Keynote Speakers


Professor Mike C Jackson OBE
University of Hull (UK)

This keynote address looks at the sources of complexity in social systems and considers what systems thinking can offer to managers to help them deal with complexity. Complexity is seen to arise from increased interconnectedness and turbulence and from the different perceptions and interests of stakeholders. It manifests itself in organizations and society as technical, process, structural, organizational, environmental, people, and coercive complexity. Systems thinkers have developed, over the last 70 years, different methodologies attuned to different aspects of complexity. Examples include systems engineering, system dynamics, organizational cybernetics and soft systems thinking. It is important to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of these systems approaches in dealing with the different aspects of complexity. It is even more important to recognize that the sources of complexity are themselves interrelated. The best advice that systems thinkers can currently offer managers is, therefore, that they should use different systems approaches in informed combinations when confronted by complexity. This way of proceeding is known as ‘critical systems thinking’ and its origins and nature are explained.

Speaker Bio:

Mike C. Jackson is Emeritus Professor of Management Systems at Hull University Business School, UK. After graduating in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, he spent four years in the civil service. He has since gained masters degrees from Oxford and Lancaster and a PhD from the University of Hull, being appointed a full professor in 1989. Between 1999 and 2011 he was Dean of the Business School, leading it to triple-crown accreditation. Mike is a Chartered IT Professional and a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Cybernetics Society, the Chartered Management Institute and the Operational Research Society. He is a Companion of the Association of Business Schools. Mike has been Chairman of the UK Systems Society, and President of the International Federation for Systems Research and the International Society for the Systems Sciences. He is a Visiting Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (New Delhi), the University of Cape Town, Queensland University of Technology, Wuhan University of Technology and Xiamen University. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Universities of Ricardo Palma, Peru and Hull. Mike received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, 2011, for services to higher education and business. Mike has written and edited many books on systems thinking and management science, and published over 100 articles in refereed journals. His two latest books are Systems Approaches to Management (Kluwer/Plenum, 2000) and Systems Thinking : Creative Holism for Managers (Wiley, 2003 – also translated into Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and Vietnamese). Mike edits the International Journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science (Wiley) and is on the editorial board of six other journals. He has received research grants from the ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, British Council, The European Union, Yorkshire Forward, the ERDF, and from organizations in the private and public sectors. He has supervised 20 Ph.D. students to successful completion and has delivered plenary addresses at numerous international conferences. He has also undertaken many consultancy engagements with outside organisations, both profit and non-profit.

Title : New Frontiers in Cloud Computing for Big Data and Internet-of-Things (IoT) Applications

Professor Rajkumar Buyya
University of Melbourne (Australia)

Computing is being transformed to a model consisting of services that are commoditised and delivered in a manner similar to utilities such as water, electricity, gas, and telephony. Several computing paradigms have promised to deliver this utility computing vision. Cloud computing has emerged as one of the buzzwords in the IT industry and turned the vision of “computing utilities” into a reality. Clouds deliver infrastructure, platform, and software (application) as services, which are made available as subscription-based services in a pay-as-you-go model to consumers. Cloud application platforms need to offer (1) APIs and tools for rapid creation of elastic applications and (2) a runtime system for deployment of applications on geographically distributed computing infrastructure in a seamless manner.

The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm enables seamless integration of cyber-and-physical worlds and opening up opportunities for creating new class of applications for domains such as smart cities. The emerging Fog computing is extending Cloud computing paradigm to edge resources for latency sensitive IoT applications.

This keynote presentation will cover (a) 21st century vision of computing and identifies various IT paradigms promising to deliver the vision of computing utilities; (b) opportunities and challenges for utility and market-oriented Cloud computing, (c) innovative architecture for creating market-oriented and elastic Clouds by harnessing virtualisation technologies; (d) Aneka, a Cloud Application Platform, for rapid development of Cloud/Big Data applications and their deployment on private/public Clouds with resource provisioning driven by SLAs; (e) experimental results on deploying Cloud and Big Data/Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications in engineering, and health care, satellite image processing, and smart cities on elastic Clouds; and (f) directions for delivering our 21st century vision along with pathways for future research in Cloud and Fog computing.

