Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary
Celebrating Our 60th Anniversary
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Member Ellis Ballard Appointed Associate Director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab (January 23, 2017)
Society member Ellis Ballard has accepted a new position as the Associate Director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. Ellis, who received his Masters of Public Health and Masters of Social Work from the Brown School, has taught Community Based System Dynamics and has designed and led group model building workshops. He has also applied these SD approaches in his research and practice involving health equity and human rights issues in low and middle income countries. Founding Director of the Social System Design Lab, Peter Hovmand notes “During his time in the Social System Design Lab, Ellis has made significant contributions to the lab and overall direction, and developed a management style that students, faculty, staff, and community partners have all come to value and enjoy. Ellis brings with him a terrific spirit of positive energy, passion for advancing group model building practice and system dynamics, exceptional management skills, and commitment to social justice.” On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Ellis!
Article Uses System Dynamics to Analyze the Cycle of Fake News (January 23, 2017)
The article “Do you think fake news can be killed with the truth? Think again,” by Sharon Pian Chan and Andre Alfred, which appeared on the website of ART + marketing, used System Dynamics to analyze data regarding fake news. Chan and Alfred note “We decided to combine our engineering and journalism backgrounds to do a deeper dive on how fake news feeds on itself using systems thinking, a tool we have been studying at MIT the past year.” The authors give credit to Society members and MIT System Dynamics Professors, John Sterman and Nelson Repenning for their feedback. The systems map was created using Vensim software. The authors describe this data, reporting “When we add the causal loop diagrams to the stock flow, we can see the relationship between the demand for partisan news sources, Facebook filtering, confirmation bias and how the system feeds on itself to drive the creation of fake news.” The authors seek to explore solutions in their next post and request feedback. Please see the full article for details about the data and for the authors’ contact information.
Member Andrew Jones of Climate Interactive Interview on Public Radio WCQS (January 19, 2017)
On January 12, member and Climate Interactive co-director, Andrew Jones spoke with Jeremy Loeb on Western North Carolina Public Radio WCQS. In the interview, Andrew talks about climate issues in the wake of the election of Donald Trump. In regards to the public’s concerns about what direction the new administration will take on climate change, Andrew says “this could be the thing that rallies people to be much more engaged in something that has always required citizen action.” Loeb also brought up The New York Times digital story which used data provided by the Climate Interactive. The graphic designers used the climate data in an interesting, interactive way that engages people. The fact that there is a growing concern and conversation on climate gives hope. Andrew talks about getting people interested and involved in a movement, as he phrased it in the interview “I see people who are coming together to demand better by pulling together.” To listen to the full interview, please visit the website of WCQS.
Call for 2017 Award Nominations / Cambridge Conference (January 17, 2017)
The 2017 ISDC celebrates six decades of accomplishments and explores the future by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. The Awards Ceremonies of the conference are an opportunity to recognize the achievements of individuals in the field. We invite you to consider nominating a colleague or yourself for outstanding work in the field of System Dynamics. Awards information can be found on the conference website. There you will find nomination criteria, submission due dates and detailed descriptions for each of the following awards: Jay Wright Forrester Award, System Dynamics Application Award, Dana Meadows Award, Lupina Young Researchers Award, and the Barry Richmond Award. We look forward to honoring the award winners of 2017. See you this summer in Cambridge!
Registration is Now Open for the 2017 ISDC! (January 16, 2017)
The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce that registration for the 35th International System Dynamics Conference is now open. Hosted by the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan School of Management, the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 16-20, 2017. We invite you to take part in this 60th anniversary celebration as the 2017 ISDC is expected to be the largest-ever gathering of system dynamicists! Additional events include a pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School (July 12-14) and the PhD Colloquium (July 20th). Join us for an exciting lineup of presentations, workshops, learning opportunities and networking. For details and registration information, please visit the conference website. See a list of 2017 Conference Sponsors.
Blog Article Dedicated to the Memory of Jay W. Forrester (January 13, 2017)
In a recent blog article on the Supply Chain Management Review website, Larry Lapide dedicates his column, an annual update on oil and the supply chain, to the memory of Jay W. Forrester. Lapide writes, “Some managers will know who he was and what he accomplished regarding supply chain management. For others, they should think of the educational “beer game” that they have most likely played. It simulates how a lack of downstream and upstream information causes excess and volatile inventories to be held by trading partners all along a supply chain. Second, regarding oil he was the father of System Dynamics that dealt with using simulation to understand big systems, such as the impact of CO2 emissions on the global environment.” Lapide notes that Jay’s books Urban Dynamics and World Dynamics led to the models that “started the field of global modeling and led to the models we read about today simulating climate changes and supporting the need to limit CO2 emissions by reducing the use of carbon-based energy. Hence, Forrester’s relevance to this oil update.” The full article can be read on the Supply Chain Management Website.
