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Global System Dynamics and Policy – Best Practice Guidelines Towards a Science of Global Systems



Collated and written by Steven Bishop, Peter Baudains, Jason Greenlaw, Giles Foden, Julian Hunt and Jeff Johnson




This document explores ways in which a science of global systems can be used to inform and shape better policy making, and thus help to solve many of the complex and interrelated issues facing society and the world today. A series of workshops is outlined, in which the body of knowledge created by the scientific research community is concisely collated to create an informative, learning environment that will prove invaluable for decision makers in government or business or their advisors.

A Science of Global Systems

Challenges such as climate change, financial crises, or containment of pandemics all suffer from the intrinsic difficulty that they generate strong interdependencies between different social, technological, and environmental systems. When trying to deal with them, different groups tend to address individual systems, rather than multiple interrelated systems, and thereby they typically fail to achieve systemic change. The vision of a science of global systems is that scientific knowledge could act as a catalyst to stimulate creative policy responses to such global challenges, and indeed changes in society in general (see the links in the Resources section). A global systems science (GSS) emphasises a ‘systems’ approach to develop scientific evidence in support of system-wide policy options across different domains. It builds on results from advances in complex systems, networks science, ‘Big Data’, high performance computing and the new opportunities that information and communication technology offers. GSS also recognises the immense potential for the engagement of civic society throughout the process of decision making by gathering and analysing evidence. A better understanding of this science of global systems will lead to better evidence-based policy decision making.


Read full report [PDF, 7.4 MB]