by Mihajlo Mesarovic and Eduard Pestel, Directors
September 17, 1973
Motivation and Objectives
The world problematique formulated by the CLUB OF ROME is not only global in
nature, involving factors traditionally considered as unrelated, but also
points to the crisis situations which are developing in spite of the noblest
of intentions and, indeed, as their corollary.
To point out the problematique and the spectrum of critical and traumatic situations it
entails is not enough; the acceptance of the reality of the problematique
MUST BE FOLLOWED BY CHANGES IF THE CONCERN IS NOT TO REMAIN PURELY ACADEMIC.
It is necessary, therefore, to present the issues within the problematique
in specific and relevant terms which requires regions interpretation of the
global issues. Furthermore, a basis should be provided for the resolution of
conflicts (inevitably accompanying the problematique-type situations)
through cooperation rather than confrontation.
These factors have provided
the motivation for initiation of the Strategy for Survival project which
calls for the construction of a regionalized and adaptive model of the total
world system with the following specific objectives:
TO ENABLE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SCENARIOS FOR THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF
THE WORLD SYSTEM which represent visions of the world future stemming from
different cultures and value systems and reflecting hopes and fears in
different regions of the world.
To develop a planning and options-assessment tool for long-range
issues, and thereby TO PROVIDE A BASIS FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION by
cooperation rather than confrontation.
Basic Structure of the Model
The basic characteristics of the model are:
THE WORLD SYSTEM IS REPRESENTED in terms of interacting regions with
provisions made to investigate any individual country or subregion in the
context of regional and global development.
Presently the world system is
represented BY TEN REGIONS:
In order to be able to deal with
the complex of factors involved in problematique in a way which is sound,
credible and systematic, a hierarchical structure has bee adopted for the
model in which each level in the hierarchy represents the evolution of the
world system within a context defined by a given set of laws and principles.
Specifically, the levels involved are:
Such and approach enables an optimal use of confirmed
scientific knowledge and available data
An adequate view of the
conditions in which the problematique is emerging and under which the
solutions must be found require the recognition of the purposive aspects of
the human community and adaptiveness of human beings.
The model of the world
system will have, therefore, two parts:
the so-called causal part, representing dynamical processes which follow histoical patterns of development
the so-called goal-seeking part
which represents purposive changes under new conditions. The goal-seeking
part in turn includes two levels:
The former represents
the purposive response of the system while the latter represents the values
and norms which constrain and condition such a response.
Progress in the Model Construction
The construction of the model as described in Sec. 2 and with the objectives
as specified in Sec. 1 is certainly a rather complex task and the research
is organized to proceed in parallel in several directions.
assessment of the model status is the following:
The model has been developed up to the stage where it can be used for policy
analysis related to a number of critical issues, such as:
utilization and technology assessment
food demand and production
population growth and the affect of timing of birth control programs
reduction of inequities in regional economic developments
dynamics of certain resources, particularly oil reserves
phosphorus use as
constraints on growth due to labor,
energy or export limitation, etc.
Specific developments which enable use of the model as described above
include the following:
A COMPUTER MODEL OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC
SYSTEM HAS BEEN DEVELOPED AND VALIDATED BY AN EXTENSIVE SET OF DATA.
The model has two levels - macro and micro.
On the MACRO LEVEL the model of each
region INCLUDES THE GROSS REGIONAL PRODUCT, TOTAL IMPORTS AND
EXPORTS, CAPITAL AND LABOR PRODUCTIVITY AND VARIOUS COMPONENTS OF
FINAL DEMAND SUCH AS PUBLIC CONSUMPTION, GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE, AND
ON THE MICRO LEVEL EIGHT PRODUCTION
SECTORS ARE RECOGNIZED:
The input-output framework is used for
the intermediate demands. A FULL SCALE MICRO TRADE MATRIX ALSO HAS
A WORLD POPULATION MODEL HAS BEEN
CONSTRUCTED IN TERMS OF THE SAME REGIONS AS THE ECONOMIC MODEL.
The model has been validated by the data
available. In each region the population structure is represented in
terms of four age groups with appropriate delays which make possible
assessment of population momentum and assessment of the
effectiveness of implementation of various population control
AN ENERGY MODEL HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED
which gives for each region the consumption and production of energy
and interregional exchange of energy resources as a function of
Energy is treated both in composite
terms and in reference to individual energy sources, namely solid
fuel, liquid fuel, nuclear, gas and hydro.
A FOOD PRODUCTION AND ARABLE LAND USE
MODEL HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED which allows the assessment of a number
of food related issues including:
the need and availability of
phosphorus required for intensive agriculture
OF TIMING AND MAGNITUDES OF NATURAL DISASTERS SUCH AS DROUGHT, CROP
FAILURE DUE TO DISEASE, ETC.
A MAJOR CONCERN IN THE APPLICATION OF
THE COMPUTER MODEL is its proper utilization so as to avoid
dependence on the deterministic aspects of model operation. In order
to avoid this an interactive method of computer simulation analysis
has been developed.
THE METHOD REPRESENTS A SYMBIOSIS OF MAN
AND COMPUTER IN WHICH THE COMPUTER PROVIDES THE LOGICAL AND
NUMERICAL CAPABILITY WHILE MAN PROVIDES THE VALUES, INTUITION AND
The method utilizes an option
specification and selection program which enables the policy analyst
or decision-maker to evaluate alternative options on various levels
of the decision process, i.e., with respect to goals, strategies,
tactical and implementational factors.
SPECIAL ATTENTION IS PAID TO THE NORM
Progress in Application. THE MODEL HAS
BEEN USED both for the assessment of alternative scenarios for
future regional and global developments (under different regional
conditions) as well as in the interactive mode selection of policy
options (specifically for the energy crises issues in developed
OUR EFFORTS IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE WILL BE CONCENTRATED ON FURTHER
USE OF THE ALREADY DEVELOPED MODEL.
THE PLANS INCLUDE EMPHASIS IN THE
FOLLOWING THREE DIRECTIONS:
Assessment in the changes over time
of the span of options available to solve some major crisis
IMPLEMENTATION of the regional
models in different parts of the world and their connection via
a satellite communication network for the purpose of joint
assessment of the long term global future by teams from the
Implementation of the vision for the
future outlined by leaders from an underdeveloped region in
order TO ASSESS with the model EXISTING OBSTACLES AND THE MEANS
WHEREBY THE VISION MIGHT BECOME REALITY.