ISDC 2017 Submission News: (January 13, 2017)
The 2017 Conference Program Co-chairs wish you a healthy and productive new year and are looking forward to seeing you at ISDC 2017 this summer, here in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. Whereas the 50th anniversary conference celebrated the achievements of our first half-century, for this 60th anniversary conference we seek to construct a program that points the way to the future by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. We will also celebrate the life of Jay W. Forrester, the founder of the field of System Dynamics, who passed away in November. Stay tuned for details.
Submissions will be accepted from February 2 to March 22. We welcome studies of dynamic phenomena based on qualitative or quantitative field study, laboratory or field experiments, and other data sources and methods. We particularly welcome work that provides new approaches to important theoretical and methodological issues, application areas, modeling practice, pedagogy, empirical methods and integration of different approaches to modeling the dynamics of complex systems. Appropriate contributions could advance methodology, develop a novel theory to explain important dynamic phenomena, test existing theories or show real-world impact. If the work addresses an important issue, takes a dynamic, endogenous perspective, captures the behavioral decision making of the actors in the system, is rigorously grounded in data, and is fully documented and replicable, we welcome it for consideration, no matter what software or modeling formalisms are used.
Whatever your focus, please ensure that your paper meets the high standards for quality we seek in our field. Be sure your paper:
– addresses an important issue,
– appropriately assesses and critically reviews the relevant literature,
– is clearly written,
– clearly presents your model, analysis, and results,
– follows the full documentation standards for the System Dynamics Review, including submittal of the actual model wherever possible,
– and meets the Preferred Model Reporting Requirements.
Finally, please make sure the title of your paper describes the key issue or contribution. IMPORTANT NOTE: please avoid a title such as “Your Title: A System Dynamics Approach” (or similar). Focus your title on the substance of your study, not the method you are using. Full title details can be found at the time of submission on the Paper Information for Submission Page in the Web Portal. For additional information, please contact the Conference Program Co-chairs, John Sterman and Nelson Repenning.
The 2017 PhD Colloquium wants you! (January 12, 2017)
This year’s topic for the PhD Colloquium is ‘Building Capacity’. The format will be brand new this year and will turn the colloquium into a learning environment where students can fully interact with and make use of the knowledge held by the senior system dynamicists who are attending.
This year the colloquium will feature not only the traditional PhD plenaries and posters, but also two new exciting sessions in the format of Open Space and World Café. In addition, the successful Angel Advisor program will return.
Both PhD and Master students are encouraged to submit their work, and the call for student papers is already out and can be found at the colloquium’s brand new Facebook page.
Senior system dynamicists will receive an invitation to participate at this year’s colloquium in a few weeks time. For now, more information about the new events this year can be found at the link above.
See you all in Cambridge!
New Ph.D.: SDS Member Raafat Zaini (January 09, 2017)
Society member Raafat Zaini has successfully defended his dissertation titled “Modeling Manifest and Latent Structures in a University: Understanding Resource and Dissent Dynamics” in the System Dynamics Ph.D. program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Raafat would like to thank his Ph.D. program committee: K. Saeed (chair), M. Elmes, and O. Pavlov, for their support. Raafat’s research interest is in the area of organizational dynamics and innovation sustainability with a focus on R&D organizations and higher education institutions. His current work involves the analysis and dynamic modeling of universities strategies, and investigating the role of dissent in organizational innovation climate. Raafat won the Graduate Innovation Exchange Award for Ph.D. research in social science and business at WPI in 2013 and 2014, and served as the president of WPI System Dynamics club in 2016. While pursuing his Ph.D., Raafat has worked as a researcher at MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center and consulted for the Advance Management Group. Raafat served as a co-chair of the System Dynamics Society business special interest group 2013-15, and is currently a member of the Society’s Policy Council. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Dr. Zaini!
New Ph.D.: SDS Member Saeed Langarudi (January 06, 2017)
Society member Saeed Pourmasoumui Langarudi has successfully defended his dissertation titled “Political Economy of Resource Dependent Nations: A System Dynamics Approach” in the System Dynamics Ph.D. program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Saeed is grateful to his Ph.D. committee: Dr. Michael Radzicki (chair), Dr. Alexander Smith, and Dr. Rajib Mallick, for their support. He would also like to acknowledge valuable comments and feedback he received on his doctoral work from participants of the Collective Learning Meetings at WPI’s System Dynamics Club. His deepest gratitude goes to Professors Khalid Saeed and Isa Bar-On for their incredible support, encouragement, and mentorship. He is also thankful to Professors Homa Katouzian and Ali Mashayekhi for their precious comments and advice. Saeed is now a Post Doctoral Research Scientist at the New Mexico State University’s Department of Animal & Range Sciences. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Dr. Langarudi!
