Federico II

5th Business Systems Laboratory
International Symposium

Cocreating Responsible Futures in the Digital Age:

Exploring new paths towards economic, social and environmental Sustainability

January 22-24, 2018
Universitŕ di Napoli "Federico II

via Partenope, 36 - Napoli, Italy



for Sustainable Policy/Strategy Implementation



Stefano Armenia
President System Dynamics
Italian Chapter.

Federico Barnabč
Professor of Business Administration 
University of Siena, Italy

Edoardo Mollona 
Professor of Business Administration
University of Bologna,  Italy
This track will bring together researchers and practitioners to share their experiences and insights about the opportunities and challenges of using computer modelling & simulation tools in the field of policy and strategy modelling with the specific aim to achieve an effective impact analysis for a better organizational resilience and sustainable governance. Thus, the track focuses on, but is not limited to, the applications of System Dynamics to support policy-making and will seek to foster fruitful confrontation and debate also among different approaches.

Background: This track will address the general issues of Organizational resilience and Sustainable Governance, specifically aiming at establishing whether, and under which conditions, computer models and simulations may provide the capability of taking correct choices, hence effectively and accurately dealing with complexity in policy-making and strategy development and implementation.
In this regards, different paradigms, techniques and approaches to computer modelling and simulation may play a relevant role, spanning from System Dynamics and Systems Thinking, to Agent-Based Modelling and Discrete Event Simulations.
The impacts generated by policy/strategy implementations have historically been very difficult to anticipate, due to the many complex and interconnected phenomena acting in the related environments. Among them, factors such as dynamic complexity, causal ambiguity and path dependency may severely hamper the ability of decision-makers to design and implement effective strategies and policies aimed at obtaining organizational resilience and hence sustainable governance. Particularly, decision-making accuracy and effectiveness are seriously affected by the use of “old” tools that have been determined to be inadequate to tackle “new” problems. In this context, in order to be sustainable, Governance requires policy-making theories, methodologies, models and tools which are oriented to the analysis and understanding of complex domains, in order to ultimately support decision-making under conditions of complexity and achieve effective organizational resilience.

On the basis of these considerations and dealing with the main issue of “sustainability”, modelling and simulation tools may play a fundamental role in tackling the following issues:
-   understanding and representing dynamic complexity and interdependencies;
-  managing unpredictability and uncertainty;
-  performing evaluation of outcomes that are difficult to measure;
-  promoting the understanding of short, medium and long term consequences of the policies carried out;
-  exploiting the growing amount of available data, that present significant problems of interpretation and management for policy-makers;
-  combining the modelling tools and techniques that are nowadays available, in order to share and exploit the knowledge of domain specialists,
-  achieve organizational resilience  

The challenges that all stakeholders face are, on one hand, related to the combination in the use of multiple modeling and simulation tools, so to facilitate sustainable decision-making, and on the other hand, to make these advancements accessible to a wider audience of both academics and decision makers in the public and private sectors. In particular, we argue that a systemic approach and a continuous interaction between modelers, field experts and decision-makers, together with a sharing of practices, techniques and approaches, are indeed needed (although not currently - fully - in place).

We remind that the track focuses, but is not limited to, the application of System Dynamics and Systems Thinking to policy-making in sustainable governance, and explicitly aims at fostering fruitful confrontation and debate also among different approaches and techniques (e.g., Agent Based Modelling, Discrete Event Simulations, VSM, BPM, etc.).