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$49 USD

Community Model Building Free Education

Community Model Building: Free Education

Building a model in a community allows us to better understand a system from diverse viewpoints. Expertise and knowledge from several parts of the system helps to generate new insights. Participants learn about current issues and events, how to apply basic principles of systems thinking and mapping, and how to effectively structure and visualize a discussion.

This three-session recorded webinar series demonstrates an application of an online community model building process. In several simple steps, it shows how a complex issue can be discussed in a community with various systems thinking tools.

In this webinar, an online community of 70 participants from diverse backgrounds actively contributed to the discussion and model building process.

Course Overview

Class 1: Reference Mode and Dynamic Hypothesis

Get an overview of the modeling process. To build a model, it is key to clearly define the issue. To do so, we identify a reference mode of behavior to focus the discussion. We talk about different shapes of behavior and how a system can produce these. Finally, we develop a dynamic hypothesis (qualitative model) that helps to explain the reference mode behavior.

Class 2: Quantitative Model

Learn about the key building blocks and how a dynamic hypothesis can be turned into a quantitative model. We discuss the quantitative model and compare the behavior that it produces to the reference mode.

Class 3: Sensitivity Analysis and Debrief

Reflect on the modeling process and key lessons. In the final session, we discuss more model results with sensitivity analysis. In this step, we test the impact of each parameter on the overall system behavior. We review the modeling process and how each modeling stage can reveal profound insights into a topic. Many of these lessons can be used to integrate systems thinking into your daily life.

Angelika Schanda

About the Instructor

Angelika Schanda is the founder and editor of, a platform for students and young professionals who use systems thinking and computer modeling. As an intern of isee systems, she developed simple models and educational materials to raise awareness about systems thinking in the general public. In her 10 years of work in the social sector, Angelika has specialized in collaboration between NGOs, the corporate world and the public as well as on measuring societal impact of different projects and policies.

Bob Eberlein

About the Instructor

Bob Eberlein has a broad range of experience helping organizations understand and address complex business and social problems. As a founding member of the System Dynamics Society he has been active in the field, and with the Society, since 1984 and now serves as the Society’s Vice President Electronic Presence. He has extensive experience using dynamic models to address problems in project management, economic development, health care, manufacturing, marketing, telecommunications, retail sales, energy, and equipment maintenance. Dr. Eberlein was the primary architect and developer of the Vensim® software from its inception through 2010 and has developed other software systems. He has taught many courses and workshops in System Dynamics and currently teaches a graduate course in model analysis techniques at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Karim Chichakly

About the Instructor

Karim Chichakly is Co-President of isee systems, inc., where he was previously the Director of Product Development for over 20 years. He has completed modeling projects in business strategy, project management, health care, public policy, and the environment. He also has extensive experience in both teaching and training. Dr. Chichakly is Adjunct Professor of System Dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Capitol College. He holds degrees in mathematics, engineering, computer science, and system dynamics.

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