Options Magazine, Winter 2022: IIASA organized a series of celebratory activities with its member organizations throughout 2022 to celebrate 50 years of groundbreaking systems analysis research and opportunities to strengthen partnerships and collaborations with the global scientific community.

UNITED KINGDOM — 21 February 2022

Webinar on biodiversity from a systems analysis perspective
This virtual event jointly organized by IIASA and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) highlighted the significance of biodiversity-related research that could benefit systems thinking. A critical dialogue between IIASA researchers and the UK community addressed the need for systemic changes to bend the curve of ongoing biodiversity loss.

JORDAN — 01-02 March 2022

Workshop on systems analysis: To tackle global challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
IIASA scientists shared their experiences in the use of systems analysis to tackle global challenges through systems thinking, models and scenarios, and other practical applications with the Jordanian research community during this virtual anniversary event. The workshop helped to build Jordanian capacity in systems analysis.

AUSTRIA — 07 April 2022

Sustaining biodiversity: A challenge for science and policy
Researchers from IIASA and the Austrian scientific community gathered for this hybrid scientific exchange to highlight the importance of biodiversity and citizen science initiatives, including a critical reflection on the current trends in biodiversity science and policy, and their implication on environmental governance.

ISRAEL — 27 April 2022

Workshop on models for environmental and energy policy analysis
This event gave IIASA researchers and Israeli colleagues the opportunity to discuss energy and integrated assessment modeling within the MESSAGEix framework. Discussions also explored development scenarios for the Israeli energy sector, energy transport analysis, and air quality co-benefits.

UNITED STATES — 26 May 2022

Workshop on international cooperation for global challenges: 50 years of building research bridges at IIASA
IIASA delegates and members of the US scientific community gathered in Washington to reiterate the importance of international research cooperation and its pioneering role as an instrument of science diplomacy. The event also provided an opportunity for US alumni of the IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) to share their experiences and accomplishments as participants of the program.

FINLAND — 02 June 2022

Seminar on systems analysis: Science-based support for policymakers
The Finnish IIASA Committee, the Academy of Finland, and IIASA jointly organized this hybrid event in Finland, which welcomed speakers from IIASA and Finland, as well as IIASA alumni in the country, to broaden networking opportunities and strengthen links with the Finnish research community.

IRAN — 07 June 2022

Seminar on systems analysis
This event was co-organized by IIASA and the Iran National Science Foundation (INSF) to show how global, regional, and local challenges can be addressed with systems analysis. It also highlighted systems approaches to deal with urban risk, energy, and climate issues. The event took place online and featured two keynote presentations and a panel discussion.

AUSTRIA — 14 June 2022

Science diplomacy event: The need for international scientific cooperation and multilateralism
IIASA organized this high-level science diplomacy event in Vienna’s beautiful Museums Quartier to discuss the crucial role of international scientific cooperation in enabling researchers to access additional expertise and gain new perspectives on research, unlocking scientific discoveries, and promoting scientific advancement for the benefit and interest of all humankind. Discussions during the event resulted in the Vienna Statement on Science Diplomacy, which has since been endorsed by more than two hundred eminent personalities from the academic and policymaking community.

INDIA — 10-12 August 2022

International conference on systems analysis for enabling integrated policymaking
This hybrid conference in New Delhi was co-hosted by IIASA and the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), with partners from China, Iran, Japan, and Jordan. It built on the expertise and interlinkages between the systems analysis communities in Asia to discuss and analyze transformative approaches to achieving sustainability across multiple stakeholders, sectors, and regions.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IIASA! — 04 October 2022

On 4 October, the institute’s official 50th birthday, IIASA hosted an informal celebration for those who compose and define the DNA of the institute: current IIASA staff, local alumni, IIASA Distinguished Visiting Fellows, collaborators from the Austrian scientific landscape, as well as local supporters from the Laxenburg community. Highlights of the event included a beautiful birthday cake and the sealing of a time capsule with, among other keepsakes, messages from IIASA staff and alumni to be opened after 25 years.

KOREA — 12 October 2022

IIASA-Korea joint conference on systems analysis as a global approach
IIASA and the National Research Foundation of Korea jointly hosted this hybrid conference in Seoul through the Korean IIASA Committee to highlight and consolidate ongoing collaboration. The conference also served to introduce the YSSP and other IIASA capacity building programs to the Korean academic community and to discuss an expansion of the research agenda.

HUNGARY — 28 October 2022

Alumni reunion
IIASA alumnus István Kiss brought together the IIASA community at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest to celebrate the institute’s 50th anniversary. Hungary was one of the first members of IIASA, and Kiss was an integral part of shaping the relationship between IIASA and Hungary.

AUSTRIA — 16-17 November 2022

Conference on systems analysis for reducing footprints and enhancing resilience
The two-day hybrid 50th anniversary event was co-organized by IIASA and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. It was held at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and opened by the Federal Minister of Education, Science, and Research of the Republic of Austria. It demonstrated how systems analysis can contribute to solving many of today’s global challenges and explored the future of this transdisciplinary field.

SOUTH AFRICA — 4-7 December 2022

IIASA 50th Anniversary event in South Africa during the World Science Forum
IIASA collaborated with the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) to host two events to promote the 50th Anniversary of IIASA and systems analysis in advance of the World Science Forum. The first, a high level panel discussion, aimed to position the IIASA Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Member Organization (SSARMO) with heads of research councils in Africa and reflect on priority focus areas on the continent, while the second, an academic symposium, presented highlights of selected projects and highlighted the application of system approaches and skills development in projects.

by Cherry Edwards and Julia Schaubach

Celebrating 50 years of global collaboration