FeliX Model

A system dynamics model of social, economic, and environmental earth systems and their interdependencies.

The FeliX model represents a full system dynamics perspective on the social, economic, and environmental sub-components of the Earth system. Critical interdependencies among these systems are incorporated to recreate the complex dynamic behavior which characterizes the Anthropocene. FeliX is a globally aggregate model that can be adapted and simulated easily and quickly to explore the global socio-economic-environmental dynamics. FeliX is developed on Vensim DSS, and the latest version is available for download here.


  • The baseline scenario in FeliX maps to benchmark RCP and SSP outcomes, allowing for robust conclusions regarding the relative impact of a wide array of policies and technologies.

  • FeliX reveals important synergies and tradeoffs between developmental (MDG) and environmental (SDG) goals, as well as among the SDGs. 

  • Expected demand for food, feed, and fiber is at the heart of the model, giving insight into trends in land use change as well as the allocation of other resources in the absence of environmental interventions.

  • Complex linkages among model sectors reveal indirect, potentially unintended, consequences of both targeted and general interventions.

    FeliX enables exploring the implications of population heterogeneity and societal change for low-carbon lifestyles in the context of dietary change.

The model consists of over 1300 elements including 91 stocks. Its outcomes are determined by many interacting feedback loops encompassing 8 model sectors: Economy, Energy, Carbon Cycle, Climate, Biodiversity, Water, Population and Land Use. Wherever possible, elements and stocks are calibrated to historical data available from the FAO, IEA, and UNIHP.

After calibration, FeliX scenario outcomes project on a global scale major stock changes (e.g., depletion of natural resources, accrual of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) as well as the aggregate consequences of policies and technologies (e.g., afforestation, emissions reduction) over time.

The earlier version of the model and comprehensive documentation are available for download at www.felixmodel.org, as is additional information regarding model structure, calibration, and baseline scenario performance. The model was created by ESM Research Scholar Felicjan Rydzak. Between 2014 and 2017, FeliX model maintenance and development has been led by ESM Research Scholar Dr. Brian Walsh. Currently, the model maintenance and development is undertaken by ESM Research Scholar Dr. Sibel Eker.

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Last edited: 13 February 2020


Sibel Eker

Research Scholar

Sustainable Service Systems

T +43(0) 2236 807 580

Michael Obersteiner

Senior Research Scholar

Exploratory Modeling of Human-natural Systems Research Group

T +43(0) 2236 807 460

Model Webpage

Related Projects


Eker, S. , Reese, G., & Obersteiner, M. (2019). Modelling the drivers of a widespread shift to sustainable diets. Nature Sustainability 10.1038/s41893-019-0331-1.

Eker, S. , Reese, G., & Obersteiner, M. (2019). A widespread shift to sustainable diets requires rapid risk perception. In: Global Sustainable Development Goals in a Mediatized World, 4-5 April 2019, Vienna, Austria.

Eker, S. , Reese, G., Obersteiner, M. , & Gao, L. (2018). Investigating global diet change dynamics by linking models of human behavior to IAMs. In: . The 11th Annual Meeting of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium, 13-15 November 2018, Seville, Spain.

Eker, S. , Reese, G., & Obersteiner, M. (2018). Meat or not? - A model-based analysis of the global diet change dynamics. In: 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, 6-10 August 2018, Reykjavík, Iceland.

Walsh, B. , Ciais, P., Janssens, I.A., Penuelas, J., Riahi, K. , Rydzak, F., van Vuuren, D.P., & Obersteiner, M. (2017). Pathways for balancing CO2 emissions and sinks. Nature Communications 8, e14856. 10.1038/ncomms14856.

Walsh, B. , Rydzak, F., Palazzo, A. , Kraxner, F., Herrero, M., Schenk, P., Ciais, P., Janssens, I.A., et al. (2015). New feed sources key to ambitious climate targets. Carbon Balance and Management 10 (1), 1-8. 10.1186/s13021-015-0040-7.

Rydzak, F., Obersteiner, M. , & Kraxner, F. (2010). Impact of Global Earth Observation - Systemic view across GEOSS societal benefit area. International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research, 216-243. 10.2902/1725-0463.2010.05.art9.

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