Participatory modeling has at its heart the goal of engaging and involving community stakeholders. It aims to connect academic environments and the communities we want to understand and/or help. Participatory modelling approaches include: use facilitators, provide hands-on experiences, allow open conversation, open up the modeling “black box,” look for areas of consensus, and “engage stakeholders” for their input.
Cognitive anthropologists, including those who focus on human and environment interactions, developed the theory and method of cultural modeling in order to understand the cultural knowledge and values that individuals use to “make sense,” understand, and evaluate the world around them. This cultural knowledge also influences behavior, toward one another and toward the environment.