Asee peer logo

Co-creation of a systemic models to support community engagement projects

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Camilo Andrés Navarro Forero P.E. Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Camilo Andrés Navarro Forero PHD Engineering student of the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá DC Colombia, Peace Building Master's degree student of the same university. Master of Science in industrial engineering with mayor in organizational management, industrial engineer from the Universidad de los Andes Colombia with complementary studies in Ingénieur de Gestión BA2 from the the Solvay Business School of Management and Economics in Bruxelles Belgique. Active member of Ingenieros sin fronteras Colombia. Currently tenured-track Professor teachin Systemic Thinking, Systems Dynamics, and Project Management courses at Sergio Arboleda University. Member of the Humanitarian Engineering group of the same university.

visit author page


Odesma Onika Dalrymple University of San Diego

visit author page

Dr. Odesma Dalrymple is an Associate Professor and Faculty Lead for the Engineering Exchange for Social Justice, in the Shiley Marcos School of Engineering at University of San Diego. Her professional pursuits are focused on transforming engineering education and its public image; making it more inclusive and socially connected. This mission is partially actualized through her research, which that explores the wealth of embodied knowledge, skills and practices that under-represented/marginalized communities can bring to bear on engineering practice. These insights are in turn used to inform the development of asset-based engineering learning experiences for middle and high school populations that predominantly comprise students of color from low-socioeconomic neighborhoods, and the creation of guides on how engineers can collaboratively work with communities on grass roots socio-technical challenges.

visit author page

Download Paper |


For the past 3 years work has been done on the development of a systemic thinking methodology to help decision makers in complex social systems make better decisions. This methodology, titled the ¨Complexity Funnel,¨ takes the form of a series of social transformation workshops (STW) that seek to map the current state of the social complex system, with emphasis placed on the identification of actors , the interrelations between the actors and the resulting impact of the relationship on various variables. The goal is then to reduce the complexity within the system.

These workshops have previously been tested and refined based on implementations in private, public and mixed companies, however their application to community related projects is still emerging. This paper specifically shares the use of the first workshop in the Complexity Funnel methodology called “The Web of Life” and its implementation in an engineering capstone design project where students worked alongside various transnationals community partners (i.e., a national estuary research reserve, a local canyon community, and a non-profit organization that focuses on youth development) to support the creation of a community-based waste business that applies a ‘waste is a resource’ approach.

The Web of Life workshop invited the participation of a wide variety of stakeholders to co-create a common systemic model of the community system. The resulting artifact was in turn used to help the students and their community partners begin to understand the breadth of the community needs and challenges and identify key criteria for defining, evaluating and monitoring potential solutions. This paper presents the structure and execution of the Web of Life workshop and the resulting artifact created by participating stakeholders. It will also discuss the implications for further work within the context of the capstone design project and more broadly for communities-engineering partnerships.

Navarro Forero, C. A., & Dalrymple, O. O. (2020, June), Co-creation of a systemic models to support community engagement projects Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34293

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015