Decoding Lesvos is a documentary film that aims to expand the dialogue surrounding refugees. The film will follow an international team of scientists as they conduct fieldwork in Lesvos, Greece in a collaborative effort to create a series of computer models and simulations that could ultimately change the landscape of refugee policy.
Why does this matter?
Hundreds of thousands of displaced people from war torn regions have been fleeing to Europe and abroad. Over 5,000 died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2016 alone. Camps are overcrowded with those waiting for a chance at a better life, and the wait can take years. Arguments for and against allowing refugees into receiving countries are saturating the news, but regardless of which side of those arguments people fall on, one thing is certain: current systems need improvement.
Why Modeling and Simulation?
Because many of these migrants have suffered and are traumatized, we cannot ethically use conventional methods of social science. We cannot run repeated experiments, we cannot try untested methods of care and assistance, and we cannot interfere with the actions of local governments and providers. Instead, to discover new ways to help refugees, we need to speak with them in the field, understand their decisions and resilient strategies, and then recreate these behaviors in a computer model. By allowing both migrants and care givers to live in a model, we bring to life a virtual world in which we may ethically and safely explore new solutions.
Dr. Frydenlund's Research in the news: