on Monday, May 30, to observe a national holiday.
2017, July 16 – 20, Cambridge, MA, USA, 60th Anniversary of the field
|Send us your news at email@example.com. The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings.|
There are about 25 presentations grouped under a variety of sessions in the Environment thread at this year’s conference. The session titles are:
- Facilitating Model-based Learning about Human-Environment Interactions
- Local Sustainability in a Global Context
- Meeting Climate Targets
- Ecosystem and Resource Dynamics
- Social-Ecological System Dynamics, and
- Developing Applications in Environmental Systems.
Additionally, the plenary talk titled “The Paris Climate Agreement: Do models matter? What must we now do?” will be presented by John Sterman, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Environmental SIG Annual Meeting is also scheduled, for more information on this special interest group, please send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Environment thread is one of the fourteen threads which will be included in the schedule for the #ISDC16 conference. Presentations under the Environment thread deal with the dynamics of and policy for the environment, including climate change, pollution, environmental regulation, and ecology.
Professor Qifan Wang passed away on May 31, 2016, in Shanghai. Professor Wang attended Tsinghua University in Beijing and taught there for many years. He was a visiting scholar at Sloan School of Management at MIT. Most recently he was a Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai. Qifan played an influential role in the field of System Dynamics in China. He had a long history of service to the System Dynamics Society. Qifan was a Program Co-chair for the 1987 International System Dynamics Conference held in Shanghai and editor of the conference proceedings. He was a Policy Council Member from 1985-1988. Qifan served as President-Elect, President, and Past President of the System Dynamics Society from 2006-2008. In his Presidential Address, Qifan spoke of his memories of meeting Jay Forrester at MIT and how Jay inspired him to devote his career to the development of System Dynamics in China. He was also a founding member and longtime representative of the China Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. We send our deepest sympathy to the family, friends and worldwide colleagues of Qifan Wang. We will remember him fondly.
Have you made plans to attend the System Dynamics Summer School and/or the annual Conference #ISDC16 this summer in Delft, the Netherlands? The 3rd System Dynamics Summer School runs from Wednesday, July 13th through Friday the 15th with an optional social event on the 16th. The PhD Colloquium will be held on Sunday, July 17th. The conference schedule starts on Monday morning, July 18th and concludes on Thursday afternoon, July 22nd.
Looking for a roommate? We have created a Conference Roommate Board on an unlisted LinkedIn page. Only Summer School or Conference participants who request a roommate will be invited to join this LinkedIn conversation where you can connect others who are also looking for a roommate. Please contact the Society office at email@example.com. You can find a list of accommodations on the Conference website. Most of the hotels are in the center of Delft, walking distance from the TU Delft campus conference venue. Sharing a room with another participant is a great way to reduce hotel costs. All arrangements and reservations must be done directly with your hotel of choice. Act now to take advantage of special conference discount rates!
For full detailed information about all the System Dynamics events this July in Delft, please:
visit the Summer School website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org,
visit the PhD Colloquium website or contact email@example.com, and
visit the Conference website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to seeing you in Delft!
The Economics thread is one of the fourteen threads of the plenary presentations at the #ISDC16 conference. Parallel and poster presentations under the Economics thread deal with the understanding of economic dynamics including macroeconomics, microeconomics, trade, business regulation, economic development, economic policy, insurance and risk management.
There are nine parallel presentations grouped under three topics, including: Regional Economics, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics. The ten poster presentations are divided into the topics of Economics, and Banking and Finance. The Economics Chapter Annual Meeting has also been scheduled. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread to see the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, some papers and supporting materials.
we are pleased to share with you the formula for Delft’s success as an ISDC venue. People, location, layout, technology, and sponsors … all very important.
One of the fourteen threads of the plenary presentations at the #ISDC16 conference is the Business thread. Plenary, parallel and poster presentations under the Business thread deal with System Dynamics applications in businesses and organizations including profitability, marketing, competitive dynamics, product launches, project dynamics, and accounting.
The Business plenary session titled “Using System Dynamics on a Large Scale” features three presentations. Susan Howick of University of Strathclyde will talk about “Using System Dynamics with other modelling methods: client benefits and reactions.” Kim Warren, from Strategy Dynamics Ltd, will present “Main-stream System Dynamics.” And, Felicjan Rydzak from Felix Consultancy and Paul Monus from BP will speak about “Implementing strategic insights to transform operations performance in large organizations.”
There are eighteen parallel presentations grouped under six topics, including: Utilities and Energy, Start-Up Firms, Business Organizational, Business Diffusion, Business of Technology and General Business. There are also eighteen poster presentations grouped within the following topics: Competition, Marketing and Brands; Business Investment and Projects; and Technology and Innovation. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread to see the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, some papers and supporting materials.
Two meetings are scheduled in the Business thread: The Business SIG Annual Meeting and the Planning meeting for new ‘Asset Dynamics’ SIG.
NATCOR, a National Taught Course Centre in Operational Research, held its first SD national course for PhD students in the UK on May 9-11, 2016. The two and a half day seminar introduced System Dynamics and its use in operational research and strategic end of operations with a variety of lectures, workshops and discussions of applied research. The seminar was instructed by John Morecroft from London Business School, Brian Dangerfield from Bristol University, and Martin Kunc from Warwick Business School. There were eighteen students from different universities and departments in the UK who attended the course. The principal topics of study were categorized into three parts: Introduction to System Dynamics, System Dynamics and Differential Equations, and Research Application of System Dynamics. The object was for “students to learn enough about System Dynamics to appreciate how it might apply to their own research interests.” Speaking about their experience, one student remarked “I liked the practical sessions which enabled me to understand more of how the method works,” and another student exclaimed “NATCOR is a brilliant idea!”
