Vanessa Schweizer, Director of WICI, is an Assistant Professor and Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo. She applies approaches for understanding complex systems to socio-economic scenarios in the context of climate change. She focuses on difficult-to-imagine futures (so-called ‘black swan events’ and ‘perfect storms’) to understand risk. Her research interests also include transition scenarios, or pathways, to sustainable development.
At the University of Waterloo, Dr. Schweizer also holds cross-appointments in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, the School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability, Systems Design Engineering, and the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. She is also a fellow at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. She was a contributing author to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and has held appointments with research centres in the U.S. such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the National Research Council of the National Academies. Her PhD is in engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University (2010).