Category Archives: Simulation

From maker space to solver space

Conferences are for meetings.  Project teams build deliverables.  Data is for data scientists.  Online communities are for social contact.

Until now, when a new mix is emerging.  Can we solve difficult problems in a short-term conference setting?  Is there a new way to run a workshop, which is dynamic, data-driven, visual, collaborative?

I wrote a few months back about the Silicon Valley Sim Center: an initiative to bring a new way to solve “wicked” problems to Silicon valley.  And in an article in this month’s Wired called “Hey Silicon Valley, Buckminster Fuller has a lot to teach you by Sarah Fallon, she interviews Jonathon Keats about his new book on what Bucky has to say to Silicon Valley.*

And from “maker spaces” to “solver spaces”, a new way of working together to solve difficult problems is emerging.

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Decision intelligence for data center disaster planning

Much of the world’s information is handled in data centers: nondescript on the outside, indoors you’ll find a din of humming machine in acres of racks.  If an earthquake or other natural disaster should strike a data center, the cost can be enormous.

So spending money on risk mitigation strategies like earthquake-proofing makes sense.

But it’s a tricky balancing act: spend too much for a disaster that never happens, and it’s money down the drain.  Spend too littledatacenter, and a disaster can spell tremendous costs.

A decision model can help.  We built a demonstration of one shown in the video above, at the link here, and in the bottom of this article, for those viewing this online.

Give it a try, it takes about one minute: Continue reading

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The World Resources Sim Center: on its way to Silicon Valley

Last month I received an intriguing email inviting me to an event at Kimberly Wiefling’s house.  I’d met Kimberly before through Jonathan Trent, as part of the work I’ve been doing to help out the Omega Global Initiative.  I knew she was an international consultant, but it was great to also learn that she was passionate about systems thinking and visualization.  Jonathan and I drove up to Kimberly’s house together, where she and  Peter Meisen explained their initiative to bring a Buckminster Fuller-inspired Sim Center, based on a similar center in San Diego, to Silicon Valley.

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Decision modeling to understand energy transformation decisions

Many companies are facing the prospect of steep increases in the cost of energy in the coming years.  In response, many are looking at alternative energy sources. However, navigating the transition to this new world contains hidden dangers, so an evidence-based modeling approach can make a big difference.  This article looks at this decision-making process through the lens of US cable operators, to understand the specific decisions they face.
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Guest post: Announcing World Makers

The goal of World Makers is to encourage people to build computer simulations of the world. This includes simulating water, weather, crops, land use policy or anything else. Models can be regional or global, simple sketches or full blown simulations.

The classic game ‘Sim City’ by Will Wright is perhaps the best known example of a computer simulation. It lets people build their own imaginary city from the ground up, placing roads, homes and services and measuring their success against the happiness of the population. The goal here is similar – but real – with real data, real stakeholders and real outcomes.

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