If you have wanted to include a System Dynamics (SD) model-building component in your course that can include having student teams:
- build small original SD models
- write short technical papers explaining their models
- present their models to the class
this workshop could get you started.
The workshop will include information about:
- SD concepts included in the course
- the sequencing of the SD concepts
- suggestions for assessments
that have been successfully used for a number of years in environmental modeling classes that are 10-weeks in duration.
The workshop is appropriate for professionals in any discipline, but is aimed more directly at those who are in an instructional/academic setting. For full details on this and all SD Workshops, to be held in Delft, please visit the Thursday Workshop Schedule.
The registered students are anxiously awaiting the System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University. The Summer School, titled “Black Swans & Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play,” will take place at the same site as the ISDC, in the Netherlands. The program begins on the morning of Wednesday, July 13 and runs through the evening of Friday, July 15, and includes an optional half-day social activity on Saturday, July 16. We hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity to further explore System Dynamics. Expand your Summer School social network and spread the news—there are lots of outlets!
Member Ali Masoudi is now employed as an Environmental Specialist at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), starting May 2016. At the US BCSD, he will be working on waste, materials and resource efficiency. More specifically, he will be involved in “the US Materials Marketplace” project, a cloud-based platform designed to facilitate cross-industry materials reuse, in different states including Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee and also in Turkey. This is an international project in collaboration with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) under “The Near Zero Waste Program” which aims to mainstream the concept of waste minimization within a circular economy framework. Ali is currently a master’s student in Environmental Science at Yale University and as a research assistant at the Yale Center for Industrial Ecology. He applies System Dynamics to his research on “Low Carbon Cities in the US, China and India.” Ali holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Iran and South Korea, respectively. He is a Certified ISSP Sustainability Associate and a committee chair of Environmental Management and Sustainability at Energy and Environment Division (EED) at American Society for Quality (ASQ). On behalf of the Society, congratulations and good luck to Ali!
Participants of the #ISDC16 can choose from a sequence of related workshops or build their own study plan. Workshops will be offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The schedule for Thursday, now available on our website, features twenty workshops grouped into different threads. The workshops will run in parallel from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and the workshop threads include: Stakeholder Engagement, Learning and Teaching, Methodology, and Business.
The Tentative Workshop Schedule provides links to the abstract of each course, as well as requirements for participants listing what to bring to the workshop, advanced reading suggestions and the level of the workshop. The following workshops are available on Thursday:
- “Getting Started with” workshops include: Vensim, Sysdea, Stella Professional, and Stella Designer.
- Creating Interactive Simulations Online with Forio Epicenter
- Experiential Learning Environments as a Means for Transformation
- Exploring and Managing the Dynamic Behavior of Technical Systems during their Life Cycle
- Feedback Rich Model Construction
- Going further with the Sysdea software
- Hands-on Entity Based System Dynamics with Ventity 1 and Ventity 2.
- Hybrid Modelling and Simulation in Anysim and Python
- Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling for Math and Science Instruction: Online Professional Development Opportunity
- Managing Complexity with Stella Professional
- Masterclass: Agile modeling for fast, effective solutions
- Multi method modeling and simulation with AnyLogic 7
- Optimization & Calibration in Vensim
- Pattern-oriented model testing and validation with Behavior Analysis and Testing Software (BATS)
- System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc)
- System Dynamics Modeling with R
- Teaching Students to Create Original Models in a Ten-Week Course
Modeling Assistance Workshops and the Publishing Assistance Workshop will be held earlier in the week. As the conference approaches, more information will be available; please check the Delft International System Dynamics Conference site frequently for updates!
Climate Interactive is launching a new effort to expand climate change awareness across Africa. With tools that have helped decision-makers and citizens worldwide, Climate Interactive will be supporting people in leading the World Climate Simulation. At these events, people become “climate negotiators” tasked with agreeing on a global climate agreement to limit climate change. In the last year almost 15,000 people have participated in similar simulations worldwide, and for many it has been transformative in increasing their awareness and understanding of the challenge we face.
This effort is launched in partnership with the new Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco and relies on the ongoing partnership Climate Interactive has with MIT Sloan School of Management, UML Climate Change Initiative, and others.
Climate Interactive is hosting trainings for people interesting in facilitating World Climate Simulation events. If you are in the area, please sign up for an upcoming event:
Nairobi, Kenya: May 26-27 – details and registration here
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: June 1 – details and registration here
Cape Town, South Africa: Week of June 6 (exact date TBD) – indicate interest here
Member Travis Franck, Program Director of Climate Interactive states, “The System Dynamics chapters and community have been involved from the beginning, and their efforts are important because they are fundamental to organizing these initial events in Africa. Climate Interactive gives special thanks to the two System Dynamics Chapters, Africa Regional and South Africa, for helping launch this Africa-focused project. The meetings in Nairobi and Cape Town could not be done without the support of fellow system dynamicists and their networks.”
Member Tarek K. A. Hamid’s recently published book, Healthy Bytes, offers a fresh perspective to the management of personal health. It is described on the book’s website as “a novel approach to weight management–wielding the twin innovations of Systems Thinking and information technology in a form that’s accessible to the general reader–with the hope that it would have a profound influence on how ordinary people think about and manage their health and wellbeing.” Additional information is available at www.bookhealthybytes.com. Tarek, a Professor of Systems and Information Sciences at the Naval Postgraduate School, had received the 1994 Forrester Award for his first book.
