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System Dynamics Society
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The staff at the System Dynamics Society office send our warmest greetings for the holiday season and good wishes for a new year filled with peace and happiness.

The Society office will be operating on reduced hours or closed the weeks of December 22-26 and December 29-January 2.

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Conference


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)

SD Conference

2015, July 19 – 23, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

Cases


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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.
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News

The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings. Please take a look!


Radboud Summer School

At Radboud Summer School this year, Etiënne Rouwette and Andreas Größler will offer a one-week summer school course on Dynamic Business Models (10-14 August 2015). The target audience is novices to System Dynamics with an interest in business applications. The Summer School is intended for both Dutch and international students. The courses will be held at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, one of the leading academic centers of excellence in the Netherlands. EC credits can be earned, but please check with your home university in advance for information about transferring credits. Click here for more information.


Benelux Chapter Conference, 29 January 2015​ in The Hague

The Benelux Chapter announces the conference on System Dynamics Cooperation in Practice with Policy Makers and Social Scientists. The conference is organized by the Benelux Chapter together with PBL and TNO. It will be held in The Hague on 29 January 2015. You are invited to send in abstracts for papers of your System Dynamics related work, proposals for workshops or sessions and proposals for parallel streams. The conference is particularly interested in successful examples of applied System Dynamics research. The theme of the conference is based on the growth of the System Dynamics field in Benelux. Hundreds of students with some degree of System Dynamics knowledge graduate annually from one of the universities. The conference organizers write “But, if we look at policy making, governance and social science, only a small group of SD practitioners are able to integrate these worlds. What are the main reasons for SD not being used to the fullest in other areas? Are problems in social science and policy too complex to model with SD? Or are SD models too complex for policy makers and social scientist to understand? Does a gap exist between what SD has to offer and other areas of research and policy makers demand? And how can we cope with the uncertainty existing in (global) politics? During this conference, we would like to invite everyone interested or active in System Dynamics or related fields – including policy makers and social scientists – to show, discuss and elaborate on how we can aid policy makers and social scientist in their occupation.” To learn more about submission details, due dates, registration, and contact information, please visit the Benelux LinkedIn page or contact Tom Logtens at tom.logtens@tno.nl.


Three Online Introductory System Dynamics Courses for Math and Science Instructors

Starting in the Summer of 2015 the first two of a three introductory course sequence for math and science instructors will be offered online through Portland State University. The graduate-level 3-credit courses include Basic Models, More Advanced Models and Building Original Models from the News. The courses will run for ten weeks over the summer. Instructor Diana Fisher teaches “Environmental Math Modeling” to undergraduate students at Portland State University using System Dynamics and has recently finished teaching a System Dynamics mini-course at the Northwest Math Conference (NWMC) in Portland this past October. For more information on this and other courses, please visit the Courses website.


System Dynamics Society Members David Lane and Elke Husemann awarded OR Society President’s Medal for 2014


Pictured from left to right:
Eileen Munro, David Lane, and Elke Husemann

The winner of the OR Society President’s Medal for 2014, for the submission judged to be best practical, implemented, application of O.R., goes to David Lane (Henley Business School), Eileen Munro (LSE) and Elke Husemann, for “Using Systems Thinking to Undertake a Review of Child Protection in England.” The work formed a central part of ‘the Munro Review’ (Munro, 2010, 2011a, b), a high-profile review of state-managed child protection activities in England, conducted for the Department for Education.

Child protection in England encompasses a wide range of services which aim to secure the safety and welfare of children and young people. This includes, for example, the provision of foster care and adoption services, and support for families. The child protection system is also responsible for the investigation of possible cases of child maltreatment, and intervention in such cases.

Drawing on the field of system dynamics, causal loop diagramming was used to map the sector. Among the evidence used in support of the map were published research, expert interviews, and comments from relevant professions (e.g. health, social work, judiciary). This systems mapping unearthed a prescriptive approach to child protection that contributed to a culture of compliance.

A second phase of work used group model building to examine the functioning of the sector. A group of professionals and experts worked over a number of sessions and created a large and complex systems map of current operations. By considering the causal mechanisms that were in operation, it became apparent that the sector was in the grip of a set of reinforcing effects, or ‘vicious circles’. The map was subsequently used to give structure to the issues the review had to address and ultimately provided an organising framework for the recommendations that were made. Of the 15 recommendations in the report, ten were accepted in full and five were accepted in principle.

Using systems thinking and causal loop diagrams the work addressed a vital area of public policy and it had a major influence on the recommendations of the Munro Review. That influence continues through on-going changes in government policy for child protection. The work was therefore judged a worthy winner of the President’s Medal for 2014.


Bibliography Highlights for December

Sustainability, Recycling and the Throwaway Economy. Here are some articles in the System Dynamics Bibliography about sustainability, recycling and trash: a dilemma we all face in the modern world. Please take a look!

