Keynote Speaker
Participatory Modeling for Socio-Environmental Decision Making

Prof. Dr. Alexey Voinov
Curriculum Vitae
Center on Persuasive Systems for Wise Adaptive Living (PERSWADE)
School of Information, Systems and Modelling, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Modeling is the language of scientific discovery. Whether modeling the social interactions of individuals within a community in anthropology, the trade-offs of foraging behaviors in ecology, or the influence of warming ocean temperatures on circulation patterns in oceanography, the ability to represent empirical or theoretical understanding through modeling provides scientists with a semi-standardized language to explain how we think the world works. In fact, modeling is such a basic part of human reasoning and communication that the formal practice of scientific modeling can be extended to include non-scientists, especially as a way to jointly learn about complex and poorly understood socio-environmental dynamics and to improve research and decision-making. Although the field of participatory modeling (PM) has grown in recent years, there are still considerable questions about how different software tools can be used to facilitate communication and learning among diverse groups of stakeholders, which approaches are more suitable (given the nature of a community or ecological problem), and whether these approaches effectively lead to action-oriented outcomes. The talk addresses these questions by covering different PM approaches to deal with socio-environmental issues.