Scholars Seminar | Participatory modeling and collaborative decision making for climate and social justice: From Potential to Realization, with Moira Zellner (Northeastern University)

Photograph of diverse group of people conducting a participatory planning workshop
Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 10:30am to 11:30am
Design Building Room 170 | UMass Amherst (Zoom link available upon registration)

Please join the ISSR Scholars Program in conversation with Dr. Moira Zellner, Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Director of Participatory Modeling and Data Science at Northeastern University.

Title: Participatory modeling and collaborative decision making for climate and social justice: From Potential to Realization

Participatory modeling is a collaborative stakeholder-driven approach to formalize shared representations of a problem and, through the joint modeling process, design and test solutions to that problem. This promising approach has become increasingly established as a field of scholarship and practice within the broader umbrella of knowledge co-generation and participatory action research, but it is not without its challenges. In this presentation, Dr. Zellner will share her experiences embedding complex systems modeling approaches within ethical community engagement and the potential for further development.

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Institute for Social Science Research, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, and the Data Analytics and Computational Social Science Program (DACSS) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The ISSR Scholars Program promotes successful research and grants development for social science faculty across UMass Amherst. Dr. Zellner joins us in support of her mentorship of ISSR Scholars Camille Barchers (Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning) and Thaddeus Miller (School of Public Policy). 

Dr. Moira Zellner is a Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the Director of Participatory Modeling and Data Science at Northeastern University. She has served as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator in interdisciplinary projects examining how specific policy, technological and behavioral factors influence the emergence and impacts of a range of complex socio-ecological systems problems, where interaction effects make responsibilities, burdens, and future pathways unclear. Her research also examines how participatory complex systems modeling with stakeholders and decision-makers can support collaborative policy exploration, social learning, and system-wide transformation. Moira has taught a variety of workshops on complexity-based modeling of socio-ecological systems, for training of both scientists and decision-makers in the US and abroad. Before coming to Northeastern, Moira was an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy and the Institute for Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also headed the Urban Data Visualization Lab at UIC. Prior to her academic career, Moira worked as an environmental consultant for local and international environmental engineering firms and for the undersecretary of Environment in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. may administer SFA to maximize treatment outcomes.