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Public Policy Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference

Public Policy thread at the Delft conference will feature plenary and parallel presentations concerning the issues in public policy including governance, social welfare, equity, justice, political science, urban dynamics, infrastructure and transportation. The Monday morning plenary session titled “Uncertainty, Risk and Recovery” is comprised of three presentations:

On Addressing Grand Challenges and Complex Issues: Dealing with More Than Just Dynamic Complexity, by Erik Pruyt, Willem Auping, Philipp Schwarz, Jan Kwakkel, and Tushith Islam, all from Delft University of Technology.
Business Tsunami: In Between Black Swans and Little White Lies, by Henk Akkermans from Tilburg University.
A Dynamic Feedback Theory of Community Recovery from Shock Events, by Prof. David Ford, from Texas A&M University and Bruce Keith, Professor of Technology at the United States Military Academy.

The parallel and poster presentations are divided among nine sessions. In the Public Policy thread there is a scheduled meeting for the development of a new Transportation Special Interest Group. The Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule provide the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material.

New PhD: Member Vincent de Gooyert Passes the Examination of His PhD

We are happy to share the news that member Vincent de Gooyert has recently passed the examination of his PhD dissertation! Vincent is Assistant Professor at Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University. Vincent gratefully acknowledges those individuals and organizations in the System Dynamics community who contributed to and supported him in the development of his PhD thesis, titled “Stakeholder Dynamics in the Dutch Energy Transition.” His supervisors were Etiënne Rouwette, Hans van Kranenburg, and Edward Freeman. An article based on the research, titled “Sustainability transition dynamics: towards overcoming policy resistance,” has just been published in the journal Technological Forecasting & Social Change. Congratulations Dr. de Gooyert! The Society wishes you much success.

Complimentary Live Webinar
July 13, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Followed by a live Q&A on Facebook

How can we respond to climate change? Can we build an economy powered by clean, renewable energy in time? Does the agreement forged at the recent Paris climate conference (COP21) deliver us from catastrophe, or is it another diplomatic disappointment? How can the science be made accessible to the policymakers, the media, and the public at large?

Join MIT Sloan Professor John Sterman on July 13 for a one-hour, complimentary webinar to experience an interactive simulation—developed by Sterman and his colleagues—that helps people understand climate change and the long-term climate impacts of policy scenarios.

This online event, The Dynamics of Climate Change—from the Political to the Personal, will explore the dynamics of the climate interactively and suggest what we can do both professionally and personally to build a safer, sustainable world. Known as C-ROADS, this award-winning modeling software has been used by more than 15,000 people, including policy makers and negotiators, in 53 nations around the world, and is freely available to participants in the webinar.

Participants of this webinar will learn:
Why discussions on climate change have led to so much public confusion
The state of climate policy after the Paris agreement
What we can do to manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable
What impact you can have in your community

The webinar will be followed by a live Q&A with Professor Sterman on Facebook.

Who should attend:
This webinar is designed for innovators for sustainability in private, public, NGO, and hybrid sectors, as well as anyone interested in climate policy and sustainability.

About the presenter:
John Sterman’s research focuses on improving managerial decision making in complex systems. He has pioneered the development of “management flight simulators” of corporate and economic systems now used by businesses and universities around the world. He is the author of Modeling for Learning Organizations and the award-winning textbook, Business Dynamics. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Fortune, The Financial Times, and BusinessWeek, among others. He has received eight awards for “Teaching Excellence” at MIT, as well as numerous other honors.

To view the full post click here.

New Postings in Conference Sponsor Notes

This year our sponsors will be posting information to Conference Sponsor Notes before, during and after the Delft conference. Check our website’s Conference Sponsor Notes frequently to stay informed on all the latest conference news and updates from sponsors. Highlights from a few of the recent posts are noted below.

Copernicos Groep invites you to a kick-off meeting to start a brand new special interest group, the Asset Dynamics SIG. As quoted from the post, the “Aim of the SIG is applying System Dynamics for the management of complex technical systems, complex inter- and intra-organizational collaboration, multi actor/stakeholder involvement and long term interests.” The Asset Dynamics e-poster can be viewed on our website; other SIG e-posters will be available soon.

Whole Systems Partnership has posted news promoting their conference presentation Relational value as a key model intangible. WSP invites conference attendees to join this “discussion starter” on the topic of relational thinking in health and social care.

Delft University of Technology has shared information about the Vermeer exhibition at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft. The exhibition Vermeer is coming home/The Little Street returns to Delft, which closes on July 17th, is a “must see” for those who will be in Delft before the start of the conference.

