The System Dynamics Society is open to all individuals. Membership includes a subscription to The System Dynamics Review. It is simple to become a member.
The Society’s annual international conference is held alternately in North America and Europe, with occasional appearances in Asia and the Pacific Rim. These conferences, and the meetings of local chapters and interest groups… (read on)
The System Dynamics Case Repository is a collection of consulting projects since 1990 that have used System Dynamics as their primary methodology. A capsule summary of each case is provided, and many have links to full articles. Submit your own — help us build this important resource for the SD community!
About the Society
The System Dynamics Society is an international, nonprofit organization devoted to encouraging the development and use of System Dynamics and systems thinking around the world. With members in seventy countries, the Society provides a forum in which researchers, educators, consultants, and practitioners in the corporate and public sectors interact to introduce newcomers to the field, keep abreast of current developments, and build on each other’s work.
What is System Dynamics?
The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings. Please take a look!
The System Dynamics Africa Chapter News
The System Dynamics Africa Chapter held its 1st ever International Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from 11th and 13th January, 2015. The workshop focused on Systems Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing with the theme “Transformation for sustainable development.” The workshop came just one year after the African Chapter was formed. As such, it accorded the chapter, the opportunity to build its capacity in creating awareness of System Dynamics and its applications in solving pressing societal challenges across Africa and elsewhere in the world. The workshop attracted interests of System Dynamics members, researchers and practitioners in sustainable development and PhD candidates who are interested in System Dynamics as a problem solving approach from across the globe. There were three keynote speeches and 14 papers plenary papers presented at the workshop.
The keynote speakers were Dr. Kim Warren (Chairman of Strategy Dynamics Ltd- UK); Dr. Charles Macal (Director Argonne National Laboratory- USA); and Ddembe Williams (President System Dynamics Africa Chapter). We also held a high level panelists Dr. Titus Olaniyi, Prof. Tim Waema, Dr. J. Muthee, Dr. Marcel Castro- Sitiriche, Eng. Simon Thuo, Prof. Paulo Gonclaves, Prof. Ddembe Williams and Dr. Ignacio Martinez and all the workshop presenters. The panel discussed ways to advance SD and data analytics.
During the workshop emphasis was laid on the diverse ways of leveraging System Dynamics methodology to dissect and simplify Big Data and complex societal issues to the benefit of policy makers and users in different areas. The System Dynamics Methodology was explored in different fields and faculties including solving complex health, environment, education, engineering, governance, energy, agriculture, socio-econo-political frontiers among other fields of academic and professional.
The workshop is a start of a series of annual workshops that will be organised by the System Dynamics Africa Chapter. The 2nd International Workshop for the Africa Chapter is scheduled to take place 11th to 12th January, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. We look forward to welcoming you to the workshop!
Some of the participant at the Workshop
Costa Rica: Pura Vida! XII Latin American Conference of System Dynamics, 2014
Surrounded by lush vegetation and in an atmosphere of camaraderie was held the XII Latin American Conference on System Dynamics in San Jose Costa Rica, from 9 to 11 December. This conference was organized by Dr. Luis López and Dr. Roy Zúñiga under the auspices of INCAE Business School, Campus Walter Kissling Gam. The conference was attended by about 90 researchers, teachers and students from Latin America, Spain, USA and Egypt. Participants were attending plenary, parallel conferences and workshops, as well as a social program which included a welcome dinner, a visit to a coffee plantation and a dinner at a recreation of a typical village, with dances and folk music. The Latin American Conference 2015 will be held in Cartagena, Colombia during October, so there is enough time to prepare!
Society Member Henk Akkermans e-book available from Studystore
Evans & Peck has transformed into Advisian
Longtime member Mark Heffernan is now a Specialist Advisor at Advisian, bringing System Dynamics into consulting at the new firm. Advisian is a global advisory firm built from the merger of Evans & Peck, MTG, Ltd. and EcoNomics™ plus the real world experience of WorleyParsons. Advisian is the independent advisory arm of the WorleyParsons Group. Advisian will provide deep domain expertise and advice to clients in the hydrocarbons, transport, utilities, social infrastructure and minerals, metals and chemicals sectors. The System Dynamics practice will offer advice across all industries and sectors including public policy, sustainability, finance, health and education. Based in Sydney, Mark is looking forward to some international travel.
“Systems Literacy” collection now available on PBS On Line
Linda Booth Sweeney, who received her doctorate from Harvard Education School and studied System Dynamics at MIT has created a set of online resources introducing System Dynamics concepts for teachers. Dr. Sweeney has been working the past year with PBS Learning Media to develop free, media-based resources to foster systems literacy. The pilot collection, designed for students ages 5-25, and their teachers, has just been announced and is now available at www.pbslearningmedia.org.
