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Seminars

The HEEDnet seminars are sponsored by Cambridge Trust for New Thinking in Economics, who fund the refreshments.

Surface water flood risk management and flood insurance under future climate change - Insights from an Agent-Based Model
- Tuesday 1st November 2016

A pluralist approach to the Economics of Regulation
- Tuesday, 20th September 2016

Bad Habits, Hard Choices: Using the Tax System to Make Us Healthier
- Monday, 25th July 2016

AGENT BASED MODELLING – LEARNING FROM APPLICATION TO WATER ABSTRACTION REFORM
- Wednesday, 29th April 2015

NUCLEAR POWER: HOW COMPETITIVE IS IT UNDER ELECTRICITY MARKET REFORM?
- Tuesday, 17th July 2012

PRACTICAL POLICY MAKING SUPPORTED BY AGENT BASED MODELLING
- Wednesday, 16th November 2011

DO WATER METERS REDUCE HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION?
- 24th November 2010

WELL-BEING: SHOULD GOVERNMENT AIM TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY?
- 26 March 2008

THE ORIGIN OF WEALTH: EVOLUTION, COMPLEXITY AND THE RADICAL REMAKING OF ECONOMICS
- Monday 26 November 2007

AVOIDING DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE
- Thursday 21 June 2007

'Trading Schemes, Risks and Costs: the Cases of the EUETS & Renewable Obligations'
- Thursday 22 March 2007

'Simulating the Adoption of Organic Farming Practices in New EU Member States'
- Thursday 18 January 2007

The implications of the psychology of decision-making under uncertainty
- Wednesday 1 March 2006

Extending the "rational man" model of human behaviour: seven key principles
- Thursday 22nd September 2005

Technology and Innovation Policy for Sustainability
- 14th April 2005

The revolution in welfare economics and the implications for environmental policy
- 13 December, 2004

The Psychology of Environmental Economic Instruments
- 19 October, 2004

Sustainable Consumption and Economics
- 27 May 2004

Future seminars to be arranged - watch this space or join our list. Potential topics: Efficiency; Sustainable employment. Other suggestions welcomed.

NUCLEAR POWER: HOW COMPETITIVE IS IT UNDER ELECTRICITY MARKET REFORM?
Seminar at DEFRA, Rm 808, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square 5.30 (for 6.00) - 9.00 p.m., Tuesday, 17th July 2012

Chair: Henry Leveson-Gower is a policy adviser in Defra and has been an environmental economist for almost 20 years working on a wide range of policy areas. He is also the coordinator of Heednet.

Presenter: Dr David Toke is Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy at the University of Birmingham, based in the Department of Political Science and International Studies. Amongst other things he has published various analyses of the political economy and practical financing of renewable energy, as well as research into the commercial practicalities of technologies such as combined heat and power and nuclear power. In the earlier 1990s he was Managing Director of a wind power company which bid for a contract under the NFFO scheme. (presentation)

Topic
How is it that all three nuclear power consortia are in various states of withdrawal or uncertainty about moving ahead with their proposals? Might this have anything to do with negative financial appraisals of nuclear new build prospects in the face of the Electricity Market Reform Proposals? Should earlier Government assessments of nuclear power's relative competitiveness (compared with renewable energy) in practical liberalised market conditions be subject to critique? Dr David Toke analyses nuclear costs from the standpoint of how they may be assessed by a consultant hired by a credit rating agency considering actual project delivery costs. This he argues is a surer way to assess whether nuclear (compared to other fuels) can be brought to market under EMR proposals than Government assessments that have so far been done.

Discussant: Mike Thompson
Leads the central analytical team at the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), covering the power sector and cross-cutting issues relating to carbon budgets. Mike has been with the CCC since the secretariat was first established in shadow form in 2007, and has covered a range of topics, from advising on Scottish carbon targets to the UK’s fourth carbon budget, and from agriculture to electricity market reform and the Renewable Energy Review. He studied economics at St. John’s College, Cambridge and University College London.

