Kent State University at Ashtabula Brings International Experts to Regional Complexity Seminar April 20th

Academic Researchers from KSU and around the globe to look at nexus challenges facing Northeast Ohio

Ed and Carol Murray Social Justice Seminar Home Page

Researchers estimate roughly 54 percent of the world’s population presently live in metropolitan areas. However, regional life varies considerably and presents researchers, policy makers and public officials a variety of complex challenges.  These challenges – what scholars call nexus issues – will be the focus of the inaugural Ed and Carol Murray Social Justice Seminar at Kent State University at Ashtabula Friday, April 20, 2018.  The event will be held in Robert S. Morrison Hall.

The seminar will bring together a collection of international experts, including academic researchers and faculty from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands as well as members of the faculty at Kent State and other universities in the United States.

“Because of globalization, we live today in highly complex regions, where the decisions of each of the other – from schools and healthcare to infrastructure and economy – impacts us all,” said Brian Castellani, Ph.D., professor of sociology and one of the event organizers. “The purpose of this regional seminar is to bring together academics, citizen scientists, public administrators and students to see how we, as a regional community, can better address the complex challenges we presently face.”

The primary topic of discussion will be the opioid epidemic and how to share in the management and governance of such complex issues, often referred to as a “wicked problem.”

“Globalization, interdependence, wicked problems, shared governance – these are all themes of regional complexity and the seminar will focus on what is a very poignant example here in Northeast Ohio in the opioid epidemic,” Castellani said.

The seminar will feature two presentations: “From Industrial to Postindustrial: A ‘Complexity Take’ on the Transformation of City Regions” by Durham University (UK) professor David Byrne, Ph.D., and “Advocating, Creating and Transporting Change across the Regional Nexus: A Study of Program Administrators in Northeastern Ohio” by Carl Dister, chief innovation manager at ReliabilityFirst.  

A panel discussion featuring a field of international experts will conclude the event.

The Ed and Carol Murray Social Justice Seminar at Kent State University at Ashtabula is supported by the Division of Research and Sponsored Programs at Kent State University, the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) and the Kent State University Regional College. 

For more information, visit or contact Dr. Brian Castellani at

POSTED: Monday, March 5, 2018 - 9:21am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 5:26pm
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