At 19th Annual Dean’s Awards Reception on May 3, 2016, Assistant Professor Dr. Navid Ghaffarzadegan received the 2016 College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Professor. “The prestigious award was given to those at Assistant Faculty rank with an aptitude for teaching innovation, research, service, and outreach.” After serving as a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT, Navid joined the Industrial Systems Engineering department in 2013 as an assistant professor. Working in the management of systems, Navid specializes in organizational and behavior modeling in complex settings with focus on System Dynamics modeling. The System Dynamics Review journal has featured five of Navid’s fifteen published works. His 2014 paper concerning PhD graduates in science was published in Systems Research and Behavioral Science journal, has been featured in the magazines Discover and Cosmos. He is also recognized for his efforts in securing grants, which total almost $10 million. The full announcement of the award can be seen here. We would also like to note that Navid had previously worked as a graduate assistant for the System Dynamics Society! Congratulations, Navid! The Society wishes you continued success in all you do!
Over 300 submitted papers have been reviewed and bundled into parallel, poster and plenary presentations within fourteen threads. The conference theme is “Black Swans and Black Lies.” The “black swans” part of the conference theme explores how system dynamics modeling can be used to build resilience to shocks and to deal with uncertainty. The “black lies” part, in turn, looks at how appropriate organizational and institutional set-up of modeling projects can support the implementation of policies after the modeling project has ended. Plenary speakers will directly explore the theme from a variety of different angles. Presentations range in topic from the more methodological and technical aspects of dealing with uncertainty, to discussions such as the role of Climate Interactive in the climate policy process, issues within the real estate market, management of supply chain, and investigating ways of ensuring the implementation of policy recommendations from System Dynamics modeling projects.
Parallel and poster sessions include presentations on all threads: Business, Economics, Environment, Health, Human Behavior, Information and Knowledge, Learning and Teaching, Methodology, Operations, Public Policy, Resources, Security, Stakeholder Engagement, and Strategy. Hundreds of students, academics, consultants and professionals from around the world will present their work. Parallel sessions will be scheduled in the morning and afternoon on each day of the conference. Poster presentations will be organized by thread and scheduled at the Monday night Poster Symposium and Light Buffet. Leading up to the conference, for an early preview of what will be scheduled, please visit the System Dynamics Society’s website’s preliminary list of the presentations organized by thread. Please also note that many meetings and other events are also listed; for Chapter meetings, please see the section “Other Sessions.” New this year there will be some workshops scheduled on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in addition to the Thursday Workshop Day. Please check the Delft conference site frequently for updates.
There will be many opportunities to connect with Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGS) at the Delft Conference. Attendee badge ribbons will enable Chapter and SIG members to recognize and connect with one another throughout the conference. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Chapters and SIGs will hold meetings and roundtable events. Specific dates and times will be publicized in the Tentative Schedule in early June. Leading up to the conference watch for E-posters published by Chapters and SIGs, providing information about planned conference activities. Do not miss this chance to broaden your network and get involved with other conference-goers who hail from your geographic area or share your interests.
At the MIT Sloan Excellence in Teaching luncheon on May 9, 2016, member John Sterman was awarded the 2016 Samuel E. Seegal Faculty Prize. The prize is awarded every other year at MIT Sloan School of Management to a professor who “inspires students in pursuing and achieving excellence.” The Samuel M. Seegal Prize Fund was established in 1992 by Mrs. Paula Seegal-Thompson and her family in honor of their father, a member of the Class of 1922. The endowment funds a cash award prize that rotates between the Sloan School and Civil Engineering. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we would like to congratulate John on this prestigious award!
Take advantage of this great opportunity to further explore System Dynamics! There will be a three-day System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University, the same site as the ISDC, in the Netherlands. The Summer School program takes place Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening), plus an optional half-day social activity on Saturday (July 16).
The Summer School will be taught at three different levels: there will be a 3-day “Introduction to System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation,” a 3-day “Intermediate System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation” track, and there will be one or more hands-on streams with advanced topics related to the conference theme about “Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play”
Participants of the introductory stream will be introduced to the System Dynamics approach and will learn to make and use System Dynamics simulation models. Participants of the intermediate stream will acquire skills beyond the introductory level (facilitating GMB sessions, optimization and calibration, formal model analysis, agile SD, etc.) and will be supervised while making and using their own models. In this year’s advanced stream(s), participants will learn the latest computational and group model building methods and techniques for dealing with (big) data and (black) swans, (multiple) actors and (political) power-play, and will learn how to develop and use SD and hybrid simulation models in python.
Classes are instructed by an international group of excellent System Dynamics professors and practitioners. All participants will receive a participation certificate and have the option of taking an exam to receive ECTS Credits.
A new review of Club of Rome’s landmark publication Limits to Growth was published to coincide with the April 19, 2016 launch of the UK government’s newly established All Party Parliamentary Group on the Limits to Growth. The report Limits Revisited, commissioned by the APPG, was written by the University of Surrey’s Professor Tim Jackson and Robin Webster, a freelance environmental science writer. As stated in the press release, “Limits Revisited traces the history of the Club of Rome’s report and dispels some of the myths surrounding it. It assesses the historical accuracy of the report’s projections and unravels the debates it inspired over the intervening decades. No imminent exhaustion of physical resources is in sight; but production peaks for several key resources are likely within a few decades. Beyond that point, resources will be harder to extract and society will have to divert resources away from productive activities. Limits Revisited also draws attention to certain limits which were all but unforeseen in the 1972 report. It highlights in particular the enormous challenge of meeting the 1.50C climate change target established in the Paris Agreement. It also explores the economic and financial challenges of a ‘secular stagnation’.”
Read more in the full publication of Limits Revisited.
The System Dynamics Society has a wonderful list of resources available on the E-Communities page, found in the Activities and Resources section of our website. This web page gives you access to the Society and our community through popular social media links – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. (Follow us on our recently created LinkedIn page!) The E-Communities page also connects you to information within our website, including an introduction to Systems Dynamics and the history of the Society, the SDForum, and links to other websites relevant to System Dynamics and systems thinking. These websites offer a great supplement of knowledge through discussion forums, tutorials, and access to publications, videos, models and simulations. Don’t miss this terrific resource, visit E-Communities today!