PRACTICAL POLICY MAKING SUPPORTED BY AGENT BASED MODELLING
Seminar at DEFRA, Wednesday, 16th November 2011

Chair: Cathryn Ross (Executive Director of Railway Markets and Economics, Office of Rail Regulation)

Presentation – Paul Ormerod (presentation)
Discussant: – Scott Moss Associates (presentation)

Advice from mainstream economics is an important input into a lot of policy making. Vernon Smith, who won the Nobel prize in 2002 with Daniel Kahneman for their work on experimental and behavioural economics, argued in his Prize lecture that: ‘Within economics there is essentially only one model to be adapted to every application: optimization subject to constraints’. In other words, agents – decision makers – make the ‘optimal’ decision, subject to any constraints they might face at the time. This is the basis of behaviour in standard economics. What is known as Agent Based Modelling (ABM) allows a much wider range of possible types of behaviour to be built into a model of any particular problem. The relevant kinds of behaviour can be specified in consultation with the stakeholders. The mainstream assumption can still be used if it is thought to be relevant, but it is just one of a wide range of possible ways in which agents might behave. The basis of ABMs is therefore more realistic, customised for the particular application in conjunction with the stakeholders. Agents can make decisions in ways which stakeholders think they do, rather than in ways which economists theorise they do. There is now a very large literature on ABMs, and I will give some examples of practical policy-oriented ones we have built in areas such as water, telecoms and banking.

DO WATER METERS REDUCE HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION?
Seminar at DEFRA, Rm 807, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square
5.30 (for 6.00) - 9.00 p.m., Wednesday, 24th November 2010

Chair: Henry Leveson-Gower (Head of Future Water Resource Management, DEFRA)

Presenter:
Dr. Chad Staddon, University of the West of England, Bristol & Bristol Group for Water Research See http://www.bne.uwe.ac.uk/staff/staffDetails.asp?staffid=c-staddon Largely out of concern for the combined effects of climate change and demographic change on water supply, the British government is currently exploring the idea of legislating for compulsory metering for the nation's 28 million households (currently about 35% of households in England and Wales are metered). However, there is much confusion as to the actual objectives to be served by such a policy, estimated to cost in excess of £3 billion. This paper presents the best available current research on water metering around the world, with a special emphasis on European, North American and Commonwealth comparator nations. In summary, the research suggests that there is little evidence that compulsory universal metering can achieve either the water conservation or social equity goals articulated by government. The author concludes that policymakers need to think much more carefully about metering technologies and the purposes they are intended to serve.

Discussants:
Robert Canning, Head of Water Charging and Economic Regulation Team, Defra
Darren Bentham, Director, Universal Metering Programme, Southern Water

Followed by discussion.
8.00 p.m. Wine and canapes
To register, e-mail dt@camecon.com

WELL-BEING: SHOULD GOVERNMENT AIM TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY?

Speaker:
Avner Offer, Chichele Professor in Economic history, University of Oxford, and Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford
Prof Offer is an economic historian who specializes in international political economy, law, the First World War and land tenure. Over the past decade his main interest has been in post-war economic growth, particularly in affluent societies, and the challenges that this affluence presents to well being. He is a member of the British Academy.
See http://avoffer.googlepages.com/avneroffer

Discussants:
Prof Tim Jackson, Professor of Sustainable Development, Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey
See University of Surrey link

Richard Reeves, Research Associate (formerly Director of Futures), Work Foundation
See http://www.richard-reeves.com/about.asp

Chair:
Henry Leveson-Gower, Principal, GHK International

Venue: DEFRA, Ministerial Conference Room 808, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1
Date: Wednesday 26 March 2008
Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm (to be followed by refreshments provided by Cambridge Econometrics at 8.00pm)

Please present yourself at the building reception on the ground floor. The staff will have a list of participants and will issue badges. You will be escorted to the room.

To register, please e-mail me at dt@camecon.com and I will confirm your place. There is no charge for attending. The HEEDnet website is http://www.heednet.info.

