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System analysis for environmental policy – System thinking through system dynamic modelling and policy mixing as used in the SimRess project

Diverse and complex interactions as well as multi-actor systems characterise resource use and re-source policy. This makes system analysis a relevant tool to orient resource policy towards the long term. Analysing such complex systems requires systemic thinking, consideration of causal loops as well as time-lags and delays in system responses.
In the SimRess project, system analysis encompassed participatory conceptual system modelling via involving external stakholders into identifying system boundaries and elements via causal loop dia-grams (CLDs). The CLDs were than reflected in the parametrisation of simulation models and the de-velopment of policy mixes.
Only a limited number of stakeholders participated in two of the five workshops needed for a fully fledged group modelling process. Therefore, the project team finalised internally the conceptual sys-tem model. Although this reduced ownership and transparency of the system model, the two work-shops provided relevant system knowledge for further modelling work and policy mix development.
During policy mix development in SimRess, we needed to deviate from the theoretical concept of pol-icy mixing based on available project capacities and stakeholder decisions. On the one hand, under-standing and assessing cumulative effects of policy mixes challenged conceptual policy mix devel-opment and simulation capacities. On the other hand, stakeholder decisions impacted on the depth at which system analysis via simulation models could be undertaken.

The English report can be downloaded here.


Presentation for the Workshop "Resource conservation and resource productivity: modelling approaches for assessment of economy-wide material flows and potential policy impacts ", 7/12/2016, Ecologic Institute, Berlin


Looking to the Future: Trend Report for a Forward-Looking
Resource Policy

In this Trend Report Ecologic Institute's Susanne Langsdorf and Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers analyse more than 300 individual trends, allocated to 12 trend themes. They discuss the potential developments and relevance for German resource policy.


Project flyer SimRess (English)


First Group Modelling Workshop Report

This report written by Deniz Koca and Harald Sverdrup presents the major outcomes from the first group modelling workshop; as well as an overview of the group modelling work we expect to complete with a series of workshops in Berlin.

Second Group Modelling Workshop Report

This report contain the results of the second group modelling workshop.


Full write-up: A Progress Report of the Two SimRess Group Modelling Workshops.


PPT: The World Model and the SimRess-Project. Limits to growth. Simulation of resource efficiency policies


Workshop invitation: Resource Conservation and resource productivity - Modelling approaches and policy options, 7/8 December 2016, Berlin


Downloads Deutsch
Die Zukunft im Blick: Trendbericht für eine vorausschauende Ressourcenpolitik

In diesem Trendbericht untersuchen Susanne Langsdorf und Dr. Martin Hirschnitz-Garbers (Ecologic Institut) mehr als 300 Einzeltrends, die zu zwölf Trendthemen zusammengefasst wurden. Sie erörtern deren mögliche Entwicklung und potentielle Bedeutung für die nationale Ressourcenpolitik.


PPT: Das Modell GINFORS3 in SimRess


Projekt-Flyer SimRess (deutsch)


Einladung zum Workshop: Ressourcenschonung und Rohstoffproduktivität -Modellierungsansätze und politischer Handlungsspielraum, 7./8. Dezember 2016, Berlin




  Ecologic Institute





Lund University


sponsored by:


Federal Environment Ministry
FKZ: 3712 93 102.