Announcing the launch of The Systems Thinker a website containing a completely free library of 800+ System Thinker articles, guides and webinars. The Systems Thinker works to catalyze effective change by expanding the use of systems approaches. This user-friendly site allows you to search articles in the collection or browse through the various categories, topics or sectors. You can also set up a free account to share and save your favorite articles. Visit thesystemsthinker.com to explore this incredible resource.
At the UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference, held on April 14, 2014, Oluwasegun Aluko from the University of Leeds was announced as the winner of the 2016 Student Prize for his paper “A Model for the Evaluation of Transport Safety Policies in Commercial Motorcycle Operation in Nigeria.” The five full paper entries for the student prize were accessed by four criteria: dynamics problem formulation, justified use of system dynamic methodology, model results and implementation and contribution to knowledge. The award announcement notes “Three features of Oluwasegun’s work stood out. Firstly, the range of policy changes that gave insight into how the driver behaviour could be improved. Secondly, the data extraction methods used. Semi-structured interviews with drivers were used in model construction and calibration. Thirdly, the potential transferability of the model to other forms of commercial taxi services across many developing countries where the operational issues are similar.” A copy of his presentation is available on the UK Chapter website.
On April 14, 2016, Chris Spencer was awarded the 2016 Geoff Coyle Medal at the 18th UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference, for his work in developing the Sysdea System Dynamics software. The two outstanding features of the browser-based Sysdea software are the speed with which models can be created and the ease of sharing the models, either finished for review or in co-creation. These features are beneficial not only for teaching, but also practical business applications and even scientific use. The award announcement states “Chris Spencer is highly deserving of the prize and the policy council have no doubt that Geoff Coyle, once recovered from the shock of how easy Sysdea makes System Dynamics, would agree wholeheartedly.”
With courses taught at three levels, the 3rd System Dynamics Summer School offers something for everyone. Registration is now for open for the three-day System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University, the same site as the annual conference, the ISDC, in the Netherlands. Whether you are a newcomer to the field or an experienced practitioner, this Summer School program provides the opportunity to explore System Dynamics while building professional networks.
The Summer School program takes place Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening). On Saturday, July 16 there is an optional half-day social activity. Although summer school participants are not required to attend the conference, it is highly recommended that you also register for the ISDC, participate in the PhD Colloquium and the post-conference workshop day. Taking part in all offered events provides an exceptional experience with superior results.
“Scientists now know the psychology behind your worries about the environment,” an article recently published in The Washington Post, focuses on a study authored by Oberlin College psychologist Paul Thibodeau and his colleague Stephen Lezak. The study that was just published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology finds that those with a tendency to engage in systems thinking – embracing complex, multifaceted causal explanations for phenomena and recognizing the unpredictability of how nature works – tend to value the environment more and to be more concerned about climate change. Thibodeau is quoted in the article, “the idea is that it’s encouraging people to think about longer chains of causality, nuanced aspects of a complex system, and how any behavior in that system can have both intended and unintended consequences, and those can be hard to predict.” The full article can be read here.
We are happy to announce that the tentative Workshop Schedule is now available for the 2016 System Dynamics Conference in Delft, the Netherlands. 40+ hours of all levels of workshops will be offered to enhance your skill set! The date is Thursday, July 21. Customize your Schedule! Begin with three days of pre-conference Summer School; join the PhD Colloquium and other special events on Sunday; attend the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday invited and contributed sessions; then wrap up with the Thursday Workshop day. Optimize your conference experience with a balance of learning and sharing! The Program by Thread will be available on May 13 and the full conference schedule will be available in early June. Please check the conference website for updates as July approaches.
What’s on your conference agenda?
Do you know about the considerable list of professional development opportunities available in Delft? In addition to paper presentations, there are many ways to optimize your conference experience. Create a customized schedule to include any or all of the following:
- Pre-conference Summer School — Immediately preceding the conference, three days of small-group, intensive instruction sessions at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, taught by an international and exemplary team of System Dynamics professors.
- Instructional Workshops and Tutorial Sessions — Hands-on sessions conducted facilitated by leading scholars and practitioners on Thursday, the last day of the conference. Workshops will be offered at all levels.
- Modeling Assistance Workshop — This popular workshop includes two sessions of one-on-one modeling coaching to address your specific modeling questions. Workshop slots are first come, first served. Reserve your spot today by contacting Rod MacDonald.
- Publishing Assistance Workshop — Seeking guidance for navigating the world of publishing? Expert mentors are available to meet with you to discuss your next steps to publication. Contact George P. Richardson in advance to schedule your session.
- Continuing Professional Education for Certified Public Accountants — The System Dynamics Society is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. .CPA participants can earn up to 24 credits in Specialized Knowledge and Applications, Economics, Business Management & Organization, Computer Science and Mathematics.
Multisolving is the implementation of strategies that improve health, well-being, social justice and resilience which, in turn, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate. Walkable neighborhoods, for example, can reduce pollution from cars, improve people’s health, and revitalize and connect communities. Climate Interactive encourages the use of FLOWER (the
Framework for Long-term, Whole-system, Equity Based Reflection), a visual framework for multisolving that provides users a diagram of the six common types of co-benefits of actions to protect the climate: benefits to health, well-being, and safety; energy industry and mobility; food and water; jobs and assets; resilience to extreme events; and connection to the environment and human communities. Learn more about FLOWER and multisolving here.
