MOSES - Modeling of Sustainable Economic Systems

Welcome to the home page of the MOSES Consortium

This consortium aims at defining new research directions for modeling and simulation-based explorations of viable transitions into a sustainable future, by bringing together world experts from many sustainability/related disciplines.

The MOSES guiding principles

It is our predicament that we live in a finite world, and yet behave as if it were infinite. Steady exponential material growth with no limits on resource consumption and population is the dominant conceptual model used by today’s decision makers. This is an approximation of reality that is no longer accurate and has started to break down. If unsustainable behavior persists and ecological boundaries are ignored too long, societal collapse may occur.

At the same time we demand of decision makers that their decisions make good economic sense. Unchanged, the financial system with its current regulations and instruments, threatens to continue to force decision-making that undermines the wealth and prosperity it purports to support.

To avoid this and develop our society and economic systems to become sustainable, more sophisticated models are needed that include ecological and planetary boundaries as well as human social factors. The long-term success of the welfare economy depends on how well the financial system creates transparent, efficient and routine solutions to various societal problems.

Thus, we could demand of the financial system to facilitate the transformation towards a more efficient and sustainable use of finite resources. However, recurrent financial crises (financial bubbles) and various rigidities in the transition towards a circular economy are clear indications that the current financial system suffers from significant weaknesses. Instead of paving the way towards investments with long-term value, substantial private and public resources are used to cement a historic economic structure.

World Models are simulation models that integrate several aspects of ecological planetary boundaries and many detailed aspects of human society and its interaction with a resource- and pollution-limited planet. Some of such models are available in the Modelica equation-based language. The potential capabilities of these models have significantly improved when used with the recently developed advanced Modelica modeling, simulation, and control technology adapted for such applications. Uncertainty handling, sensitivity analysis, and plug-and-play of submodels are some capabilities.

It is possible to include the economy and the financial system in such an enhanced financial world model which can be used to test and evaluate many kinds of ideas and assumptions about the green economy. 

The starting point is that the economy can be a powerful tool for the transition to sustainability. Research into this requires systems perspective and cross-disciplinary cooperation

The MOSES consortium seeks to create a cross-disciplinary programme to focus on socially sustainable development as the aim, ecological sustainability is a fundamental requirement and the economy is seen as a tool. We identify gaps in the existing financial system and present constructive proposals for a reformed financial system, to enable a faster transition to a sustainable circular economy.
A list of key tasks is the following:
  • Create a World model / configurable set of models to incorporate the above perspectives.
  • Formulate and test against the model changes to the financial system with the perspective of the following disciplines:
  • Economics - financial performance of the green economy
  • Social science - regional economic development and social cohesion
  • Planetary science - ecological boundary adherence
  • Business - green business development
  • Create an open source flexible and configurable modeling and simulation toolbox for the abovementioned areas for use by researchers and decision makers.

MOSES Workshops



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