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Unknowns

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Purpose: Describes different levels of public participation and can be easily adapted to describe how researchers engage with stakeholders   Arnstein’s purpose in developing the ladder was to describe how ‘have-not’ citizen groups were exploited in government decision-making processes, as well as how much power stakeholders had in determining the final product   Description: Arnstein’s […]
Purpose: To describe different ways community engagement can occur To assist in the selection of the appropriate level of public participation for projects involving community engagement Description: The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has assessed different ways the community can be involved in any program of community engagement. The spectrum, illustrated in the figure below, […]
This collection of cases illustrates the use of system dynamics in consulting projects in: chemicals, criminal justice, defense and aerospace, economics and finance, education, energy and environment, engineering and construction, health care, production management, multisector planning, public health, technology, transportation, and urban planning. Clients for the projects were government, corporations and non-government organizations. The repository […]
Overview of several high profile system dynamics model-based applications, selected to show what such models look like, how they emerged (often in multidisciplinary interventions), and how they were used successfully to influence strategy, policy, and decision making. Examples include project management, commodity cycles, urban dynamics, and infectious disease policy. Video (30 minutes): Models that Matter: […]
This video of an hour-long workshop introduces the core concepts and patterns of thought of the system dynamics approach to complex problems: thinking dynamically, thinking causally, thinking about accumulations, and the key to it all, thinking endogenously. The session builds skills in the mechanics of defining problems dynamically, mapping systems structure, and teasing out qualitative […]
The encyclopedia is a searchable online database of concepts that support the advancement of cybernetic and systems research and applications. There are more than 3,800 entries. Topics include abstraction, complexity, decision hierarchy, emergence, feedback, gap analysis, hierarchy, interdependence, non-linear dynamics, path dependence, root definition, stakeholder analysis, and worldview. Each concept is briefly explained and linked […]
This introduction to systems thinking starts with the old adage “teach a man to fish and you feed him forever” and demonstrates why this may fail. It shows how the simple act of fishing is embedded in a complex web of stakeholders and issues, including climate change, pollution, overfishing, lack of access to income, irrigation […]
The problem of dealing with unknowns does not reside in any one discipline. Instead, it inhabits many disciplines. Nearly all disciplines and practice domains have perspectives on the unknown, and their perspectives employ methods ranging from mathematics to discourse analysis. These perspectives are, however, fragmented and specific to their discipline’s linguistic-conceptual frameworks. Thus, researchers and […]
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This taxonomy distinguishes between passive and active ignorance. Passive ignorance involves areas that we are ignorant of, whereas active ignorance refers to areas we ignore. The term ‘error’ is used for the unknowns encompassed by passive ignorance and ‘irrelevance’ for active ignorance. Each of these terms is then further divided into other kinds of ignorance […]
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This overview of unknowns provides a portal to many topics, including how different disciplines and domains perceive unknowns, the socially constructed nature of unknowns, the diversity of unknowns, distinguishing between unknowns, metaphors and unknowns, morals and unknowns, and managing unknowns. It is primarily a portal to the work of Michael Smithson, but references the research […]
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