On Friday, April 22nd, System Dynamics graduate students and faculties gathered at the beautiful campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to present their SD-related research and receive feedback from the experts in the field. This System Dynamics Colloquium, which was the 32nd of the series, provided an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with faculty members, students, and practitioners of the field. Attendees enjoyed eleven presentations from WPI, MIT, Binghamton University, Harvard, Purdue University, and UAlbany. Topics ranged from competitive dynamics to the latest developments in leveraging XMILE standard. Working models presented had boundaries as expansive as a national economy or national water resource management to as focused a boundary as optimizing urban mobility and understanding the Lyme disease outbreak in the New England.
In his remarks, Professor Khalid Saeed reflected on the origins of the Colloquium as a “brown bag lunch discussion” at MIT on Fridays and how Professor David Andersen helped shape and guide those events to their current form of a Colloquium over time. He spoke of the benefit of informal, non-evaluated, collaboration such as the Colloquium. He encouraged students to organize their own informal learning meetings, citing the WPI SD Club’s weekly Collective Learning Meeting, often recorded and broadcasted live, as just one possible example.
The event concluded with a great dinner reception at a local restaurant where the guests enjoyed socializing with their friends and colleagues, not to mention a delicious meal as well!
The next System Dynamics Colloquium will be scheduled by students of University at Albany in the fall of 2016.
On Friday, Etienne Rouwette will give his inaugural speech as the newly appointed Chair, Research and Intervention Methodology, at Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University. His lecture will talk about when there is an issue that is more important, the more likely it is that a group of people is responsible for decision making. It’s surprising then to realize that discussing issues in groups has not fundamentally changed over the last centuries. Nowadays we have access to a huge amount of information, more and more stakeholders want to have a voice and complex challenges are all around us. And yet a meeting is still a group of people who talk to one another. It is time to bring the meeting into the 21st century and this lecture tells you how. In particular for complex, messy problems issues it is difficult to obtain an overview and to find a solution that is supported by all stakeholders. Some stakeholders are already in the solution mode: if only everyone would implement the plan that we have come up with, the problem would be solved. Approaches such as these are likely to lead to a deadlock and increased frustration. What works better is to ask each stakeholder for their opinions and to combine these in a coherent view of the issue at hand. For this we need an approach to structure information, so that we increase insight into the relationships between ideas and arrive at a shared understanding. Solutions that are based on this approach do work and will be implemented. This lecture deals with methods that create progress in messy problems.
Etiënne Rouwette is Professor of Research and Intervention Methodology at the Nijmegen School of Management. He focuses on supporting group decision making, using methods such as System Dynamics and group model building, scenario analysis and electronic meeting systems. He is particularly interested in the effect of these methods on communication, attitudes and the behaviour of participants.
CC Modeling Systems is offering summer online modeling courses, starting June 13, 2016, for math and science teachers who would like to incorporate System Dynamics modeling in their curriculum. The three sequential ten week courses will provide participants with model-building activities that they can use, or modify, for their students (ages 15 to 20 or older). Registration is currently being accepted for Course 1 and Course 2. The cost of the course is $570 without credit and $750 with 3 graduate credits awarded by the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Portland State University. For more information contact Diana Fisher at email@example.com or visit the CC Modeling Systems website.
On April 26, 2016, International Journal for Equity in Health published the study “Dynamics of sustained use and abandonment of clean cooking systems: study protocol for community-based system dynamics modeling,” the work of member Gautam N. Yadama, along with colleagues Praveen Kumar and Nishesh Chalise. As stated in the abstract, “More than 3 billion of the world’s population are affected by household air pollution from relying on unprocessed solid fuels for heating and cooking. Household air pollution is harmful to human health, climate, and environment. Sustained uptake and use of cleaner cooking technologies and fuels are proposed as solutions to this problem. In this paper, we present our study protocol aimed at understanding multiple interacting feedback mechanisms involved in the dynamic behavior between social, ecological, and technological systems driving sustained use or abandonment of cleaner cooking technologies among the rural poor in India.” Read more about this study in the International Journal for Equity in Health.
Past Conference Proceedings give you access to all the papers, workshops and other materials presented at previous System Dynamics Conferences. You can find the link to Past Conference Proceedings in the Activities and Resources section of the website. With conferences spanning from 2015 to 1983, and including early System Dynamics Research Conferences from 1981 and 1976, the information available is unsurpassed.
Here’s what one of our members has to say about this valuable resource: “I recommend the past Society conference proceedings to my students to have a first look at what was modelled and simulated before by others. It is a great source to figure out who has been working on what, why, when and how.” -Erik Pruyt, Assistant Professor of System Dynamics and Policy Analysis at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology, currently serving the System Dynamics Society as VP of Meetings.
On Thursday, April 28 from noon to 1 PM EDT, the Business Special Interest Group of the System Dynamics Society will host their latest webinar “Dynamic Healthcare Models- accelerating diffusion and adoption” with guest presenter Jim Rogers of Advance Management Group. Jim, who has been consulting with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota since 1997, will discuss the use of System Dynamics models to improve patients’ quality of life while lowering the cost of care, using SD models for current research and insights for action, and drafting a framework towards model-informed, personalized care.
The Creative Learning Exchange invites you to attend their 12th Biennial Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 Education in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The event will be held at the Babson Executive Conference Center from June 25-27, 2016, with an Introductory Workshop on Friday, June 24.
The CLE Conference will offer sessions that focus on skill refinement and development and other sessions will be held that give the opportunity to view how technology has been integrated using a Systems Approach, and how educators have used Systems Thinking in their curriculum. Keynotes will be given by: John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at MIT; Peter Hovmand with Megan Odenthal from the Brown School of Social Work and the Ritnour School System; and Brad Morrison, Associate Professor of Management at Brandeis University, with Tracy Benson, President of the Systems Thinking in Schools Group from the Waters Foundation.
Don’t miss this excellent opportunity, visit the CLE website to register today!