Dr. Sweeney writes “Here’s what I find most exciting about this collection: much of our education remains focused on discrete disciplines (e.g., math, science, engineering) that train students to cope with technical-based problems but not with understanding the impact of their actions on the often tightly interconnected system of which they are a part. Through this collection WGBH/PBS is helping to reverse this outmoded trend toward fragmentation, enabling youth and their teachers to understand the nature of complex systems, and as such, encouraging them to stop jumping to blame single causes for the challenges they encounter and instead, look for the deeper nature of what is causing particular behaviors to occur. In addition, with over a million registered users from 196 countries, including 74% of the public schools in the United States, gives us an opportunity to invite a wide range of educators to “think about systems.”
At the moment the collection includes six existing PBS resources that have been repurposed to teach about systems. The hope is the collection will eventually grow in size and scope to include a wide array of media-based materials — some derived from existing PBS archives, some newly produced, and some created by other developers and organizations. If you have thoughts on how this collection might be leveraged in its existing form or how an expanded version could support your work, please contact Dr. Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org. This project was done with the support and expert review of Beth Sawin, Lees Stuntz, Steven Roderick, Alan Ticotsky, Jeff Potash, Kirk Bergstrom and Sheri Marlin.
For a short, fun video introduction that was shot to introduce the concept of systems please see: www.pbslearningmedia.org.
If you’re interested in learning more, PBS will be offering an introductory webinar — Becoming Systems Literate — on January 29th. You can register here: wgbh1.adobeconnect.com.
Member Harald Sverdrup to give seminar at the Central Bank of Iceland on System Dynamics – A tool for economic analysis
A seminar on this topics will be held in the meeting room Sölvhóll in the Central Bank of Iceland Tuesday January 20 at 3 pm. In this seminar professor Harald Sverdrup and his graduate student Rafn Thorsteinsson, both from the University of Iceland, will introduce system dynamics as a tool for economic analysis and show how it has been applied. System dynamics is a methodology and a mathematical modelling technique, developed by Jay Forrester, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) around 1950, to frame, understand and work with the behaviour of complex systems over time. Through out the years system dynamics has been used by companies like, GM, DuPont, Stat Oil and British Petroleum with success.
Rafn Thorsteinsson will explain the overall methodology behind system dynamics, how it is applied in practice and how group system analysis is used to uncover the underlying causal structure of the system. Harald will talk about using systems dynamics for modelling economic systems on regional and national scales. He will show some examples from gold market, trade, derivatives and commodity markets, how such models can be used for commodities (oil, steel, copper, aluminum) and the interactions with the financial system. He will show some of the work that is being done for the German government at present as a part of developing a new type of model for the German National economy.
The seminar will be in English.
Bibliography Highlights for January
Fossil fuel research begs for system dynamics models because there are many interconnected system conditions that affect the results: the nature of the substance consumed, regeneration rates, the proportion of gases (oxygen, CO2, NO, NO2, etc.) and water in the environment, and on and on. In carbon-capture models, these variables get very complicated and the assumptions range from overly simple to elaborate fantasy. Fossil fuels use and consequences represent hundreds of articles in the System Dynamics Bibliography. If you search on energy, there are hundreds more. See what you can find in the System Dynamics Bibliography.
System Dynamics Review Early View
An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is the “Notes and Insights” article — “‘Model’ teaching III: Examples for the later stages” written by George P. Richardson.
Call for submissions: Special Issue on Dynamic Decision Making in Controlled Experiments
Society members Andreas Groessler and Hendrik Stouten are guest-editing a special issue of Systems, which is an open-access journal with a relatively fast revision cycle. For all contributions in the special issue, no author fees apply. Deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2015. Revised and good-quality conference papers or theses might be publishable. More information are available at the Systems website.
Call for nominations: Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Preis Award
In 2015, the German Chapter of the System Dynamics Society will again award the Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Preis for published system dynamics related work in either German, or published by a German, or published by somebody working in Germany. Deadline for nominations is January 30th, 2015. Nominations should be send to Andreas Größler at email@example.com. More information are available at the German Chapter website.
Funding opportunity: Building resources for action-oriented team science through syntheses of practices and theories
Proposals are invited for synthesis projects focused on tools, methods, and other practices applicable to actionable team research on socio-environmental problems. Multiple teams will be supported, and together their syntheses will contribute towards the development of new toolkits, roadmaps, curricula, and other practical advice. The proposal deadline is March 9, 2015; click here for more about the RFP: Enhancing Socio-Environmental Research & Education.
