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The Final Day of the XIV CLADS

So far the XIV CLADS has very been successful! As shown in these photos of yesterday’s events, Hazhir Rahmandad taught a workshop on Analytical Methods and presented “The Viability of Good Jobs in the Service Sector.” Today, October 21, will be the last day of the XIV CLADS. The schedule for the day includes plenary sessions and workshops, and will conclude this evening with a workshop led by Kim Warren. On October 22, the day after the conference, Kim’s “Strategy and Business Dynamics Workshop” will continue at the Leques Hotel.

The XIV CLADS is Currently in Progress

October 19th, marked the first day of the XIV CLADS (Congresso Latino Americano de Dinâmica de Sistemas) in São Paulo, Brazil. This three day event, promoted by the Brazil and Latin American Chapters of the System Dynamics Society, is being hosted by Centro Universitário FEI. The System Dynamics Society’s president, Etiënne Rouwette, opened the first day with his keynote speech, “System Dynamics, Stakeholders, and Marking an Impact.” Later in the day, Etiënne delivered a workshop on Group Model Building and Karim Chichakly held an introductory workshop in System Dynamics. Other events on the first day included three plenary and twelve parallel presentations. The presentations explored various topics, such as energy transition, disaster relief and taxation dynamics. On Thursday, Kim Warren gave his keynote address. Thursday’s workshops were led by Kim and Hazhir Rahmandad. Eighteen parallel presentations are also on the day’s schedule. XIV CLADS will conclude on Friday with additional presentations and workshops.

UAlbany to Host Upcoming 33rd SD Colloquium

The System Dynamics Colloquium will be meeting at UAlbany in December. This student-organized colloquium brings together graduate students from UAlbany SUNY, MIT, and WPI. The one-day colloquium offers non-evaluative peer review and allows students to present System Dynamics related research to faculty, other students, and practitioners for feedback and informational exchange. In an effort to pick a date that works for the majority of the potential attendees, a scheduling survey has been created. Please vote by visiting the online survey, the poll will close at 12:00 AM on October 30, 2016. For more information about the past events, please visit our MIT-UAlbany-WPI SD Colloquia page.

New Job Opportunity at Zürich University

A new job opening for a research assistant is now available at Zürich University of Applied Sciences in their System Dynamics research group for “Transition of Regional Energy Systems.” Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2016. A full job description has been posted on the Society’s website. As skills in German are essential to the job, the description has been posted in German.

Protecting the Climate: SD Model Used to Analyze Policy Changes

In the Citizen-Times article “Climate-change models inform negotiators, engage regular folks,” author Mike Cronin discusses the important role the Climate Interactive has in environmental policy. The Climate Interactive is a non-profit organization founded in 2010, with headquarters in Washington D.C. and additional offices in Asheville, North Carolina, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Hartland, Vermont. The Climate Interactive, along with Tom Fiddaman of Ventana Systems, created the System Dynamics model used to determine the effects of proposed environmental policies. The Climate Interactive plays a significant role in climate policy, in fact, during the recent Paris Climate Agreement negotiations, attendees regularly conferred with the researchers and scientists at the Climate Interactive. The models have remained as a free and open source, and are used by many. As quoted in the article, Climate Interactive co-director Elizabeth Sarwin states “We make our simulations easy to use and freely accessible to people all over the world who want to understand what it will take to protect the climate. We use our tools to open up the discourse about infrastructure investments that impact the climate to bring more people and more perspectives into decision-making.” Read more in the full article on the Citizen-Times website.

News from the Australasian Chapter

The Australasian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society met for lunch in mid-October in Brisbane. Members included system dynamicists from the University of Queensland (UQ) and Griffith University. Discussion items included the idea of hosting the next Asia Pacific SD conference in Queensland. The UQ and Griffith SD people plan to have regular meetings to further discuss this idea and other chapter business. Shown in the photo are (from left to right) Carl Smith (current Australasian Chapter president), Russell Richards, Khoi Nguyen, Edoardo Bertone, Emiliya Suprun, Mehdi Hafezi, Rodney Stewart and Oz Sahin. Also present was Sue McAvoy.