Call for Abstracts: Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) 2017 (January 05, 2017)
Symposium organizers of ABM 2017: Agent-Based Models in the Social, Human-Environment, and Life Sciences, have announced a call for papers. The symposium, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, will be held in San Diego, California, from April 20-22, 2017. The goal of this symposium is to transform the science, technology, and application of agent-based models in the context of social, human-environment, and life sciences. Abstracts of presentations and posters should be submitted by the January 31st deadline. Students, postdocs and assistant professors may apply for an ABM Professional Enhancement Awards to cover expenses related to attending the symposium. Additional details about ABM 2017 and submission guidelines can be found on the symposium website.
Strategy Dynamics Offers New Online Course (January 05, 2017)
Strategy Dynamics is now combining a new instructor led online course on building living business models with their existing strategy dynamics business frameworks course. The course is designed to guide the non-specialist through the process of building working, quantified business models. The course is divided into two parts: Core Structures and Models, and Extension Frameworks and Models. The core frameworks course starts on January 9th. For additional details and registration information, please visit the Strategy Dynamics website.
Journal of Simulation Announces Call for Papers (January 04, 2017)
The Journal of Simulation editors have announced a call for papers for a special issue on System Dynamics. The guest editors for the special issue are Sally Brailsford and Society members Martin Kunc and John Morecroft. In an effort to connect System Dynamic modelling to other simulation methods, the journal is interested in submissions that discuss: mode conceptualization, model development and testing, policy development, and other areas. Please read the call for papers on the Springer website for details. The deadline for submission of papers is March 31st, 2017.
SD Article on Mental Health Intervention (January 04, 2017)
The research article titled “Community based system dynamic as an approach for understanding and acting on messy problems: a case study for global mental health intervention in Afghanistan,” by Society members Ellis Ballard and Peter Hovmand, along with their colleagues Parul Bakhshi and Jean-Francois Trani, was published by BioMed Central in a recent issue of the Conflict and Health journal. The article explores the factors that prevent persons with mental illness from using available health care services. Describing the methods used, the authors stated “We employed community based system dynamics to examine interactions between multiple factors and actors to examine the problem of persistently low service utilization for people with mental illness. Group model building sessions, designed based on a series of scripts and led by three facilitators, took place with NGO staff members in Mazar-I-Sharif in July 2014 and in Kabul in February 2015.” The full article is available on the BioMed Central website.
News from the WPI SD Club
The System Dynamics Club at WPI, founded by Professor Oleg Pavlov, hosts lectures, discussions, games and other social events to promote SD to the community of WPI and Worcester College Consortium. Among these events, is the Collective Learning Meeting (CLM). The CLMs are informal meetings to share work in progress, invite guest speakers on specific topics, or dive deep into “classic” texts or videos (e.g. Jay Forrester’s MIT series or Meadows lectures on games.) The CLMs are held weekly by the WPI SD Club on site and broadcasted online over Google hangout. All are welcome to join or present.
The WPI SD Club has recently announced new leadership: Timothy Clancy (President), Christine Tang (VP), Shia Cao (Treasure). The outgoing team includes: Raafat Zaini (President), Saeed Langarudi (VP), Christine Tang (Treasurer). For more information about the WPI SD Club and the CLMs, please visit their website.
On December 16th, 2016, the WPI SD Club participated in the 33rd System Dynamics Colloquium at the University at Albany. (See photo below.) The Colloquium, with students and faculty from WPI, MIT and UAlbany, provides the attendees with an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with faculty members, students, and practitioners of System Dynamics.
System Thinking Webinar Series Starting in January
Bridgeway Partners announced a six session webinar series titled Systems Thinking Practice. The courses, sponsored by isee systems, will begin on January 20, 2017, with subsequent classes on: February 3rd, March 3rd, March 17th, March 31st and April 14th. The courses will enable you to apply System Thinking principles and tools in real time to a complex problem in your own organization or community. The core text for the program is David Peter Stroh’s book Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide for Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results (Chelsea Green, 2015). For a complete overview of the courses and registration information, please visit the isee systems website.
Student Packs Now Available from isee systems
isee systems has created a new option for student licenses to help with the increasing demand for student access to the software. Similar to university lab packs, the student packs are owned by the university and come with support, but the licenses can be installed directly on a student’s personal computer. Support is included with these licenses and enables the students to download and install the latest versions of the software while they have access to the license. Please visit the isee systems website for details.
New System Dynamics Book in Springer Texts in Business and Economics
System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation, by Bilash Kanti Bala, Fatimah Mohamed Arshad and Kusairi Mohamed, is now available on the Springer website. The book, featuring the essentials of System Dynamics and systems engineering, is useful as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses, and is an excellent reference guide for practitioners and researchers. The summary on the publisher’s website states, “This book covers the broad spectrum of system dynamics methodologies for the modelling and simulation of complex systems: systems thinking, causal diagrams, systems structure of stock and flow diagrams, parameter estimation and tests for confidence building in system dynamics models. It includes a comprehensive review of model validation and policy design and provides a practical presentation of system dynamics modelling. It also offers numerous worked-out examples and case studies in diverse fields using STELLA and VENSIM. The system dynamics methodologies presented here can be applied to nearly all areas of research and planning, and the simulations provided make the complicated issues more easily understandable.” System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation is available in hardcover or as an eBook on the Springer website.
Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah Appointed Full Professor
Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah was appointed a Full Professor of Decision Sciences at the School of Administrative Studies, York University, Canada, in January, 2016. Dr. Hassan has over 18 years of teaching, research, industry, and consulting experience in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Norway, UK, Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Colombia, Switzerland, Spain, and Pakistan. His research interests include dynamic decision making, sustainable energy policies, and System Dynamics modeling. Hassan teaches courses on quantitative methods, operations management, decision analysis, and systems thinking for management in the 21st century. He has received several teaching awards including the ‘Recognition for Excellence in Teaching’ by the School of Administrative Studies for five consecutive years and the 2015 Doctoral Workshop Teaching Award for Excellence by Monarch Business School, Switzerland. Hassan is serving as the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Complexity in Applied Science and Technology, Associate Editor, International Journal of Global Energy Issues, appointed member of the Advisory and Editorial Board of Springer Complexity, USA, and director of board of Swiss Federation of Private Business Schools, Switzerland. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Hassan!
Research Article Explores Inferences of Insider Threat Risk
The journal article “Using dynamic models to support inferences of insider threat risk,” by Elise Axelrad and Paul Sticha, was published in a recent issue of Computational and Mathematical Organizational Theory. In the abstract, the authors explain “Two modeling approaches were integrated to address the problem of predicting the risk of an attack by a particular insider. We present a system dynamics model that incorporates psychological factors including personality, attitude and counterproductive behaviors to simulate the pathway to insider attack. Multiple runs of the model that sampled the population of possible personalities under different conditions resulted in simulated cases representing a wide range of employees of an organization. We then structured a Bayesian belief network to predict attack risk, incorporating important variables from the system dynamics model and learning the conditional probabilities from the simulated cases.” The full article can be accessed on the Springer Link website.
Dynaplan Wins People Analytics Award of Business Supercharger
Dynaplan was announced the winner of the Business Supercharger Award at the People Analytics 2016 conference in London on November 22. With more than 300 delegates representing 220 companies from 30 countries, this annual conference is one of the largest HR analytics events in Europe. In a news article on their website, Dynaplan founder Magne Myrtviet states, “We are proud to have received this award; it reconfirms to us, as well as to our customers, that we are on the right track. Our journey started at the strategic level, where the impact of making the right decisions is the greatest. But the other levels of the maturity pyramid also brings value to workforce management. Dynaplan is continuing its innovative journey, expanding our technology and services into the areas of statistics and benchmarking as well.” Additional details are available in the full article.
Software News from Ventana
The new version of Vensim 6.4E is available for download or purchase in the Vensim store. Some interesting new Vensim 6 features include:
- Significant upgrades to the Help system, including improved indexing and nearly 100 sample models illustrating the use of almost every built-in function
- Native Mac support (licenses are portable across platforms)
- GET DIRECT functions that can access spreadsheets and other delimited data files, like the GET XLS functions without the overhead of launching Excel
- The option of observing integer constraints in the ALLOCATE AVAILABLE function
- Great for managing allocation of discrete items like customers or aircraft
- Enhancements to the document tool and SyntheSim functionality with lookups in large models
- On-the-fly configuration of subscripts (arrays) with the GET DIRECT SUBSCRIPTS or GET ODBC SUBSCRIPTS functions
- Great for matching model detail to your data
- EXCEPT: statements that let you handle exceptions to subscripted equations more easily
Ventana is also on track to release a beta version of 64-bit Vensim this month, available to Vensim Pro and DSS users current with their maintenance. The Vensim team is developing a major revision/upgrade with new capabilities and dramatic improvements for ease of use. One cool feature in the pipeline is Synthesim for sensitivity simulations, exploiting Vensim’s speed to make risk and uncertainty interactive.
For quick turnaround help, visit the Vensim support forum. The forum now has over 2000 successfully answered queries, and also contains the archive of the SD mailing list. Among the many queries posted, a few recent topics include: setting calibration results into the model, reordering a matrix, and sensitivity simulation setup.
The Creative Learning Exchange ST/SD Educator Survey
The Creative Learning Exchange, a collaborative group of experienced systems thinking and System Dynamics practitioners/educators, invites you to participate in a short survey as a part of their research on where and how ST and SD are being used globally in pre-college education. The CLE hopes to collect information about what ST/SD tools you use, how you assess the effectiveness of student learning, and the impact ST/SD has had on your students’ learning. Please complete the survey by December 23, 2016. If you respond by December 16 and include your name and email in the appropriate survey questions, you will receive a 20% off coupon for one purchase at the Creative Learning Exchange!
