Using a Simulation Tool for Defining Global Problems
Global problems are often very complex. Some of the complex inter-disciplinary global problems, such as the sudden changes in Eastern Europe, the Gulf war, and AIDS, are very hard to handle. Even defining the problem is difficult. Managers and experts often lack the knowledge and training as to how to handle these kinds of problems. Regular education provides little opportunity to learn how to handle these kind of problems, as it focuses on well-defined problems in strictly divided domains in a constant context. Policy makers need special training for analysis of complex interdisciplinary problems imbedded in a dynamic context. This training can be done using a free-form game as a didactical context in which cases can be analyzed. Cases that are not defined and well-structured give the opportunity to deal with all the aspects of a real life problem. Defining complex interdisciplinary problems is teamwork. A system dynamic modelling tool can give a graphical representation of the mental model of the problem. With this computer simulation tool a scenario of the problem can be made in which one can simulate the effect of interventions on the problem. The graphical model can function as a shared language to help experts in different fields concentrate on the same aspects of the problem during the discussion.