The Second Inforum World Conference at Osnabrueck, Germany

At the first Inforum conference at Rennes, France, the Germans volunteered to host the second conference at Osnabrueck, Germany. True to their word, the Germans did in fact host the second World Conference, and they deserve applause for making it a comfortable and enlightening visit.

The Osnabrueck conference was held from September 26 to September 30, 1994. It was hosted by the Inforge group, headed by Bernd Meyer, and ably directed by Georg Ewerhart. In the previous week, Bernd and Georg had hosted a conference called Prognose 2000, which presented forecasts of the Inforge group for Germany, and for which Inforum participants from the U.S., France, Italy, Poland and Japan were invited to speak. This first conference really brought the Inforge group out into the limelight, and they have had a lot of response from government and industry groups since that conference.

Here is a brief summary of the papers and events of the conference:

Monday, September 26
Qiang Ma (U.S.) discussed his bilateral world trade databank, followed by Marco Barnabani (Italy) discussing his logarithmic import share function. After a short break, Jennifer Beattie (U.S.) discussed her experiments with import equations for the U.S. Next, Maurizio Grassini (Italy) discussed the use of import share matrices in an I-O model, and Josef Richter (Austria) topped off the morning with a discussion of trade statistics in Europe with a single market. In the afternoon, Clopper Almon and Doug Meade (U.S.) discussed new developments in Interdyme and Compare.


Tuesday, September 27
Mr. Hasegawa (Japan) started off the morning with a discussion of the construction of a time-series of input-output tables for Japan. Doug Meade (U.S.) gave a talk on his work forecasting the impacts of electric car production in the U.S. The rest of the morning was devoted to the German students. Carolin Vogt spoke about her work with microdata for the international automobile market, and Andreas Bockermann and Christian Lutz discussed their joint project on modeling air pollution. In the afternoon lab session, Doug Meade talked about SlimDyme, and Qiang Ma gave a demonstration of his trade databank. The Japanese also gave a demonstration of their time series of I-O tables in Vam. On Tuesday evening, a select group of participants were given a wonderful tour around the beautiful old city of Osnabrueck.


Wednesday, September 28
In the morning, Yinchu Wang (China) spoke of his exercises using the Mudan model to find the right growth rate for China. After his talk, we had a break to walk to the historic Friedenssaal, where the peace for the 30 years war was signed. Upon returning, Amy Carr (U.S.) gave a talk about the Inforum work modeling health care reform proposals. Rossella Bardazzi (Italy) spoke on a similar theme, discussing her work on evaluating proposed changes in national health care in Italy. In computer lab, the Germans demonstrated a graphics program they have developed, called PlotGraf. Members worked with each other on their various Interdyme models. In the afternoon, Bernd Meyer gave a talk on the structure of the Inforge model.


Thursday, September 29
Paul Salmon (France) started out giving an account of his work with the Megeve project. This was followed by an excellent account by Juan Carlos Collardo (Spain) of his business development work for the Fundacion Tomillo. In a quick 1-2-3 punch, the Poles gave talks of their work. This included short talks by Lucja Tomaszewicz, Czeslaw Lipinski, Mariusz Plich and Aleksandra Balcerak. Finally, Georgy Serebriakov (Russia) gave a talk on his work on modeling Russia. Thursday's computer lab was lightly attended. In the evening, a reception was given at the Kreissparkasse, where Bernd gave a presentation of his forecasting work, followed by food and beer. At the reception, Lucja Tomaszewicz was presented a wooden broom, signed by all Inforum members, to give her good luck for the conference in the following year.


Friday, September 30
Friday was the day of our field trip. First we went to see the archeological discoveries at Kalkriese, the site of a famous defeat of the Romans by the Germans. Next we went to see the dinosaur tracks, where we are found in the picture below. Finally, we had a tasty lunch at a typical country inn. The evening was spent in Osnabrueck, saying our good-byes, and seeing some more of the city.

Here is a picture of many of the participants at the Osnabrueck conference, during a trip in the German countryside. If you click on this picture, you can see the full version, which shows that they are standing in front of some 150 million year old dinosaur tracks!

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