GSDP was coordinated by

Financial Risks, Green Growth and Jobs

03.05.2012, Barcelona, Spain

Challenges to Global Systems Science: From Climate Change to Market Governance


The conference was organised by Global Systems Dynamics and Policy (GSDP), Global Climate Forum (GCF) and Integrated Risk Governance Project (IRGP).



The global financial crisis has thrown a harsh light on the inadequate governance of global systems. While in emerging economies economic progress has resumed, many hard-hit countries, e.g. in Southern Europe, feel stuck in a global financial system outside their control. Populations are facing mass unemployment and public unrest is rising. There is also a notable reaction within Western economies against a perceived unfair distribution of wealth and the fact that global environmental risks are left unattended.

The combination of financial instability and slowing growth needs a comprehensive response. A green growth strategy offers the opportunity to turn sufficient amounts of financial capital into entrepreneurial investment. Transforming the cities, businesses and homes so as to increase welfare while reducing damages to the environment is widely seen as a desirable goal and can trigger the investments needed to create global growth. The lack of efficient global market governance, however, makes the implementation of this strategy an arduous task.

Developing global markets governance will go hand in hand with developing global systems science. Advanced Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) will be essential: they can help fostering global learning communities, developing global decision support systems, and perceiving the links between various global systems. In particular, they are urgently needed to develop more accurate models about how the economy really works in the context of global change.

Global systems science requires models and evidence-based policy appraisals that span the whole range of scales from local and regional to global decision-making. The multidimensionality of global problems and the interconnectedness of decisions across different policy sectors have to be reflected in a transdisciplinary approach involving political scientists, economists, philosophers, psychologists, and more. At the same time, ICT opens a vast range of opportunities for social dialogues, and new venues for political participation. Researchers, policy makers and new global communities can work on the possibilities that ICT offers for global systems understanding and renewal.