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Online Learning Labs Explore Systems Problems

If you’ve been connecting with folks at isee systems over the years, chances are you’ve read or learned something from Chris Soderquist. Chris is President of Pontifex Consulting and one of isee’s trusted consulting and training partners.

Chris SoderquistBefore branching out on his own, Chris worked for isee as a lead consultant, trainer, and learning environment developer. He co-developed the interactive teaching tool Systems Thinking: Taking the Next Step and has used our software to generate insight and understanding in others for many years. He is a real Systems Thinker and an excellent teacher. We think he is so good at teaching this systems stuff, we rely on him to facilitate our online training and to help us out at conferences and workshops.

Chris likes to tackle timely issues with Systems Thinking and is interested in how sharing models and videos online can help frame the discussion around them. Last year’s spike in fuel prices and public concern about future oil reserves inspired Chris to create a YouTube video and online Learning Labs to explore the supply and demand dynamics of the oil market.

YouTube video: “How long will oil last?”

Online Learning Labs

The following learning labs were developed with iThink and then published to the web using isee NetSim

How much oil is left?

Oil market dynamics

What do you think?

Chris is leading the effort to define an online Learning Lab format. We’d love to hear your reactions. Are there other topics you think this approach would be good for?

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  • Francis Lamberti

    It would be interesting to use this approach to evaluate two models of introducing the wide spread use of solar energy. The current model requires that the consumer pays for the system up-front and so is faced with a huge initial capital cost. As a result of this cost, relatively few consumers are able to afford the installation of solar panels. The cost of making panels remains high since there is not enough demand to drive production and take advantage of the economy of scale.
    What happens of the cost of the panels is treated the same way we treat housing purchases. The cost of the panels is recovered over time, the “mortgage” for the solar panels may or may not be tax deductible, the cost savings remain with the consumer ( can consumers sell energy to the grid if they live in Arizona?) and the higher demand for panels drives the cost down.

  • @Francis Lamberti
    Francis, this sounds like an interesting model. Will you take a shot at building it and publishing it online? If you don’t have isee Netsim I can publish it online for you and post the link here in the comments so everyone take a look.

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