University of Wisconsin–Madison


“The Only Constant is Change”

The rapidly changing world around us presents challenges to living organisms, industrial systems, and global networks at all temporal scales. In this talk I will discuss how the theory of change and system resilience unites activities across the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. I will also explore the process that the institute used to reach a unified perspective on change.

About the Keynote Speaker

Jo Handelsman is the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and a Vilas Research Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She previously served as a science advisor to President Barack Obama.

Her research focuses on the role of small molecules on the structure and function of microbial communities. In the course of this work, she has discovered several new antibiotics from soil bacteria by traditional culture-based methods and metagenomics. She is founder of Tiny Earth, a consortium of college instructors and students across the world dedicated to discovering new antibiotics from soil bacteria. She has just released her book, A World Without Soil.