Companion Modelling

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Companion Modelling

To be announced


commod.pngIn the management of agricultural and environmental resources, a large number of stakeholders with distinct interests are commonly involved. Exploring improved management options for these systems, requires the involvement of these stakeholders. Companion Modelling (ComMod) is a participatory gaming and simulation approach that uses role-playing games and simulation models to tackle complex issues in the fields of renewable resources and environment management together with stakeholders. ComMod promotes dialogue, shared learning and collective decision-making, strengthening the adaptive management capacity of communities facing wicked environmental problems. A ComMod approach is iterative and evolves with the participative process whereby stakeholders are involved in the definition and design of the questions, models, simulations and outputs. It involves constant back and forth steps between the model, the field and the negotiation. Facilitating multi-stakeholder processes using participatory gaming and simulation table.
The course will focus on:

  1. Concepts, such as: wicked problems, socio-ecological systems, complex systems, participatory modelling, simulation strategies.
  2. Methods and related tools, such as: system representation, participatory mapping, model conceptualization, agent-based modelling, role-playing games, participatory simulation and scenario assessment, brainstorming, debriefing and evaluation, facilitation and conflict management.
Course Set-up

ComMod-logo.pngThe course is composed of a series of lectures on participatory gaming and simulation approach Companion Modelling and facilitation, introductory gaming sessions, group work on game development and crash testing one of the games developed. Participants will learn the principles of participatory gaming and simulation through the companion modelling approach and facilitation. They will experience the development of a game first hand.

  1. Lectures: During the mornings, one or two lectures will be held on the principles of companion modelling and facilitation of such a multi-stakeholder process.
  2. Hands-on experience: During the afternoons, participants will gain hands-on experience in developing, testing and debriefing games and facilitating processes.

It is possible to join the course without actually spending the night at the course location. However, we emphasize that there will be evening sessions on most evenings.

Course coordinators

This course is organised in collaboration with ETH Zurich, CIRAD, and ECOSUR.

General information
Target Group The course is aimed at PhD candidates and other academics
Group Size Min. 15, max. 21 participants. Note; if the course is fully booked, participants may be selected by the organisers on an individual basis,
Course duration 5 days
Language of instruction English
Number of credits 1.5 ECTS
Lecturers See above
Prior knowledge No specific prior knowledge is assumed
Location tbd
Options for accommodation Accommodation is optional in this course. We can book a room for you at the venue, but you can also make your own arrangements elsewhere, or spend the nights at home. Do note that there is quite an intense evening programme, though. There are several possibilities for overnight stay in Wageningen. For information on B&B's and hotels in Wageningen please visit Another option is Short Stay Wageningen. Furthermore Airbnb offers several rooms in the area. Finally, there is also a very active public Facebook group called “Wageningen Student Plaza”, where rooms are often offered for short-term sublets, but where one could also easily post a request for renting a room for a week in Wageningen. Finally, note that besides the restaurants in Wageningen, there are also options to have dinner at Wageningen Campus.. 


More information

Dr. Erika Speelman
Phone: +31 (0) 317 480864


Registration of interest

At this moment, this course is not scheduled yet. However, if you register your interest in this activity below, we will inform you as soon as the course is scheduled and registration of participation is opened.