Funded Projects

Theses

 

Funded Projects


Accelerating and Rescaling Transitions to Sustainability
The objective of ARTS is to benefit policy, practice and theory related to accelerating sustainability transitions and to create opportunities for innovation (including social innovation) by coupling, rescaling and accelerating sustainability initiatives in European city-regions. ARTS will create interfaces between policy, practice and theory that are spaces for co-creation, theory building, policy experimentation, social innovation and learning. ARTS will have an aggregated impact on transition regions, on national and European policy related to facilitating transitions, and on theory and governance of sustainability transitions. The focal unit of analysis will be innovative activities and related actor-networks that are fundamentally changing energy, food, shelter and mobility provisioning patterns at the scale of a city or region, situated within a wider European context. ARTS will explore how lessons from these initiatives can be drawn for broader transitions to sustainable low-carbon European societies. We seek to identify the values, conditions and mechanisms for accelerating sustainability transitions, develop strategies to assist and stimulate their acceleration and assess them with dynamic modelling approaches. We will explore these conditions based on a diverse set of transition initiatives in five regions across Europe in an inter- and transdisciplinary way: Brighton, Budapest, Dresden, Flanders, and Stockholm. The developed acceleration governance approach and modelling platform, support decision making, and social learning processes to speed-up the implementation of EU’s Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Strategies. They deliver to the energy targets (20/20/20 targets, the EU Energy Strategy), and the targets addressed in the Roadmaps (2050-Competitive Low-carbon Economy, Resource Efficient Europe), while supporting transitions to innovative (Innovation Union Flagship Initiative) socially sustainable (2020 Growth Strategy) low-carbon societies.

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Local Team Lead Researcher:
Gönenç Yücel
Funded by:
EU FP7 Collaborative Project ENV 2013
Contact:
gonenc.yucel@boun.edu.tr

Niche Management Policies for Sustainability Transitions in Socio-Technical Systems
The growing size and complexity of socio-technical systems such as energy and transportation, as well as rising concerns about the sustainability of the ways these systems function, create an increasing need for strategies and policies that would facilitate the penetration of sustainability innovations in these systems. Niche-based policies (e.g. strategic niche management (SNM)) that advocate nurturing innovations in protected niches are among such novel policy approaches. Despite being an intuitively appealing approach, its application is not straightforward since there are a set of key interrelated decisions regarding implementation such as size of the niche, the extent of support for an innovation, timing for support withdrawal, and pace of niche up-scaling. In the current state of the art, there is a remarkable absence of specific guiding principles for making such key decisions, and this limits the extent of utilization of niche management policies for facilitating sustainability transitions in socio-technical systems. This absence can mainly be attributed to the dynamic complexity of the innovation development and diffusion processes in the context of socio-technical systems. This research aims to analyze niche management strategies, and to develop a set of specific guidelines for designing and implementing successful strategies under different circumstances in order to facilitate the adoption of sustainability innovations. The analyses will be conducted using an ensemble of simulation models that capture the dynamic complexity of the innovation adoption process. A large set of scenario experiments will be considered in order to make inferences about impacts of policy decisions on adoption dynamics. Building on these inferences, the research aims to contribute to the current understanding about when it is appropriate to use niche management strategies, and how they should be implemented and monitored.

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Project Coordinator and Lead Researcher:
Gönenç Yücel
Funded by:
EU FP7 Marie Curie Actions - Career Integration Grant
Contact:
gonenc.yucel@boun.edu.tr

SIMID – Simulation Modeling to Improve Decision Making in Complex Dynamic Environments
The overall aim of this project is to improve decision making in the presence of dynamic complexity, which is a challenging task. The main reason behind this challenge is the inadequacy of our intuitive skills in coping with complex dynamic decision-making situations. Dynamic complexity often overwhelms human decision makers, leading to poor understanding, which further leads to poor decisions. For the same reasons, effective learning does not typically take place in complex decision-making environments. Simulation game-based human experiments show that performances of participants initially improve, but quickly plateau at substantially non-optimum levels after a few trials with the same game (Paich and Sterman, 1993; Diehl and Sterman, 1995; Langley and Morecroft, 2004; Moxnes, 2004; Yasarcan, 2010). Most interestingly, the dynamic complexity we refer to does not necessitate hundreds or even tens of variables. It has been established that the dynamics of just 2-3 variables can be very complex if their interactions involve delayed feedback loops and non-linear relations (Langley and Morecroft, 2004; Moxnes, 2004; Moxnes and Saysel, 2009; Sterman 2000 and 2002; Yasarcan and Barlas, 2005; Yasarcan, 2007, 2010, and 2011). This type of complexity involving only a few variables is also called systemic-dynamic complexity. A typical real-life example of the problems caused by systemic-dynamic complexity is supply-chain oscillations. Inventories on a supply chain oscillate as a result of over or under ordering mainly caused by the weakness of human decision making in taking into account the delays in shipments. Managing sustainable growth in public and private domains is another typical example dynamic complexity. In early growth phases, growth is relatively easy and the decision makers do not recognize the approaching limits, especially since such limits are not fixed, but dynamically created by the very growth process itself. When the growth limits are recognized, it is often too late to avoid the imminent collapse, due to delays and non-linear effects in the system. Boom-and-bust histories of many private companies and the current global debate about how to prevent a catastrophic climate change are examples of systemic complexity of growth management. The main objective of this project is to explore the roots of such decision complexities on relatively small simulation models and suggest methods and heuristics to improve decision making in complex environments.
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Principal Investigator:
Hakan YAŞARCAN
Contact:
hakan.yasarcan@boun.edu.tr

Dynamics of Supply-Demand Bottleneck between the High Schools and Universities in Turkey
The purpose is to model the supply-demand dynamics (in quantity and in quality) between the high school graduates and university capacities, and to investigate the long-term implications of the bottleneck. The simulation model represents at a macro level, the entire university application and placement process. All major high school and university categories are taken into account. Simulation outputs are analyzed and validated with 1988-1997 real data and extensive scenario analysis is carried out in order to investigate the potential long-term problems and test various solutions typically discussed in the policy circles. The model can be potentially used by ÖSYM.


Principal Investigator:
Yaman BARLAS
Researchers:
Andaç Turgut ARIKAN
Hakan YAŞARCAN
Paper:
Bir Benzetim Modeli Üzerinde ÖSYS Sorunlarının Analizi (Only available in Turkish)
Funded by:
TÜBİTAK
Contact:
hakan.yasarcan@boun.edu.tr

A Dynamic Simulation Game for Strategic University Management (UNIGAME)
Strategic university management is a complex task, seeking a delicate balance between education, research and service. This is especially difficult in Turkey where the student demand is ever increasing and both the university administration and the faculty members are under severe financial pressures. The purpose of the simulation model is to investigate how this process could potentially hurt the delicate balance that must exist between education, research and service and what measures can be taken to alleviate the potential problem. The validity of the model is tested using 1983-1997 Boğaziçi University data. In the "participatory" (gaming) version of the model (which starts in 1993), certain decisions are made by a "player" interactively during the simulation. The model can be potentially used by the different decision making units of the universities, especially in strategic planning. There is also a more generic “universal” version of the game.


Principal Investigator:
Yaman BARLAS
Researchers:
Vedat Güçlü DİKER
Burak GÜNERALP
Paper:
A Dynamic Simulation Game for Strategic University Management (UNIGAME)
Funded by:
TÜBİTAK
Contact:
ybarlas@boun.edu.tr