Systems and complexitySystems thinking and modelling

Going Global: Introduction [Systems thinking & modelling series]

This is part 72 of a series of articles featuring the book Beyond Connecting the Dots, Modeling for Meaningful Results.

A key goal of systems thinking and modeling is engaging people to cause positive action and change. The growth of the Internet has created amazing opportunities to connect with people in ways that have never before been possible.

The Internet also makes it easy to share models with other people. You can email a specific person the tables and graphs of a model’s results, or build webpages and publish these results to share with the world. What is more, these results do not have to be limited to static data. Using Insight Maker, you can include an interactive version of your model, allowing others to experiment with it directly on your webpage. This can be done on any page you have rights to edit, including your personal website, a blog, and a company’s information page.

Furthermore, the information flow doesn’t have to be one-way from you to others. You can include a feedback or comment form in a webpage to allow people to share their thoughts on the model – right next to the model itself. These comments can be saved directly on the page, allowing other people to read them and enabling a discussion to form around the model. This creates many avenues for collaboration and learning that would simply be impossible without the Internet.

In this section, we will show you how to develop webpages to showcase your insights and models to the world. We’ll also show how to include tools to engage viewers and start a dialogue about your models. Before jumping into the models themselves, we will lay the groundwork by introducing the basic principles of web development. Once we have introduced these key principles, we’ll walk through two examples of developing interactive models.

Next edition: Going Global: The Web in a Nutshell.

Article sources: Beyond Connecting the Dots, Insight Maker. Reproduced by permission.

Scott Fortmann-Roe and Gene Bellinger

Scott Fortmann-Roe, creator of Insight Maker, and Gene Bellinger, creator of SystemsWiki, have written the innovative interactive book "Beyond Connecting the Dots" to demystify systems thinking and modelling.

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