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International Summer School
Summer Academy on Economic Growth and Governance of Natural Resources
 Educational Program
As the 21st century begins, humankind faces a challenge to find a wiser way to utilize Earth’s resources to maintain economic growth, in developing countries as well as in the industrialized world, while avoiding overexploitation of ecosystem services and other natural resources. The global economy is still rooted in non-renewable resource exploitation; transition to renewable energy and sustainable resource use will occur only in response to incentives and institutional systems that reflect enthusiastic adoption of the need for change by policy-makers and business. This is a daunting task for many reasons, including complex feedbacks between the institutional and economic system that may lead to path-dependencies that hinder or prevent such transitions.

Moreover, growing globalization and an accelerating level of industrial development are contributing to a shifting of the Earth systems from a quasi-equilibrium state that has traditionally supported human society. Environmental regime shifts may give rise to institutional tipping points, which may also trigger sudden transitions in socio-economic systems; these create a strong need for policy instruments that can take into account the feedbacks between elements of the whole. The need to maintain economic growth without unacceptable damage to Earth’s capacity to support human society is embodied in the concepts of “sustainable development” and “green growth”. This summer school is designed to examine and develop some of the analytical tools that can assist in decision support for policy makers trying to maneuver in this complex space.

The scientific community plays a key role in analyzing options for policies aimed at facilitating an efficient and fair use of natural resources, while ensuring that Earth systems retain their functionality. Recent developments in policy science reflect the understanding that research useful for decision support can no longer work with linearized approximations, ignoring nonlinearities, potential structural changes and regime shifts. A new generation of science supporting policy that responds to these complex, global changes should address explicitly the issue of multiplicity of decision-makers and decision-making levels and their interactions. Moreover, the heterogeneity of agents involved in making and implementing decisions is playing an increasingly decisive role, highlighting the need to design fair and efficient institutions to support global policies on sustainable development.

MSA 2015 aims to attract a new generation of scientists from around the world to learn and discuss the challenges of natural resources management and economic growth, along with methodologies that are available to attack those challenges (e.g., optimal control theory, analysis of dynamic systems, and game theory with special focus on dynamic games and mechanism design).

The School will consider the Arctic as a special case, where the warming environment catalyzes changes in ecosystems and in opportunities for economic development, and where the small traditional population of the area will have to partner with national and international authorities to handle unprecedented challenges to traditional cultures, as well as opportunities for increased prosperity.

Particular themes on which the School will focus include:

  • Endogenous growth theory and new drivers of economic growth: moving towards inclusiveness and sustainability
  • Mutual feedbacks and different time scales of changes in institutional, economic, climatic, and ecological systems
  • Nonlinearities, structural changes, regime shifts and tipping points in human-earth systems' functioning: understanding, predicting and steering
  • Incentivizing sustainable behavior: institution design
  • Cooperation, fairness, and resource sharing
  • The Arctic as a focal case of a non-linear social-ecological system undergoing rapid change

The confirmed speakers are:
Dr. Sergey AseevLeading Research Scholar,
Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Research Scholar,
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
Dr. Stefan BehringerMember of the Chair for Managerial Economics,
Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Prof. Michael GhilDistinguished Research Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences,
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA
Emeritus Professor of Geosciences,
Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
Prof. Itziar LazkanoAssistant Professor,
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, USA
Prof. Andrea MantovaniAssociate Professor,
Department of Economics, University of Bologna, Italy
Dr. Linda NøstbakkenAssociate professor,
Department of Economics,
Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Norway
Dr. Andries Peter RichterResearch Associate,
Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Norway
Assistant Professor of the Environmental Economics and Natural Resources group,
Wageningen University, Netherlands
Dr. Alessandro TavoniResearch Fellow,
Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics, United Kingdom
Prof. Thomas WeberAssociate Professor,
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Prof. Anastasios XepapadeasProfessor of Economic Theory and Policy,
Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece


We bridge the gap between formal models and policy advice by having selected talks on Inspiration, impact, and real-world applications:

  • Advice to young scientists (Nils Chr. Stenseth, Research Professor and Chair of the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), University of Oslo, Norway)
  • The Science - Policy Divide: Policy Relevant Science doesn't always mean Policy Impact (Margaret Goud Collins, Program Director, Capacity Building and Academic Training, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria)
  • Arctic Research of the Institute of Geography: history, directions and methodologies (Andrey Medvedev, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Science)
  • Multiple global, regional and local drivers affect natural resource production in marine systems (Susa Niiranen, GreenMar scholar at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden)
  • Modelling ecological regime shifts and economic implications in the Nordic Seas (Marcos Llopes, GreenMar scholar at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, CEES, University of Oslo, Norway and researcher at the Instituto Español de Oceanografia, Spain.

Visitors: 57191Last updated: 23.09.15