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THE ORIGIN OF WEALTH: EVOLUTION, COMPLEXITY AND THE RADICAL REMAKING OF ECONOMICS

Chair:
Richard Price, Chief Economist, DEFRA

Presenter:
Eric Beinhocker, Senior Fellow, McKinsey Global Institute Eric has held research appointments at the Harvard Business School and the MIT Sloan School, been a visiting scholar at the Santa Fe Institute and an Executive Director of the Corporate Executive Board. Fortune magazine named him a 'Business Leader of the Next Century' and his writings no business and economics have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Financial Times. He is the author of the book 'The Origin of Wealth' - see www.originofwealth.com.

Discussants:
Dr Terry Barker, Director, Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge See http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk/staff/profiles/tbarker.htm
Dr Cameron Hepburn, Deputy Director, School of Enterprise and Environment, Oxford University See http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/members/cameron.hepburn/

Venue: Atrium, DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1 (see map attached below)
Date: Monday 26 November 2007
Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm (to be followed by refreshments at 8.00pm)

Please present yourself at the building reception on the ground floor. The staff will have a list of participants and will issue badges. You will be escorted to the room.

To register, please e-mail me at dt@camecon.com and I will confirm your place. There is no charge for attending. The HEEDnet website is http://www.heednet.info

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AVOIDING DANGEROUS CLIMATE CHANGE

Chair: Prashant Vaze, Head of Economics, Office of Climate Change

Presenters:
Dr Terry Barker, Director of 4CMR (the Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk/staff/profiles/tbarker.htm
Prof Scott Moss, Professor of Social Simulation and Director of the  Centre for Policy Modelling in Manchester Metropolitan University Business  School
http://cfpm.org/~scott/
 
Venue: Conference Room A & B, DEFRA, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1 (see map attached below)
Date: Thursday 21 June 2007
Time: 5.00 for 5.30pm (to be followed by refreshments at 8.00pm)
 
Please present yourself at the building reception on the ground floor.  The staff will have a list of participants and will issue badges.  You will be  escorted to the room.
 
To register, please e-mail me at dt@camecon.com and I will confirm your place.  There is no charge for attending.  The HEEDnet website is http://www.heednet.info.

David Taylor
Administrative Director

Cambridge Econometrics
Covent Garden
Cambridge CB1 2HS
United Kingdom
tel 01223 460760
fax 01223 464378

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'Trading Schemes, Risks and Costs: the Cases of the EUETS & Renewable Obligations'

Presenter:  Dr David Toke, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Policy, Department of Sociology, University of Birmingham
Discussants:  Steve Sorrell, SPRU (tbc) and Peter Roscoe, DTI (tbc)

DEFRA
Room LG4,5,6 (lower ground floor)
3-8 Whitehall Place, Westminster

Thursday 22 March 2007
5.30 for 6.00pm (to be followed by refreshments at 8.00pm)

Dr Toke is a member of the University of Birmingham's Institute for Energy Research and Policy.  Over the last 20 years, he has written widely about energy-environmental policy approaches, especially on the  financial and implementation issues of wind power and energy efficiency.  He has published four books and dozens of papers in highly rated academic journals including Geoforum, Energy Policy, Public Administration, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews and The Political Quarterly.  He has most recently focused on the political economy of renewable procurement and pollution abatement regimes.
He has technical experience of the electricity industry through involvement in the wind power industry and also through a current EU-funded research project on the integration of fluctuating renewables into the grid using combined heat and power.  He manages the British research contribution to this project and is responsible for evaluating the research outcomes.

Please present yourself at the building reception on the ground floor.  The staff will have a list of participants and will issue badges.  You will be  escorted to the room.
 
To register, please e-mail me at dt@camecon.com and I will confirm your place.  There is no charge for attending.  The HEEDnet website is http://www.heednet.info.

David Taylor
Administrative Director

Cambridge Econometrics
Covent Garden
Cambridge CB1 2HS
United Kingdom
tel 01223 460760
fax 01223 464378

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'Simulating the Adoption of Organic Farming Practices in New EU Member States'
Venue: Environment Agency, floor 26, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London 5.30pm for 6.00pm (to be followed by refreshments at 8.00pm) Thursday 18 January 2007

Presenter: Dr Sigrid Stagl, SPRU, University of Sussex http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/profile185233.html
Discussant: Professor Scott Moss, Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School http://cfpm.org/~scott/

Please present yourself at the building reception on the ground floor. The staff will have a list of participants and will issue badges. Go up to floor 26 (not the Environment Agency's main entrance on floor 25).