Announcing the Call for Papers for Journal of Simulation

The Journal of Simulation has announced a call for papers for a special issue on the topic of System Dynamics. As described on their web page, “The journal provides a single source of accessible research and practice in the fast developing field of discrete-event simulation, System Dynamics and agent-based modelling.” Martin Kunc, Sally Brailsford and member John Morecroft have been selected as guest editors of this special issue. The announcement states “the journal is interested in submissions that discuss: mode conceptualization, model development and testing, policy development, and other areas.” The deadline for submission is March 31st, 2017. Specific information on submission guidelines and dates can be found on the call for papers.

Operations Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference

The Operations thread at the ISDC relates to the business and other process operations including: capacity management, quality control, operations management, supply chains, workflow, queuing, and workforce planning. There are three plenary sessions in the Operations thread. Jürgen Strohhecker and Michael Leyer will present Intelligence and (Mis) Understanding of Accumulation as Explaining Factors of Stock Management Failures. J. Bradley Morrison and Robert Wears will discuss their case study in Why Patient Assignment and Teamwork in the Emergency Department is Challenging: A Simple Stock and Flow Insight. Paulo Gonçalves and Simplice Kamdem will present Evidence-Based Policy Design for HIV/AIDS Response Programs in Côte. Parallel presentations in the Operations thread are divided into two sessions titled “Sustainability in Urban Context” and “Managing Quality and Performance in Operations.” The Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule provides the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material.

Research Seminar Preceding Vennix’s Valedictory Lecture at Radboud University

A research seminar was held on June 27th that preceded Jac Vennix’s valedictory lecture at Radboud University. About 25 researchers attended the seminar entitled, “New developments in participatory modelling and conceptualization.”

Presentations from Radboud University included: Group model building—Be prepared by Marleen McCardle, Group model building in an intercultural perspective by Inge Bleijenbergh, The development and validation of a team level cultural intelligence scale by Hubert Korzilius, Conflict, power and group model building by Etiënne Rouwette, and Five ways to use system dynamics for theoretical contributions by Vincent de Gooyert. The event also featured David Lane of the University of Reading presenting GMB work for the Munro review of child protection and The supply line bias—less problematic than assumed? by Andreas Größler of the University of Stuttgart.

Jac participated in the lively discussions and provided links between the works presented and the farewell speech that he gave later that day. He thanked all participants and attendants for the high quality of the talks and the contributions to the discussion.

In addition, Methods, Model Building and Management: A liber amicorum for Jac Vennix has been published in honor of Jac’s retirement. The liber amicorum (book of friends), edited by Inge Bleijenbergh, Hubert Korzilius and Etiënne Rouwette, can be found here. The book and each chapter has been added to the System Dynamics Bibliography. To see the list of references, go to the Bibliographic Updates Webpage under Updated Information for references other than journals.

The University of Witwatersrand Now Offering Free Online Courses

Creamer Media’s Engineering News has recently published the news that the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa will be offering free online courses. System Dynamics for Health Sciences, instructed by member David Rubin, is the first of three courses that are being launched. As stated in the article “ The System Dynamics for Health Sciences, which would educate learners on how to use system dynamics to better understand complex medical issues and intervention, would be taught by Wits biomedical engineering Adjunct Professor David Rubin, Wits biomedical engineer and lecturer Robyn Letts and Johns Hopkins University Professor Tak Igusa.” View the full article to learn more about this course and other courses that are being launched in an effort to increase access to higher education.

Annual Chapter Meetings Scheduled at the ISDC

The System Dynamics Society Chapters are formed by active and committed Society members to strengthen interaction among their group and to enhance their ability to reach other people. Each Chapter will hold its annual meeting at the conference in Delft. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule to view these meetings and all the events that will take place at the conference. Chapter meetings that are scheduled, including links to each of the abstracts, are listed below.

