SEED magazine recently published an article on models for managing complex systems. In it, I talk about the C-ROADS experience. It nicely captures the punchline:
having the capacity to accurately predict the utility of proposed policy—whether it be domestic legislature or multilateral agreements—in real time while discussions are ongoing, opens the door for an entirely new way to enact policy.
I get too much credit for C-ROADS in the article; here are some of the people who really made it happen:
The ClimateInteractive team: Travis Franck, Drew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Phil Sawin, Beth Sawin, and Lori Siegel. Many other partners have also been instrumental, including John Sterman (MIT), Peter Senge (SOL), and really too many others to mention.
Climate Interactive and SEED Systems are offering a powerful three-day workshop for innovative climate, energy, and sustainability leaders from business, non-profit, government, and university sectors, led by Drew Jones and Sara Schley.
Attend to develop your capacities in:
• Systems thinking: Causal loop and stock-flow diagramming.
With this experiment, I was striving for a couple things:
A reduced-form version of the climate model, with “good enough” accuracy and interactive speed, as in Vensim’s Synthesim mode (no client-server latency).
Tufte-like simplicity of the UI (no grids or axis labels to waste electrons). Moving the mouse around changes the emissions trajectory, and sweeps an indicator line that gives the scale of input and outputs.
Pervasive representation of uncertainty (indicated by shading on temperature as a start).
This is just a prototype, but it’s already more fun than models with traditional interfaces.