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We live in a world where everything seems to be interwoven with everything else, and where cause and effect are hard to unravel. Understanding what kind of interventions will produce what type of outcomes, is one of the most urgent and challenging questions of our time. At the IAS, researchers from a wide range of fields work together on complex challenges. One question unifies them all: can complex adaptive systems be controlled?

  • Coupled Human-Natural Systems

    People have always interacted with natural systems, but today no place on earth seems to be left unaffected by human influence. It’s a two-way interaction since the resulting changes in the environment also influence human behaviour. At the IAS, we study coupled human-natural systems as integrated systems, in which human and natural components interact.

    Future of energy

  • Foundations and Methods

    Characteristics of complex adaptive systems (e.g. tipping points, emergence, resilience) are found in many of today’s most pressing societal challenges. Exploring the dynamics of complex systems from a fundamental perspective is therefore crucial to progress our reasoning about the effects of our intervention strategies. At the IAS we develop novel algorithmic, computational and descriptive methods with the aim to bridge the gap between the disciplines and to get a grip on complex system dynamics.

    Foundations of complex systems

    Simulation-based science

  • ArtScience

    Science and art have a long history of entanglement. At the IAS we aim to discover domains where art and science converge to forge new, emergent knowledge practices, and in so doing, push humanistic inquiry in new and demanding directions.