Africa Regional Chapter Annual Meeting, by Ddembe Williams Abstract
Asia Pacific Chapters Meeting, by Robert Cavana Abstract
Australasia Chapter Annual Meeting, by Robert Cavana Abstract
Benelux Chapter Annual Meeting, by Martijn Eskinasi Abstract
Brazil Chapter Annual Meeting, by Karim Chichakly, Ricardo Chaim Abstract
China Chapter Annual Meeting, by Haiyan Yan, Ying Qian Abstract
German Chapter Informal Gathering, by Florian Kapmeier Abstract
Iran Chapter Annual Meeting, by Babak Bahaddin Abstract
Latin America Chapter Annual Meeting, by Gloria Perez Salazar Abstract
Russian Chapter Annual Meeting, by Natalia Lychkina Abstract
South Africa Chapter Annual Meeting and Roundtable, by Josephine Musango Abstract
Student Chapter Annual Meeting, by Yekatherina Bobrova Abstract
Swiss Chapter Annual Meeting, by Birgit Kopainsky Abstract
System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC) Annual Meeting, by Stefano Armenia Abstract
UK Chapter Annual Meeting, by Douglas McKelvie Abstract

There are also Chapters located in India, Japan, Korea, and Pakistan. Information about all of our Chapters can be found on our website.

System Dynamics Modeling with R – a Newly Published Book by Jim Duggan

Member Jim Duggan, Senior Lecturer at the National University of Ireland Galway, has just published System Dynamics Modeling with R, which is part of the Springer Lecture Notes on Social Networks.

This book provides a practical introduction to System Dynamics, and explains key model structures including material delays, stock management heuristics, and how to model effects between different system elements. Examples from epidemiology, health systems and economics are presented, and the R programming language is used to provide an open-source and interoperable way to build System Dynamics models.

The book also presents techniques that can enhance client confidence in System Dynamic models, including model testing, calibration, and statistical screening. The book is written for undergraduate and postgraduate students of System Dynamics, simulation, computer science and applied mathematics.

The choice of R as a modeling language makes it an ideal reference text for those wishing to integrate System Dynamics modeling with related data science methods and techniques.

Methodology Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference

Explore the contributions to the methodology of System Dynamics, modeling and simulation including model development, model analysis, validation, graphical presentation formats, and computational techniques in the sessions of the Methodology thread at the Delft conference.

In the plenary session “Implementation and Politics,” Alexander Voigt, from Greenwood Strategic Advisors, and Florian Kapmeier, from ESB Business School of Reutlingen University, will present A Mismatch Between Aspirations and Reality: Why Are We Letting Black Swans Pass Us By? Also in this plenary session, John Sterman, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give his presentation titled The Paris Climate Agreement: Do Models Really Matter? What Must We Do Now?

There will also be over twenty parallel and poster presentations within the following sessions: Multi Methods/Cross Methods, SD Taxonomy, Model Methods, Team and Methods, System Dynamics and Systems Thinking, and Cross/Multi Methods.

Additionally, there are twelve workshop sessions scheduled within the Methodology thread. View the Draft Program Overview by Thread or the Tentative Schedule to see a list of these workshop sessions, titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts. Meetings scheduled in the Methodology thread include a Model Analysis Roundtable and the SIG-MA Annual Meeting. Tweet your comments to #ISDC16.

Professor Qifan Wang’s Memorial Service

Prof. Qifan Wang’s memorial service was held at the Xibaoxing Road Funeral Home on Saturday, June 4, 2016. There were around 150 people who attended including Prof. Wang’s family members, friends, colleagues and students et al. “We reviewed his past, his contributions, and his personality charm with deep grief” says Haiyan Yan, Representative of China Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, who has kindly shared the following summary of the memorial service.

More than 20 professional and university groups placed flower baskets at the memorial service and dozens of flower baskets were from Professor Wang’s colleagues, friends and relatives. Some of the families and friends who were unable to attend the memorial service sent messages of condolences. Among them, China Association for International Economic Cooperation’s vice president Professor Xiashan Chen et al. Professor Xia wrote a long article “Remembrance of Management Master – Professor Wang Qifan” which was issued on the Twenty-fourth Chinese Biz News on June 11, 2016.

At the memorial service, Prof. Lihua Huang, secretary of School of Management, Fudan University, introduced Professor Wang Qifan’s lifetime and his indelible contribution to the development of System Dynamics in China. Student representatives, Dr. Li Lingling memorialized Professor Qifan Wang’s guidance and love to his students. Mr. Shoukim Shen, on behalf of the students of Professor Wang’s Alma Mater Tsinghua University made a speech. Finally, Professor Wang’s son Mr. Min Wang, on behalf of the relatives, thanked all the guests present at the memorial service, as well as those who sent wreaths and message of condolence. All the guests bowed and sent flowers one by one.

Professor Wang’s students from Fudan University, Tongji University and other overseas universities, distributed in all parts of the world, all walks of life, memorialized their teacher through social media. Prof. Qifan Wang, one of the most widely beloved master and profoundly influential scholar of all-time, leaves an indelible imprint on System Dynamics, leads us to harbor ideals, and march forward courageously.

