Balancing long-term and short-term strategies in a sustainability game

Published on 21 June 2024


Our society is marked by a tension between short-term objectives, such as economic growth, and longterm sustainability goals, including mitigating resource depletion. In such a competitive setting, it is crucial to ascertain whether a system can maintain long-term viability and, if so, how. This article aims to enhance the understanding of this issue by analyzing how sustainability concerns change over time by means of a game, and the effect of this variation on the final status of a system. Leveraging insights from the game, we implement an agent-based model to elicit the tension between short-term objectives and sustainability, emphasizing the influence of individual actions on the overall system. The simulation results suggest that the likelihood of a collapse is contingent upon the availability of resources and the manner in which information regarding these resources is gathered and utilized. Finally, the paper proposes practical suggestions for managing this kind of system.

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