The WORLD6 Integrated System Dynamics Model: Examples of Results from Simulations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The WORLD6 model is a fully integrated dynamic world systems model. It includes a biophysical global economic model, based on first principles of physics and thermodynamics, forcing it to be fully consistent with the underlying mass- and energy balances. The WORLD6 model first creates value from extraction of natural resources, input of human labour, the efficiency effect of mechanization and automation, the effect of innovation and their use in manufacturing of goods and services, and the secondly does monetization through market mechanisms and debt financing. The model includes 7 different capital stocks for: (1) industrial resource extraction, (2) industrial manufacture, (3) social service capital, (4) agricultural capital for land use and food production, (5) military capital, (6) speculative capital tied up in derivatives, real estate, consumer credits, (7) criminal or illegal capital. There are 3 different debt pools; (1) general, (2) speculative and (3) pensions. These are all linked through a number of feedbacks in the system to resource extraction, energy production, population dynamics, food production and phosphorus extraction, manufacture of consumer goods and services. The WORLD6 model connects to environmental pollution with feedbacks and inputs to human health and climate change inside the model. The model includes money flows, stocks as well as debt dynamics and how this is connected to the capital base and the governance. The WORLD6 model has earlier been extensively tested on natural resource extraction rates, resource ore grades, supply volumes and market price for resources with very good success. The WORLD6 model system was tested in its economic aspects against observed GDP for the period 1850 to 2015 and GDP per capita, commodity prices, extraction rates and resource supply rates with good success. These results were obtained from first principles only and without calibrating the model to any type of data time-series.


  • Harald Sverdrup
  • Anna Hulda Olafsdottir
  • Kristin Vala Ragnarsdottir
  • Deniz Koca
  • Ullrich Lorenz
External organisations
  • University of Iceland
  • German Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt)
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress Towards the Resource Revolution
EditorsChristian Ludwig, Sonia Valdivia
Place of PublicationVilligen PSI and St. Gallen, Switzerland
PublisherWorld Resources Forum
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-9521409-8-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar
Publication categoryResearch