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Complexity Science

Plenary / Panel
in englischer Sprache

Die Komplexität steigt in einer zunehmend vernetzten Welt rapide an. Riesige Datenmengen von Systemen und Sensoren auf der einen, drastische Veränderungen in der Gesellschaft auf der anderen Seite. Und alles hängt irgendwie zusammen. Complexity Science versucht, die Auswirkungen aktueller Entwicklungen auf die Gesamtgesellschaft erfassbar zu machen.


Research Associate, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London
Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Uppsala Abstract
A number of recent studies (see e.g. Clark, „The Son Also Rises“, 2014; Lindahl et al., JHR 2015) have shown that the long term intergenerational persistence in human capital is much greater than what can be learned from data covering two generations only. An outstanding question, however, is to what extent different mechanisms contribute to this result. There are two main hypotheses. First, that influences from generations earlier than the parental generation (vertical influence) and potential externalities from close and/or distant relatives that are still active (horizontal influence) are ignored. Second, the hypothesis suggested by Clarke (2014) that earning or educational outcomes are insufficient measures of parental „social status“. There are at least two backgrounds for this being the case. First, „social status“ is inherently a latent variable that can be only imperfectly be measured by different indicators. Second, generation specific deviations or shocks deviating from a long term underlying mean. Both these backgrounds attenuate the relation that may be recovered from mobility estimates from two consecutive generations.
In this paper we use a model inspired by Borjas’ well-known ethnic capital model (see Borjas, QJE, 1992) for intergenerational mobility. However, instead of including the average outcome from the individual’s ethnic group, we use the outcome from relatives, or „dynastic human capital“. This framework allows us to identify separate effects from ancestors and relatives still active on the labor market.
We combine several Swedish registers on educational attainments and labor earnings for the period 1960-2009. We use GPA in the final year of the compulsory comprehensive school as a measure of educational outcome for about 2.4 million in the child generation. The Swedish multi-generation register and the fact that the entire Swedish population is included in the data allow us to obtain data on years of schooling, labor earnings and indicators for social status for their parents, grandparents and great grandparents as well as for their aunts, uncles, spouses for their aunts and uncles and cousins of their parents. We first use outcomes for the ancestors and the close relatives to calculate group averages. We use a method proposed by Lubotsky and Wittenberg (REStat 2006) to combine indicators.
The results obtained in this paper strongly suggest that there is additional information in the outcomes from the extended family and that only using parental outcomes severely underestimates the long term persistence in human capital outcomes across generations.
Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Social Research, Trento University, Trento Abstract
Too high levels of inequality are harmful to societies. High inequality is a menace to equity and social cohesion, and comes with high social and economic costs. However, even high levels of inequality are less problematic when market-generated economic inequality is not matched with social inequality, the latter generated by (new) family arrangements and welfare systems.
European societies witnessed a series of profound changes over recent decades, among those also changes in two of the classic inequality-generating institutions - the labour market and the family (the latter mainly originated by the changing behaviour of women), coming with the emergence of „new social risks“ and a potentially reduced capacity to buffer market risks.
With our research we offer an integrated perspective systematically linking these developments to trends in social and economic inequality of European societies, and we consider systematically individual (micro), family (meso) and institutional (macro) mechanisms within a dynamic perspective. This calls for complex models - and very rich data!

Evaluating the (social) consequences of two decades of labour market deregulation, we come to a rather critical assessment, especially when deregulation is implemented „at the margins“ and in societies that are inflexible under many other aspects. In these cases deregulation reduced the acquisition of social rights for some social groups, and thus increased inequality and social exclusion. We find alarming trends for the young generations in southern Europe (while much less so in other countries with a more developed welfare state), who are increasingly unable to set up their own family. Changes in the labour market, thus, clearly spill over to demographic outcomes. Setting up a family (having children) is a difficult task when persons are increasingly exposed to market risks. We also find hints of families’ decreasing capacity to face them. In some countries even to the point that childbirth becomes a poverty risk for some families.
Further, there is a clear tendency of accumulation of problematic employment situations among couples, instead of a compensation of risks. Obviously, when the accumulation of social risks prevails, market generated inequalities are further amplified and thus increase the overall level of social inequality - even more so in the absence of a strong welfare state.
The positive news is that, in sharp contrast with some scenarios proposed in the literature, women’s’ inflow in the labour market is a great equalizer and helps families to avoid poverty especially where state support is scarce. Still too often, though, female employment comes at the costs of fertility decisions. As is well known, family policy and labour market opportunities are important to successfully combine work and family. But also cultural aspects are relevant for fertility and employment choices of families. Understanding the mechanisms behind families’ behaviours obviously helps to target interventions and family policies. The assessment of cultural and structural aspects and their interaction will contribute to identify those policies enabling (especially Mediterranean) countries to overcome the low fertility-low female labour market participation equilibrium and fostering the dual-earner model throughout Europe.
Finally, our work on economic inequality confirms the persisting and rather constant importance of the (public) welfare state for reducing inequality, yet with peculiar differences in the efficiency among countries and welfare models. And also the family (of origin and the own one) still plays a crucial role in stratifying (life-course) chances and thus generating and reducing (some) social and economic inequalities. Yet, the observed changes in the way of „doing family“ did not contribute to the increased inequality observed for many advanced societies.
Professor of Urban Renewal, and Head, Department of Neighbourhood Change and Housing, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft Abstract
Growing inequalities in Europe are a major challenge threatening the sustainability of urban communities and the competiveness of European cities. While the levels of socio-economic segregation in European cities are still modest compared to some parts of the world, the poor are increasingly concentrating spatially within capital cities across Europe. An overlooked area of research, this study offers a systematic and representative account of the spatial dimension of rising inequalities in Europe.
This research provides rigorous comparative evidence on socio-economic segregation from 13 European cities. Cities include Amsterdam, Athens, Budapest, London, Milan, Madrid, Oslo, Prague, Riga, Stockholm, Tallinn, Vienna and Vilnius. Comparing 2001 and 2011, this multi-factor approach links segregation to four underlying universal structural factors: social inequalities, global city status, welfare regimes and housing systems. Hypothetical segregation levels derived from those factors are compared to actual segregation levels in all cities. Each case study uses Census or register data and provides an in-depth and context sensitive discussion of the unique features shaping inequalities and segregation in the case study cities. The main conclusion of the study is that the spatial gap between the poor and the rich is widening in capital cities across Europe, which threatens to harm the social stability of European cities.
President, European Research Council, Brussels Chair

Ph.D. Clémentine COTTINEAU

Research Associate, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London

2009 Degree in Geography, Degree in Economics, Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne
2011 Master in Geography, Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne
2001-2013 Copy editor for Cybergeo, European Journal of Geography
2011-2014 PhD student in Geography , Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne
2012-2014 Teaching Assistant, Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne
since 2014 Research Associate, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London

Ph.D. Mikael LINDAHL

Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Uppsala

2000 Ph.D. in Economics, Stockholm University
2007 Docent in Economics, Stockholm University
since 2015 Professor in Economics at the Department of Economics, Uppsala University

Dr. Stefani SCHERER

Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Social Research, Trento University, Trento

 Stefani Scherer (PI) is associate professor in Sociology at Trento University, Italy.
 She holds a PhD from Mannheim University (Dr. phil), Germany. Her main research interests are inequality and social stratification processes in international comparative perspective, the analysis of life courses, the family and labour market dynamics.
 She has been working in several international comparative projects. Among other things she was a member of the network of excellence EQUALSOC and the CHANGEQUAL project, both funded by the EC.
 From 1997-2002 she was research fellow at the Mannheimer Zentrum fuer Europaeische Sozialforschung (MZES), Germany, and had her post-doc at Milan-Bicocca before joining Trento University in 2007.
 She currently coordinates the PhD programme in Sociology within the School in Social Science at Trento University.
 She is teaching courses on the BA, MA and PhD level on statistics and applied research methods as well as a course on family sociology.

