PE&RC/WIAS Resilience of living systems -Making it happen!

Organised by Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences (WIAS)

Tue 1 June 2021 until Wed 24 March 2021

Duration 3 days a week from 10.30 - 15.30 CET
Course set-up

The course is composed of:

  1. Basic training on Agent Based Modelling (element of the first week)
    Given that Agent Based Modelling (ABM) will be the central tool in this course, we first provide a training in ABM, enabling all participants to be on par with the required entry level when we start discussing and analysing resilience of various systems.
  2. Key-note / Introduction Lecture
    The course starts with an introductory lecture in which a bird’s-eye view of resilience is given. We discuss basic concepts of resilience, simultaneously ensuring that all participants are using the same terminology.
  3. Introduction session
    Participants introduce themselves in an introduction session where they present a 1-slide PowerPoint with a fixed format (“who am I, what do I do, what is my interest in resilience, how can I contribute, what do I want to get out of the course?”). The fixed format will be sent to participants prior to the course. The PowerPoint slide must be submitted in advance.
  4. Lectures and Discussion
    In the first three weeks of the course, the day starts with 2-3 lectures (30 minutes each) focussing on the basic concepts of resilience and how to apply them. For introducing these basic concepts, we will use a range of examples from different disciplines (e.g. socio-economic, medical, biophysical, ecological, etc., at different scales of integration (space, time, complexity)). Lectures are linked to a scientific paper by the speaker. All lectures are followed by a 30-minute discussion where all participants must be prepared to ask questions based on the presentation and the paper.
  5. Working groups and Final Presentations
    The second part of most days, as well as the last week, will involve group work in which each team poses a specific research question and uses agent-based modelling to answer it. The outcomes of the group work will be used for an overview of Resilience of living systems. The last two days of the course will be used by the different teams to present their work to each other and other invited listeners. 

The multidisciplinary groups will work on an assignment, taking the following aspects into account:
• Sociality of the people involved;
• Spatial and temporal scales;
• Complexity;
• Feedback mechanisms;
• Stability.

Among others, the following potential topics have been identified:
• Natural systems (e.g. a terrestrial system, an aquatic system);
• Farming systems (e.g. plant, animal or mixed);
• Landscapes;
• Food systems (the food chain);
• Microbial systems (soil, gut, etc.);
• Organ and organismal system (e.g. human, animal, plant and organs / systems within);
• The climate system.

However, participants are free to suggest other systems they are interested in, as long as it involves a resilience challenge.


Please click here for the final programme.

Confirmed keynote speakers

The following speakers have been confirmed. More will be listed as names become available

  • Gary Polhill (Former President of the European Social Simulation Association and Research Scientist at James Hutton Institute);
  • Tatiana Filatova (Programme leader of the DeSIRE programme on designing engineered resilience and Professor of computational economics);
  • Amineh Ghorbani (Assistent Professor at Engineering Systems and Services at TBM, Delft University);
  • Emile Chappin (Associate Professor at the Energy and Industry Group of Delft University);
  • Maja Schlüter (Professor in sustainability science at Stockholm University)
  • Mark Kramer (NetLogo & software expert) 

Course Organisers