Transformative change and social-ecological resilience in the World-Earth system:
modeling, concepts and data



New: Detailed LOOPS-3 workshop program released

Workshop Dates

January 25 – 26, 2017 (Wednesday, 9:30 am - Thursday, 1:00 pm)

(back to back with the Earth League Symposium on “Transformation now!”, January 23 – 24, 2017)


Trefoil building,
Potsdam, Germany


Jonathan Donges (PIK, SRC)
Jobst Heitzig (PIK)
Wolfgang Lucht (PIK)
James Dyke (UoS)
Sarah Cornell (SRC)


  1. Where are human agency, social networks and complex co-evolutionary interactions in our models of the Anthropocene?
  2. What concepts, data and modelling approaches can inform the operational development of World-Earth models?
  3. How can these concepts and models (1. + 2.) be applied to the study of transformation focusing on the decarbonization transformation as an example?


The detailed LOOPS-3 workshop program can be obtained here.


The LOOPS workshops bring together global change researchers from diverse perspectives to explore novel approaches for analysis and modelling of the human world and biophysical Earth as a coevolutionary system. Participants share the view that understanding and addressing the global challenges of the Anthropocene demands a new kind of dynamic social-ecological model – a World–Earth model – that complements today’s Earth system models and integrated assessment models with insights about complexity and resilience.

Previous LOOPS workshops have identified priority areas for the development of World-Earth models, a structurally new approach for dealing with planetary social-ecological dynamics: human agency, societal dynamics beyond economics, global networks, and complex social-ecological coevolution. These workshops are co-convened by researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), and the University of Southampton (UoS). They are collaborative activities of, IRI THESys at Humboldt University Berlin, and the Earth League:

  • LOOPS-1 2014 (Kloster Chorin, Germany): Closing the loop – Towards co-evolutionary modeling of global society-environment interactions
  • LOOPS-2 2015 (Southampton, UK): From Limits to Growth to Planetary Boundaries: Defining the safe and just space for humanity

LOOPS-3 will follow directly after the international Earth League Symposium on “Transformation now!”, where its high-level science-policy context will be discussed. The focal task of LOOPS-3 will be to scope a co-evolutionary analysis of global decarbonization dynamics within an environmentally safe and socially just operating space. Discussions will address both the methodologies for safe operating space analysis, and the next steps for technical and operational implementation.

Work mode

  • Technical talks and ample time during LOOPS-3 for work in break-out groups and reporting back to plenum aiming for synthesis papers, proposals and joint modeling efforts.
  • Challenges in the implementation of a World-Earth model will be discussed, for the example of the developing copan:CORE model design which emerged from previous LOOPS workshops; participants with other modeling approaches are invited to add them into the discussion.
  • Experience from the first LOOPS workshops indicates that plans for publications, collaborations and funding proposals will be produced during the workshop.

Costs and fees

There is no workshop fee. Catering during the workshop will be covered by the organizers. Participants cover their own travel expenses and hotel accommodation. Please contact for help with finding accommodation etc.


LOOPS-3 is by invitation only. Please register with if you have been invited or would like to be considered for invitation (deadline expired).

LOOPS-3 participants are encouraged to also attend the scence setting Earth League Symposium "Transformation now!". Please register here for this event (deadline expired).