To register, please e-mail me at dt@camecon.com and I will confirm your place. There is no charge for attending.

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The implications of the psychology of decision-making under uncertainty
Venue: DEFRA, Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London
5.30 (for 6.00) - 9.00 p.m., Wednesday 1 March 2006

For security reasons, participants will be conducted by DEFRA personnel from the building entrance to the meeting room, which is Conference Room 7A/B/C on the second floor. It is important that they arrive before 6.00pm because there will be no staff available to take them to the room after that time and they may not be able to take part.

Presenter:
Sheetal Radia, DTI

To be followed by open discussion. There will be wine and canapes at 8.00pm.

To register, please e-mail me at dt@camecon.com and I will confirm your plac
e.

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Extending the "rational man" model of human behaviour: seven key principles
Seminar at the Home Office, Marsham St
5.30 (for 6.00) - 9.00 p.m., Thursday 22nd September 2005

Chair:
Professor Paul Wiles (Chief Scientific Advisor and Director of Strategy, Research and Statistics, Home Office)

Presenters:
Emma Dawnay (New Economics Foundation) and Hetan Shah

Followed by discussion

8.00 p.m. Wine and canapes

To register, e-mail dt@camecon.com

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Technology and Innovation Policy for Sustainability
5.30 - 9.00 p.m., Thursday 14th April 2005

Location: the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Conference Centre, 1 Victoria St.

Programme
Chair: Adrian Gault (Director of Strategy Development, Energy Strategy Unit, DTI)

Presenters:
Dr. Jonathan Kohler (Tyndall Centre and University of Cambridge) - 'New lessons for technology policy and climate change: investment for innovation'
Dr. Tim Foxon (Imperial College London) - 'Transforming policy processes to promote sustainable innovation: some guiding principles'

Discussant:
Michael Massey (Former Director of Sustainable Development, DTI)

Followed by discussion

8.00 p.m. WIne and canapes

To register, e-mail dt@camecon.com

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The revolution in welfare economics and the implications for environmental policyLaunch seminar: Sustainable Consumption and Economics
12.00 to 13.30 13 December, 2004

Location: Environment Agency on floor 25, Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, Westminster

Presenter:
Professor John Gowdy, Dept of Economics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, US (for further info
http://www.rpi.edu/dept/economics/www/faculty/gowdy.html)

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Psychology of Environmental Economic Instruments Seminar
5.30 - 9.00pm, 19 October, 2004

Location: HM Treasury,

Programme
Chair:
Michael Jacobs (a member of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury)
Presenter:
Alan Lewis (Professor of Economic Psychology, University of Bath) - Designing environmental economic instruments: learning from economic psychology

Discussants:
Dr Dieter Helm (New College, Oxford)
Professor Paul Ekins (Head of Environment Group, Policy Studies Institute)
Becky Willis (Associate Director, Green Alliance)

Followed by open discussion.
8.00pm - Wine and canapes

To register email dt@camecon.com

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Launch Seminar
5.30 - 8.30pm, 27 May 2004
DEFRA, Ashdown House, 123 Victoria St
Programme
Introduction, Bob Davies (DEFRA)
What HEEDnet is about

Chair
Jonathon Porritt
(Chair, UK Sustainable Development Commission)
Speakers:
Peter Madden (Head of Environmental Policy, Environment Agency)
Richard Lewney (Managing Director, Cambridge Econometrics)
Starting the debate: Economics and Sustainable Consumption

Chair: Jonathon Porritt (Chair, UK Sustainable Development Commission)

Presenter: Professor Tim Jackson (University of Surrey) - Understanding Sustainable Consumption: challenges for economics
Discussants: Michael Jacobs(a member of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury), Nick Hartley (OXERA), Professor Clive Spash (President of the European Society of Ecological Economics and Head of the Socio-Economics Research Programme, The Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen)

Followed by open discussion and then refreshments.

Henry Leveson-Gower
Economics Policy Manager & HEEDnet facilitator
Environment Agency

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