I like these words from System Dynamics Discussion Forum:

Perhaps the question shouldn’t be, “how do we make complex models easier to present to people?” but rather, “how do we engage more people in the modeling process?”. One suggests a more technocratic-vision of building models, producing knowledge, and getting that knowledge in the hands of change makers, who then make the change; the other suggests a vision where the process of understanding a problem and the process of creating change are more intimately tied together and more horizontal in their power arrangement.

That being a bit too idealistic, in the practical world of presenting models, I think that it is largely a problem of having our tools be modeling tools first and foremost and presentation tools only as an afterthought.

Modelling as part of communication, modelling as part of problem definition, modelling as the process of understanding the problem. It is pretty safe to say, if the problem’s stakeholders can learn about the nature of the problem through modelling process, they are already in good shape to manage the problem (Note: I prefer to use the word “manage” than “solve” because I think problems often cannot be solved, only be managed within an acceptable range).

The conventional way of policy analysis-inform-decision making is becoming more and more difficult to serve the modern complex society. Problems are increasingly complex to grasp through simple policy briefs paper. Decision makers need to take effort to learn the insights through well-designed problem modelling-understanding-decision making cycle. The role of facilitator is to guide problem’s stakeholders go through this learning process smoothly.