Climate Interactive Provides Data for The New York Times Digital Story
Society member and co-director of the Climate Interactive, Andrew Jones, has posted a blog article that discusses the data used in The New York Times digital story “How Trump Can Influence Climate Change.” The article, written by Jasmine C. Lee and Adam Pearce, uses models and analysis obtained from the Climate Interactive to illustrate how potential policy changes by a Trump administration would affect the goals of the Paris agreement. Jones’ post explains the analysis and provides references for the data that the Climate Interactive provided for the story. He states, “The data we provided for this story pulls together several analyses from others (particularly LBNL) and some from ourselves (the C-ROADS simulation and Climate Scoreboard analysis).” Read more about the climate related data and the models used in the full blog post.
The EMSD partner universities have announced two additional scholarships for next year’s cohort. Adding to the three Erasmus Mundus scholarships and the 6 EMSD scholarships that were already available, there are now 11 scholarships for non-EU students entering the program. The European Master in System Dynamics is a two year master program that equips students to analyze complex issues in an analytically sound and socially responsible manner. Students learn to use an advanced approach to feedback-rich problems: System Dynamics modelling. Models are built in close collaboration with decision-makers and stakeholders so that their insights are captured and recommendations implemented. The program offers a truly international experience as students from all over the world participate. Semesters are in four different European locations: Bergen (Norway), Lisbon (Portugal), Palermo (Italy) and Nijmegen (the Netherlands). The deadline for applying for scholarships has been extended to January 15, 2017. More information on the program and scholarships can be found on the EMSD website.
Creative Learning Exchange Releases New SD Apps
The Creative Learning Exchange, in collaboration with the Center for Interdisciplinary Excellence in System Dynamics and BTN, has developed four new apps that feature simple System Dynamics models. Based on the models created by Society member Jeff Potash and his colleague John Heinbokel, these fun apps were designed as an educational tool for kids and adults alike. With these apps, you can explore models on population, retirement planning, bacterial growth and inflation on your phone, tablet or Chromebook. Visit the CLE website for access to the free System Dynamics apps.
Members’ Article Published in Resources
An open-access review article regarding SD applications in agriculture and natural resource problems was recently published in the journal Resources. The paper, “System Dynamics Modeling for Agricultural and Natural Resource Management Issues: Review of Some Past Cases and Forecasting Future Roles,” was written by Society members Ben Turner, Hector Menendez, Roger Gates, Luis Tedeschi and Alberto Atzori. The article also cites many other Society members work and introduces System Dynamics to the natural resource disciplines. Read the full article on the MDPI website.
A Memorial Service for Jay W. Forrester
Since Jay’s passing, several obituaries have been published in various newspapers and local university newsletters. Most recently Jay’s obituary was published in The Wall Street Journal, The Bergen Times and The Concord Journal. Please see the web page for Jay to see the full list including links to the obituaries. Information regarding services for Jay is listed in the obituary from The Concord Journal. A memorial service will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street, Concord, Massachusetts.
Announcing the Two New SIGs: Asset Dynamics and Transportation
The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce the official start of two new Special Interest Groups: the Asset Dynamics SIG and the Transportation SIG. The Asset Dynamics SIG promotes and supports the application of System Dynamics for the management of complex technical systems, complex inter- and intra-organizational collaboration, multi actor/stakeholder involvement and long-term interests. If you are interested in joining, please email the Asset Dynamics representatives Michel Kuijer and Arjen Ros. The Transportation SIG supports and promotes the use of System Dynamics within the transportation sector. If you are interested in joining the Transportation SIG, please email the group’s representatives, Simon Shepherd and Enzo Bivona. Websites for each of the new SIGs will be available soon.
Call for Papers for a Special Issue of the Journal Complexity
The web based journal, Complexity is now accepting submissions for their upcoming Special Issue titled “Managing Information Uncertainty and Complexity in Decision-Making,” which will be published in September 2017. Authors are encouraged to submit both original research articles and review articles by April 28, 2017. Complexity is a peer-reviewed journal published by Hindawi as part of a publishing collaboration with John Wiley & Sons. Visit the Hindawi website to access the full Call for Papers and to see the submission guidelines.
University at Albany Students Participate in World Climate Exercise
How do we find pathways to limit temperature change and its effects? 45 students, faculty, and community members from the University at Albany, State University of NY enacted the World Climate Exercise climate negotiation role play, learning about the near-term actions to protect our future world. The System Dynamics Group at UAlbany organized the event, with Eliot Rich as facilitator and Babak Bahaddin as the Secretary-General of the UN. Dr. Rich noted: “This World Climate Exercise was different than others I’ve run. The need for determination and activist-driven optimism has never been greater. The WCE provides both.”
Participants surveyed after the session loved the role play and interactions built into the exercise. Through the debrief, attitudes changed from hopelessness to engagement:
- “I was surprised how much developing countries contributed to global warming.”
- “A moving simulation; Activism and consensus is more important.”
- “I want to work with businesses to help them mitigate climate change; the best part was the learning process at the end.”
- “I will work harder towards my political classes and share this knowledge with friends, family and where I work.”