Author Year Title Journal
Sudhir, V., Srinivasan. G. & Muraleedharan, V.R. 1997 Planning for sustainable solid waste management in urban India System Dynamics Review
Ulli-Beer, Silvia, Andersen, D.F. & Richardson, G.P. 2007 Financing a Competitive Recycling Initiative in Switzerland Ecological Economics
Cimren, E., Bassi, A. & Fiksel, J. 2010 T21-Ohio, a System Dynamics Approach to Policy Assessment for Sustainable Development: A Waste to Profit Case Study Sustainability
Elina, D., Bazbauers, G., Berzina, A. & Davidsen, P.I. 2012 System Dynamics Model for Analyszing effects of Eco-Design Policy on Packaging Waste Management System Resources, Conservation and Recycling

India Chapter presents first of one-day seminar series

The System Dynamics Society India Chapter organized the first of a series of one-day seminars on Business Systems Modeling at one of India’s leading universities, the O.P Jindal Business School (JBS) in New Delhi, India. The seminar was conducted by Society members Karan Khosla (EarthSafe Enterprises) with support from Dr. Saroj Koul (Dean of Supply Chain and Logistics at JBS); it was attended by experienced mid-career professionals from across India, studying at various management programmes at the Jindal Business School. The programme’s focus was on building management flight simulators for strategic business planning. Two models were built and analysed: the first model demonstrated how delays in human resource supply chains impact project profitability; the second demonstrated how common marketing strategies for durable products can be captured and explored using a simple diffusion model. The seminars to follow in early 2015 will focus on creating SD based management flight simulators to capture processes related to production, marketing, and accounting. For more information on the India Chapter, and all other System Dynamics Society Chapters, please visit http://chapters.systemdynamics.org/.


News from the Brazilian Chapter: Symposium in São Paulo

The Brazilian Chapter of the Society is promoting a symposium in São Paulo, on December 4, 2014. The event will be held at FEI University Center and will include seven presentations describing applied research and consulting efforts. Guest speakers chiming in via the Web are Kim Warren, Andy Ford and Khalid Saeed. Local presenters: Edmilson Moraes will introduce the method, while Newton Bueno and João Arantes will provide examples of applications initiated in academia, and Rudolf Flunger will describe a consulting project, all of which carried out in Brazil. A closing panel will brainstorm, and address questions from the audience, discussing ways to improve formal training and to grow the client base for using the method and existing applications.


Web-Sim Fishbanks at the Federal University of the State of São Paulo

110 professionals, educators, and students from more than 30 organizations participated in the Web-Sim Fishbanks simulation lab held at the Federal University of the State of São Paulo, on September 12, 2014. The event was organized by João Arantes, of UNIFESP, and facilitated by Jason Jay, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management. It included representatives from Brazil’s Ministry of Environment, State of São Paulo Department of Education, consulting companies, and professors and students from some of the most prestigious universities in Brazil, as well as educators from two local high-schools. The Brazilian Chapter, under the leadership of Marciano Morozowski, promoted the event in partnership with MIT’s Learning Edge.

This link contains more information, photos, and videos, including links to the materials distributed, a follow-up news article published in the Brazilian media, and a bilingual report of the effort involved in putting together this large session successfully.

This simulation lab, and an upcoming SD symposium, on December 4, 2014 (to be hosted by Edmilson Moraes at FEI University Center), are evidence of the growing interest in the method and its applications, following on the footsteps of a first symposium, held in 2004, and two regional conferences, in 2006 and 2011. (We have Pierre Ehrilich, Niraldo Nascimento and Ricardo Chaim, respectively, to thank for these earlier efforts.)


Members are invited speakers at Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference

Allyson Beall, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of the Environment, Washington State University and Peter Hovmand, Director, Social System Design Lab, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis have been invited to speak at the Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference. This conference will be held in early June at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Allyson Beall’s presentation title is “Staying the Course: Collaborative Modeling as an Adaptive Process Over Time” and Peter Hovmand’s will talk about “Community Based System Dynamics: Lessons from the Field.”

The conference is accepting papers, demonstrations and posters on:
• Trans-disciplinary (linked) modeling that involves the integration of knowledge and practice across disciplines,
• Participatory modeling that involves stakeholders from a wide range of sectors in conceptualizing, representing, and managing complex problems, and
• Quantitative systems modeling techniques including, but not limited to, system dynamics modeling, social network analysis, and agent-based modelling.

The Call for Proposals deadline is December 19, 2014. For more information about the invited speakers’ topics and to learn more about the conference, please visit their conference website.


November 14-15, 2014 – Shanghai, China: The second System Dynamics Academic Forum for Postgraduates was hosted by Shanghai University of International Business and Economics in Shanghai, Nov 14-15, 2014. The forum received about 80 papers submitted by postgraduate students and young scholars from more than 15 universities and institutes. 57 of the submitted papers were accepted by the committee after refereeing. This forum brought the present members together for a high-quality two-day conference with two keynote speeches delivered by Professor Xu LI from Fudan University and Professor Enzo Binova from the University of Palermo. After paper presentation and communication in two parallel sessions, where invited eminent scholars in SD area made sublime comments, the awards ceremony was held on the closing ceremony. The forum offered an extensive and in-depth examination into the academics and application of system dynamics.