Speaker Bio:

Rajkumar Buyya is a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and Director of the Cloud Computing and Distributed Systems (CLOUDS) Laboratory at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is also serving as the founding CEO of Manjrasoft, a spin-off company of the University, commercializing its innovations in Cloud Computing. He served as a Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council during 2012-2016. He has authored over 625 publications and seven text books including “Mastering Cloud Computing” published by McGraw Hill, China Machine Press, and Morgan Kaufmann for Indian, Chinese and international markets respectively. He is one of the highly cited authors in computer science and software engineering worldwide (h-index=119, 75568+ citations). Dr. Buyya is recognized as a “Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher” in 2016 and 2017 by Thomson Reuters, a Fellow of IEEE, and Scopus Researcher of the Year 2017 with Excellence in Innovative Research Award by Elsevier for his outstanding contributions to Cloud computing.
Software technologies for Grid and Cloud computing developed under Dr. Buyya’s leadership have gained rapid acceptance and are in use at several academic institutions and commercial enterprises in 40 countries around the world. Dr. Buyya has led the establishment and development of key community activities, including serving as foundation Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Scalable Computing and five IEEE/ACM conferences. These contributions and international research leadership of Dr. Buyya are recognized through the award of “2009 IEEE Medal for Excellence in Scalable Computing” from the IEEE Computer Society TCSC. Manjrasoft’s Aneka Cloud technology developed under his leadership has received “2010 Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award”. He served as the founding Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Cloud Computing. He is currently serving as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Software: Practice and Experience, which was established over 45 years ago. For further information on Dr.Buyya, please visit his cyberhome:

Title : The Future of Software Engineering: Speed, Data, AI, Empowerment & Ecosystems

Professor Jan Bosch
Chalmers University Technology (Sweden)

We are living in the most exciting time in the history of mankind and now we are experiencing an even bigger leap as we move towards a new level of digitalization and automation. Ranging from self-driving cars to factories without workers to societal infrastructure,every sensor and actuator is becoming connected and new applications that enable novel opportunities are appearing daily. The fuel of this emerging connected, software-driven reality is software and the key challenge is to continuously deliver value to customers.  Organizations and teams need to focus on speed and constantly deploying new software in the field. These frequent deployments allow for data to be collected from systems deployed in the field and the behavior of the users of these systems. This data can then be used to empower teams and to address the challenges associated with traditional hierarchical forms of organization. The talk addresses these main developments, provides numerous examples from the Nordic and international industry and predicts the next steps that industry and teams need to engage in to remain competitive.

Speaker Bio:

Jan Bosch is professor of software engineering at Chalmers University Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is director of the Software Center (, a strategic partner-funded collaboration between 11 large European companies (including Ericsson, Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, Saab Defense, Jeppesen (Boeing), Siemens and Bosch) and five universities focused on software engineering excellence. Earlier, he worked as Vice President Engineering Process at Intuit Inc where he also led Intuit’s Open Innovation efforts and headed the central mobile technologies team. Before Intuit, he was head of the Software and Application Technologies Laboratory at Nokia Research Center, Finland. Prior to joining Nokia, he headed the software engineering research group at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He received a MSc degree from the University of Twente, The Netherlands, and a PhD degree from Lund University, Sweden. His research activities include evidence-based development, software architecture, innovation experiment systems, compositional software engineering, software ecosystems, software product families and software variability management. He is the author of several books including “Design and Use of Software Architectures: Adopting and Evolving a Product Line Approach” published by Pearson Education (Addison-Wesley & ACM Press) and Speed, Data and Ecosystems: Excelling in a Software-Driven World published by Taylor and Francis, editor of several books and volumes and author of a significant number of research articles. He is editor for Journal of Systems and Software as well as Science of Computer Programming, chaired several conferences as general and program chair, served on numerous program committees and organized countless workshops.
In the startup space, Jan is chairman of the board of Auqtus AB and, until recently, Fidesmo in Stockholm, Remente, in Gothenburg, Sweden. He serves on the advisory board of Assia Inc. in Redwood City, CA, Peltarion AB in Stockholm and Burt AB in Gothenburg, Sweden. Jan also runs a boutique consulting firm, Boschonian AB, that offers its clients support around the implications of digitalization including the management of R&D and innovation. For more information see his website:

Title : Regime shifts, catastrophes and long-term transients in ecological systems: plankton-oxygen dynamics under the climate change


Professor Sergei Petrovskii
University of Leicester(UK)


Ecological dynamics has long been regarded as a paradigm of complexity. I will begin with a brief overview of factors and mechanisms that shape the ecological dynamics to argue that the existence of multiple spatial and temporal scales, complicated structure of food-webs, and the nonlinearity of feedbacks make complexity its inherent feature. I will then proceed to considering the plankton dynamics as an example of generically complex system. Historically, plankton was one of the first systems in ecology that attracted considerable attention due to its complex spatiotemporal patterning. More recently, plankton has again become a major focus of attention but for different reasons. It is estimated that more than one half of the total atmospheric oxygen is produced in the oceans due to the photosynthetic activity of phytoplankton. Any significant decrease in the net oxygen production by phytoplankton is therefore likely to result in the depletion of atmospheric oxygen and in a mass mortality of animals and humans. However, the rate of oxygen production depends on water temperature and hence can be affected by the global warming. I address this issue theoretically by considering a novel model of a coupled plankton-oxygen dynamics where the rate of oxygen production changes with time to account for the ocean warming. I first prove that the model, albeit being simple or “conceptual”, provides an upper bound for a class of complex realistic models of ocean(bio) dynamics. I then show that, when the temperature rise ssufficiently high, a regime shift happens: the sustainable oxygen production becomes impossible and the system’s dynamics leads to plankton extinction and oxygen depletion. I also consider a scenario when, after a certain period of increase, the temperature is set on a new higher yet apparently safe value, i.e. before the oxygen depletion disaster happens. I show that in this case the system dynamics may exhibit a long-term quasi-sustainable dynamics that can still result in the regime shift but only after a considerable delay. Finally, I discuss the early warning signals of the approaching catastrophe

Speaker Bio:

Sergei Petrovskii is an applied mathematician with about thirty years of research experience in mathematical ecology and ecological modelling. His research spans across a broad variety of problems of ecology and population dynamics, with a particular emphasis on modelling complex multiscale environmental and ecological systems. He published four books and more than one hundred papers in peer-reviewed journals. Some of his older results on ecological pattern formation and biological invasion modelling have become a textbook material. His recent research on the effect of the global warming on the atmospheric oxygen where he discovered a new type of ecological catastrophe has been published in high-ranked scientific journals and highlighted by media around the world. He presently holds the position of a Chair in Applied Mathematics at the University of Leicester(UK). He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Complexity– a journal on theoretical and mathematical ecology published by Elsevier, and a member of the editorial board of two other journals. He has been an invited or keynote speaker at about twenty international conferences and he is the founder and the scientific coordinator of the MPDE (Models in Population Dynamics and Ecology) conference series.

Professor Xin Yao
University of Birmingham(UK)

Speaker Bio:

Xin Yao is the Director of The Centre of Excellence for Research in Computational Intelligence and Applications (Cercia) and a Professor of Computer Science in the School of Computer Science at the University of Birmingham. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Science and Technology of China and a visiting professor of three other universities. He joined the University of Birmingham from Australia as a professor of computer science in 1999. He is a fellow of IEEE, a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, the editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, and the editor of the book series on “Advances in Natural Computation” from World Scientific Publishing Co. He has been invited to give keynote speeches speaker at more than 35 international conferences in 13 different countries. He has chaired/co-chaired over 30 international conferences. His work has won several awards, including the prestigious IEEE Donald G. Fink Prize Paper Award (2001). He has been awarded more than GBP5M external Grants for his research from research councils, government bodies and industry.
Xin Yao has long been involved in various real world applications. He was a consultant to the Royal Australian Navy MCCA (Manager Codification Cataloguing and Allowances) on an expert system project. He has filed two EU patents based on his joint work with Marconi and Honda. He has attracted funding from a number of major companies, including Marconi, Honda, BT, Thales, Severn Trent Water, etc. Some of the products have being used in the companies. For more information see his website:

Title : Sociality, Interference, and Complexity

Professor Helder Coelho
University of Lisbon (Portugal)

Polite conversations, within social circles, may help discuss politics at large, exchange arguments, and enhance our ability to make predictions about changes in society (intentions and behaviors). For example, asking people about their friends improves election forecasts. Recently, in UK during brexit referendum, public opinion was surprised by lobby campaigns, diverse interventions, and distracted by fake news and data biases. Somebody argues that mind pressing caused a different outcome, based upon infections through social nets.
In the past, we used social simulation (ProtestLab) to think about street protests and civil violence. The world is now different (after Trump´s victory) and other Data Science methods (sentiment analysis) are more suitable to discover what, in reality, is occurring  (intromission, contagion). Apart media influences, there are other ways (blogues, emails, social networks) to generate good results towards specific purposes: presentiments, suspicious and apprehensions affect corrupt choices and the whole decision process. We need be aware of those see effects.
Based upon my investigations (with my students) I shall discuss and deconstruct steps ahead, taking into account causality chains, the benefits for humanity. and not only the dark side of technologies.

Speaker Bio:

Helder Coelho is a full professor of the University of Lisbon (UL) in the Department of Informatics of the Faculty of Sciences, from August 1995, and retired from June 22, 2014. He is a permanent and elected member of the Portuguese Academy of Engineering (1999). ECCAI fellow (2002). Member of IFIP TEC12 (AI) and Chair of IFIP WG12.3 (Agents). Editor of the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence (Ceser Publications) and of the Progress in Artificial Intelligence (Springer). He is currently member of the Advisory Board of the Research Unit UECE from ISEG/UTL and FCT, member of the Advisory Board of EPIA/APPIA Congress, and member of the Steering Committee of MASTA and the BWSS Workshops. He is now Coordinator of the Consulting Committee of the Mind-Brain College of the University of Lisbon.

For more information see his website:

Title : Qualitative handling of uncertainty in artificial intelligence

Professor Hanri Prade
CNRS Director of Research at IRIT, Toulouse (France)

Speaker Bio:

Henri Prade is a CNRS Director of Research at IRIT, Toulouse (France). He co-authored (with D. Dubois), two monographs on fuzzy sets and possibility theory. He contributed about 250 journal papers, and 350 international conference papers. He co-edited several books including the “Handbooks of Fuzzy Sets Series” (Kluwer, 7 vol, 1998-2000) with D. Dubois, “Computational Approaches to Analogical Reasoning: Current Trends” (Springer, 2014) with G. Richard, as well as a “A Guided Tour of Artificial Intelligence Research” (with P. Marquis and O. Papini), in 3 vol., (Springer, to appear). He is a member of the editorial organization of international journals, including the J. of Applied Logic, Int. J. of Intelligent Systems, Int. J. of Approximate Reasoning, J. of Applied Non-Classical Logics, J. of Intelligent Information Systems, Fuzzy Sets and Systems, IEEE Trans. on Fuzzy Systems, Int. J. of Uncertainty, Fuzziness and Knowledge-Based Systems, Information Sciences, Fuzzy Optimization and Decision Making, and Transactions on Rough Sets. He received a Pioneer Award of the IEEE Neural Networks Society in 2002. His research Interests includes quantitative and qualitative uncertainty modeling, reasoning under uncertainty, inconsistency, or incomplete information, analogical reasoning and case-based reasoning, preference modeling, and the handling uncertainty in information systems. His current research deals with more particularly with generalized possibilistic logic, analogical proportion-based inference, and the synergy between machine learning and reasoning.