Psychology SIG to Increase Focus by Including Human Behavior

The Psychology SIG proposes to change their name to the Psychology and Human Behavior SIG. As noted by the co-chairs of the SIG, David Lounsbury and Pascal Gambardella, “Our request to change the SIG’s name comes from members’ observations that psychology, as a primary domain focus, describes only a fraction of what we actually discuss, critique, and support. This is evidenced in the workshops and presentations that the SIG has organized and supported.” So far the request has been met with positive responses, and ten members have added their name to the formal request. Members of the Society may comment on the name change, contact David and Pascal by email. The Psychology SIG welcomes new members, please see the website for more information.

Wikipedia: Jay W. Forrester, the Father of System Dynamics

On a Wikipedia reference page listing the people who are considered the father or mother of a scientific field, Jay W. Forrester is acknowledged as the father of System Dynamics. The list contains nearly 150 scientific fields, the person or persons considered “father” or “mother” of the field, and the rationale for the choosing that person. Under the rationale column for Professor Forrester, his book Industrial Dynamics (1961) is listed. The Systems Theory section on this page provides a link to the Wikipedia page for System Dynamics and to Jay’s bibliography, which includes his publications and other external links.

New Publication: System Dynamics Models Used to Analyze PTSD

A new research article titled “A Dynamic Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for Military Personnel and Veterans,” by members Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Mohammad S. Jalai and their Virginia Tech colleague Alireza Ebrahimvandi, has recently been published in PLOS ONE. In this study, the authors developed a System Dynamics simulation model of the population of military personnel and veterans affected by this mental illness and then used the model for an analysis of health policy. The full paper is available on the PLOS ONE website. Mohammad Jalai discusses the topic further in a related article published in the Conversation, “Fighting another war: How many military personnel and veterans will have PTSD in 2025?” When speaking of the results, Mohammad concludes, “…that in a post-war period there is no easy solution for overcoming the problem of PTSD, and the current screening and treatment policies used by the VA and the DOD must be revolutionized to have any noticeable effect. The VA and the DOD should work together and try to offer timely service to patients. However, we showed that they cannot do much to decrease health care costs. These are the consequences of wars.” For the use of the public and policymakers, the authors have provided access to the online model.

Now Available in Print: Principles of Systems

In Principles of Systems, author Jay W. Forrester explains the basic principles behind system behavior. The book introduces the concepts of structure and dynamic behavior on which were based the author’s earlier books, Industrial Dynamics, 1961 and Urban Dynamics, 1969. Due to the general nature and wide applicability of the principles discussed, the book has been accepted as a starting point for teaching dynamic systems on many multidisciplinary courses on urban, ecological, corporate and other complex social systems. The reprinted edition of Principles of Systems can be ordered through the Society’s book store on our website.

Your Assistance is Requested in Creating a Database of K-12 Teachers

Member Diana Fisher is reaching out to colleagues in the field of System Dynamics for assistance in creating a database of K-12 teachers (globally) who are using systems thinking (BOTGs, causal loops, ladder of inference, iceberg, and/or Behavior of a Systems Thinker cards) and/or are using System Dynamics models or are having students build System Dynamics models in their classes. Once these teachers are identified, they would be invited to participate in the annual international research conference when the conference is relatively close to their location. Diana would also like to determine how best to help network those teachers to share resources. If you know any K-12 (pre-college) teachers who are using ST/SD in your area, Diana requests that you send her their names and contact information (email to fisherd at so she can communicate with them to see if they are willing to be part of the database. Please note that she would like to have the information within the next 2-3 weeks. On behalf of Diana, thank you for any help you can provide!

Fall 2016 Issue of The Exchange is Now Available Online

The Fall 2016 issue of the Creative Learning Exchange newsletter, The Exchange, features various articles that engage young students in System Dynamics modeling. The newsletter opens with an overview of the book Model Mysteries: An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies and Other Fantastic Scenarios to the Make the World a Better Place, by Anne LaVigne and Lees Stuntz. Model Mysteries contains six chapters, each presenting a mystery to solve by using SD modeling. In the article “To be or not to be… I am Hamlet,” Hae-Hyun Park reports on Professor Chang Kwon Chung’s Shakespeare’s Hamlet Modeling program. Alan Ticotsky follows a group of Massachusetts high school students as they investigate the crisis of opioid addiction in his article “Students Examine the Opioid Crisis.”

Also in this issue, the Creative Learning Exchange announced that WPI will host DynamiQueST 2017. The event will take place Friday, March 17, 2017, at the WPI Student Center. More information about DynamiQueST 2017 can be found on the Creative Learning Exchange website.