AnyLogic’s Simulation and Modeling Software Selected by Ford Motor Company

An article in the web based news Virtual Strategy Magazine, June 2016, shares that the Ford Motor Company has chosen AnyLogic software to model real world concepts in a virtual setting to gain insight from global data and analytics. As noted in the article, “Simulation modeling is a tool that allows organizations to model the real world in a virtual environment; look at systems from a clearer viewpoint, and run what-if scenarios of proposed variations without disruptions to the current system. AnyLogic’s unique multi-method capabilities enable system dynamics, agent-based, and discrete-event modeling in one modeling environment for a more accurate representation of the real system.” To learn more, please see the full article in Virtual Strategy Magazine.

Learning and Teaching Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference

The Learning and Teaching thread at the Delft conference will focus on the manner in which system skills are taught and learned including pedagogy, learning experiments, curriculum development, workshop design and interactivities designed to be a part of an educational experience. Session titles in this thread include: Group Modeling and Debriefing, Research on Leaning Systems Dynamics, and Games, Learning, and Teaching. Workshop sessions in the Learning and Teaching thread include:

Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling for Math and Science Instruction: Online Professional Development Opportunity
Creating Interactive Simulations Online with Forio Epicenter
Teaching Students to Create Original Models in a Ten-Week Course
Getting Started with Powersim Studio
Feedback Rich Model Construction
Getting Started with Stella Designer

Titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material, are available in the Draft Program Overview by Thread and in the Tentative Schedule. Tweet your comments to #ISDC16.

Member Stephen Cucchiaro Featured in Current Issue of Bloomberg Magazine

Member Stephen Cucchiaro, president of 3Edge Asset Management in Boston, is featured in a story in the Bloomberg Markets magazine. The article, written by Jon Asmundsson, reveals how Stephen developed an investment method using complex systems. Stephen had studied complex systems as a math major at MIT and went on to study finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It was at the Wharton School that “he began to realize that global capital markets are a perfect example of complex systems.” As a management consultant, economist, and entrepreneur, Stephen has started several investment firms, 3Edge Asset Management is the latest. He states “…part of our approach is to identify asset classes that are not only undervalued but where there’s a catalyst that we can identify.” As a result, gold and emerging markets became his current focus. The full article can be seen in the June/July issue of Bloomberg Markets.

Early Conference Registration Rates Available Until Thursday, June 23

In response to the issues we have experienced this week with our website, we have extended early bird registration rates for #ISDC16 until Thursday, June 23. Don’t miss out on events like the pre-conference Summer School, PhD Colloquium, Modeling Assistance Workshop, Model Expo, Climate Change Hackathon, and Workshop Day. Register now to take advantage of the discounted rates!

Report on Impact Factor for the System Dynamics Review

This week Thomson Reuters published their Journal Citation Reports for 2015. We are pleased to announce that the Impact Factor for System Dynamics Review has risen by 34% from 1.026 to 1.37. The journal has now moved up in position in its two ISI subject categories rankings. In the Management category, the journal ranks 91st out of 192 titles, and the journal is 20th out of 49 titles in the Social Sciences, Mathematical Methods category. Yaman Barlas, Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review, notes “These numbers reflect that the journal is moving in the right direction, thanks to my predecessor Rogelio Oliva and the editorial team.”

SIG Meetings Scheduled at the ISDC

Most of the Special Interest Groups of the System Dynamics Society will host their annual meetings at the Delft conference. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule to view the scheduled meetings taking place at the conference. The following list includes the SIG meetings on schedule with a link to each of the abstracts.

Business SIG Annual Meeting, by Seth Cordes Abstract
Environmental SIG Annual Meeting, by Shane Carnohan, La Tonya Walker Abstract
Health Policy Special Interest Group Business Meeting, by Michael Dill Abstract
Biomedical SIG Annual Meeting, by Jim Rogers, Edward Gallaher Abstract
Psychology SIG Annual Meeting, by David Lounsbury Abstract
iSIG Annual Meeting, by Stefano Armenia, Eliot Rich Abstract
Model Analysis Roundtable and SIG-MA Annual Meeting, by James Houghton Abstract
Development of a Transportation Special Interest Group, by Simon Shepherd Abstract
Energy SIG Annual Meeting, by George Matthew Abstract
Conflict, Defense and Security SIG Annual Meeting, by Ignacio Martinez-Moyano, Edward Anderson Abstract

Special Interest Groups bring together members who share interest in a particular area. For more information or to join a SIG, please visit our website.

