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Systems ecological perspectives on sustainability


Followed by intensive course “Introduction to systems ecology” by Sven Erik Jørgensen
When: 24-30 September 2014
Where: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Mechelininkatu 34a, Helsinki, Finland

Organized by Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
Supported by Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation and federation of Finnish Learned Societies

Baltic Sea Algae blooming Bloom-filled Baltic Sea © ËSA

General information and the focus

The first Systems ecological perspectives to sustainability conference will be held in Helsinki, Finland 24-30 September 2014. The aim of the conference is to bring together scientists and other thinkers interested in systems ecology and sustainability. During the three-day presentations the participants will get clarified state-of-the-art view of the key concepts and research methods of systems approach, they will hear recent findings of the various topics of sustainability science, and discuss of innovations for sustainable management of socio-ecological systems.

After the scientific part of the conference there will be an option for field trip to see applied systems ecology in practice in Finnish countryside. For students, PhD candidates and active researchers there is a post-conference course of Introduction to systems ecology available, taught by Sven Jørgensen.

During the meeting we hope to get sparkles, in addition to scientific contributions, for solutions what kind of alternatives could and should be developed for mainstream economy oriented worldview, for the sake of sustainable management of biosphere.

Key words: biodiversity, biosphere, complexity, ecosystem, ecosystem service, energy, future, information, planetary boundaries, sustainability, systems thinking, thermodynamics.


The roots of systems ecology can be traced to the history of natural science, physics, chemistry and biology. In particular, this meeting will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Erwin Schrödinger’s influential book What is Life. For sustainability science, there is still a lot to learn from Schrödinger. Global change, economic crisis, biodiversity loss etc. are all intertwined with environmental challenges of modern society powered with fossil fuels.

In recent years, concepts such as ecosystem services, resilience, and socio-ecological systems have emerged rapidly. In all of them the fundamental question is the relationship of the impact of human societies on the biosphere, and the flows of principal measures that are driving the ecosystems and biodiversity – energy and information.


Conference 24-26 September (Final programme 24.-26.9.2014)

  • The conference with sessions of Need for holistic system-ecological approach in sustainability science (Day 1)
  • System’s measures: Energy, exergy, and information (Day 2)
  • Challenges of society and solutions for future (Day 3)

Submission of abstracts for oral presentations is CLOSED, but you can still submit abstracts for POSTER presentations until 15th August 2014.

Please email your abstract for poster presentation to petteri.vihervaara@ymparisto.fi   and laura.mononen@ymparisto.fi. The abstract may contain max. 300 words (title, authors, summary).

Dinner: Thursday 19:00-22:00 at Restaurant Savu

Post-conference field trip Saturday 27th September (Day 4, max 30 participants)
Field trip by bus and walk will start at 9:00 on Saturday morning and take whole day until 22:00. So please be prepared for that. We will see sustainable ecosystem management in cultural landscapes of Uusimaa region . We will visit at ecological Kilpiä farm in Nummi-Pusula, where agriculture has been practiced over 240 years. After that we stop at Nuuksio national park to have a view to Finnish forests. Finally the trip will end to the coastal zone of Baltic sea. Snacks and dinner will be served during the day. More information will be available later for the participants.

Post-conference course 28-30 September (Days 5-7, max 25 participants): The Course of Systems Ecology (Introduction to Systems Ecology -book)

Key note speakers

Professor Felix Müller, University of Kiel, Germany (Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Indicators)
"Sustainability indicators for socio-ecological systems"

Professor Larry Li, University of California, USA (Founding editor of Ecological Complexity)
"Ecological complexity – how to study iticators for socio-ecological systems"

Professor Sven Erik Jørgensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
"Thermodynamics and exergy of ecosystems"

Professor Wolfgang Lucht, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
"Planetary boundaries and human ecology"

Professor Arto Annila, University of Helsinki
"The energetic principle of nature"

Researcher Arto Naskali, Finnish Forests Research Institute
"Promise of ecological economics – from fossils to Sun"

Adjunct professor Hanna Tuomisto, University of Turku
"How to quantify biological diversity: taxonomical, functional and evolutionary aspects"

Important deadlines

  • 10 th March registration opens
  • submission of abstracts for presentations & posters -  until the final deadline of registration - you can still submit posters!

Registration and participation fees

Registration: Systems Ecology Conference “Systems ecological perspectives on sustainability” 24.-30. September 2014 

Important: Before registration the participation fee have been paid!

Fees (preliminary)
Students, PhD candidates 50 €
Other 100 €
Dinner, evening party 40 € (Thursday)
Field trip 40 € (Saturday)
Post-conference course “Introduction to systems ecology” 80 € includes the book

Registration bank account 

IBAN: FI9450000120377378
Reference: SYSTSYMP_ XZL50101

Location and transport connections






More information

Published 2014-02-06 at 9:03, updated 2014-12-05 at 19:11

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