You may have noticed the new look to the System Dynamics Society’s website. The headers that appear on the homepage feature the logos and identities of some of our generous Society sponsors. You can visit the website and watch the distinctive headers scroll by, or view all of them—they are conveniently located below the full list of sponsors that appears on our website, click here and then scroll down to see the image! It is our great pleasure to share sponsor information.
Gary Hirsch will present “The ReThink Health Model: Supporting Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration in Local Communities,” and Krystyna Stave will present “Exploring the Nature of Insight in Participatory System Dynamics Modeling.” Other presentations include the titles “Biases, Beliefs and Values in Participatory Modeling and Citizen Science” and “Unity over Discipline: Tales from the Borderlands of Two Cultures.” For more information about the conference, visit the ICM website. Early bird conference rates end soon: Register by May 2nd, 2016. The conference dates are June 14-15, 2016.
Again this year a Model Expo will be held at the Aula Conference Center at Delft University. Authors who are presenting model-based work will have an opportunity to show their model to others and let them interact with it. Participants have the opportunity to showcase their model-based work at this fun and perennially popular event. The open atmosphere of this exhibition allows for demonstration and feedback.
Presentations will be on a laptop, tablet computer, or smartphone with the model loaded, or cellular connectivity (wireless will be available). Please see the conference website for further details.
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity! The 3rd System Dynamics Summer School, titled “Black Swans & Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play,” is a three-day international Summer School hosted at the same venue as the annual conference, the ISDC, Delft University in the Netherlands.
Where do you fit in? The summer school will offer three levels for different target audiences:
Relative newcomers to the System Dynamics field who want to quickly acquire the necessary basic/intermediate System Dynamics modeling skills to get started and/or need good advice/supervision to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. After this basic course, participants will be able to make and use their own System Dynamics models and will know which common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.
Those in need of project supervision and additional supervision (e.g. regarding their PhD research) will be supervised by experienced supervisors.
System dynamicists or students in System Dynamics who want to take advanced topics (exploratory SD modeling and analysis, deep uncertainty, data rich simulation, collaborative modeling) and/or are in need of supervision regarding their SD research (PhD or otherwise).
The program takes place from Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening), with the option of a half-day social activity on Saturday, July 16.
The article “Paris Agreement Pledges Must Be Strengthened in Next Few Years to Limit Warming to 2°C,” released on April 20, 2016, details the new analysis of the Climate Scoreboard, a project lead by John Sterman of MIT Sloan and Andrew Jones and Ellie Johnston of Climate Interactive. In the article, Dr. John Sterman stated “Paris is a major step. But the current pledges defer the emissions reductions needed to keep warming below 2°C until after 2030. By then, substantial additional fossil fuel infrastructure would be built, only to become stranded assets after 2030 at great cost to the companies that built them and the citizens of the nations who financed them.” Information on the computer simulation used by the Climate Scoreboard is available for public use at www.climateinteractive.org/tools/scoreboard/.
We are happy to share the news that member Chris Browne has recently passed the examination of his PhD dissertation! Chris is Lecturer and Tuckwell Fellow at the Research School of Engineering, Australian National University. Chris gratefully acknowledges those individuals and organizations in the System Dynamics community who contributed to and supported him in the development of his PhD thesis, titled “A Double-Loop Learning Approach to Construct Understanding of Accumulation Principles.” Congratulations and best wishes on a successful future, Dr. Browne!
The March 2016 issue of Technological Forecasting and Social Change: An International Journal features the research article titled “A system dynamics based market agent model simulating future powertrain technology transition: Scenarios in the EU light duty vehicle road transport sector.” This study is the work of System Dynamics Society members, Lee Jones and Andrew Hill, and their colleagues Guzay Pasaoglu, Gillian Harrison, Alexandre Beaudet, and Christian Thiel.
The highlights of this research include: “simulation model to analyze the trends in the EU passenger road transport sector, analysis of technology transition in the EU passenger road transport, understanding of the market dynamics of the future EU road transport sector, modelling and analysis of interactions between agents in the EU road transport, and scenarios to explore how alternative power-trains may replace conventional vehicles.”
Many thanks to Rogelio Oliva, the outgoing Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Since the first issue in 1985, Rogelio was the fifth Executive Editor. The other four previous editors were Eric F. Wolstenholme, George P. Richardson, Graham W. Winch, and Brian Dangerfield. Their expertise and service has been greatly appreciated.
The Society would like to welcome Yaman Barlas as the new Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Yaman’s editorship began in January 2016, with Volume 32, issue number 1. Yaman invites members of the Society to submit their best research and application papers to the Review.
Now in the 32nd year of publication, topics of peer-reviewed articles have ranged from “Aggregation in System Dynamics” (R. Joel Rahn. System Dynamics Review 1, no. 1 (1985)) to “‘The potential of learning from erroneous models” (Frances M. Wijnen, Yvonne G. Mulder, Stephen M. Alessi and Lars Bollen. System Dynamics Review 31, no. 3-4 (2015)).
An all-inclusive list of articles published in the System Dynamics Review and a complete list of all members of the editorial board may be found on the Society website.
Congratulations and welcome to Yaman!
The newly created Agriculture and Food (A&F) SIG will serve as a focal point for food systems researchers in the System Dynamics community. Albreto Stanislao Atzori and Stefano Armenia, leaders of the A&F SIG and representatives to the Society, envision this SIG to attract interest not only from those in the field of agricultural sciences, but also in a broad range of disciplines, including such areas as food science, rural sociology, veterinary sciences, plant pathology, environmental engineering, public policy, biology and urban planning.
Their proposal states “The dynamics of food systems often have important impacts on the well-being of agriculture producers and consumers, the environment and nutritional outcomes. Given their importance, food systems have been the focus of many policy initiatives, including farm-level support policies, environmental regulations, food safety requirements and price interventions…The proposed SIG will focus on food systems as integrated dynamic systems in which economic, social and biophysical are important elements to enhance our understanding and management.”
