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  • Writer's pictureKelechi Odoemena

Navigating the Complexity of Type-2 Diabetes with System Dynamics

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

Introduction

In the bustling city of Amsterdam, the shadows of type-2 diabetes loom large. With a growing prevalence, it carries with it increasing costs, a growing divide between social groups, and a plummeting quality of life for those affected and potentially at risk. Addressing this menacing public health issue, a ground-breaking research program was initiated that employed the principles of Systems Dynamics and Group Model Building. This program, a collaboration between TNO’s Complexity Program “Grip on Health” and DynaMundo, provides an exemplary illustration of the power of systems thinking and simulation in finding impactful, long-lasting solutions.


The Challenge

Understanding and addressing the multilayered issue of type-2 diabetes requires an approach that goes beyond the traditional. The complexity of this health issue is intertwined with various stakeholders, institutions, and social factors, making it a daunting challenge to find effective and sustainable solutions.


The Innovative Approach

In response to this, the project team embarked on a two-month pilot, employing Group Model Building (GMB) and System Dynamics (SD) to dive deep into the issue of type-2 diabetes in Amsterdam. The GMB workshops brought together a diverse group of experts, from TNO, AMC, and the director of GGD Amsterdam, to pool their collective knowledge, experience, and insights. This unique collaborative approach facilitated the creation of a comprehensive systems map, laying out the intricate web of factors impacting the prevalence of type-2 diabetes in the urban landscape.


DynaMundo's Role

DynaMundo stood at the forefront of this initiative, bringing in their extensive expertise in systems thinking, participative group facilitation, analysis, and modelling. The team at DynaMundo assisted TNO in designing and facilitating the GMB workshops, ensuring that the diverse perspectives and insights of all participants were woven together to form a coherent, holistic model. This model was then employed to conduct experimental simulations, offering a valuable glimpse into the potential effectiveness of various interventions.


The Outcomes

The results of this collaborative effort were significant. The creation of the conceptual systems map and the insights gleaned from the experimental simulations illuminated the path forward for effective policy interventions. The participants' acknowledgement of the value of the group-based modelling and simulation experiments underscored the importance of such innovative approaches in tackling complex health issues.


A causal loop mpa of the Type-2 Diabetes model
Conceptual system map


The Way Forward with DynaMundo

Beyond the Amsterdam project, the capabilities of DynaMundo in providing these innovative solutions stand out. With a robust international network of systems thinking experts, DynaMundo is poised to assist decision-makers in navigating the intricate terrain of modern organizational and societal challenges. The agile business model and specialized focus on developing holistic models for data-driven discussions and informed decision-making make DynaMundo a valuable ally in the quest for effective solutions to complex issues.


Conclusion

In an era where complexity defines many of the pressing issues facing society and organizations, the need for a clear, comprehensive, and collaborative approach is paramount. The Amsterdam project on type-2 diabetes offers a compelling case of the value and impact of systems thinking and simulation, underscored by the pivotal role played by DynaMundo. As we move forward, let us embrace the power of systems thinking with DynaMundo, transforming challenges into opportunities for impactful change.


Engage with DynaMundo and take the first step towards finding holistic and effective solutions to your complex challenges. Visit our website and fill out the form to explore the world of opportunities that systems thinking opens up.

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