Posted on Nov 19, 2023Read on

Embracing Complexity: How System Dynamics Shaped My Path to 'The Internet of Value' | Gratitude 17/60

“Never Model a System; Model a Problem” - Prof. John Richardson

As I delve into the intricate layers of 'The Internet of Value,' my heart swells with gratitude for two remarkable mentors – John D. Sterman and my professor, John Richardson. Their profound teachings on system dynamics and modeling have been instrumental in shaping my approach to understanding complex societal issues.

During my master's in public policy, I was captivated by the course "Dynamic Modeling of Public Policy Systems," led by Professor John Richardson, a pioneer in system dynamics. This course ignited a passion in me for understanding complex systems, leading me to become a teaching assistant in my second year. The course emphasized the importance of a systemic view of problems across various domains – social, technological, environmental, economic, political, and legal – and the necessity of modeling these complexities rather than the systems themselves.

John Sterman's work, particularly his book 'Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking & Modeling for the Complex World,' further deepened my understanding. His insights, especially highlighted in his presentation "A Banquet of Consequences," resonate with the core principles of my work. Sterman's emphasis on the importance of systems thinking in addressing global challenges like climate change profoundly influenced my research. He stated, "The problem is that these characteristics of complex systems are not appreciated in our mental models, in our thinking"​​.

This holistic approach to understanding complex systems has been crucial in my work, particularly in addressing issues like labor market frictions and unemployment. It underscores why in 'The Internet of Value,' we focus on the problems at hand rather than just the systems.

Sterman's methodology, advocating for systems modeling as an essential tool for understanding and addressing these complexities, aligns with the fundamental research mode we use in everything we do. He rightly points out, "What's underneath all this is a massive failure of systems thinking and indeed perhaps just thinking"​​. This approach has been a cornerstone in our pursuit of building a new, equitable economy.

In conclusion, my journey in writing 'The Internet of Value' has been profoundly influenced by these two incredible educators. Their teachings on system dynamics and modeling have not only shaped my perspective but also guided my approach in addressing complex societal issues. I am eternally grateful to John Sterman and Professor Richardson for their invaluable contributions to my understanding and approach to system dynamics.

For more on 'The Internet of Value' and its journey, visit