Annual meeting of the Society for Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty, 2022

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4 images from the DMDU conference

The 2022 Annual meeting of the Society for Decision Making under Deep Uncertainty (DMDU) was held 9-11 November, hosted by the School of Government and Public Transformation, Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City. The theme of the meeting was “Transformative Recovery and Forging Anew”. Ninety-six participants from around the world attended in person, with many more on-line.

DMDU state that “deep uncertainty exists when parties to a decision do not know, or cannot agree on, the system model that relates action to consequences, the probability distributions to place over the inputs to these models, which consequences to consider and their relative importance”. It is a multi-disciplinary group who consider deep uncertainty in a wide variety of applications. This is an area of study that is in its infancy in the UK, currently dominated by researchers in Holland and USA.

The opening plenary was a very interesting talk by Steven Popper of the RAND Corporation. He discussed the covid pandemic and associated uncertainties, among other topics, and of particular relevance to my work, the ‘diffusion of responsibility’ - the number of different people involved in, and responsible for, different elements of the decision process.

Following this, eighty talks were given over the three days covering Complexity Science, Adaptive Planning, Decarbonisation, Water Resources, Climate Change, along with new perspectives and applications of DMDU methodology. Unfortunately the sessions ran in parallel, so decisions had to be made about which to attend - and I’m sure I missed some very interesting talks! My talk, ‘Data to Decision: uncertainties in environmental data science’ was scheduled within the first session on the first day. This was a great experience to speak to people in person about my work, to learn about the DMDU methodology in more detail, and learn about the work of others.

The meeting also involved some very interesting panel discussions, including Media Narratives and DMDU; challenges of DMDU in Education; implementation of DMDU in Culver City, California; and incorporation of DMDU into the IPCC 6th Assessment Report.

The event concluded with a Mexican Barbeque. Along with great talks and discussions, the highlights were the excellent food, the amazing views over the city from the roof terrace and meeting interesting people.

4 images from Mexico

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