With four years’ experience in delivering professional conferences and after a successful collaboration with five other top Scottish Universities in 2019, we are looking forward to celebrating our 5th anniversary and stimulating a fascinating discussion on complexity.

Through globalisation, technological development and rapid population growth, our world has become more complex than it has ever been before. Consequently, we are faced with intricate issues of unprecedented scale and scope such as climate change, rising inequalities, and an interdependent financial system. How and why should we change our thinking when faced with complex problems? How can we use the wide range of economic ideas alongside other disciplines to understand the problems around us?


In 2019, the GEF hosted the Scottish Economic Conference (SEC), obtaining great successes in a two days event which had over 300 attendees from all over the globe and renowned speakers such as Martin Wolf, the head commentator of the Financial Times. The SEC has been Scotland’s largests tudent conference, organised by six of the country’s most prestigious universities: The University of Aberdeen, The University of Dundee, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University and The University of St Andrews .


Frank Neher

Frank joined the European Commission in 2015 with the Climate Risk Management Unit and is now working with the Fairness project in the Unit for Monitoring, Indicators and Impact Evaluation. His current research interests focus on perceptions of fairness and determinants of political discontent.

Matthew Agarwala

Matthew Agarwala is an environmental economist interested in wealth-based approaches to measuring and delivering sustainable development. In addition to the Bennett Institute, he enjoys affiliations at the LSE (Geography & Environment + Grantham Research Institute) and UEA (Centre for Social & Economic Research on the Global Environment).

Stefanija Veljanoska

Stefanija Veljanoska is a post-doctoral researcher at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). Prior to joining UCLouvain, she worked as a climate change adaptation consultant at FAO of the UN. Her research interests cover adaptation to climate change, migration and remittances, agricultural production decisions and agricultural policy, water consumption, pollution and child health outcomes.

Daniel Coleman

Daniel Coleman is a Senior Associate Economist in the Chief Economist's team at Ofcom, the UK government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries.

He deals with strategic economic issues in the telecom sector, including how broadband investment affects economic growth and the future of certain types of spectrum. 

Doyne Farmer

Director of the Complexity Economics programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Professor in the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. His current research is in economics, including agent-based modelling, financial instability and technological progress.

Otto Kassi

Otto Kassi is an economist at Etla, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy and a research associate in the Oxford Internet Institute.

He worked on the ERC funded project iLabour: The Construction of Labour Markets, Institutions and Movements on the Internet.

Fabrice Murtin

Dr. Fabrice Murtin is a Head of Section at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the Households Statistics and Progress Measurement Division. He is also an Associate Researcher at Sciences Po Paris. His research has focused on well-being measurement, the long-term dynamics of economic development and economic policy.

Christian Oldiges

Christian Oldiges is a Co-Director of Metrics and Policy at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford. At OPHI, Christian is co-leading the outreach team in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, supporting governments in building national multidimensional poverty indices. When in Oxford, he undertakes micro-econometric research on the determinants of multidimensional poverty.

Sayantan Ghosal

Sayantan is a Professor of Economics at the Adam Smith Business School and Dean of Interdisciplinarity and Impact at the College of Social Sciences. He is a member of the Microeconomics research cluster, his areas of expertise including Global cooperation and climate change.

Sarah Smith

Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol, co-chair of #DiscoverEconomics – a campaign to increase diversity in economics led by the Royal Economic Society. It is supported by a wide range of institutions involved in economic research, communication and policy making, including the Bank of England, the Government Economic Service and the Society of Professional Economists. 

Gary Gillespie

Gary Gillespie was appointed Scottish Government Director and Chief Economist in September 2011. He is responsible for providing analytical support for Ministers and colleagues, as well as to the Economic Development and Energy and Climate Directorates. He produces economic statistics and is a member of the Scottish Government's Strategic Board.

Saja Al Zoubi

Dr. Saja al Zoubi is a development economist. Her research has been focusing on rural livelihoods and gender. This includes food security, gender & woman empowerment, home economics, evaluation development projects, poverty alleviation, and micro finance. Since the war in Syria, she has been concerned with researching ways of empowering women and improving the livelihoods of Syrian families.


Anna Malova

Second year PhD student

Max Schroder

Third year PhD student

Nasira Bradley

PhD student