The Role of Modeling in the Analysis and Design of Sustainable Systems: A Panel Report

Dominik Bork, Sergio España, Henderik A. Proper, Istvan David, Giancarlo Guizzardi, Iris Reinhartz-Berger

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Sustainability should become a key concern in the next generation of engineered systems. While this expectation is relatively straightforward, the question of how to get there is less obvious. The multi-dimensional and intricate nature of sustainability poses challenges in designing sustainable systems and analyzing sustainability properties. Finding trade-offs between economic, environmental, societal, and technological aspects of sustainability is a wicked problem and calls for advanced modeling and simulation methods. In this paper, we report on a panel discussion held at the 28th Working Conference on Exploring Modeling Methods for Systems Analysis and Development (EMMSAD) with four esteemed experts representing four complementary and often conflicting perspectives on the role of modeling for sustainability – stakeholders, digitalization, degrowth and IT, and ethics. We report the key arguments of the panelists, discuss the roles of modeling in the analysis and design of sustainable systems, and finally, elaborate the conflicts among the perspectives, their effects, and potential resolutions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Information systems engineering
  • Circular systems engineering
  • Digitalization
  • Digital twins
  • Ethics
  • Degrowth and IT
  • Modeling
  • Model-driven engineering
  • Model-based systems engineering
  • Sustainability
  • Systems engineering


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