Modeling the evolutionary origins and dynamics of social complexity

Professor Sergey Gavrilets
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (USA)

It is now well recognized that understanding modern human behavior, psychology, culture, and certain economic and political processes is hardly possible without also considering factors and processes that were shaping our recent evolution. Deciphering the problems of human origins and subsequent social and cultural evolution requires a concerted effort of researchers from a diverse set of disciplines including biology, anthropology, psychology, economics, and history as well as mathematics and computational science. I will illustrate some of my recent modeling work in this area. I will consider the collective action problem in heterogeneous groups, effects of identify fusion on self-sacrifice, the evolution of social norm internalization, and the joint dynamics of power inequality and cooperation.

Speaker Bio:

Sergey Gavrilets is the Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Mathematics at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is also the Associate Director for Scientific Activities at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), the Director of the Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC), the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Research Associate at the School of Anthropology, University of Oxford.

Sergey Gavrilets is a theoretical biologist/applied mathematician who studies complex evolutionary processes. He made contributions to studies of phenotypic plasticity and genotype-environment interaction, dynamics and maintenance of genetic variation, coevolution and frequency-dependent selection, fitness landscapes, speciation and adaptive radiation, sexual conflict, evolution of homosexuality, human origins, social behavior, social and cultural evolution. His work has been supported by grants from the NIH, NSF, DOD, and John Templeton Foundation.

Sergey Gavrilets has been involved in trans-disciplinary research at the interface of biology, social sciences, mathematics, and computational science for most of his career. He has collaborated with researchers from biology, mathematics, primatology, anthropology, psychology, economics, computational science, and history, and has given talks at diverse academic departments. He has organized and run a variety of transdisciplinary working groups, workshops, and tutorials. His lab usually has graduate students from biology, mathematics, and computer science departments.

Sergey Gavrilets has numerous publications in top-notch journals (including Science, Nature, and PNAS), a monograph on fitness landscapes and the origin of species (Princeton University Press, 2004), and a coedited book of sexual conflict (Cold Spring Harbor Lab Press, 2014). His work has been widely covered by mass media. His recognition includes the President’s award from the American Society of Naturalists (1999), a Guggenheim fellowship (2008), and the election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2017).

For more information see his website at

Reverse Engineering Space-time Dynamics of Cellular Automata

Professor Hector Zenil
Karolinska Institute and Oxford University (Sweden and UK)

After surveying our recent work on new Turing-universality results in Elementary Cellular Automata found for the first time since rule 110 was proven Turing universal, and demonstrating how cross-boundary behavioural reprogrammability reveals evidence of pervasive universality, I will introduce an algorithmic perturbation calculus. This calculus provides a handle to explore the space of possible computer programs as advocated by Wolfram and is based on the concept of algorithmic probability. The calculus can be applied to reverse engineer systems from data allowing for the reconstruction of space-time dynamics of dynamical systems such as cellular automata from completely disordered states. The algorithmic causal calculus can also help find generative candidate models able to explain and find first causes, and to reprogram systems.

Speaker Bio:

Hector Zenil   holds a PhD degree in Theoretical Computer Science from the University of Lille and a PhD in Philosophy and Epistemology from the University of Paris. He currently leads the Algorithmic Dynamics Lab at the Karolinska Institute (one of the institutions that awards the Nobel Prize in Stockholm, Sweden. He has published around 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, volumes, and proceedings, and has edited several books including A Computable Universe with a foreword by Sir Roger Penrose, and Randomness Through Computation, among several others. He also leads the Algorithmic Nature Group, the Paris-based lab that started the Online Algorithmic Complexity Calculator and the Human Randomness Perception and Generation Project (triggering wide media coverage). Previously, he was a Research Associate at the Behavioural and Evolutionary Theory Lab at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield in the UK before joining the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford as a Senior Researcher (faculty member) and then director of Oxford Immune Algorithmics. He is also the managing editor of Complex Systems, the first journal in the field founded by Stephen Wolfram in 1987.




Moroccan Society of Complex Systems University Ibn Zohr Faculty of Sciences Agadir, Morocco National College of IT (ENSIAS), Mohamed V Souissi University

IEEE Moroccan sectionInternational Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Science