Abstract for: Using Small Models for Big Issues: Exploratory System Dynamics Modelling and Analysis for Insightful Crisis Management

The main goals of this paper are to explain and illustrate ‘Exploratory System Dynamics’ and ‘Exploratory System Dynamics Modelling and Analysis’, which are both useful for exploration of, and decision-making in, dynamically complex issues that are deeply uncertain. First, the need for exploratory approaches is discussed. Second, different exploratory approaches are briefly introduced. Third, a typology of safety and security issues/crises –in terms of degrees of complexity, uncertainty and urgency– is proposed. Different types of inter/national safety and security issues for which exploratory analyses may be useful are listed too. And the application of these exploratory approaches is subsequently illustrated on some of these issues, more precisely on (i) an acute financial crisis (the concerted bank run on the DSB Bank), (ii) an imminent pandemic flu crisis, and (iii) plausible mineral/metal scarcity crises. The paper ends with some conclusions, lessons learned, and a discussion of future work.