Dr. Barry Newell is a Visiting Research Fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and an Honorary Associate Professor (Research School of Engineering) and a Visiting Fellow (Fenner School of Environment & Society) at the Australian National University. He has also held research and teaching positions at Yale University and Kitt Peak National Observatory (Arizona). A physicist who focuses on the dynamics of social-ecological systems, he has particular interest in the critical importance of shared language in trans-disciplinary investigations of system behaviour. His work involves developing practical ways for groups to use systems thinking and focused dialogue to improve their decisions and policy making. Developing Collaborative Conceptual Modelling (CCM), a high-level approach which provides conceptual guidance for trans-disciplinary research and cross-sector management, is one aspect of this work.