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Collaborative Modeling

Systems Modeling


This one-day workshop is designed for local, state and federal government agency representatives, natural resource managers, planners, non-profit organizations, and coastal scientists and students. Participants will apply collaborative system dynamics modeling to explore using multi-state management to address impacts of multiple factors.


What is Collaborative Modeling?

Collaborative Modeling (CM) is a proven approach to frame and inform decisions for complex sustainability and resilience challenges. Such “wicked problems” are characterized by a lack of consensus on the causes and best solutions. Stakeholders approaching the issue from different perspectives often have different understandings of the relationships between valued resources and system processes. By working through a guided, participatory system dynamics modeling process, the concerns and expertise of multiple decision-makers can be integrated into a holistic framework. The CM approach is particularly powerful in situations where substantial information exists, but it has not yet been integrated and synthesized in ways that are useful to end users in their evaluation of management or policy options.


Why do we need a new approach to natural resource planning and policy making?

Frequently, well-intentioned efforts to solve complex socio-ecological problems create unintended consequences. This tendency for interventions to be defeated by the response of the system to the intervention itself has been termed policy resistance. Systems thinking is a way to get beyond the problem of policy resistance. Mapping and modeling complex interdependent systems enables decision-makers to learn more quickly and more deeply, to compare different individuals’ mental models of system relationships, identify the feedback loops and leverage points in systems, and to explore potential outcomes of proposed solutions and system interventions. Managers and the public don’t necessarily need “more science” or “more data” to make better decisions for conservation, restoration and resilience planning, but they do need better synthesis and interpretation of existing information and targeted studies to fill specific data gaps.


What can participants expect to get out of this workshop?

  1. Experience and practice using collaborative system dynamics modeling as a tool for integrating diverse perspectives and expertise to define problems and test solutions.
  2. Deeper understanding of interconnections among valued resources.
  3. Insight into different perspectives and priorities that have influenced management decisions historically.
  4. Opportunity to contribute to a conversation about proposed solutions to interrelated regional management challenges.

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For more information about 3 Sigma Institute, please contact Ralph Garono.
3 Sigma Institute | P.O. Box 2421| Corvallis, Oregon 97339
Website last modified: October 29, 2019