This paper describes a group model building activity designed to elicit the potential effects a projected multi-use deep water offshore platform may have on its local environment, including ecological and socio-economic issues. As such a platform is proposed for construction around the island of Hsiao-Liu-Chiu, Taiwan, we organized several meetings with the local stakeholders and structured the debates using group modeling methods to promote consensus. During the process, the participants iteratively built and revised a causal-loop diagram that summarizes their opinions. Overall, local stakeholders concluded that a multi-use deep water offshore marine platform might have beneficial effects for Hsiao-Liu-Chiu because more tourists and fish could be attracted by the structure, but they also raised some potential problems regarding the law in Taiwan and the design of the offshore platform, especially its resistance to extreme weather. We report the method used and the main results and insights gained during the process.
Keywords: causal-loop diagram; group model building; offshore platform; stakeholders; systems thinking.