Abstract for:Systems Archetypes in Community-Based Modeling

System archetypes have been identified as an important communication device for sharing insights about dynamic systems between modelers and non-modelers. These devices have been reviewed and tested in a number of different settings, but their use in community-based modeling research has been relatively unexplored. In this paper, we present the first step in using system archetypes as a communication tool in the context of a research project around improving the food system in Flint, Michigan. We elicited archetypes from community partners in order to identify key system behaviors affecting the Flint food system, and to begin a conversation around solutions to systems traps. System archetypes derived from a visioning session with community members include ‘Success to the Successful’, ‘Shifting the Burden’ and ‘Seeking the Wrong Goal’, all of which are operating to keep the Flint food system in a sub-optimal state in terms of its ability to provide equitable access to nutritious foods. Going forward, the research team and community partners will work together to incorporate future archetypes into our broader understanding of the Flint food system, and to identify specific actions based on these results, as well as identifying individuals who might be positioned to take that action.