Systems thinking and decision making models
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Systems Thinking and Decision Making Models. Mediated Modeling 2/6/07. To accomplish. Reflections - discuss grading - deadline by Friday midnight? Literature review and facilitated discussion - discuss grading (new syllabus on website) Causal diagrams ANR project & team work.

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Systems Thinking and Decision Making Models

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Systems Thinking and Decision Making Models

Mediated Modeling


To accomplish

  • Reflections - discuss grading - deadline by Friday midnight?

  • Literature review and facilitated discussion - discuss grading (new syllabus on website)

  • Causal diagrams

  • ANR project & team work

Learning objective 1

To recognize situations in which Mediated Modeling could be an appropriate tool and discuss ways to evaluate Mediated Modeling as a tool to support Decision-Making

----> 2/6 literature review

---> sign up

Learning objective 4

Systems thinking, qualitative and quantitative model building in a stakeholder setting to support decision-making

---> discuss causal loop diagrams

---> experimenting with STELLA

Causal diagrams

  • 1. The name of your system

  • 2. The purpose that your system fulfills within the larger system

  • 3. The components that make up your system

  • 4. The intangible components

  • 5. The larger system of which your system is a part

What is a system?

A group of interacting, interrelated, or independent components that form a complex and unified whole.

System Characteristics

  • A system’s parts must all be present for the system to carry out its purpose optimally.

  • A system’s parts must be arranged in a specific way for the system to carry out its purpose

  • Systems have specific purposes within larger systems

  • Systems maintain their stability through fluctuations and adjustments

  • Systems have feedback.



When, where


How, why


Levels of Understanding

Questions you would ask

System thinking principles

  • Big picture

  • Balancing Short Term and Long term

  • Recognizing dynamics of complex and interdependent nature of systems

  • Both measurable and no-measurable

  • We each influence systems and are being influenced by them (unintended consequences, assumptions, values & believes)

ST exercises

  • Feedback loops

  • Time lags

  • Interdependencies - widening circles

  • Stretching the timeline backward

  • Stretching the timeline forward (Rock show?)

Learning objective 2

To describe the phases of a Mediated Modeling process in generic terms and discuss the various options available to overcome obstacles during a Mediated Modeling process

---> merge with LO 3?

Learning objective 3

To practice a real or hypothetical Mediated Modeling process on a class-wide or personal topic.

----> last hour team work & planning

Process ideas

  • Start the next workshop with envisioning.

  • Process coach, count the number of completed listening cycles.

  • Other?

Content / notes

  • Notes helpful for modelers?

  • Volunteering note taker?

  • MP3 technology useful?


  • Update?

  • How did the task division “in series” work out?

  • Define geographic scale

  • Time frame and time step

Example Goal

To develop viable recommendations toward the prevention of shoreline degradation in VT. Recommendations can be developed in the form of information requirements or policy suggestions.

Example of “questions the model aims to address”:

1.How is shoreline degradation/protection monitored and measured?

2.What are the most important human activities causing shoreline degradation?

3.How do the long-term consequences present themselves ecologically and economically over time? How are they linked?

4.Based on the system discussed and modeled, what are viable recommendations to achieve a mutually desired outcome?

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