About Us

We are Europe’s Research Center Translating Data into Solutions for a Better World

CSH team photo © Sebastian Philipp

Who We Are

Our Science

Since 2016, the Complexity Science Hub has conducted independent science for a better understanding of our complex world. We advance progress by extracting meaning from the enormous amounts of data representing our planet in its various dimensions: the economy, human migration, health and disease, climate crisis, social values, urban development, conflict, and more. Our research approach lets us see the world in a new way, as interconnected, dynamic, co-evolving, extensive networks, that allow us to understand these complex systems and identify their weaknesses and strengths. Using this knowledge, we can make evidence-based statements about how complex systems will respond to change and propose realistic interventions to move them in a positive direction for society. In other words, we want to find solutions for a better world.

Our Approach

We embrace a pioneering research approach: not only do we advance complexity science, but we apply it to problems that matter now. Within a network of top scientists, we collaborate with practitioners and policymakers in the public sphere, as well as private-sector entities, to understand the challenges and risks confronting diverse facets of our society. We carefully consider the ethical implications of our work and consciously select issues that can benefit from our unique methods. To address these issues with complexity science, we build up the necessary skills and capacities.

Our Network

The Complexity Science Hub operates within an international network of like-minded institutions, fostering a dynamic exchange of knowledge and talent. We share a determination to understand the world through rigorous quantitative approaches and to use this knowledge to benefit society and the planet.

Our People

We employ more than 70 independent researchers who together cover knowledge in disciplines ranging from algorithms to zoonoses and everything in between. Each researcher has a breadth of expertise – most often a disciplinary specialization (e.g., sociology, economics, medicine) in addition to physics, computation, and/or applied mathematics. We are unified by the vocabulary of complexity science – a set of computational, mathematical, data analytic, and modeling tools. While the majority of our researchers are established scientists working at the forefront of complexity science, one-third are doctoral students. Their unique transdisciplinary training at the Complexity Science Hub qualifies them to contribute to the global challenges ahead and to bring complexity science into new sectors.

Our Partners

Our flexibility to take on pressing, real-world issues across different fields is enabled by the support of strong university and public-sector partners, who, in turn, benefit from our innovative methods and bold research agenda. The Complexity Science Hub is composed of ten institutional members: Austrian Institute of Technology, BOKU, Central European University, Graz University of Technology, Medical University of Vienna, University for Continuing Education Krems, VetMedUni Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna University of Technology, Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Our Funding

From day one, our research journey has been propelled by a mix of public funding, partnership support, and strategic collaborations. Our researchers are currently supported by grants from the FWF, FFG, ÖAW, and EU Horizon Europe, among other agencies. Explore more details here. If our mission resonates with individual donors or foundations, we deeply value philanthropic gifts. Please contact marxgut@csh.ac.at.

Our Purpose

Layer 1

Global pandemics, supply-chain disruptions, armed conflicts, energy shortages: Our world is becoming ever more interconnected and interdependent – and thus complex. Faced with this growing complexity, where local events, like a single supply chain hiccup or a regional disease outbreak, can send ripples across the globe, society becomes more susceptible to crises.

This same complexity can also be harnessed for collaboration across disciplines and sectors to develop creative methods and effective solutions. What is needed to move from problem to solution is a thorough understanding of the complex systems that underlie our world.

Through this understanding, we aim to make smart predictions about how systems will respond to change and what can be done to steer them in directions that benefit all of society.

Creating a profound scientific understanding of complex systems demands an enormous amount of data. To translate this data into meaning, we need to develop novel paradigms, approaches, methods, and tools using our transdisciplinary expertise. We are transdisciplinary for a very specific reason: to solve problems that cannot be addressed successfully in any other way.

By working within a community of collaborators, we ensure that our discoveries have a direct real-world impact. In parallel, we train future generations of scientists who can apply these powerful approaches to find intelligent solutions for future problems – both those we can foresee as well as those we cannot yet imagine.

Our Core Goals

Go Future.
Science for a Better World.

The Complexity Science Hub uses science to benefit society. We identify and study the problems that (will) affect citizens every day – directly or indirectly – and discover their causes and possible solutions. By gaining a genuine understanding of the complex networks that underlie society, we can not only address today’s challenges but also foresee future challenges and identify their driving forces and points for intervention.

Creating Skills.
Capacity for Future Challenges.

We develop research capacity for solving problems. Combining qualitative expertise from diverse disciplines with a profound understanding of quantitative methods and modeling techniques, we map complex systems – ranging from ecosystems to supply networks. We convey this approach through hands-on experience. Central to our philosophy is to teach a research culture that transcends traditional disciplines or structures. We invite early-career researchers to embrace this vision and become a new generation of complexity scientists capable of changing the world with data and science across multiple sectors.

No Walls.
Knowledge for All.

We share our science with everyone, from researchers around the world to children here in Austria, through classroom exercises, public events, advanced schools, and more. We are committed to Open Science, and thus make our data, tools, discoveries, and models publicly available for others to use, to learn from, and to help in decision-making – whether for individuals, businesses, or nations. Reaching these diverse people involves a variety of channels. Explore them on our website!

Why in Austria?

The Complexity Science Hub’s location in Austria enables us to take advantage of the nation’s exemplary infrastructure and forward-thinking institutions to consider policies and practices that could be effective on a global scale. Austria enjoys a long history of progressive governance whose spirit we rely on today to identify challenges and opportunities in society that will benefit from complexity science solutions. Our government officials and public administration are ready to explore new ideas backed by rigorous science. In addition, effective bureaucracy makes the implementation of data-informed decision-making possible. 

Austria benefits from an outstanding education system and a wealth of potential talent available to lead the entire nation in a forward-looking, data-informed future. As growing numbers of organizations, institutions, and companies across the country look to the Complexity Science Hub to use complexity science in their decision-making, our society will benefit from students and early-career individuals in Austria who can contribute such expertise to the public and private sectors. Whether taking advantage of young talent from Austria, or those researchers eager to come here because of its welcoming and supportive structure for science, the Complexity Science Hub leverages Austria’s potential human capital to secure our collective future.

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