Introducing complexity-oriented methods into life-cycle thinking

Enhancing the study of sustainable socio-technical systems through the use of Agent Based Modeling

Production and consumption systems are socio-technical systems that are now more complex and intertwined than ever. Studying the sustainability of such systems can be challenging since aspects like heterogeneous consumption patterns, non-linear dynamics and emergent behaviors add another layer of complexity. For this, Agent Based Modeling has been commonly selected as the weapon of choice to enhance Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies. While this coupled approach is not novel in the literature, its adoption is far from  being mainstream among practitioners when dealing with this type of research inquiries.

In this context, the Life-Cycle Thinking for Complex-Systems Initiative brings a seminar in which we will have three presentations that are meant to provide an introductory view of the main characteristics, benefits, and difficulties of using complexity-oriented approaches in combination with LCA studies. The presentations will be given by three experienced researchers in the field:

Agent-based modelling and simulation for the circular economy

Julien Walzberg, PhD

Julien Walzberg is a researcher from the Strategic Energy Analysis Center of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States. He works on circular economy and sustainability research projects including the integration of agent-based modeling and simulation and life cycle assessment.

Addressing Algorithmic complexity and computational challenges in linking ABM to LCA

Tomás Navarrete Gutiérrez, PhD

Tomás Navarrete Gutiérrez works at the Environmental Research & Innovation (ERIN) department of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). He does research in Agent-Based Simulation, Computer Communications (Networks) and Computational LCA.

Applications of agent-based modelling in energy transitions for industrial networks and urban systems”

Koen Van Dam, PhD

Research Fellow at Imperial College London's Urban Energy Systems group at the Faculty of Engineering  specialized in agent-based models for city systems. He utilizes spatial and temporal data from various sectors and scales, particularly energy and transport, providing valuable decision support for designing new services, technologies, and policies. Having worked on national and international sustainability projects, he is currently part of the FCDO-funded Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) programme and member of the secretariat of the Energy Transition Council (ETC) working in close collaboration with the UK's Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) to deliver coordination and technical assistance in partner countries.

Organized by:

Life-Cycle Thinking for Complex-Systems Initiative, with the support of LIST

About the organizers:

Gustavo Martín Larrea Gallegos, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

Jonathan Cohen, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Kasper Lange, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Michał Bączyk, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Ryu Koide, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan

Tianran Ding, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

About this event:

This seminar is the first of a series of dissemination events that are part of the activities of the Life-Cycle Thinking for Complex-Systems Initiative. This open initiative is supported by a group of researchers, professionals and enthusiasts that have as a main objective promoting the use of complexity-oriented approaches to address sustainability-related issues with a life-cycle perspective.

The initiative aims to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners to interact, collaborate, and disseminate knowledge about methodologies and advances in complexity-oriented life-cycle studies. A series of events like seminars, workshops, and special sessions are foreseen, being this first seminar the official kick-off of the initiative’s activities.


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Introducing complexity-oriented methods into life-cycle thinking


Practical Infos

Date : Friday 07 June 2024

Format : Online conference

Language : English

Schedule : 15:00 – 17:00 (CEST)

Registration fees: free of charge but the registration is required


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