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BISO Home > USNMO/IIASA Homepage > IIASA Past Activities and Events

past ACTIVITIES and events

U.S. National Committee Meets December 2018
The U.S. National Committee met in Washington, DC on December 13, 2018. Topics included IIASA Task Force implementation, IIASA membership concerns, the IIASA regional conferences and U.S. participation in them, recruitment for YSSP, and outreach to the U.S. science and policy communities. Guests included Albert van Jaarsveld, the IIASA Director General, and other IIASA staff in Washington, DC for the AGU meeting.

IIASA Sessions at AAAS, 2019
Three IIASA-related sessions were organized for the 2019 AAAS meeting. See The first was Sustainable Development: Implementing Systemic Dimensions, which among others involved Nebojsa (Naki) Nakicenovic discussing IIASA’s program The World in 2050, and Peter Gluckman, president-elect of the International Science Council (ISC) and chair of the International Network of Government Science Advice (INGSA). Heide Hackmann, Executive Director of the ISC, moderated the panel. The second session, Applied Systems Analysis: Bridging East and West, considered the history of IIASA and examined how facilitating scientific study can aid international organizations in easing relations between China, Russia, and the United States. U.S. NMO committee members Margaret Goud Collins and William Colglazier served as panelists, and Albert van Jaarsveld served as moderator. The third session, The Gender Dimension of Science Advice, explored why and how the gender dimension matters in providing science advice to government, both on the side of those advising and those receiving the advice, and discussed how to encourage more women to engage with scientific advice.

IIASA Sessions at AGU, 2018
The AGU meeting featured over 70 first-authored papers by IIASA staff or alumni (in oral or poster presentations); and presentations by 15 IIASA staff and at least 50 IIASA alumni. Among those, 30 are former Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) participants with seven from 2018. IIASA staff and alumni also served as conveners of more than 30 sessions. Albert van Jaarsveld spoke in a Union Session Geoscience Impact in a Complex World: Successful Collaboration with Social Scientists. He was joined on the panel by NAS President Marcia McNutt and three YSSP alumni. The session was live-streamed. Because there were so many sessions, U.S. NMO committee member Maggie Goud Collins and IIASA staff member Monika Bauer compiled an “IIASA at AGU” list of all IIASA-related sessions at AGU:  BISO and IIASA heavily promoted this information.

Connections with SIAM
Growing out of a discussion at the U.S. National Committee's April 2018 meeting, committee member Stephen Robinson (University of Wisconsin-Madison) teamed up with IIASA staff members Elena Rovenskaya and Ulf Dieckmann to write articles for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The first appeared in SIAM News in January 2017: "Systems Analysis to Inform and Support Global Transformations," The article served as an introduction to IIASA for many in the SIAM community. A second article, "Integrated Catastrophic Risk Management: Robust Balance between Ex-ante and Ex-post Measures" by Yuri M. Ermoliev, Stephen M. Robinson, Elena A. Rovenskaya, and Tatiyana Y. Ermolieva was published in the July 2, 2018 issue of SIAM News:

IIASA and the United Nations Multi-Stakeholder Group
Vaughn Turekian, Executive Director of NASEM's Division of Policy and Global Affairs, serves on the ten-member U.N. Multi-Stakeholder Group. He and others have ensured that IIASA is well represented in many of the high-level discussions on sustainability. This includes the High-level Political Forum and High-level Segment of ECOSOC 2019, held in New York, NY on July 9-19, 2019. See

A month earlier, on May 14, IIASA organized a side event, The Digital Revolution and Sustainable Development: Opportunities and Challenges, at the Fourth UN Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology, and Innovation for the SDGs (STI Forum). William Colglazier, a U.S. National Committee member, and Lucile Spini, ISC, were two of the five speakers. Naki Nakicenovic, IIASA, moderated the event. The abstract states, "The Digital Revolution, which although is arguably the single greatest enabler of sustainable development, has, in the past, created many negative externalities like transgression of planetary boundaries. Progress on the SDGs will be facilitated if we can build and implement detailed STI roadmaps at levels that range from local to global. This is central as STI drives all SDGs and one of the most fundamental disruptive changes in human history – the digital revolution which puts comprehensive artificial intelligence at the centre. A major challenge will be how to use the transformative nature of digitalization to create wealthy and inclusive economies and societies."

NASA and IIASA Interactions
On March 25, 2019, Jack Kaye, Associate Director for Research of NASA's Earth Science Division, visited IIASA, met with the Director General and Specific Staff, and delivered a talk entitled, "Viewing the Earth's Global Environment from Space: From Scientific Knowledge to Societal Benefits." To read more about Dr. Kaye's visit, including his abstract and biography, go to

IIASA is also now a partner in the NASA Harvest program, "a new, multidisciplinary consortium commissioned by NASA and led by the University of Maryland to enhance the use of satellite data in decision making related to food security and agriculture domestically and globally... The consortium anchors a broad network of partners drawn from universities, government agencies and government research organizations, NGOs, international multi-lateral organizations and the private sector, representing end users, information and service providers, and applications researchers."

Scenarios Forum at NCAR
Former members of the U.S. NMO Committee continue to promote U.S.-IIASA interactions. Brian O’Neill (NCAR and the University of Denver), a U.S. NMO Committee member from 2010-2014, organized the Scenarios Forum at the University of Denver on March 11-13, 2019. The goal was “to bring together a diverse set of communities who are using or developing scenarios for use in climate change and sustainability analysis to: exchange experiences, ideas, and lessons learned; identify opportunities for synergies and collaboration; and identify knowledge gaps for future research.” IIASA scientists presented in a number of the sessions as noted in The results will help “inform the use of scenarios in the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will also help ensure a research base sufficient to inform future national and international assessments as well as policy initiatives, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”


Core support for USNMO/IIASA is provided by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1663864, with policy involvement of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of State, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce (NOAA), the USDA Forest Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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