- “I plan to think more about my daily actions and what I can change.”
Starting next year, the World Climate Exercise will be integrated into the University’s MBA programs through its G3 – Going Green Globally capstone course. The exercise will be used to introduce the entire first year class to the systems perspective on sustainability, bathtub dynamics, feedback, and stakeholder dynamics. As part of their course project, students bring these concepts to bear on sustainability strategies and tactics for local businesses and non-profit agencies.
Climate Conference Yields New Analysis
At the recent UN climate conference in Morocco, an MIT team including Society member John Sterman worked together with the Climate Interactive to discuss issues concerning the Paris agreement. Through the use of models and educational tools, they are helping political leaders, policymakers and the public to see the urgency of emissions cuts, how plans that move past the Paris agreement make an impact and potential problems. The Climate Interactive has released new analysis on the 2050 climate goals of the United States, Canada and Mexico. The full report is posted on the Climate Interactive website.
Member John Sterman Quoted in Live Science Article on Climate Change
In the article “How to Avoid Stephen Hawking’s Dark Prediction for Humanity” published by Live Science, John Sterman responded to a statement made by Stephen Hawking regarding the extinction of humans and the need to colonize other planets. John states “While I respect Stephen Hawking enormously, speculating on how long Homo sapiens will survive before extinction is foolish. Whether we survive and thrive or descend into chaos is not something to predict or lay odds on, but a choice to be made.” John concludes by saying “Anyone who thinks we can solve these problems by colonizing other worlds has been watching too much ‘Star Trek.’ We must learn to live sustainably here, on the one planet we have, and there is no time to lose.” Read more in the full article.
System Dynamics Review Early View
A newly released Early View of the System Dynamics Review features the research article “Estimating the parameters of system dynamics models using indirect inference,” by Society member Hazhir Rahmandad and his colleagues, Mohammad Jalali, Niyousha Hosseinichimeh and Andrea Wittenborn. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.
A Note to the System Dynamics Community
The System Dynamics Society has received a huge response since sharing the news of Jay’s passing on November 16. Members of our community have sent countless emails to the System Dynamics Society office and to date have posted over 100 messages in the comments section on Jay’s page. These kind and thoughtful words illustrate the consummate importance Jay has had in the field of System Dynamics and the mark he has left on the lives of so many. Jay’s legacy will continue into the future as we move forward to promote the field of System Dynamics–this is a collective common thread expressed in the messages and it is an important mission of the Society. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories and encourage you to continue to do so.
The Jay W. Forrester Tribute page
We continue to be touched and grateful for the outpouring of thoughts and remembrances from all “four corners of the earth.”
It is with great sadness that the System Dynamics Society announces that Jay W. Forrester, Professor of Management Emeritus at MIT, has died at the age of 98 on November 16, 2016.
Jay founded what became the field of System Dynamics in 1956 and has had a profound and lasting influence on it throughout its 60-year history. A lifelong innovator, Jay was a pioneer in digital computing and helped create the computer age in which we all live today. Trained in electrical engineering, Jay came to MIT in 1939, where he worked on feedback control servomechanisms during World War II. After the war, Jay directed the MIT Digital Computer Laboratory, where he led the design and construction of Whirlwind I, one of the world’s first high-speed digital computers. He invented and holds the patent for magnetic core memory, the dominant form of random access memory (RAM) for decades (even travelling to the moon with the Apollo astronauts), until it was eventually replaced by semiconductors. Whirlwind became the basis for many innovations, from numerically controlled machine tools to SAGE, the first integrated continental air defense system.
Invited to join the faculty of the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1956, Jay created the field of System Dynamics to apply engineering concepts of feedback systems and digital simulation to understand what he famously called “the counterintuitive behavior of social systems.” His groundbreaking 1961 book, Industrial Dynamics, remains a clear and relevant statement of philosophy and methodology in the field. His later books and his numerous articles broke new ground in our understanding of complex human systems and policy problems. Jay officially retired in 1989, but continued his work unabated, focusing on promoting the use of System Dynamics in K-12 education.
John Morecroft (London Business School) wrote “My life was changed by Jay Forrester. His influence came in two distinct ways, from personal encounters and from the research environment he created as founder and leader of the System Dynamics Group at MIT-Sloan. I spent a decade at MIT, first as a doctoral student and later as a member of faculty at Sloan. So there is much to remember.”
George Richardson, Professor Emeritus at the University at Albany, said “Jay opened a path that gave many of us voices we did not know we had. What a life of towering achievements, to have been crucial to the development of computing in its infancy, and then to show us how to use its power to help us make progress together on seemingly impossible problems. I am profoundly grateful for his presence and influence in my life. ”
Professor John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at MIT and Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group said “Like so many others, I was fortunate to be able to work with and learn from Jay. He constantly challenged us to think deeply, speak plainly, and work on issues that matter, not only to build understanding, but to act. And he always led by example.”