New Career Link Post: Full Professor of Policy Modelling for Global Challenges

Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) has the unique opportunity to establish a new chair in Policy Modelling for Global Challenges in The Hague. The move of the TPM MSc in Engineering Policy Analysis to The Hague, a major centre for the United Nations (along with New York, Geneva & Vienna), creates opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the TU Delft and The Hague based organizations working towards solving global challenges. This will be conducive to the quality and relevance of both research and educational activities. The new chair holder will lead the ‘Delft in The Hague’ initiative, manage the branch in The Hague and create and pursue opportunities to strengthen research and education, both in Delft and in The Hague. For more information on this position, please use this link. To see a list of all the job listings, or to post a job, please see the Career Link page.

Partnership Between Universities Benefits Students of Public Health and System Dynamics

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) will partner with colleagues at the University of Bergen in Norway (UiB) to train students in each of the university’s areas of expertise. As System Dynamics is increasing applied to analyzing public health topics, the need for “cross training” students of public health and students of System Dynamics is evident. The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education under the Partnership Program with North America will fund the project from January 2017 through December 2020. The grant titled “Model-based Public Health Education,” was awarded to UND SMHS Assistant Professor Arielle Selya, PhD, and Master of Public Health Founding Director and Professor Raymond Goldsteen DrPH, in collaboration with Associate Professor David Wheat and Professor Pål Davidsen in the Department of Geography at UiB. The grant will allow the exchange of studies for up to five students per year, providing students the opportunity to gain highly marketable skills. Read more about this project in the full article.

Member Jeroen Struben Appointed Assistant Professor at EM Lyon Business School, France

Jeroen Struben has recently been appointed assistant Professor at EM Lyon Business School in Lyon, France. Jeroen will be teaching within the Strategy and Organization Department. Among other classes, he will teach the new master level course “Systems Thinking and Sustainability.” Jeroen studies dynamics of market formation and transformation, addressing questions, such as “How do alternative products and practices penetrate in the marketplace – or society at large, rather than falter?” Jeroen analyzes market formation processes, focusing on the over-time interactions across stakeholders working through both social and material adoption challenges. He conceptualizes and studies these efforts as market formation processes because significant uptake of such products involves the joint development of consumer familiarization, complementary infrastructure, and technology improvement. Jeroen tackles these problems using simulation and empirical analysis of large spatiotemporal datasets. His current research program consists of three projects: (I) Market formation for alternative fuel vehicles, (II) Market formation for nutritious food, and (III) Market formation theory. Jeroen’s research produces insights for both scholars and practitioners about coordination and collective action across organizations, industries and governments. Congratulations to Jeroen! On behalf of the Society, we wish you the best of luck in your new position.

Breaking the Deadlock: How “Qualitative System Dynamics” Can Help to Overcome Emergency Department Crowding in Singapore

The article “Emergency department crowding in Singapore: Insights from a systems thinking approach,” by members Lukas Schoenenberger, John Ansah, and David Matchar, along with their colleagues from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Steffen Bayer, Rajagopal Mohanavalli, Sean Lam, and Marcus Ong, has been published in the open access journal SAGE Open Medicine. The work vividly shows how causal loop diagramming can be used for both eliciting the systemic structure of emergency department crowding and causally inferring (relative) impacts of different policies currently debated by policy-makers in Singapore. The full article can be viewed on the SAGE Open Medicine website.

System Dynamics / Thinking Addressing Day-to-Day Decision-Making

Krishna Pendyala, founder of the ChoiceLadder Institute is looking for System Dynamics / Thinking articles or papers that address day-to-day decision-making, choices that take a few minutes and do not involve a systematic or process-oriented decision-making. He is also interested in collaborating with a researcher who is willing to do an expanded literature search and write a white paper along similar lines. For more information, please contact Krishna directly.

Available Now: Stella Architect Webinar

In August, isee systems held a live webinar giving an overview of the newly released Stella Architect. The overview provides guidance for navigating the latest features and introduces the new interface design and publishing tools of Stella Architect. The webinar, presented by isee systems lead developer, and Society member Bill Shoenberg, is now available on the isee systems website.