Presiding Rector Magnificus Bas Kortmann (middle) surrounded by System Dynamics professors Etiënne Rouwette, Jac Vennix, Pål Davidsen, Peter Milling, David Lane, Andreas Größler

Member Jac Vennix Gives Valedictory Lecture at Radboud University

On May 27th, Jac Vennix held his valedictory lecture Management Science: that can be quite an art at Radboud University. It served the purpose to get the System Dynamics and Group Model Building message across to a wider audience, including colleague professors and members of the University Board. Subjects discussed in the lecture included a.o.: SD: origins and basic assumptions, the Limits to Growth study (recent research shows that real developments over the last 40 years come closest to the standard scenario of LtG), SD modelling as a learning process, the need to involve stakeholders, GMB and group facilitation, the EMSD (European Master in System Dynamics) program (combining the “science of model building” with the “art of facilitation”), as well as results of evaluation studies on the effectiveness of GMB. The lecture was well received by the audience. With that lecture Jac Vennix effectively has become professor emeritus as of June 1st. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Jac!

Jac Vennix delivering his valedictory lecture

Jac Vennix receiving a ‘liber amicorum’ offered by his colleagues Hubert Korzilius, Etiënne Rouwette and Inge Bleijenbergh

Climate Change Hackathon at Delft Conference

At the Delft Conference, the IBM Academy of Technology is hosting a hackathon to model the impact of climate changes on vulnerable populations over time. We know that climate change shut down agriculture in Syria in 2006-7 and created urban conditions of unemployment and social tension that erupted into Civil War. We want to understand the social, economic, cultural, and political ramifications of subtle and overt climate changes on societies and the way they may adapt in the future. We want to develop an international community of model developers creating re-usable model components in XMILE that can help any community in any nation to understand the long tail effects of climate change by linking SD models to Open Data resources. All models will be open source, stored online in libraries, and presented to decision-makers at an event in Washington DC in October. Please bring your computer and your ideas. XMILE-compatible modeling software will be provided for those who need it. To learn more and see the materials provided for background reading to inform the conversation, please visit the Tentative Schedule and search on “Hackathon.” Participation is open to conference attendees. To register for the conference please click here for details.

See what System Dynamics students are doing!

This webpage highlights student papers scheduled for presentation at the upcoming System Dynamics Conference in Delft, Netherlands, to be held July 17 – 21, 2016. Please take a moment to read through the important works of these hard-working students. (If you are a student with an accepted paper that does not appear in this list please contact the Society). To learn more about System Dynamics Society student events, please visit the Student Chapter Website and LinkedIn Group. To help support students to attend the conference, please consider donating today to our Conference Scholarship Fund.

Announcing the Publication of Dynamic Performance Management by Carmine Bianchi

Member Carmine Bianchi is the author of the recently published book Dynamic Performance Management. In his book, Carmine provides “…useful resource to help design and implement performance management systems using System Dynamics approach.” A summary of Dynamic Performance Management states “This book explores how to design and implement planning & control (P&C) systems that can help organizations to manage their growth and restructuring processes in a sustainability perspective. The book is not designed to enable the reader to become an experienced System Dynamics modeler; rather, it aims to develop the reader’s capabilities to design and implement performance management systems by using a System Dynamics approach.” Carmine Bianchi is a Professor of Business and Public Management at the University of Palermo in Italy, and director of the Master level program in Public Management.

Development Planning and Policy Design: A System Dynamics Approach, a Newly Published Book by Khalid Saeed

Member Khalid Saeed, a Professor of Economics and System Dynamics at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has written many articles and two books on the topic of using System Dynamics to approach economic, organizational and political subjects. Khalid’s latest publication, the Kindle edition of Development Planning and Policy Design: A System Dynamics Approach, explores the use of System Dynamics to tackle problems of poverty, environment and governance matters. In the foreword of the book, Dennis Meadows, from the University of New Hampshire, writes “In his exposition, Khalid has not proceeded to build a single complicated model subsuming all complex social and ecological relationships existing in a national organization, but has sliced the planning problem into three abstract subsystems concerning, respectively, economic growth and income distribution, management of physical resources and technology and the functioning of the political organization.”

Parallel Presentations at the Delft System Dynamics Conference

Parallel sessions have been scheduled in the morning and afternoon on each day of the Delft conference. The Information and Knowledge Thread and the Strategy Thread are a couple of the many threads included in the schedule.