Roberta Spencer, Executive Director of the System Dynamics Society, remembers, “During a conversation Jay said to me ‘figure out a way to have courage.’ Jay said this to everyone—I took it to heart and it changed my life.”
Jay was married for sixty-four years to Susan (Swett) Forrester, who died in 2010. Survivors include one daughter, Judith Forrester of Concord, Massachusetts; two sons, Nathan B. Forrester of Boca Grande, Florida, and Ned C. Forrester of Falmouth, Massachusetts; four grandchildren, Matthew S. Forrester of Arcadia, CA, Julia D. Forrester of Bois, ID, Neil T. Forrester of Torrance, CA, and Katherine J. Forrester of Chicago, IL as well as two great grandchildren Everett Chen Forrester and Faraday Chen Forrester, both of Arcadia, CA.
Please visit the webpage dedicated to Jay and write about how Jay touched your life. A full obituary and funeral arrangement details will be available soon.
Special Editorial by Yaman Barlas Featured in the System Dynamics Review
Yaman Barlas, Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review, delivered an important message in his editorial in the last issue of the SDR. Yaman discusses the challenges involved in increasing the number of papers submitted to the journal. He states “My concern is that there is currently a narrow, almost parochial perception of SDR, due to the confusion of philosophy and principles of System Dynamics with tools and software. My suggestion is simple: System Dynamics belongs to the larger field of “sciences of dynamic systems” and SDR is a natural platform to publish good systemic-dynamic research and applications, regardless of what tools or software they use.” Yaman argues System Dynamics Review will reach its full potential by SD Society members, as well as other dynamical system scientists submitting their best work to SDR. The full editorial is freely accessible through the Wiley Online Library.
BSLab-SYDIC Workshop: Submission Deadline Extended to November 30
The deadline for the submissions to the BSLab-SYDIC Workshop has been extended until November 30, 2016. 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 will take place at Sapienza University of Rome from January 23-24, 2017. Information about the workshop and submission guidelines can be found on the BSLab website.
World Climate Simulation at the University at Albany, November 21, 2016
UAlbany’s School of Business will host the World Climate Exercise on Monday, November 21st, from 5:45 – 9 PM. In this simulation you must face the climate science, engage in the drama and tensions of global politics, test your ambitions against a climate-modeling tool used by actual climate negotiators, and then reflect on how the experience challenges your assumptions about climate action. The event is open to students, faculty and their friends, as well as high school students. Space is limited so register now to join in on a fun, thought-provoking evening! To learn more about the World Climate Simulation, visit the Climate Interactive’s website.
New Job Posting on SDS Career Link
The Climate Service Center Germany, an independent scientific establishment within the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, seeks applicants with research experience in System Dynamic modelling for a PhD position. The focus of the position will be independent research on the integration of social-ecological systems analysis using SD models to guide decision making processes. Please visit the Career Link page of our website to see the full listing.
New Activity in Society’s Special Interest Groups (SIG)
The recent motion to change the name of the Psychology SIG has passed. The name has been changed to Psychology and Human Behavior SIG, reflecting the larger scope covered by this group. If you would like to join Psychology and Human Behavior SIG, please contact the SIG representatives Pascal Gambardella and David Lounsbury.
In other news, the voting process by Policy Council is currently for the creation of two new Special Interest Groups: 1.) Transportation SIG and 2.) Asset Dynamics SIG. More information about these new SIGS, including how to join, will be posted after the voting period.
Two New Job Postings on SDS Career Link
The Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht seeks applicants for a PhD position in the area of “ocean energy pathways.” This position is part of a new Collaborative Research Centre “Energy transfers in the Atmosphere and Ocean” conducted together with partners including the University of Hamburg and Bremen. For the full listing, please visit the Career Link page on our website.
The Climate Service Center Germany, an independent scientific establishment within the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, invites applications for a Scientific Researcher. The position will focus on independent, self-governed research on the integration of climate and climate impact models and socio-economic models, to provide a good basis for decision making processes in the water and agricultural sectors. The full listing is available on the Career Link page on our website.
5th Annual AnyLogic Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, November 16-17, 2016
Next week, on November 16th and 17th, AnyLogic will be hosting a two day conference at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown. The event will feature presentations from leading organizations in the industry, workshops and networking opportunities. Attendees will have the opportunity to see how AnyLogic is being applied across multiple industries and experience innovative ideas for simulation modeling. For more information or to register, visit the AnyLogic website.
Climate Interactive at the UN with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
On November 4, 2016, the Paris Climate Agreement came into legal force, and Society member John Sterman presented the work of Climate Interactive at the United Nations Headquarters. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon chaired a session with leaders from different civil society organizations, and Climate Interactive/MIT were selected as one of a few to speak. John Sterman’s presentation represented not only the work of Climate Interactive/MIT, but also that of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Climate Central, and the Carbon Tracker. John said “I was happy to do so as they each do great work toward our common goal.” Please visit the Climate Interactive webpage to watch the video and see the transcript of his speech, which also includes related links.
