Institute for Forecasting, Slovak Academy of Sciences (IF SAS), the Centre for Transdisciplinary Study of Institutions, Evolution and Policies (CETIP), Institute of Management Slovak University of Technology, Virtual Scientific Laboratory (VSL) has prepared research visit of Dr. Marco Janssen form the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity, Arizona State University, USA. The visit took place from September 24 to October 6, 2011 as a part of the research program of two centres of excellence: SPECTRA+ (Urban infrastrure and knowledge based society) and CESTA (stretegic decision making).

Marco A. Janssen is associated professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (Director of the Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity) at Arizona State University. Marco A. Janssen though his research carrier received long lasting reputation for his effort to increase interdisciplinary cooperation in social sciences by combining standard and innovative methods, where experimental economics represent a central position. He publishes in outstanding journals such Science (see full list of publications) and has been involved in several research networks and scholars partnerships, including long term collaboration with the laureate of Nobel Price for economics in 2009 Professor Elinor Ostrom. Janssen’s teaching experience covers the use of computer simulation, especially system dynamics and agent-based modeling, within the social sciences. The goal of these courses is to learn the basic principles of social simulation, and applying this to questions of emergence of cooperation, innovation diffusion and foraging patterns. Janssen is also a member of doctoral committees of students in a variety of disciplines.

Programme of the visit was based on existing collaboration of CSID and CETIP dated from 2009. CETIP has been participating on the behavioral experiments to study collective actions of commons by conducting series of experiments to test decision making innovations in the governance of natural resources. CETIP and CSID jointly organised discussion session at the conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics CETIP and CSID have been already partner research centres and exchange of two schollars from CETIP was undertaken at CSID in 2010 and 2011. CSID and CETIP are part of international research group on the study of collective actions of commons presently being formated under international community to study of commons.

As a result of existing co-operation a Virtual Economic Experimental Laboratory VEEL has been established withing UM STU and CETIP partnership. VEELs . mission is to increase innovative potential of economic research and the quality of graduate and postgraduate economic education in the Slovak Republic. Existence of local experimental economic laboratory creates opportunity to expand region specific research projects, attrack attention of young scholars to expand their carrier in their home country and contribute to the cost effective operation. VEEL started activity in May 2011.

Key objective of Guest Professor visit was to expand novel approaches in experimental social sciences and expand research collaboration between CSID and Slovak research group in VEEL.
1. Involvement of Host professor into education experimental social sciences organized by VEEL and training for post docs and senior researchers to prepare critical number of fellows to be capable to coordinate activities of VEEL, join development and exchange of teaching materials.

2. To expand collaboration on research in experimental social sciences, in particular the governance of the commons. Following this, it encompasses to expand existed research cooperation by join journal papers, conferences and workshops during and after the period of position

PART 1: Intense course : Experimental social sciences (for the group of VEEL)
The focus was on experimental economics, but relevant concepts from psychology, anthropology, political science and management science will be incorporated. Part of this training was to participate in one –two test experiments in the new VEEL facility. Course included training on how to design and implement experiments, as well as some basic instruction on the analysis of experimental results to be able to develop their own research questions

Public lecture: Novel approaches to environmental governance: Lessons learned from experimental methods. Public lecture Tatra banka foundation September 27, 2011 Malé Kongresové centrum SAV, Štefániková 3, Bratislava

Photos: V. Chobotová and V. Šmihula