Abstract for: Mind Meets Heart: Smart Transition Management to Smarten Energy Systems in a Deeply Uncertain World

Enormous future investments are needed to replace and expand energy systems, and prepare them for future needs. Moreover, smarter technologies/systems are needed. And in this ever more complex, interconnected, and uncertain world, smarter policymaking in the energy field is certainly needed too. After all, current energy policymaking still mainly ignores (dynamic) complexity and (deep) uncertainty. This paper illustrates two SD-based approaches for supporting policymaking for complex and uncertain issues as well as their combination. First, Exploratory SD Modeling and Analysis allows exploring and analyzing millions of plausible (uncertain) dynamic system behaviors and testing the robustness of policies. This approach is illustrated by means of a SD model related to energy grid investments. Second, SD-based Experiential Serious Gaming allows policymakers to experience dynamic complexity and deep uncertainty, and helps them feel the need to embrace both method(ologie)s in policymaking. Before having experienced different plausible futures, players of such experiential games applied inappropriate strategies in almost all plausible futures played, and hence failed in the face of uncertainty. Repeatedly failing actually prepared them for thinking outside their old/reactive/predictive modes in subsequent bounce-casting sessions. Both approaches may also be mutually beneficial: most subjects only acknowledge the need to take uncertainty and dynamic complexity seriously into account after having participated in experience-oriented gaming sessions.