The second iteration of the Southern African Systems Analysis Centre’s (SASAC) Emerging Researchers Programme was launched on Sunday, 20 August 2017. The three-week, high level engagement drew 27 participants on a competitive basis from 6 countries, and focusses on advanced methodology, research skills and writing opportunity within a systems analysis framework.
During the opening, Prof Adam Habib, Vice-Chancellor of WITS, noted the importance of systems analysis in addressing global challenges across borders, and that no country can work in isolation to effectively address the challenges faced from multiple sectors, countries and experts in solving multidimensional challenges.
Prof Ulf Dieckmann, Programme Director, Evolution and Ecology at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) further highlighted the increasing need for a nexus approach centered on human needs and tradeoffs between competing priorities in addressing global challenges. Dr Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director Strategic Partnerships, National Research Foundation (NRF) emphasised the significance of strengthened partnerships and transdisciplinary research in developing solutions that respond to societal challenges, and South Africa’s commitment in supporting initiatives that use system approaches.
The SASAC programme, launched in 2016, is being implemented by a consortium of four universities, namely the Universities’ of the Western Cape, Limpopo, Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch. The three-week programme is hosted by the Universities of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and Limpopo in Polokwane during 21 August – 8 September 2017.