CCS’20 SATELLITE WORKSHOP, Dec 09th/10th, 2020




Abstract Deadline November 8, 2020

Organizers: Josep Perelló, Ferran Larroya, Franziska Peter, OpenSystems Group Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.


The Citizen Social Science & Complex Systems Science Workshop is a Satellite Workshop within the Conference on Complex Systems 2020 that the Complex Systems Society organizes every year. This year the entire conference will be held online. We invite you to contribute a short presentation of your research to further reflect on the potential of incorporating citizens’ active participation to better address entangled social problems and on how Complex Systems Science can crucially contribute to this endeavour.

There is a boom in initiatives calling for citizen involvement in research under the label of Citizen Science. Citizen Science can be seen as a new instrument to integrate citizens into scientific knowledge production with the help of digital infrastructures. Considering a wider perspective, the Citizen Science movement can also be associated with the aim of democratizing science. While numerous Citizen Science projects have been mostly installed in conservation biology or environmental sciences disciplines and topics in recent years, social issues are lagging behind. Within what has been termed as Citizen Social Science: A participatory research model that collectively responds with social concerns raised by citizens in general, or by specific vulnerable groups. The workshop wants to inspire scholars of the broad field of Complex Systems to firmly contribute in the exploration of the possibilities for Citizen Science to properly address the societal challenges being raised in social contexts. 

Digital technologies are increasingly facilitating citizen-generated data, particularly in terms of the mushrooming of crowd-sourced data initiatives. Despite the vast potential of active citizenship for Citizen Social Science participants, these initiatives are frequently restricting participants to act as mere sensors, or data producers, rather than research co-creators, data owners or advocates in their own right.

A complex systems perspective has the capacity to develop a careful understanding of social phenomena. Active participation and participatory research processes are deeply intertwined with well-known phenomena and concepts such as adaptive process, bottom-up dynamics, multidimensional or holistic visions of a system or data-driven modelling. The world of Computational Social Science with all current data and technologies available has still not deployed its full potential when considering citizen-generated data.

The aim of this workshop is therefore twofold: to present citizen social science experiences to a complex systems audience and to explore systemic participation of citizens in all research phases with the aim to produce socially robust knowledge outcomes.

We proudly host three outstanding plenary speakers active in both Citizen Science and Data Science/Network Science/Applied Mathematics. Further, we invite OPEN CALL contributions from scientists in either of or preferably both fields of Citizen (Social) Science and Complex Systems Science. A discussion round on the potential of participatory research in Complex Systems/Nonlinear Dynamics closes the session. For those interested in assisting the satellite session, find here the information on how to register.


The Citizen Social Science & Complex Systems Science Satellite Workshop explores the how methods, theories, and knowledge from the Complex Systems Community can be enriched with active citizens’ participation in research related to social issues. We firmly believe that complex systems science can nicely enhance its social dimension when incorporating participation of the public and when social issues raised by communities are addressed. We know that this might sound a bit new to you but we would like to start exploring these promising connections with you. If you feel that your research can contribute to further exploring how citizen social science and complex systems science can cope with social issues with citizens’ active participation, don’t hesitate to submit a 12+3 minutes presentation to this Satellite Workshop.

Possible related topics:

  1. Crowd-sourced science
  2. Citizen-generated data
  3. Social phenomena
  4. Behavioural sciences
  5. Social impact of research
  6. Human mobility
  7. Social inequities
  8. Participatory research…

Please submit your contribution under the following link: ABSTRACT SUBMISSION. The deadline for abstract submission is November 8th, 11:59 pm (CET). The authors of accepted abstracts will be notified via Email by 13th November 2020.

If you don’t receive a confirmation mail within 48h after submitting your abstract, as well as if you have any concerns, please contact us through this email: opensystems@ub.edu.


The Citizen Social Science Satellite forms part of the Conference on Complex Systems that the Complex Systems Society organizes every year. This year the entire conference will be held online from 4-11 December 2020 and in particular the Citizen Social Science Satellite will be held on 9th or 10th of December.

The registration for the entire CCS conference or for a single (satellite) day can be done via the conference website of the CCS conference: http://ccs2020.web.auth.gr/registration.

The deadline for the registration is November 16, 2020.


Elisa Omodei

Network scientist by training is currently working at WFP’s Research, Monitoring and Assessment Division in the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) project that uses mobile technology to remotely monitor household food security and nutrition, and food market-related trends in real-time, providing high-frequency, gender-disaggregated and operationally relevant data that supports humanitarian decision-making. The project also includes an automated two-way communication system to give people access to real-time information for free. Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping unit at the UN World Food Programme.


Anxo Sánchez

PhD in Theoretical Physics (with distinction) from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 1991. Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA, 1993 – 1994. Currently, full professor of Applied Mathematics at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and founder of the research group GISC in (1996). Associated researcher of the Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI), Universidad de Zaragoza. His research deals mostly with the applications of the physics of complex systems to social and biological sciences; he has contributed to the advancement of different fields, from economics to condensed matter physics through ecology and theoretical computer science. He has been the PI of some 20 projects, receiving funding from the European Commission, the Spanish government, the Madrid Regional Government, NATO, ESF, and the BBVA Foundation.

Jacob Sherson

Jacob Sherson holds a joint professorship at the departments of Physics, Management and Cognitive Science at Aarhus University. He is the Founder and Director of the Center for Hybrid Intelligence and the game-based citizen science platform ScienceAtHome with more than 300,000 contributors. In his interdisciplinary Center both human and algorithmic problem solving is investigated through the lense of machine optimization, psychology, cognitive science and behavioral economics. Apart from natural and social science games, he is also investigating large-scale game-based assessment of both basic cognitive skills and 21st century skills like creativity.



Time Speaker, Title
9:00-9:10 Introduction
9:10-9:40 Elisa Omodei, Monitoring and fighting food ins-ecurity with mobile technology, two-way comm-unication systems and predictive analytics.
9:40-10:30 3 invited speakers, 12+3min each, t.b.a.
10:30-11:00 virtual coffee break
11:00-11:10 Introduction
11:10-11:40 Anxo Sánchez, t.b.a.
11:40-11:55 invited speaker 12+3min, t.b.a.
12:00-12:30 Jacob Sherson, t.b.a.
12:30-13:00 Discussion round + Workshop

Abstracts Plenary Talks

Monitoring and fighting food insecurity with mobile technology, two-way communication systems and predictive analytics. Elisa Omodei, 9:10 am
As the international community has committed to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 (SDG 2), 690 million people are still undernourished. WFP uses mobile technology to remotely monitor household food security and nutrition, collecting thousands of data on a daily basis through live calls conducted across up to 40 countries. For areas where near real-time data is not available, the prevalence of people with insufficient food consumption is estimated with a predictive model. These data-driven insights enable WFP staff, global decision makers and the broader humanitarian community to quickly identify changes in the food security situation and make more informed and timely decisions. Moreover, WFP is using some of its data collection tools to establish two-way communication mechanisms – to both listen in and deliver critical information about food security to people everywhere, so that people in remote and vulnerable communities obtain information that matters to them for free and on demand.


As organizers of this conference satellite, we appreciate your ideas, concerns, and questions. Please address them to the email address of the OpenSystems Group, Universitat de Barcelona: opensystems@ub.edu

Josep Perelló, Ferran Larroya, and Franziska Peter

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