Mediated Modeling; An Integrative Approach For The Development Of Shared Understanding And Evaluation Of Policy Scenarios (presentation)

VAN DEN BELT, MARJAN

Mediated modeling is a method to interactively involve a broad range of stakeholder groups in a team learning exercise using facilitated group modeling. The goal is to scope out the links between ecology and economics within a defined boundary and foster a more comprehensive understanding of the problems involved for management and policy aiding purposes. The resulting models are spatially non-explicit. A mediated scoping model serves several functions, including:

  • building consensus among the participants about the structure of a system and its dynamics
  • providing a foundation for investigating policy, research or management alternatives
  • serving as a guide to the construction of an integrated research or management program
  • serving as a tool for disseminating the insights gained by the participating group members.

A group of stakeholders jointly designs and constructs a "scoping" computer model with the assistance of a facilitator/modeler during a series of (about eight) workshops. The resulting model explores the complexity of the challenges and simulates some of the scenario's the group has developed. The software (STELLA II) is sufficiently user-friendly for most participants to present the resulting model to broader audiences once the model is constructed. Mediated modeling has been applied in case studies emphasizing the inter-linkages between ecological and economic systems at landscape scales:

  • Patagonia Coastal Zone Management Model, Argentina, 1996
  • Upper Fox River Basin Model, Wisconsin, USA, 1998
  • Ria Formosa Coastal Wetland Model, Portugal, 1998