A Banquet of Consequences: Interactive Simulations to Support Climate Negotiations
September 27, 2012
12–1:15 p.m. PT
About the Program
Why is the world so slow to address the risks posed by climate change? The problem is not imperfect scientific understanding, but a failure of systems thinking throughout society, including scientists, policymakers, negotiators, the media and the public at large.
Dr. Sterman discusses the widespread but erroneous mental models people use to think about complex systems and how these can be overcome with rigorous but accessible systems thinking methods. To illustrate, he will present fast and flexible interactive "management flight simulators" that provide people with the ability to discover, for themselves, the complex dynamics of the climate and assess the likely consequences of proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The models are freely available to all and are widely used in education, and by businesses, NGOs and other stakeholders. Sterman will also discuss how these models are used by senior policymakers and climate negotiators in the United States and other nations.
About the Speaker
John D. Sterman is the Jay W. Forrester Professor in Computer Science, a Professor of System Dynamics and Engineering Systems, and the Director of the System Dynamics Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research includes systems thinking and organizational learning, computer simulation of corporate strategy and public policy issues, and environmental sustainability. He is the author of many scholarly and popular articles on the challenges and opportunities facing organizations today, including the book Modeling for Organizational Learning and the award-winning textbook Business Dynamics.
Sterman's research centers on improving decision-making in complex systems, including corporate strategy and operations, energy policy, public health, environmental sustainability, and climate change. He has pioneered the development of "management flight simulators" of corporate and economic systems, which are now used by corporations, universities, and governments around the world. His research ranges from the dynamics of organizational change and the implementation of sustainable improvement programs to climate change and the implementation of policies to promote a sustainable world.
About the IDSS
The International Development Speaker Series is supported by PRGS and Research and Policy in International Development, a research center within RAND Labor & Population.
How to Attend
IDSS talks are open to PRGS students, RAND staff, and community members interested in global development. Learn how to attend and join the mailing list for future events.
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