Predator-Prey — Prototype

model_variability
Screen capture from a prototype by Terry Stewart, using a simple predator-prey model, illustrating the utility of having sliders with ranges.

This prototype was an experiment in plotting widgets in kivy for use in visualizing simulation results. Model parameters can be adjusted by sliders, but these sliders allow a range of values, and the graph gives immediate feedback as the sliders are moved.

Download the code for the prototype.

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Disability resource flows — Prototype

In January 2013, members of our team went to Toronto to explore policy options around employment for disabled youth.

Steve Williams discusses the prototype Sankey diagram he developed with Terry Stewart. This video illustrates how resource flows around disability could be visualized if the resources were available to gather full budgetary data.

Sankey diagrams are very useful for visualizing resource flows. In this example, we wanted to get a sense of where financial support for those living with disability in Ontario was coming from. How much was from public and private sectors? What role did employers play? Who were the intermediaries? How many government ministries were involved? How much of the resources were going to families and how much to individuals? The model shows this flow from left to right. The thickness of the lines represents the relative scale of financial resource from each segment. Note that in this case, the lines are illustrative only as the research is not yet complete for all segments. Viewers of the model can move the different segments around to improve visibility and hover over the connecting lines to see the values associated with the flows.

Play with the prototype and see the code.

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Framing disability — Prototype

In early 2013, the simulation team went to Toronto to think about ways of illuminating the problems involved in finding employment for disabled youth.

Steve Williams discusses this prototype he developed which helps to illustrate ways in which disability has been framed.

This model represents the changing models of understanding and representing disability. The models, and the language we use to describe disability, have changed radically over time. The Medical model, characterized by phrases such as “mental retardation”, “impairment”, and “handicap”, gave way to the Social model (inclusion vs. exclusion). Now we are using the Human Rights model. The Human Rights model arises from the premise that all people have basic rights and that people with disability are entitled to those rights just as we all are. This model shows through media analysis the rise and fall of these terms in public discourse. The model also includes an example of using Google Trends to map changes over time along with geographical distribution of terms used. The model also shows how national and international agreements on the topic of disability have changed to reflect changing narrative framing. Awareness of these narrative frames—and the ability to change them—is a key element of the initial stages of a Social Innovation Lab.

Play with the prototype.

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Developing Community Eligibility for Jobs in Mining Sector — Prototype

In December 2012, members of our team went to Sudbury to work with a group of people interested in how Northern Ontario might be affected by a transportation spine to the Ring of Fire.

The prototypes we were able to develop during the 3-day intensive allowed us to test models that have a high-degree of interactivity, whereby users can easily change variables and see how the changes might play out.

Steve Williams narrates this introduction to the InsightMaker model he developed for the project in consultation with economist David Robinson. 

This InsightMaker model shows cohorts’ eligibility for jobs in mining sector with education and employment factors. It also models population segments that are exiting the work force due to dropout and substance abuse issues. In this model we can see that while there may be large numbers of jobs available, communities may not have sufficient numbers of qualified employees to fill those jobs. Food security factors dramatically impact primary and high school graduation rates, thereby impacting the pool of labour qualified for extractive industries employment. Rather than investing in apprenticeship and trade school programs, we might better spend efforts ensuring adequate food security in the region to ensure that children stay in, and complete, school.

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Northern Ontario Mining Impact Model — Prototype

In December 2012, members of our team went to Sudbury to work with a group of people interested in how Northern Ontario might be affected by a transportation spine to the Ring of Fire.

The prototypes we were able to develop during the 3-day intensive allowed us to test models that have a high-degree of interactivity, whereby users can easily change variables and see how the changes might play out.

Steve Williams discusses the Northern Ontario Mining Impact model he developed, in consultation with economist David Robinson.

This model shows the population, local economic impact and social impacts of proposed mines in Northern Ontario. You can change variables such as the density of mines (i.e., number of mines per 100km2) and number of employees per mine. The model shows that under reasonable assumptions of mine density, the population increase in the region will be dramatic. The model allows for the impact of worker families and support workers on the total population increase. You can also model the economic impacts by making assumptions on the proportion of salaries that are spent locally along with the proportion of local outsourcing by the mine sites themselves.

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Northern Ontario Demographic and Income Trend Model — Prototype

In December 2012, members of our team went to Sudbury to work with a group of people interested in how Northern Ontario might be affected by a transportation spine to the Ring of Fire.

The prototypes we were able to develop during the 3-day intensive allowed us to test models that have a high-degree of interactivity, whereby users can easily change variables and see how the changes might play out.

Steve Williams narrates this introduction to the Northern Ontario Demographic and Income Trend Model he developed for the simulation project, in consultation with economist David Robinson. 

David Robinson: Here we model the case if things proceed as they have previously in Canada. The federal government and provincial governments are all trying to avoid this simple case. It’s relatively simple to extend this model to account for some more sophisticated policies intended to let local first-nations people use these developments.

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