Information on joining the Agriculture and Food Special Interest Group will be available on our website shortly.
The System Dynamics Society Policy Council has approved a motion to add a new office in 2017, Vice President K-12 Education. The Vice President K-12 Education will be responsible for matters related to the use of System Dynamics in pre-college education, working to promote and support the use of System Dynamics. The Vice President K-12 Education will also assist pre-college educators with the adoption and development of programs based systems, encourage activities and events to assist pre-college educators, and foster effective communication and cooperation with other organizations contributing to the development of System Dynamics in pre-college education. For information on Policy Council and other governance matters, please visit the Society’s Governance page.
The April 14, 2016 post on Online Publishing Insider, “Of Wolves And Sheep,” by Paolo Gaudiano, discusses the well-known predator-prey Systems Dynamics model. The population dynamics model simulates the relationship between wolves and sheep being the only two animals in existence. The article states “One troubling aspect of predator-prey models is that, in many cases, they are unstable: Under most conditions the populations exhibit feast-to-famine swings, until at some point either the last wolf dies, leading to an explosion in the sheep population, or the wolves eat all the sheep and then they too become extinct, having annihilated their food supply.” Gaudiano talks about the current situation of the growing population and “careless” consumption of resources. The author relates the predator-prey model to another situation, “the Internet was like an immense field. Internet users, like our peaceful sheep, grazed on information: the digital equivalent of nutritious grass…” In conclusion, he writes “Unless greed is put in check, oscillations will continue until eventually one or more of these populations will drive themselves to extinction.”
On May 3, 2016, students from the Lee Kuan Yew School and other NUS (National University of Singapore) programs will present their original model-based public policy oriented projects. The event recognizes the students’ achievements in the challenging class titled “Dynamic Modeling of Public Policy Systems” instructed by John Richardson. The presentations will take place from 1-3 p.m. in Lecture Hall 3-1, in the Manasseh Meyer Building, on the Bukit Timah campus. All are welcome to attend.
Eleven presentations will be given in four subject-matter areas; Health Care Dynamics, Economic Dynamics, Population Dynamics and Political Dynamics. Final projects, oral and written, provide class members with the opportunity to demonstrate the level of mastery they have attained. They are expected to define a policy relevant problem and craft a dynamic computer simulation model of that problem using the Vensim graphical user interface software. After rigorous validity and robustness testing, the model is used to diagnose the problem and point to accessible and compelling policy recommendations.
The Society is pleased to announce that the October/December issue of System Dynamics Review is now available on the Wiley Online Library. This issue features the research articles “Cows, agency, and the significance of operational thinking” (pages 183-219) by Camilo Olaya; “On generating and exploring the behavior space of complex models” (pages 220-249) by Erik Pruyt and Tushith Islam; and “The potential of learning from erroneous models: comparing three types of model instruction” (page 250-270) by Frances M. Wijnen, Yvonne G. Mulder, Stephen M. Alessi and Lars Bollen. In addition, this issue includes the “notes and insights” article “Maintaining stock and flow: a constructive alignment approach to training system dynamicists” (pages 271-283) by Albert Munoz and Matthew Pepper.
Member John Richardson Conducts Public Lecture, Singapore, April 22, 2016
Member John Richardson will be giving a public lecture to the Graduate Seminar in Defense Technology and Systems of the National University of Singapore’s Temasek Defense Systems Institute. The seminar, titled “Messages from ‘Global Models’ About Interdependence, Sustainable Development and the Future of Our Human Species,” will be held on April 22, 2016.
John is a Visiting Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Residential College 4, and an Honorary Fellow at Temasek Defence Systems Institute at National University of Singapore. In this seminar he will discuss the models that target exponential growth in population, economic output, consumption of natural resources and pollution as global-scale threats.
Have You Reserved Your Spot for SD Summer School?
The three-day pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School is scheduled for July 13-15th at the Delft University of Technology; there is a spot for you:
- MA, MSc, PhD students interested in, but new to, the SD method who want to learn basic/intermediate modeling skills;
- PhD students in SD at the start of their PhD process who need to learn basic/intermediate modeling skills and need advice;
- Policy analysts and Systems Thinkers who want to add System Dynamics to their methodological toolbox;
- Managers and policymakers who want to learn System Dynamics in order to be able to deal with dynamically complex issues;
- Professors/teachers who want to start teaching System Dynamics and need inspiration and coaching.
In combination with the PhD Colloquium, the three-day International System Dynamics Conference, and post-conference workshops, there are unparalleled opportunities available in Delft for networking, learning and skills-building.
This is also an exceptional opportunity for instruction and professional development at the intermediate to advanced level:
- MA, MSc and Self-study students in System Dynamics who want to take advanced topics in System Dynamics;
- PhD students in System Dynamics who are about halfway through their PhD process, want to take advanced topics, and/or need advanced supervision;
- SD Practitioners who would like to learn new/advanced System Dynamics skills and discuss their work with experienced supervisors.
Instruction will be delivered at all levels by an international team of distinguished System Dynamics professors and practitioners. Make this opportunity happen!
What’s happening within the Society’s Chapters?
The Chapters of the System Dynamics Society, have postings of various events and news throughout the year. Here are some of the latest occurrences:
- In January, the Africa Regional Chapter held an international Workshop of System Dynamics and Data Analytics.
- As the Call for Papers has come to a close, the Student Chapter is preparing for the PhD Colloquium to be held July 17, 2016 in Delft as part of the #ISDC16.
- The UK Chapter will host its 18th Annual Conference, themed System Dynamics for Developing Strategy in the Real World, in London, April 14-15, 2016.