Call for Papers Deadline Extended: Asia-Pacific Region Conference

There is still time to submit your paper for the Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference! The deadline for the submission of papers has been extended to November 3, 2016. The conference will take place February 19-22, 2017, at the National University of Singapore. The program committee welcomes all research and documented consulting activities using System Dynamics, including applications of the methodology to solve real world problems, new technical and software developments, and productive integration of complementary methodologies in order to create new solutions. Please visit the Asia-Pacific Region Conference website for information on submission requirements and instructions on how to submit your paper and key dates.

System Dynamics Provides Businesses with a Path to Improvement

The article “Absorptive capacity, technological innovation, and product life cycle: a System Dynamics model,” by Bo Zou, Feng Guo and Jinyu Guo, was recently published in the web based journal Springer Plus. The article is a summary of the authors’ study of using System Dynamics modeling to provide analysis for adjusting the management policies of businesses. In the abstract, the authors state “While past research has recognized the importance of the dynamic nature of absorptive capacity, there is limited knowledge on how to generate a fair and comprehensive analytical framework. Based on interviews with 24 Chinese firms, this study develops a system-dynamics model that incorporates an important feedback loop among absorptive capacity, technological innovation, and product life cycle (PLC).” The full article can be viewed on the Springer Plus website.

10th Annual Meeting of the German Chapter, October 6-7, 2016

The German Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, Deutsche Gesellschaft für System Dynamics e.V. (DGSD) will hold its annual meeting at Stuttgart University on October 6-7, 2016. This meeting will be a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the DGSD. International guest speakers include: Dr. David Lane, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading, UK and Dr. Brad Morrison, Brandeis International Business School, Waltham, USA. The conference program will feature the presentation of the Gert von Kortzfleisch Prize for outstanding SD work in Germany, a PhD Colloquium, a Company Colloquium, the presentation of the first DGSD scholar enrolled in the European Master in System Dynamics program, Miriam Spano, and dialogue on the DGSD core values. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the climate change strategy game “World Climate Simulation.” Additional details and registration information can be found on the meeting website.

Working to Meet Sustainable Development Goals

In his blog post “Business can rock the world,” Bjørn Kj. Haugland, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer in the DNV GL Group, discusses the forecast of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The article features details about the DNV GL report “The Future of Spaceship Earth,” a study of seventeen SDGs each paired with a leading global company with relevance to a particular goal. Haugland notes “In our quest to assess the likelihood of the SDGs being achieved by 2030 we took, as a starting point, the long-term forecast created by one of the original members of the Club of Rome, Jørgen Randers. We then surveyed over a dozen forecasting models. Of these, we found the two most suitable supplementary models were the System Dynamics-based “T21” model of Millennium Institute [System Dynamics], and the Regional Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (‘RICE’) led by Professor William Nordhaus of Yale University. Our team performed structural sensitivity analyses using these two supplemental models, and drew on the T21 model in particular to assess SDG issues and targets not covered by the Randers model.”

The results were expressed in terms of a scorecard, which revealed progress in the areas of health, innovation and education, but shows the sustainable development goal in climate action falling short across the board in all five global regions. Read the full blog post for additional information and a video presentation. Access the full report from DNV GL to learn more about the seventeen companies involved in this project.

SD Modeling for Strategy and Performance in Higher Education

A video presentation by member Kim Warren of Strategy Dynamics, Workshop: Modeling University Strategy and Performance with System Dynamics, is now accessible online. Kim’s presentation focuses on how to model challenges for higher-education organizations. Your questions and comments are welcomed and can be shared on the forum that follows the video. The presentation was recorded from a session at the EAIR (The European Higher Education Society) Forum held earlier this month at Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK. Additional information on EAIR Forum can be found their website.

Rome’s Systemic Week: January 23-27, 2017

As a part of Rome’s Systemic Week, Sapienza University of Rome will host the BSLab-SYDIC Workshop from January 23-24, 2017, and the 17th Congress of World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics from January 25-27, 2017. The BSLab-SYDIC Workshop, Model-based Governance for Smart Organizational Future, has been organized by the Business Systems Laboratory (BSLab), in cooperation with the System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC). The workshop committee will accept the submission of extended abstracts for panel presentation or poster session until November 1, 2016. The deadline for registration and membership is December 30, 2016. For more information about the workshop and the conference, visit the SYDIC website.

Meet our Volunteer Conference Team for the 2017 ISDC!

