A Cybernetic Participatory Approach for Whole-Systems Modelling and Analysis, with Application to Inclusive Economies
preprintposted on 2021-01-27, 06:23 authored by Mohammad HassannezhadMohammad Hassannezhad, Mary Gogarty, Clementine Hill O’Connor, Julian Cox, Petra S. Meier, Robin C. Purshouse
Traditional participatory systems modelling demands synchronous time from many experts and face-to-face interaction. This is not always feasible (e.g. recent pandemic) and can restrict which participants can be included. There are additional limitations in the effectiveness of physical paper-based modelling when handling large complex systems with numerous variables and links between them. The key challenge facing practitioners is then how we can retain the benefits of traditional participatory modelling whilst exploiting the advantages of new technologies? This paper contributes to development of an original systematic methodology based on Cybernetic principles. The proposed method, refers to 5X – standing for Expose, Explore, Exploit, Explain, and Expand, offers a fully virtual co-produced environment for better engagement of stakeholders, developing more confidence in systems mapping, and promote knowledge to other policy areas. A primary application of the proposed method in a real policy setting illustrates its capability in generating a shared policy understanding of complex Inclusive Economy system, where there is conflicting or dispersed knowledge about system structure, refining this understanding through online feedback channels, and transferring this understanding to wider policy and academic partners through mutual relationships.