No Stakeholder Is an Island: Human Barriers and Enablers in Participatory Environmental Modelling

Daniel C. Kenny, Juan Castilla-Rho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainability science strives to hone our ability to tackle problems that involve intercon-nected economic, social, and environmental systems. Addressing the root causes of these problems requires a more nuanced understanding of how human behaviour can undermine stakeholder engagement efforts towards effective conflict management and resolution. Participatory modelling—the co-production of knowledge via facilitated modelling workshops—plays a critical role in this endeav-our by enabling participants to co-formulate problems and use modelling practices that aid in the description, solution, and decision-making actions of the group. While the difficulties of modelling with stakeholders are widely acknowledged, there is still a need to more concretely identify and categorize the barriers and opportunities that human behaviour presents to this type of engagement process. This review fills an important gap in participatory modelling practice by presenting five broad categories of barriers, along with strategies that can assist in overcoming them. We conclude with a series of actions and future research directions that the participatory modelling community as a whole can take to create more meaningful and behaviourally-attuned engagements that help stakeholders take concrete steps towards sustainability in natural resource management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number340
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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