We are pleased to introduce our team of conference organizers for the 2017 Cambridge, Massachusetts, Conference! The Program Chairs are John Sterman and Nelson Repenning from MIT Sloan, and the Workshop Chairs are Jack B. Homer from Homer Consulting and Hazhir Rahmandad from MIT Sloan. Thank you to our conference volunteers for their dedication and service! For more information on the 35th Annual International System Dynamics Conference, a 60th Anniversary Celebration, visit the conference website.

RFI: Helping Decision-Makers Understand Complex Social Behaviors / Systems

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is requesting information on new ideas, approaches, and capabilities for developing interactive simulations that can be used to calibrate the validity of different social science research methods and tools in drawing “strong inference” about causal mechanisms that can lead to emergent complex behaviors in human social systems. Please see the Request for Information (RFI) for full information. Responses will be accepted until October 18, 2016.

Call for Papers Deadline: Asia-Pacific Region Conference

The Call for Papers deadline for the Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference is October 13, 2016. The conference will take place February 19-22, 2017, at the National University of Singapore. Information on submission requirements and instructions on how to submit your paper can be found on the A-P Conference website. The website also contains links to two articles by member Tom Fiddaman featuring tips on writing good System Dynamics Conference papers.

isee systems releases Stella Simulator

Earlier this week, isee systems announced the release of Stella Simulator. Stella Simulator is a stand-alone, XMILE-compatible simulation engine based on isee systems’ STEAM engine. It can be used for sever or High Performance Computing applications, or embedded in desktop applications. Visit isee systems’ website for additional details.

New Issue of the System Dynamics Review Available

The latest issue of the System Dynamics Review is available on the Wiley Online Library. This issue features the following research articles: “Understanding decision making about balancing two stocks: the faculty gender balancing task” (pages 6-25) by Inge Bleijenbergh, Jac Vennix, Eric Jacobs, and Marloes van Engen; “Structural dominance analysis of large and stochastic models” (pages 26-51) by Rogelio Oliva; and “A competence development framework for learning and teaching System Dynamics” (pages 52-81) by Martin F. G. Schaffernicht and Stefan N. Groesser. Also included in this issue is the “Notes and Insights” article “Quantifying the impacts of rework, schedule pressure, and ripple effect loops on project schedule performance” (pages 82-96) by Yasaman Jalili and David N. Ford.

News from the India Chapter of the System Dynamics Society

On October 5, 2016, the India Chapter will host a New Delhi/National Capital Territory regional meeting for System Dynamics professionals and those who are interested in the subject. The meeting will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the headquarters of IORA Ecological Solutions Pvt. Ltd. in Lado Sarai, New Delhi. The Governing Council of the SDS India Chapter is meeting at 10 a.m. on October 7th, at the Symbiosis Institute of Computer Science in Pune, Maharashtra. The focus of this meeting is to develop a strategy for engagement and activities for 2016-2017 in India. The India Chapter welcomes your suggestions, comments, and ideas on how to increase the level of engagement with System Dynamics practitioners in India – please email Karan Khosla at For information about the India Chapter, please visit their web page.

Latin American Conference of System Dynamics, October 2016

The Latin American and Brazil Chapters of the System Dynamics Society invite you to attend the XIV Latin American Conference of Systems Dynamics (CLADS 2016), October 19-21, 2016, at the University Center FEI, São Paulo, Brazil. The following Society members are scheduled to speak at the conference: Kim Warren, Hazir Rahmandad, Etiënne Rouwette, and Karim Chichakly. A registration discount is available through September 26, 2016. Additional conference information can be viewed on the CLADS 2016 website.

News from the Russian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society

On behalf of the Russian Chapter, Member Natalia Lychkina invites system dynamicists to participate in the IV International Research Conference, “System Analysis in the Economy – 2016.” The SAvE 2016 Conference, hosted by the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, will be held in Moscow, November 9-11, 2016. The main purpose of the conference is to create a platform for scientific generalizations and achieved practical results in the social and economic sphere in order to develop the science of the economy and society on the basis of the theory of socio-economic systems. The founder and head of the conference is the corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Georgii Borisovich Kleiner.

The deadline for submission of reports for presentation to students, masters and post-graduate students is October 30, 2016. Please see the conference website for additional details. For information about the Russian Chapter, visit their web page.

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