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Integrated System Dynamics models of economy and environment have long been used for research and decision support for sustainability problems, starting with the seminal work of World Dynamics and Limits to Growth. In this seminar, we will discuss how such models support decision-making, stakeholder, and public engagement for climate change and sustainability problems. We will reflect on existing models and tools, such as Climate Interactive’s En-ROADS and Millennium Institute’s iSDG tool, and their use cases. We’ll also be discussing how the Climate Change Initiative at UMass Lowell uses System Dynamics tools to raise awareness on climate change.
With Juliette Rooney-Varga, Carolyn McCarthy, Sibel Eker, and Steve Arquitt
Climate Interactive is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank that grew out of MIT Sloan in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Based on a long tradition of system dynamics modeling, our simulations and insights help people see connections, play out scenarios, and see what works to address climate change, inequity, and related issues like energy, health, and food.
Dr. Sibel Eker is currently a Senior Researcher at Climate Interactive and a Research Scholar at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. Her interdisciplinary research profile combines systems analysis and engineering, decision sciences, and social sciences, and her work brings systems thinking and uncertainty focus to climate change and sustainability problems with model-based approaches. Complementing her academic experience, she has worked with several stakeholders and policy actors such as UK DBEIS, World Bank, EIT-Climate KIC, governmental and private organizations. Dr. Eker obtained her Ph.D. degree in 2016, from Delft University of Technology, with a focus on dealing with uncertainties in the Dutch natural gas sector. Prior to joining IIASA, she worked at University College London on integrated decision making in housing, energy, and well-being; and at the Delft University of Technology on the resilience of the transport network in Bangladesh.
Millennium Institute (MI) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization passionate about improving the welfare of individuals on every continent by working with stakeholders to meet the challenges of sustainable development.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, officially adopted by 193 countries, are envisioned as the world’s pathway to a sustainable future. The Goals are ambitious but the resources to achieve them are few. System dynamics models can help planners identify effective and cost-efficient combinations of interventions for progress toward the Goals. This presentation describes the Integrated Sustainable Development Goal (iSDG) model and its use in participatory planning for the SDGs.
Steven Arquitt, Ph.D. is a senior researcher and modeler with the Millennium Institute. He works with governments to develop plans for the UN Sustainable Development Goals using the iSDG System Dynamics model. Steve has worked on iSDG projects in Malawi, Namibia, and currently in Bhutan.
The Climate Change Initiative (CCI) is a UMass Lowell Research Center that informs and supports evidence-based climate action. Our research, education, and outreach foster a transition to a sustainable, resilient, and equitable society. Faculty collaborate on research, teaching, and community engagement activities; using a systems thinking framework to integrate across disciplines. We are committed to working with citizens, community organizations, and policymakers to ensure that our scholarly work benefits society directly.
Juliette N. Rooney-Varga is an expert on climate change and sustainability. She is the Director of the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative and associate professor of Environmental Science.
Carolyn McCarthy is a Program Associate at the UMass Lowell Climate Change Initiative where she develops and researches the learning impacts of simulation-based curriculum for low-income and first-generation-in-college students. Having previously guided strategic planning processes for cross-sector collaborative networks, her main interests are in the practical applications of systems thinking problem-solving for collective action. Carolyn earned a Master of Philosophy in System Dynamics at the University of Bergen, Norway, and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from the University of Vermont in Global Studies, Spanish, and Dance.