M.Sc. Ph.D. FHEA Maarten VAN HAM

Professor of Urban Renewal, and Head, Department of Neighbourhood Change and Housing, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft

1996-1998 Research Assistant, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University
1998 MSc in Human Geography, Cum Laude [highest grade in the Netherlands], Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University
1998-2002 Research Assistant (AIO/PhD student working on PhD) Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University
2002 PhD in Human Geography, Cum Laude, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University
2002-2004 Research Fellow, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Amsterdam
2004 Senior Research Fellow, OTB, Delft University of Technology
2004-2006 Lecturer in Urban Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University
2006-2009 Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography & Geosciences, University of St Andrews, Scotland
2006-2011 Deputy Director, Centre for Housing Research (CHR), University of St Andrews, Scotland
2009-2011 Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, School of Geography & Geosciences, University of St Andrews, Scotland
since 2011 Professor of Human Geography, School of Geography & Geosciences, University of St Andrews, Scotland
  Built Environment, Faculty of Architecture, Delft University of Technology
since 2011 Professor of Urban Renewal, and head of the of Urban Renewal and Housing research group, OTB Research Institute for the


President, European Research Council, Brussels

 Studied Mathematics
1986-2012 Professor at École polytechnique
1994-2013 Director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS)
since 2014 President of the European Research Council


Timetable einblenden


10:00 - 12:30TechnologiebrunchSocial
13:00 - 13:10Eröffnung der Alpbacher Technologiegespräche 2015Plenary
13:10 - 14:00FTI-TalkPlenary
14:00 - 15:30Zukünftiges Leben mit der MaschinePlenary
16:00 - 17:30Cyber Physikalische SystemePlenary
19:45 - 21:15Regional Debate Central Eastern EuropePlenary
21:15 - 23:30AbendempfangSocial
21:15 - 23:30KarriereloungeSocial


09:00 - 10:30BioökonomiePlenary
09:00 - 18:00Junior Alpbach - Wissenschaft und Technologie für junge MenschenBreakout
09:00 - 15:00Ö1 Kinderuni Alpbach - Wissenschaft und Technologie für KinderBreakout
10:50 - 12:15Complexity SciencePlenary
12:15 - 13:00Imbiss für die TeilnehmerInnen der Breakout SessionsSocial
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 01: 2015: Das Ende der EnergiewendeBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 02: Bio-Economy in Action: Nationale Bioökonomie-Strategien im VergleichBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 03: Human Enhancement Technologien: Verstärkung oder Reduktion von UngleichheitBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 04: Forschungsförderung zwischen Risiko, Kreativität und MainstreamBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 05: Marktumbrüche: Herausforderung und Chance für Innovation?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 06: Entrepreneurship: Was kann das Wissenschaftssystem beitragen?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 07: Spiele der UnGleichheitBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 08: Physisches Internet: Überragende Vision für Logistik und MobilitätBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 09: Dynamik durch Heterogenität: Wie Wirtschaft und Forschung von Unterschieden profitierenBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 10: Energiewende: Gleiches Ziel - ungleicher WegBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 11: Wasserstoff und Brennstoffzelle: Kommt der Marktdurchbruch?Breakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 12: Leuchtende Zukunft? Herausforderungen und Chancen der LED-BeleuchtungBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 13: Wahrheit und Wirklichkeit: Zur Bedeutung von Modellen in Ökonomie, Wissenschaft und PhilosophieBreakout
13:00 - 18:00Breakout Session 14: Virtuelles Lernen: Chancen(Un)Gleichheit im Bildungsbereich?Breakout
20:00 - 21:30Urban Innovators Challenge - Start Up Your CompanyPartner


09:00 - 10:30Das Media Lab des MIT zu Gast bei den TechnologiegesprächenPlenary
10:30 - 11:30UnGleichheit: Die neue SeidenstraßePlenary
11:50 - 13:15Kunst, Design und Architektur als Labor der Digitalen ModernePlenary
13:15 - 13:30Abschluss-Statement der Alpbacher TechnologiegesprächePlenary
13:30 - 14:00Imbiss zum Abschluss der VeranstaltungSocial