Effective team science is key to finding solutions to socio-environmental problems. Many tools have been developed for integrating ideas, data, and methods across the diverse disciplines involved when researching complex problems. Similarly, practices have been identified that facilitate the linkage of research results with informed policy decisions. Relatively few of these tools and practices have been assessed and optimized for addressing socio-environmental challenges. We invite proposals for synthesis and refinement of the tools and practices of team science from all disciplinary sources for use in socio-environmental applications.
The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) will fund up to six international teams (up to 12 members each) to meet over two years (approximately four three-day meetings per team) to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the practices, tools, methods, and strategies of transdisciplinary team science to significantly improve research teams’ effectiveness at understanding socio-environmental problems and informing socio-environmental decisions. The focus may be on improving research methods, on educating new generations of researchers, or both.
This call is open to researchers and educators with expertise in all aspects of the practice and scholarship of actionable team research, including diverse areas of environmental and social investigation and other areas that have not traditionally engaged in socio-environmental contexts, such as public health, international development, security, or other research areas. Successful proposals could include participants from a variety of relevant disciplines including environmental science, ecology, social psychology, systemic intervention, political science, organizational management, implementation science, cognitive science, operations research, information science, and computer science.
Purpose: The aim of the synthesis teams to be established under this proposal is to aggregate and synthesize the tools, methods, and other practices used in action-oriented team research as applicable to socio-environmental science. We encourage proposals that address issues across all stages throughout the lifecycle of an interdisciplinary project from problem formulation to approach design, data gathering analysis and synthesis, publication and other dissemination, implementation, and assessment, although individual teams might only work on a subset of these. Many types or combinations of synthesis approaches are possible and many sources of data for aggregation and analysis are appropriate, including diverse case study examples, concepts, methodologies, procedures, protocols, computational applications, or theoretical foundations.
SDIM Announcement: System Dynamics and Innovation Management (SDIM)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is pleased to announce the establishment of a new graduate program in System Dynamics and Innovation Management (SDIM). Students may choose to pursue a Certificate, dual Bachelor’s/Master’s and Master’s degrees. Curriculum includes management courses offered by WPI Foisie School of Business and courses in system dynamics taught by the faculty in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies. This program is open to residential and on-line students.
WPI has offered undergraduate and graduate courses in system dynamics since 1997. WPI Foisie School of Business is ranked #1 Part-Time MBA in the Northeast and #16 in the U.S. by Businessweek.
Queries about the SDIM program should be sent to:
Start the new year by taking advantage of all your Membership benefits. They include a subscription (four issues) to the System Dynamics Review. In addition, other membership benefits include:
- New in 2015: Special 35% discount on books published by John Wiley & Sons;
- Access through a membership key to the Review online, all current and past issues;
- Discounted registration fee at the annual research conference;
- Access to our searchable online Membership Directory;
- Eligibility to purchase hard-copy back issues of the Review;
- Eligibility to borrow Beer Game boards through the Society’s loaner board program;
- Contact with others in the field through publications such as the Society’s Newsletters;
- Member support from the Society office;
- And the privilege of voting in all elections, standing as an officer or as a member of the Policy Council, and nominating members for office or for service as a member of the
If you are not yet a member, please take a moment and renew now. It is simple to become a member; for full details, please visit the Joining the System Dynamics Society website.
Policy Council 2015
The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce the 2015 Policy Council.
President: Jürgen Strohhecker (2015)
President Elect: Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette (2015)
Past President: Edward G. Anderson (2015)
Founding President: Jay W. Forrester
Secretary: J. Bradley Morrison (2015-2016)
Vice President Chapter Activities: Martin Schaffernicht (2014-2016)
Vice President Electronic Presence: Robert L. Eberlein (2015-2017)
Vice President Finance: David F. Andersen (2014-2016)
Vice President Marketing & Communications: Peter Hovmand (partial term 2014-2015)
Vice President Meetings: Leonard Malczynski (2013-2015)
Vice President Membership: Özge Pala (2015-2017)
Vice President Professional Practice: Kenneth G. Cooper (partial term 2014-2015)
Vice President Publications: Pål Davidsen (2015-2017)
Policy Council Members are Elise Axelrad, Paulo Gonçalves, Inge Bleijenbergh, Timothy Taylor, Jim Duggan, Warren Farr, Elke Husemann, David Wheat, Stefano Armenia, Özge Karanfil, Erik Pruyt and Gönenç Yucel.
Congratulations to both the new and returning members of the Council! For more information on the Policy Council, Society committees, past meetings and other related topics, please visit the Society Governance page.
The Policy Council will meet on February 9, 2015.