Companion Modelling

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Companion Modelling

14 - 19 April 2024

Impulse building, WUR Campus


commod.pngIn the management of agricultural and environmental resources, a large number of stakeholders with distinct interests are commonly involved. Exploring improved management options for these systems, requires the involvement of these stakeholders. Companion Modelling (ComMod) is a participatory gaming and simulation approach that uses role-playing games and simulation models to tackle complex issues in the fields of renewable resources and environment management together with stakeholders. ComMod promotes dialogue, shared learning and collective decision-making, strengthening the adaptive management capacity of communities facing wicked environmental problems. A ComMod approach is iterative and evolves with the participative process whereby stakeholders are involved in the definition and design of the questions, models, simulations and outputs. It involves constant back and forth steps between the model, the field and the negotiation. Facilitating multi-stakeholder processes using participatory gaming and simulation table.
The course will focus on:

  1. Concepts, such as: wicked problems, socio-ecological systems, complex systems, participatory modelling, simulation strategies.
  2. Methods and related tools, such as: system representation, participatory mapping, model conceptualization, agent-based modelling, role-playing games, participatory simulation and scenario assessment, brainstorming, debriefing and evaluation, facilitation and conflict management.
Course Set-up

ComMod-logo.pngThe course starts with a dinner and introduction on Sunday evening 14 April. Otherwise, the course is composed of a series of lectures on participatory gaming and simulation approach Companion Modelling and facilitation, introductory gaming sessions, group work on game development and crash testing one of the games developed. Participants will learn the principles of participatory gaming and simulation through the companion modelling approach and facilitation. They will experience the development of a game first hand.

  1. Lectures: During the mornings, one or two lectures will be held on the principles of companion modelling and facilitation of such a multi-stakeholder process.
  2. Hands-on experience: During the afternoons, participants will gain hands-on experience in developing, testing and debriefing games and facilitating processes.

The course is held on campus. We emphasize that there will be evening sessions on most evenings.

Find the detailed programme here: programme.png

Course coordinator

This course is organised in collaboration with ETH Zurich and CIRAD

General information
Target Group The course is aimed at PhD candidates and other academics
Group Size Min. 15, max. 24 participants. Note; if the course is fully booked, participants may be selected by the organisers on an individual basis
Course duration 5 days
Language of instruction English
Number of credits 1.5 ECTs
Lecturers See above
Prior knowledge No specific prior knowledge is assumed
Location Impulse building, room Innovation
Options for accommodation This course takes place on campus and does not include accommodation. Do note that there is quite an intense evening programme. There are several possibilities for overnight stay in Wageningen for those who need it. For information on B&B's and hotels in Wageningen please visit Another option is Short Stay Wageningen. Furthermore Airbnb offers several rooms in the area. Finally, there is also a very active public Facebook group called “Wageningen Student Plaza”, where rooms are often offered for short-term sublets, but where one could also easily post a request for renting a room for a week in Wageningen. Finally, note that besides restaurants in Wageningen town, there are also options to have dinner at Wageningen Campus. 
Fees 1
PE&RC/WIMEK/WASS/VLAG/EPS/WIAS PhDs with TSP and EngD candidates €    305,- €    355,-
PE&RC Postdocs and staff €    610,- €    660,-

All other academic participants

€    690,- €    740,-
Non-academic participants €   995,- €    1045,-

1 The course fee includes all lunches, coffee/tea, all dinners, and a course reader. It does not include accommodation at the course venue.
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE MONDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2024

  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
  • Please make sure that your payment is arranged within two weeks after your registration.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, 50% of the course fee of  will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course or no show, 100% of the course fee will be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions)

More information

Dr. Erika Speelman
Phone: +31 (0) 317 480864


To register, please enter your details below and click "Register".