Summer School on Multi-Scale Integrated Analysis of Societal and Ecological Metabolism (MuSIASEM) for Participatory Assessment of Sustainability Issues

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Organizers: The Scientific Society LIPHE4 and the Research Group of Integrated Assessment of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)

The summer-school: A 5-day Summer School will take place in the campus of Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, from Monday 14th to Friday 18th of July 2008.

The purpose of this summer-school: to provide an introduction to the theory, the methodological approach and practical applications of MuSIASEM to young researchers, advanced students, experienced practitioners. Several conceptual concepts derived from complex systems thinking: “holons”, “multipurpose grammars”, “sudoku effect”, “multi-level matrices”, “the fund/flow model of analysis for metabolic systems” (proposed by Georgescu-Roegen) will be presented since they are the building blocks of the MuSIASEM approach. Then the school with discuss the possible use of the MuSIASEM approach in the fields of:

  • Participatory Integrated Assessment – the choice, development and use of integrated packages of indicators across dimensions and scales of analysis when using science for governance;
  • Social Multicriteria Evaluation – how to handle the unavoidable presence of uncertainty (genuine ignorance) and the existence of legitimate but contrasting perspectives about what should be considered as an “improvement” in a process of decision making;
  • Spatial Analysis – how to deal with the ecological dimension of sustainability by analysing the interference that the characteristics of societal metabolism entail on the metabolism of natural ecosystems.

This summer school follows previous 4 summer school previously organised by the Scientific Society LIPHE4 in collaboration with other institutions.

The team of resource persons includes: Mario Giampietro, Jesús Ramos, Gonzalo Gamboa and Agustín Lobo. A preliminary program of the 5 days with the themes covered is attached.

Participants: Participants are expected to be able to communicate professionally in both written and spoken English, and to have an interest in learning about innovative approaches and ideas related to sustainable development, integrated assessment, resource use, science for governance.  For logistic reasons (formation of working groups), the number of participants will not exceed 40 units. Participation to the classes is free of charge, although we are not able to provide any financial help for accommodation or logistics. We will provide information about possible accommodations but participants are expected to cover by themselves accommodation and food.

How to apply: Applicants have to fill the attached application form explaining their current interests and projects (1 page) and their CV (1 page).  We will make a selection in case the number of applications will exceed the limit of 40 participants.

Deadline for applications is on the 6th of June.

Applications must be sent to: Tarik Serrano through e-mail to:

Selected applicants will be informed on the 10th of June. Reading material will be provided to the participants before the school. Participants are expected to have read the material before attending the sessions.

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