Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling for Policy Problems

Yaman Barlas, Boğaziçi University


This talk attempts to provide a state-of-the art overview of systems thinking and dynamic modeling, and its applications to policy problems. We first provide a brief discussion of the essentials of systems thinking (philosophy, theory) and what is meant by “systemic” problems. We then define and discuss main characteristics of policy problems. We contrast policy problems with forecasting problems, and forecasting (black box) models with policy-design (transparent, causal) models. We finally discuss and illustrate how system dynamics modeling, a specific dynamic systemic methodology is used to tackle complex policy problems.

Short Bio:

Yaman Barlas has B.S. in industrial engineering from METU and Ph.D. from Georgia Tech. He joined Miami University of Ohio in 1985, where he was awarded tenure. He returned home to Boğaziçi University in Istanbul in 1993, where he is currently a retired (part-time) professor of Industrial Engineering and founding director of SESDYN research laboratory ( Barlas has spent sabbatical visits at different European and American universities. His interest areas are credibility and testing of simulation models, system dynamics method, systems science, modeling of socio-economic and medical/health problems, and simulation as a learning platform. Barlas has several teaching excellence awards, and Outstanding Service Award by the International System Dynamics Society. He is a founding member and a former President of the System Dynamics Society, and has served in various professional roles, including Executive Editor of System Dynamics Review.


Friday, March 25, 2022, 4.00 pm - Zoom Meeting


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