 47

Room V 47.03


Simulation of Complex Social Phenomena: Concepts and Challenges

The growing complexity of our world makes it increasingly difficult to understand social phenomena such as migration, social unrest, or consumption patterns, with any reliability. Complex social phenomena differ from natural phenomena in a number of respects: they include agents that have the freedom to choose options using different rationales or no obvious rational at all, they consist of many idiosyncracies that are difficult to include in algorithms and their impacts are spread across diverse areas of public and economic life. Most notably, their impacts transcend both systemic boundaries (between scientific, political, and societal systems, for example) and national boundaries. The paper will address the complex interdependencies between science and society through the lenses of inter- and transdisciplinaty research perspectives. These interdependencies will be examined across a variety of fields, including business, technology, the environment, and society. Within this context, the main task is to identify and characterize common patterns and structures across different social domains.



Dr. Renn is scientific director at the International Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam (Germany) since February, 1, 2016. He continues to serve as acting chair of the Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies at the University of Stuttgart (ZIRIUS) and as scientific director of the non-profit company DIALOGIK, a research institute for the investigation of communication and participation processes. Renn is Adjunct Professor for “Integrated Risk Analysis” at Stavanger University (Norway) and Affiliate Professor for “Risk Governance” at Beijing Normal University.

Ortwin Renn has a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Cologne. His career included teaching and research positions at Clark University (Worcester, USA), the Swiss Institute of Technology (Zuerich) and the Center of Technology Assessment (Stuttgart). His honours include the National Cross of Merit Order, an honorary doctorate from the Swiss Institute of Technology, an honorary professorship at the Technical University Munich and the “Distinguished Achievement Award” of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA).




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