- The Italian Chapter announces the International Workshop on Computational Economics and Econometrics, to be held on June 30- July 1, 2016, in Rome.
- The South African Chapter’s 4th Annual System Dynamics Conference will be held on November 17-18, 2016 in Stellenbosch.
To learn more about these events, to stay in tune with the latest news, and to join please visit the Chapters’ website. Joining a Chapter is a great way to unite with fellow System Dynamicists.
New Publication by Members John Lyneis and John Sterman
The MIT Sloan School Management Review, Big Idea: Sustainability Blog recently posted the article on green buildings and System Dynamics titled “The MIT Sloan School found that when you crunch the numbers, you can’t afford not to.” This post highlights work done by members John Lyneis and John Sterman in a new paper in the journal Academy of Management Discoveries: “How to Save a Leaky Ship: Capability Traps and the Failure of Win-Win Investments in Sustainability and Social Responsibility.”
The full paper, documenting the project was presented in July 2015 at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. It is available with a video abstract and a link to a simple simulator of the capability trap.
Member J. Chris White Named President of pmBLOX, Inc.
Member J. Chris White has been named the President of pmBLOX, Inc. pmBLOX is a commercially available project planning and management tool that has System Dynamics modeling and simulation as its foundation. A book has recently been published by Chris and fellow member Robert Sholtes on the Dynamic Progress Method (DPM), the underlying approach used in pmBLOX. DPM offers a major innovation over the current Critical Path Method used in other project management tools. Chris is also President of ViaSim Solutions, the company that originally created pmBLOX through the Department of Defense Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program with DARPA. pmBLOX, Inc. is now the commercial retailer of pmBLOX. pmBLOX, Inc. has also been accepted into the 2016 class of Tech Wildcatters, the #5 technology/business incubator in the U.S. based in Dallas, TX. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Chris! We wish you the best of luck in your new position.
Spring 2016 Issue of The Exchange is Now Available Online
The Spring 2016 issue of The Exchange features various articles about educators engaging young students in System Dynamics modeling, including “Building the Behind Closed Gates Model,” an activity created by Anne LaVigne. This model building activity explores the situations of power and control based on an experiment about prison environment that was conducted at Stanford University. Also featured is “Among the Hidden,” Gail Falewicz’s summary of her 5th grade Critical Thinking and Reading class, and a reflection of the successful DynamiQueST 2016, which was held this past March at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Read more on these topics by visiting the Creative Learning Exchange website.
Important announcements included in this issue:
- The Systems Thinking & Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 Education from June 25-27th in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
- Camp Snowball, the hands-on, five-day professional development program for teachers, school administrators and students, scheduled for July 11-15 in Sacramento, California.
- LAUNCH: Modeling the Environment, August 8 – 12, 2016 at WPI Campus, a learning and research opportunity for 9th and 10th grade students.
Meet the 2017 Policy Council Candidates
There are nine Policy Council seats to be filled for 2017. Get to know the candidates – learn their names, see their photographs and read their bio-sketches. Ignacio Martínez-Moyano will become President Elect in 2017. He is a member of the Society Program Oversight Committee, has served on the Policy Council of the Society and as the Program Co-Chair for the 31st International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. Stefano Armenia, currently the President of System Dynamics Italian Chapter, is the candidate for VP Chapter Activities. David Andersen, VP Finance and Bradley Morrison, Secretary are both currently serving and are on the slate as reappointed candidates. The four candidates for Policy Council Members are Nancy Hayden, Florian Kapmeier, John Pastor Ansah, and Nuno Videira. In addition, it is proposed that existing PC Member Elke Husemann (2014-2016) be appointed for an additional, partial one-year term for 2017 to fill opening created by appointment of VP Chapter Activities: Stefano Armenia whose original Policy Council Member term was 2015-2017.
The Nominating Committee and Policy Council are pleased to present these leaders who share the vision for a prosperous System Dynamics Society.
The ‘2016a’ version of the System Dynamics Bibliography has been uploaded. There are four different formats to choose from for download.
The items most recently added to the Bibliography appear on the Bibliographic Updates page. New references are added to the Updates page and remain there for easy access to ‘what is new’ in the Bibliography. Items are listed with the most recent addition at the top of the list. For references other than journal articles take a look at the ‘Updated Information’ at the bottom of the page.
The 2016a version of the Bibliography contains 11,353 items. References include 2,540 journal articles, 6,711 conference papers, 424 books, 464 book sections, 123 edited books, and 4 e-books. As you can see, there are a many resources in the Bibliography.
If you have a System Dynamics or systems thinking article, book, discussion paper, or other reference item for our Bibliography, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basic, Intermediate, and Advance Courses at System Dynamics Summer School–Earn ECTS Credits
All participants at the three-day System Dynamics Summer School will receive a certificate of participation and will have the option to earn ECTS credits. Participants are required to choose a level (basic, intermediate or advanced) and supply a “learning objective” statement to be appropriately assigned to groups and professors. The basic course will cover modeling skills to get started and how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. The intermediate course will offer supervision regarding research and further modeling skills.
The proposed ingredients for the advanced course include:
- pySD with a focus on data handling and extending SD models with more advanced functions/structures/etc.
- Modeling and Simulation under Deep Uncertainty (exploratory SD including the use of machine learning algorithms to make sense of large ensembles of outcomes).
- Hybrid SD-AB modeling with the necessary scripting to make that happen.
- Advanced Group Model Building
System Dynamics Summer School 2016 will focus specifically on approaches for dealing with uncertainty (grey and black swans) and for dealing with actors in participatory and political processes. An international group of System Dynamics professors will instruct classes grouped into the three different levels.
For more information on earning ECTS credits please visit our website. Detailed information about the Summer School and registration is available on the Summer School website. Contact email@example.com for more information.
News Archives Previously in 2016