Abstract for: Cause Less Harm: Methods for Planning & Designing GMB & CBSD Projects on Equity Issues

Previous ISDC presentations (Chung 2022; Chung 2018; Battle-Fisher, 2022; Gillani, Brown & Pritchard, 2021; Headen, Branz, & Ballard, 2021; Houston & Headen, 2022; Pritchard et al, 2022; Pritchard & Houston, 2019) have emphasized the need for a stronger focus on equity in system dynamics methods. Group Model Building (GMB) and Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) are important participatory methods for increasing community participation and ownership in modeling. However, these methods can still cause harm or inadvertently reinforce oppression, especially when the topic of the workshop is explicitly focused on equity issues (e.g. structural racism, interpersonal & structural violence, heteropatriarchy & transphobia, etc.) Even with good intent, conversations about equity issues often cause retraumatization, so particular care is needed in the planning and design phases of CBSD and GMB projects. Building on prior conference presentations, this workshop will be an introduction to planning and designing equity-focused GMB or CBSD projects in a way that is less likely to cause harm. This hands-on workshop will cover basic techniques for structuring the planning of an equity-focused GMB/CBSD project and reducing in-session harm. Facilitators will share examples from their own practice and participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm ways to apply the material to their own projects.