CSH Colloquium: “Improving resilience in complex systems”

Jun 07, 2018 | 15:0018:00

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Event Navigation


Resilience: exploring a concept



This CSH Colloquium is organized by Frank Schweitzer, ETH Zurich, and Stefan Thurner, CSH Vienna.


After a short welcome by Frank Schweitzer the concept of resilience will be described from three different perspectives (45 minutes each):



15:15–16:00    The Resilience of Social Organizations


Frank Schweitzer, CSH Vienna & ETH Zurich

Find the presentation HERE


Today resilience is an often used buzz word that refers to the capacity of systems to absorb shocks and to recover from these. But how do we quantify such systemic behavior?


Most measures focus on the robustness of technical and infrastructure systems, often building on a static notion of stability. They can hardly be transferred to the context of social organisations which by definition are volatile in their dynamics. Even more, most social systems are adaptive, i.e. they adjust to changing internal and external shocks rather than losing their stability.


A data-driven research approach allows us to derive quantitative proxy measures for the resilience of social organizations, based on minimal assumptions about their relation with measurable macroscopic quantities. In his talk, Frank Schweitzer will  discuss how such measures can be used to calibrate, and to validate, an agent-based model of dynamic social organization. He will also address the “design problem”, i.e. the question, how to intervene in the system, on the agent level, to improve resilience.




16:00–16:45      Dancing with the Dynamics:
Social-ecological Systems Insights for Sustainable Development


Odirilwe Selomane, Stockholm Resilience Centre

Find the presentation HERE


Major challenges currently facing the world such as persistent poverty, rising inequalities, economic development, biodiversity loss and climate change are deeply intertwined. As a consequence, the world is now increasingly understood as a web of interactions, which some scholars define as social-ecological systems.


Social-ecological systems are complex adaptive systems which emphasize that society and nature are intertwined; these systems are understood to be embedded within the biosphere. Some key features of SES are that they are dynamic and are characterised by nonlinearity, diversity, cross-scale dynamics, emergence and other features as key to understanding how they change and adapt over time. It is critical to understand this dynamic character in social-ecological systems in order to improve desired resilience and achieve sustainability.


Odirilwe Selomane will give a broad introduction to social-ecological systems, current understanding of resilience in them, their associated dynamics and how this approach offers insights for sustainable development.




16:45–17:30       Elimination of Systemic Risk in Financial Networks


Stefan Thurner, CSH Vienna & Medical University of Vienna

Find the presentation HERE


Based on actual interbank credit networks we demonstrate that it is possible to quantify the systemic risk of banks, countries and individual transactions. We further show that how this knowledge allows us to practically eliminate systemic risk from financial systems and thus drastically improve the resilience of national economies.





17:30–18:00      Wine & Water & Words



After the end of the Colloquium we invite to a glass of wine.






Jun 07, 2018


Boecklsaal at TU Wien (Technical University of Vienna)
Karlsplatz 13, Stair 1, 1st floor
+ Google Map
View Venue Website