Session 14: Qualitative Systems Mapping Techniques

11:00 AM - 12:10 PM | Room 103

Pedagogy for a Wicked World: The Value and Hazards of a Transdisciplinary, Dialogue-Driven, Community-Engaged Classroom Model

Danielle Lake
Grand Valley State University

This presentation provides a number of strategies for instructors interested in a more participatory, transdisciplinary, and experiential educational model in order to foster real-world change around our high-stakes, complex public problems. By utilizing soft systems thinking in addition to a feminist pragmatist methodology, students can successfully collaborate with community partners and integrate across their disciplinary expertise in order to co-develop and implement action plans with community stakeholders. Given the value of this work, and also the challenges, this session highlights the potential pitfalls of working to prepare students for a messy, iterative process of collaboratively learning-by-doing in a “wicked” world.

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Using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping as a Participatory Approach to Measure Resilience, Change, and Preferred States of Social-Ecological Systems

Steven Gray
University of Massachusetts

Steven Schyphers
Northeastern University

Fuzzy cognitive mapping (FCM) has been employed in a diverse set of environmental contexts to generate participatory models of complex systems and for scenario development. Although there has been an increase in the use of FCM, limited progress has been made with regard to the method’s relationship to resilience frameworks and how FCM compares with other participatory modeling approaches. We examine how FCM can be used for promoting resilience analysis among stakeholders in terms of identifying key state variables that comprise social-ecological systems, evaluating alternative equilibrium states, and defining desirable or undesirable state outcomes through scenario analysis.

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