The Information and Knowledge Thread at the conference relates to the dynamics of information and knowledge including knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research and development, invention, and innovation. There will be three parallel presentations in the Information and Knowledge Thread. The iSIG Annual Meeting has also been scheduled in this thread.

Another thread at the conference is the Strategy Thread. There are three parallel presentations in this thread involve the development, communication and implementation of strategy, including strategic thinking, goal definition, and outcome measures for public and private organizations.

Titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material, are available in the Draft Program Overview by Thread and in the Tentative Schedule.

Leading Sustainable Transformation Workshop, June 21-23, 2016, Ashland, MA

The Society for Organizational Learning’s workshop “Leading Sustainable Transformation,” facilitated by Peter Senge and Darcy Winslow, will be held June 21-23, 2016, at the Warren Center in Ashland, Massachusetts. This highly interactive workshop is a synthesis of core organizational learning disciplines — systems thinking, mental models and collaborative inquiry, personal mastery and building shared vision — and the practical know-how captured in the book, The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge, et al. This workshop will focus on how these core learning disciplines can build capabilities for Sustainability Leadership — seeing systems, collaborating across boundaries with ease, and shifting from reactive problem solving to creating new futures. Learn more about the Leading Sustainable Transformation and other workshops by visiting the Society for Organizational Learning website.

Cooper Human Systems (CHS) Announces Commercial Availability of Discovery2

A second generation modeling service, Discovery2, designed by CHS engineers, System Dynamics Modelers, and immunologists “demonstrates and predicts the human efficacy of drug combinations and protocols aimed at curing complex diseases related to the human immune system,” according to a press release on Business Wire.

By simulating the effects of various drug combinations on diseases such as HIV and some cancers and neurological disorders, Discovery2 “helps pharma partners predict winners, but just as importantly, assists in identifying losers: those compounds which will not succeed in human trials,” the press release continues.

“The ability to foresee eventual trial results and abandon (lose early) and re-architect portions of pharma’s development pipeline should save the pharma industry decades of time and billions of dollars currently spent in failed clinical trial pipelines of complex immune system disorders,” said John Stafford, CEO at Cooper. “We believe the Cooper Discovery2 service provides a truly breakout series of value-added benefits to pharma partners, including enormous cost savings, improved pipeline confidence, accelerated time to market, longer duration revenue streams, and scientific and competitive advantage.”

Ken Cooper, Chairman of Cooper Human Systems, is a member and VP Professional Practice of the System Dynamics Society.

Education Innovation from a System Thinking Perspective and an Indigenous Worldview

The Walking with the Sun project has the objective of promoting an Educative Innovation from a system thinking (ST) perspective and an indigenous worldview. The core of the project is the elaboration of a trilingual book (Odhame, Rarámuri and Spanish) about intercultural education, complementary to the formal plan of the Mexican Education Ministry. The book is composed of didactic exercises created using a ST methodology called TRIZ (Theory of inventive problem solving). This project has two overall goals: 1) making contribution for rethinking and performing school activities in a more creative way from a learning and cultural reassessment perspective and 2) becoming a tool replicable in other communities in Mexico or Latin America.

In the following days the research team will be piloting the didactic material with kids from the Tarahumara mountain range, Chihuahua, Mexico. Playing, singing and imagining are considered key pedagogic assets, by doing so kids are able to incorporate their own way of being in their daily school activities. Accordingly, this project acknowledges their laughs and jokes as part of the kids learning process, potentiating their intelligence and curiosity, but more important, allowing a cognitive channel where their environment knowledge, themselves and their community realization take a fundamental place in their education.

For more information, including how to support the project, or to get in touch with the research team, please visit our webpage or write an email to us.

This project is opening a new working area for the research team, which explores the links between system thinking and indigenous worldviews for a sustainability education. Research centers, professors or similar projects references or suggestions are sought within our community to explore further collaborations.

Human Behavior Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference

Explore the dynamics of human behavior in the social environments of families, communities, organizations, culture and society including individual and social psychology attending sessions in the Human Behavior thread at the #ISDC16 conference. There are three presentations scheduled in Human Behavior plenary session. Organizational consultant and coach, Alexander Zock will discuss Irrelevance, irrationality and irresponsibility, the three curses of the organizational use of System Dynamics. Laura Black, Associate Professor at Montana State University, will present From situated action to model abstraction—and back again. The plenary, Power and influence: developing a generic political archetype, will be presented by Robert Cavana, Vicky Forgie, Marjan van den Belt, Alvaro Romera, Keming Wang, John Cody, and Chris Browne.

