30 September 2014 - 01 October 2014
IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria
The International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure is designed to support the rapidly expanding international research community seeking to understand the interactions between infrastructure, the population it serves, the environment in which it functions, technology and the economy. Infrastructure systems are the fabric of our societies, deeply embedded as they are in the spatial, social and economic structure. The Grand Challenge is to turn them into enablers rather than inhibitors of long term sustainable development.
This grand challenge is concerned with all types of infrastructure (such as transport, energy, water, waste, telecommunications, housing, social infrastructure, and green infrastructure) and the web of interdependencies and interconnections that collectively make up the physical, economic and social systems of cities and regions, and that in many ways dictate our lifestyles. Infrastructure reform has unleashed innovation in technologies, processes and financing arrangements, but it has also created a fragmented institutional structure characterized amongst others by new interfaces between the public and private sector, which is often blamed for the fact that infrastructure reform has not delivered on all its promises. In many parts of the world, infrastructure has also proven to be vulnerable to climate change, weather and other extremes. New thinking about how to design, manage, organize and deliver infrastructure projects is required to improve performance, drive innovation, promote collaboration, encourage sustainable lifestyles, capture lessons and deliver more successful outcomes than are currently being achieved.
Business Solutions for Forward-Thinking Companies
Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and member of the Alpbach-Laxenburg Group spoke at the ISGNI conference in Laxenburg on 30th September. His talk discussed the way in which the scientific and business communities can work better together to improve their ability to achieve common goals, and stressed the importance of scientific research in setting the priorities for sustainable development, and for business then taking action.
During the lecture, Peter Bakker announced that the WBCSD along with IIASA and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network will organize a series of roundtables to identify the business and technological solutions to climate change and the barriers to these solutions taking place.
This symposium specifically invites contributions from a genuine systems perspective that extends beyond the traditional disciplinary and sectoral perspectives in academic infrastructure research. The future of our infrastructure systems is not only determined by new technologies that will reshape the physical networks and services, but also by new institutions that will decide whether and how new technologies and services are adopted. Infrastructure systems involve a multitude of decision makers, such as public policy makers, private investors, planners, operators and users. Understanding and steering the evolution of infrastructure systems requires that we seek to understand how the decision making in the multi-actor network interacts with the physical network, and how it can be influenced by changes in the web of institutions.
Last edited: 21 October 2014
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313