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HandWiki. Latin American World Model. Encyclopedia. Available online: (accessed on 17 June 2024).
HandWiki. Latin American World Model. Encyclopedia. Available at: Accessed June 17, 2024.
HandWiki. "Latin American World Model" Encyclopedia, (accessed June 17, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, October 25). Latin American World Model. In Encyclopedia.
HandWiki. "Latin American World Model." Encyclopedia. Web. 25 October, 2022.
Latin American World Model

The Latin American world model (LAWM) Bariloche Model is a mathematical and normative model, which was carried out by the Bariloche Foundation in Argentina between 1972 and 1975. This model set out to provide an alternative to Model III of the MIT – first model supported by the Club of Rome – called The Limits to Growth, which affirmed the existence of physical limits – particularly for the population and the economy – to take into account if wants to avoid a near catastrophic future. The LAWM, on the other hand, offers a roadmap for a desirable and also possible world, where conflicts can be overcome based on the principles of equity, civil participation, and non-consumerism, and where calculations and strategies are established to reach the welfare of every human being on a planetary level. For this, the mathematical modeling of the LAWM starts from the central concept of basic human needs, which is established as a key indicator of its construction. Unlike the MIT model, the LAWM considers that the problems to be solved are not given by physical limits, but mainly by an unfair distribution given by the abuse of power, at an intra- and international level. Both models consider that there will be potentially a universal crisis and that caring for the environment should be a priority. The LAWM was also supported by the Club of Rome, and both models were republished and updated on several occasions.

mathematical modeling world model bariloche

1. Emergence of the LAWM (1970–1972)

In 1970 the presentation of MIT Model III, The limits of growth, took place, as a result of the investigations carried out by Meadows in Rio de Janeiro. Faced with the apocalyptic vision of the MIT Model, there is a consensus reaction at the Rio Conference by Latin American scientists, who consider that it is not only ideologically debatable as scientifically open to discussion and that a better alternative was possible and necessary.

The Club of Rome resolves to support the initiative and is assigned to the Bariloche Foundation of Argentina – which had an advanced team of mathematicians and computer scientists for modeling – the task of coordinating that project.

2. Fullfilment of the LAWM (1972 to 1975)

Initially "to outline the general lines of the project and promote its execution, a Committee was set up consisting of Carlos Mallmann, Jorge Sábato, Enrique Oteiza, Amílcar Herrera, Helio Jaguaribe and Osvaldo Sunkel (Herrera et al, 2004: p 40) The geologist Amílcar Herrera is then entrusted with the direction of the project (topic: Non-Renewable Natural Resources). They participate in the team : Hugo Scolnick -then alternate director- (Demography and Mathematics); Gabriela Chichilnisky (Economics and mathematics); Rafael Pastoriza (Mathematics); Adolfo Chorini (Health); Víctor Ponce (Pollution); Gilberto Gallopin (Food and Pollution); Gilda de Romero Brest (Education); Isabel Gómez (Food); Juan Santiere (Economy); Cristian Gravenhorst (Assistant Director); Abraham Soni (Health); Jorge Hardoy (Housing and Urbanization); Juan Sourrouille (Economy); Diana Mosovich (Housing and Urbanization); Carlos Suárez (Education); Enrique Oteiza (Education); Luis Talavera (Mathematics and Demography); Gregorio Weinberg (Editorial Advisory), and an Advisory Committee: Helio Jaguaribe, Carlos Mallmann, Enrique Oteiza, Jorge Sábato and Osvaldo Sunkel. Enrique Oteiza highlights the fact that the main researchers had been trained both locally and internationally, making it easier to consider varied perspectives. Some 250 researchers from Latin America will be working on the LAWM, and there was a growing interest from the international scientific community. “The fundamental criticism of the Meadows Model was that its basic theoretical structure was of a neo-Malthusian nature, where on one side of the equation the variables of renewable and non-renewable natural resources required for both the production and consumption of the existing population in the center and in the periphery, as well as those that expressed the impact on the environment, and on the other the dynamics of population growth "(Oteiza: 2004, p 9)

The problem would then be located in the unsustainability of the world due to an exponential population or consumption growth, which left no margin for a more egalitarian society from the perspective of human needs, considered universally. As Enrique Oteiza (2004, p 9) explains, the way to avoid the "catastrophe" for Meadows was to maintain zero economic growth in the hegemonic areas, and for the periphery to achieve population control and reduction.

In turn, Gilberto Galopin (2000, p. 79) explains that the LAWM has been a response from the South or is encouraged to say "by the South" against a position supported by the North, which attributed the underdevelopment, international problems and poverty to an overpopulation of developing countries. And he concludes that the critique of the LAWM had both a technical, and a philosophical and ethical dimension: "The model presented here is explicitly normative; it is not concerned with predicting what will happen if humanity's current trends continue, but with pointing out a way to achieve the final goal of a world freed from backwardness and misery" (Herrera et al., 2004: p 45) Faced with this exclusive model, the Bariloche Foundation calls into question the equations of Model III regarding the fatality of the depletion of natural resources, and the possibility and necessity of eradicating poverty through relevant development strategies.

3. The LAWM During the Military Dictatorship and the Recovery of Democracy

The Bariloche Foundation, and therefore the LAWM, have been severely beaten by the Argentine military dictatorship. Starting in 1976, several researchers were persecuted and at least one of them disappeared: “the government called for the dismissal of some researchers and began to control the content of the researches. Despite the enormous risk that this implied, the institution did not accept these conditions, and at the end of that same year it detached itself from land that they had acquired to build a campus, in order to compensate all the staff. ”

After the reestablishment of the democratic rule of law (1984 onwards), the Bariloche Foundation recovers public support for its research.

4. The LAWM Today

The LAWM has an enlarged edition entitled Catastrophe or New Society? Latin American World Model (2004) with historical reflections and updates, thanks to an IIED-AL initiative and the support from the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada.

The originality and validity of the LAWM can be found in having anticipated an alternative model based on global solidarity, in a coincident sense with today studies of the United Nations such as that of the human development of UNDP, and proposals of non-governmental organizations like that of another world is possible. Although the LAWM is, as its name implies, of Latin American origin, its scope is worldwide. It would be a matter of forming "a cosmopolitan society that constitutes the expression of the unified consciousness of humanity" (Herrera, A. et al., 2004: p 67).

The LAWM has proposed new factors for prospective studies, which showed considerable precision with respect to the data later observed. "One of the most important characteristics of the Bariloche Model has been its ability to predict birth values and life expectancy as functions of indicators such as levels of education, calorie and protein consumption, urbanization, percentage of women employed in the secondary sector of the economy, etc. ” (Scolnick 2004: p. 25)

Some critical observations to the LAWM have emerged on issues of calculations. Paul Neurath considers in his study on the Club of Rome models the calculations of the LAWM critically observing a problem in the logical relationship between the longevity of the population in Asia and the lack of food in the same region. Some contributions of the LAWM can be seen in the indexes adopted by UNDP for human development studies and in UNESCO applications, as observed Oscar Scolnick, who has developed an interactive version of the LAWM for dictation of courses of planning in Paris (Scolnick 2004: p. 25). In reference to the capitalism-socialism duality, Gallopin (2016) interprets that although the LAWM had emerged as a criticism of both, it would currently locate it as a post-capitalist model.

Subjects: Economics
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