There are three presentations within the parallel session titled “Human Behavior: The Challenge of Performance,” and seven poster presentations in the session titled “Emotions, Learning, and Decision Making.” Titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material, are available in the Draft Program Overview by Thread. The Psychology SIG Annual Meeting has been scheduled in the Human Behavior thread.

Exhibitor Showcase at #ISDC16

Don’t forget we offer exhibitor demonstrations and software users’ group meetings at our annual conference. Discover the latest products and services in System Dynamics when you visit the exhibitor hall this year at the Delft Conference, July 17-21, 2016.

Health Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference

Issues related to health and health care, including health policy, health services research, population health and physiology, will be discussed in the presentations within the Health thread at the #ISDC16 conference. Over twenty presentations in the Health thread are divided into parallel and poster sessions titled: Epidemiology, Population Health, Health Care Delivery, Health Risk Management, Health Systems, Humanitarian Response, and Health Ecology. The following meetings are also on schedule: Biomedical SIG Annual Meeting and the pre-conference Health Policy Special Interest Group Business Meeting.

Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread to see the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, some papers and supporting materials.

Member David Keith Appointed to the Mitsui Career Development Professorship at MIT Sloan

Member David Keith has been appointed to the Mitsui Career Development Professorship at MIT Sloan, starting July 1, 2016. David is an assistant professor in the System Dynamics group at MIT Sloan, where he researches topics including alternative fuel vehicle diffusion and transportation policy, and teaches masters and doctoral classes in system dynamics modeling. Appointment to career development chairs, quoting deputy dean, Prof. Ezra Zuckerman, recognize David’s “accomplishments and future promise as an outstanding scholar and educator.” David completed his PhD in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT in 2012, and is a previous recipient of the Dana Meadows Award from the System Dynamics Society. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to David!

Announcing the Publication of Member Khalid Saeed’s book Towards Sustainable Development

The Kindle edition of Towards Sustainable Development 3rd Edition: Essays on System Analysis of National Policy by Khalid Saeed is now available. The book’s summary describes the work as “a collection of essays on economic development using System Dynamics modeling and computer simulation.” Khalid, a professor of economics and System Dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, would like to acknowledge Raafat Zaini and Raid Zaini for spearheading this project.

Climate Interactive’s Elizabeth Sawin Gives Keynote Honoring Her Mentor, Donella Meadows

On May 19, 2016, at the Leadership Upper Valley Heroes & Leaders event, Elizabeth Sawin gave a keynote speech about her mentor Donella Meadows. Sawin, Co-Director of the Climate Interactive, spoke about learning the process of mentoring from Donella (Dana) Meadows, who was her mentor from 1995-2001.

A blog post by Shanna Edberg on the Climate Interactive’s website features the list of the six traits of mentorship highlighted in Elizabeth Sawin’s speech. “Donella Meadows influenced so much about my life, especially where I live and the work that I do. In reflecting on how it is that she had such a significant impact, I realized that there were six habits and attitudes that she cultivated that made her a powerful influence not just on me, but on hundreds of other people.” The full post can be viewed on the Climate Interactive website.

Ventity Beta

At the System Dynamics conference this summer, we’ll be showing and teaching Vensim’s companion, Ventity.

What’s new and different about Ventity? The really big change from most simulation languages is that we’ve replaced arrays with lists of entities, identified by attributes. This makes for a more natural and data-friendly problem description. Detail becomes a property of entities, not equations, which makes it a lot easier to coordinate and change.

Entities are modular, so they’re easier to reuse and share among teams. Entities can be created and deleted dynamically, so there’s no need to simulate a lot of zeroes for things that haven’t happened yet. Similarly, a list of entity relationships can represent a sparse matrix, so there’s no need to clutter your model with zeroes for project phases that aren’t prerequisites or relationships that don’t exist among people. All this happens in a development environment with modern, interactive charts and windowing.

Two examples:

A consumer products firm would like to model a portfolio of products across many regional markets, distribution channels, brands and package sizes. Not all of the brands are present in each market, and package options differ for each brand. In traditional SD, it takes a lot of data work to standardize things to work with arrays. With entities, it’s easy – we create a Product entity identified by an SKU, with Market, Channel, Brand and Package attributes, and we simply don’t bother to create combinations that don’t exist. Later, when new products launch, we can add them to the model on the fly.

A health care provider would like to understand the diffusion of information about treatments through the social network of doctors. Doctors don’t know every other doctor, but they’re sparsely related through common practices, specialties and patient referrals. We can explore this as a full agent model, or a semi-aggregate model, in which information is well-mixed within organizations.