An Article on Finding the Optimal Model Complexity
Professor Daniel Peter Loucks explores the topic of simplifying models to meet changing information needs in his November 3rd blog post, “Model complexity – What is the right amount?” In the article, Loucks writes “Modelers of real systems addressing real problems have the job of providing the information needed by those making recommendations or decisions. But those individuals themselves often don’t know what they will need or want until they get what our models give them.” He discusses the relationship between the modeler and the stakeholder, stating “One way to build that level of trust and at the same time help guide modelers in determining just what level of complexity may be most appropriate is to start simple and only add complexity when it is called for.” Loucks supports this point by reviewing two case studies. Read the full article on the Integration and Implementation Insights blog.
BSLab-SYDIC Workshop: Submission Deadline Extended to November 15
The deadline for the submissions to the BSLab-SYDIC Workshop has been extended until November 15, 2016. 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 will take place at Sapienza University of Rome from January 23-24, 2017. Information about the workshop and submission guidelines can be found on the BSLab website.
SD Research Article Explores Work-Family Conflict in the Construction Industry
The research article “System Dynamics Model and Simulation of Employee Work-Family Conflict in the Construction Industry,” by Guangdong Wu, Kaifeng Duan, Jian Zou, Jianlin Yang, and Shiping Wen, has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In the article, the authors explore how work-family conflict effects not only the family life of an employee, but also how the conflict impacts the employee’s job performance. The authors built a model that focuses on the construction industry in particular. In the abstract, they explain “In order to analyze the dynamic evolution of construction industry employee’s work-family conflict between work and family domains, this paper constructs a bi-directional dynamic model framework of work-family conflict by referring to the relevant literature. Consequently, a System Dynamics model of employee’s work-family conflict in the construction industry is established, and a simulation is conducted.” The full paper is available on the MDPI website.
SDS LinkedIn Company Page
On November 10, 2015, the System Dynamics Society activated a LinkedIn Company Page. In the last year, just shy of 1,000 people signed up to follow this page. Thank you to all who are following! We are proud of the page and the interest shown. As we near our one year anniversary, we expect to reach our goal of 1,000 followers, and keep growing! On the System Dynamics Society Company Page, we post news of current happenings in the field of System Dynamics and welcome comments. The Society also has two “Showcase” pages on LinkedIn: The Case Repository and SD Conference. Stay connected, stay informed: follow us on LinkedIn!
Deadline Today: Call for Papers for the Special Issue of the System Dynamics Review
Today, October 31, 2016, is the last day to submit your two page extended abstract for the special issue of the System Dynamics Review. Don’t miss the opportunity to contribute to this special issue commemorating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field! Please see the full call for papers for detailed information. Send questions and abstracts to SD60th@mit.edu. Full papers will be due on May 15, 2017.
Member Özge Karanfil Appointed Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Member Özge Karanfil has received the Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and been appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Global Health and Population Department, starting September 2016. She is currently working on projects that involve chronic and cardiovascular disease modeling for Malaysia and South Korea, obesity in the Middle East, and a systematic review of risk factors for dyslipidemias in Southeast Asia. Özge completed her PhD in System Dynamics Research Group at MIT in 2016, and is a previous recipient of the Dana Meadows Award from the System Dynamics Society. Her PhD dissertation is entitled: “Why Clinical Practice Guidelines Shift Over Time: A Dynamic Model with Application to Prostate Cancer Screening”. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations and good luck to Özge!
Member Shayne Gary’s Article Published in The Accounting Review
The September 2016 issue of the The Accounting Review, features the article “Dynamics Decision Making Using the Balanced Scorecard Framework,” by Society member Shayne Gary, along with his colleagues at UNSW Australia Business School, Kerry Humphreys and Ken Trotman. The article discusses the study of managerial mental models, building on work that Shayne has published previously. As stated in the abstract, “This study examines the effects that two balanced scorecard framework (BSF) elements, causal linkages between strategic objectives (“causal linkages”) and time delay information (“delays”) in a strategy map, have on long-term profit performance in a dynamic decision-making environment.” The full article is available on the American Accounting Association’s website.
New Research Article by Members Published in Group Decision and Negotiation
The Springer Link journal Group Decision and Negotiation recently published the article “Evaluating Facilitated Modelling Processes and Outcomes: An Experiment Comparing a Single and a Multimethod Approach in Group Model Building,” by Hugo Herrera, and Society members Marleen McCardle-Keurentjes and Nuno Videira. In the abstract, the authors compare group model building and the multimethod approach, “We explored the differences between these two modelling approaches in facilitating cognitive change, consensus and commitment by building an experimental research design with real clients, working on their organization’s problem.” The full paper can be accessed by visiting the website of Springer Link.
The Final Day of the XIV CLADS
So far the XIV CLADS has been very 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 pdx.edu) 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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the India Chapter, please visit their web page.
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.
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.
News Archives Previously in 2016