Member Didier Cumenal appointed Head of Dynamic Systems Group at AFSCET

AFSCET (French Association of Systems Science Cognitive and Technical Cybernetics) represents the French community systemic to the European Union of Systems (UES). It was founded in 1999 by Lucien Mehl, State Councilor, who died in 2005. Today, it is chaired by François Dubois, Full Professor (Applied Mathematics) at the “Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris” and member of the Laboratory of Structural Mechanics and Systems. AFSCET’s mission is to be a place where exchanges may take place with practices and lessons from diverse backgrounds. These exchanges are based on the systemic–the thought process from Information Theory and Cybernetics. Transdisciplinarity, the integration of major societal debates and thinking about the prospective are at the heart of the concerns of AFSCET. The Association invites all members who wish to participate in these discussions and thoughts. Three working groups are currently active:

  • AFSCET Café
  • Modeling of Complex Systems
  • System Dynamics (Think Tank)

“System Dynamics (Think Tank)” group is facilitated by Dr. Didier CUMENAL (Paris Sorbonne Ph.D., former Dean of the Faculty). He regularly publishes research on System Dynamics and is a long-time member of the System Dynamics Society. The primary mission of the group “System Dynamics Thinking” of AFSCET is to reactivate the dynamics systems in France. To this end, we will conduct several actions:

  • Learning the system dynamics (method, tools) to expand the vision of our economic and social environment.
  • Share with managers and academics, experience in system dynamics models.

The Association organizes conferences, workshops, discussions, seminars, devoted to the exploration of theories and systemic practices. It broadcasts all of its work with researchers, professionals and students, by means of the Internet and / or paper publications.


Climate Interactive analysis of the new US-China climate agreement

The United States and China just announced a new climate deal. China President Xi Jinping made the commitment that China would stop its emissions from growing by 2030, and President Obama announced that the United States would emit 26 percent to 28 percent less carbon in 2025 than it did in 2005. The Climate Interactive team analyzed the impact of the new climate agreement between the US and China: Breaking Analysis US China Climate Deal.

It has been picked up so far by the Associated Press and Climate Progress.

One of the advantages of the C-ROADS model is that it runs essentially instantly, so the minute news of the agreement broke, the CI team could begin to analyze the likely impacts on climate change and get the results out to the world in less than 24 hours.

For more on Climate Interactive, including access to the C-ROADS and En-ROADS models so you can try your own scenarios, see www.climateinteractive.org.


European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) study programme

The European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) is a two-year study programme provided by four European universities: Bergen, Lisbon, Palermo and Nijmegen. In this scientifically and practically oriented programme, students are taught two complementary sets of knowledge and skills: analytical modelling and group facilitation.

The deadline for applications of potential students for classes starting end August 2015 in Bergen is 1st December 2014 (at least if you want to apply for a scholarship—without, a later application is possible). Please spread the word! More information: www.emsd.eu.


System Dynamics Review Early View

An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is a “notes and insights” article titled “‘Model’ teaching II: Examples for the early stages” written by George P. Richardson.


The Balaton Group Creates Book List

The Balaton Group, a nonprofit organization founded long ago by Dana and Dennis Meadows and dedicated to promoting sustainability using systems thinking and other methods, has created a page on their website listing the (many!) books written by the members. It’s quite useful and you will find both important System Dynamics works as well as a wide range of works addressing the many dimensions of sustainability, from scholarly research to children’s books. Many thanks to Gillian Martin Mehers and all the Balaton folks who contributed and assembled the list.


Member Christian Erik Kampmann wins Teacher of the Year at Copenhagen Business School

Member Christian Erik Kampmann, who received his PhD in System Dynamics at MIT Sloan, teaches innovation, sustainability and System Dynamics at Copenhagen Business School, the leading business school in Denmark. Christian was awarded Teacher of the Year at the Copenhagen Business School.

Congratulations to Christian on this impressive achievement!


Bibliography Highlights for November

Right wing, left wing? Democracy has been an effective and successful political system from the 5th century BC to today. Is it running into trouble? Here are some articles in the System Dynamics Bibliography about democracy. Please take a look!

Author Year Title Journal
Ilya Prigogine 1986 Science, Civilization and Democracy: Values, systems, structures and affinities Futures
Khalid Saeed 1986 The dynamics of economic growth and political instability in developing countries System Dynamics Review
P.H. Gurian, E. Euel,
D. Everett
1996 An application of Nonlinear Dynamics to the [US] Presidential Nomination Process Behavioral Science
N. C. Georgantzas,
G.D. Contogeorgis
2012 Societal metamorphosis via authentic democracy principles Human Systems Management
K. Hyunjung, R.H. MacDonald, D. Andersen 2013 Simulation and managerial decision making: A double-loop learning framework Public Administration Review
Khalid Saeed, O. Pavlov,
J. Skorinko, A. Smith
2014 Farmers, bandits and soldiers: a generic system for addressing peace agendas System Dynamics Review

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