We’re already working with these models Ventity, and its entity lists are much easier to work with than arrays. We’re now testing time series data input and optimization for model calibration. We expect the next major beta release to include these capabilities, at which point we’ll be able to tackle a wide variety of industrial-strength work. This is exciting, yet we think we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

That said, there are still some things that Vensim is really good at, like extreme speed, advanced algorithms and data connectivity, so we’re continuing its development in parallel. We expect it to continue to be the premiere platform for dynamics for a long time.

For more information, please see the registration request, or visit Ventana Systems UK Forum for discussions on the topic of Ventity beta. Learn more in the video demonstration “Getting Started with Ventity.”

Vensim 6.4 Released

Vensim 6.4 is available for download or purchase in the Vensim store.

Upgrades are easy – just visit Vensim’s website, hit the Download Licensed Software button, and enter your license key information.

  • If your maintenance is current, you can download immediately.
  • If you don’t have a current license, you can extend your maintenance easily – just follow the Upgrade link that will be generated.
  • Can’t find your license? Need other options? No problem – contact sales for help, volume quotes and other information.

PLE is always free for educational use, and the Model Reader is free for redistribution of any model. Click here for the free downloads.

6.4 has a number of upgrades including optimization and sensitivity simulation improvements and data import/export new functionality. It includes some new features, including improved dialogs and new data formats for both import and export. We’ve also made internal changes to support faster simulation, cross-platform compatibility and 64-bit operation.

Systems Planning: The ‘Art of Efficiency’, featuring a New Genre of Scholarly Journals

The initiative: Systems Planning– Systems Planning stems from well-known methodological developments in various fields of knowledge, including System Dynamics and Systems Thinking, Project Management, and Strategic Planning. The initiative can be thought of as a ‘holistic conduct platform’ dedicated to ‘the art of efficiency’. Systems Planning is curated by Anastassios (Tasso) Perdicoulis with the help of a select team of scholars from various fields of knowledge.

Particularity and Links to SD/ST– Systems Planning develops and maintains its own planning methodology (SPM) and modelling language (SPML), both of which focus on three related ‘planning objects’: systems (e.g. city, state, enterprise), processes (e.g. operations, projects), and plans (or policies, or strategies) — i.e. a wider scope than System Dynamics or Systems Thinking. Systems Planning models and simulations are qualitative or ‘manual’, but include mark-up (e.g. elements of the planning problem). A common type of diagrams between SD/ ST and Systems planning are their causal diagrams: causal loop diagrams on one side, and reverse blueprints on the other, with the latter featuring semantic mark-up.

Publication and a new genre of scholarly journals– The exploration, refinement, and dissemination of ideas in Systems Planning are secured by an independent editorial venture, which defends open reviews, exceptional quality (e.g. argument, text, diagrams, typesetting), and steering clear of ‘exploitation’ or ‘underground’ publication models. The publications initiative introduces a new genre of scholarly journals designated as ‘lab journals’ that are workspaces for critical thinking, learning, and creative contribution. All publications are open to authors in the spirit, style, scope, and subject matter of Systems Planning, and also open to bona fide and well-intended contributions and feedback such as peer reviews.

The Energy Transition Game

The Energy Transition Game is a role-playing simulation that allows practicing social and technological transformation challenges from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. In this micro-world where energy is essential to ensure the wellbeing of citizens, you can shape the future of the energy sector. Become an energy producer, energy provider, technology start-up, one of the government departments or civil society organizations and create new solutions for the energy system! Energy prices, cost of change, energy demand, harsh competition and consumer satisfaction – they can all affect the outcomes of your decisions.

Can you navigate through the energy transition to arrive at a better, cleaner, and more equitable future?

Each player takes a different role within a complex energy system. Each role is linked with different decisions and responsibilities leaving a space for players to create their own strategies. In an open game world, all players can freely interact with each other, make agreements, put new policies in place, and come up with creative solutions. This way the game simulates the real-life complexity of the energy transition and also creates an environment where innovations are born.

Are you ready to take on the challenges of the energy system transition?

Learn how to navigate through the challenges of energy transition
Explore transition strategies to new energy sources
Experience and understand the complexity of the system-wide change
Develop skills for effective communication and collaboration
Learn how to foster and integrate both technological and social energy innovations

The workshop is appropriate for professionals in any discipline, but is aimed more directly at those who are in an instructional/academic setting. For full details on this and all SD Workshops, to be held in Delft, please visit the Thursday Workshop Schedule.

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