Abstract for: Athens vs Sparta. When ethical choices enable to reach sustainability

Critical decisions need to be made to face global crises. Modeling and simulation can help to make these decisions effective and shared. Ethical issues are involved in this process and should be included for better quality decisions. Looking at the past helps us to cast light on how ethical choices can be important in resolving critical situations. The ancient Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta show opposed paradigms in policies and life-style, but only one proves itself stable and lasting. Surprisingly, it’s not the city-state we all would had lived in. Human activities in both city-states cause, in time, internal instabilities. Crises that will be solved through expansionist policies, migrations and colonies settlement. Athens faced seven migrations in less than five centuries. Instead, Sparta, after its first (and only) dramatic migration event, introduced corrective actions to contrast instabilities. The change is ascribed to the “mythical” lawgiver Lycurgus, but it could likely be the consequence of a shared vision. A simulation model fitting the two city-states behavior has been developed and its structure comprises seven interconnected sectors. The paper includes model description and its interpretation, a brief overview on ethics in modeling, and a note on our project “ethics in the evolution of societies”.