The System Dynamics Society is open to all individuals. Membership includes a subscription to The System Dynamics Review. It is simple to become a member.
The Society’s annual international conference is held alternately in North America and Europe, with occasional appearances in Asia and the Pacific Rim. These conferences, and the meetings of local chapters and interest groups… (read on)
The System Dynamics Case Repository is a collection of consulting projects since 1990 that have used System Dynamics as their primary methodology. A capsule summary of each case is provided, and many have links to full articles. Submit your own — help us build this important resource for the SD community!
About the Society
The System Dynamics Society is an international, nonprofit organization devoted to encouraging the development and use of System Dynamics and systems thinking around the world. With members in seventy countries, the Society provides a forum in which researchers, educators, consultants, and practitioners in the corporate and public sectors interact to introduce newcomers to the field, keep abreast of current developments, and build on each other’s work.
What is System Dynamics?
The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings. Please take a look!
Member Tiru Arthanari Awarded the 2014 International Anassilaos Prize “Renato Calapso”
Every year the CULTURAL ASSOCIATION ANASSILAOS, through a panel of judges made up of distinguished representatives of the sciences and arts on both the Italian and European levels, confers awards on individuals or groups/institutions that have made outstanding contributions in the fields of the Arts, Culture, Economics and the Sciences. The award list has been expanded to include the John Paul II Peace Award. This year the prize, which was instituted in honour of the twentieth-century Italian geometer Renato Calapso, has been awarded to System Dynamics Society member Tiru Arthanari. The award is in recognition of Tiru’s contributions to combinatorial optimization, constrained optimization formulations of statistical problems, and mathematical modelling of many practical problems including that of modelling co-opetition among New Zealand growers. The award ceremony will be held on Saturday November 8, 2014 in Reggio Calabria, Italy at the Auditorium “Nicola Calipari” of the Palace of Consiglio Regionale della Calabria, at the presence of the highest Representatives of Italian Republic and under their official patronage. Congratulations Tiru on this award!
New issue of System Dynamics Review Available
The latest issue of System Dynamics Review is available on Wiley Online Library. This issue of System Dynamics Review includes research articles “Do markets mitigate misperceptions of feedback? (pages 123–160)” by Christian Erik Kampmann and John D. Sterman, “Managerial influence on the diffusion of innovations within intra-organizational networks (pages 161–185)” by Philipp Wunderlich, Andreas Größler, Nicole Zimmermann, and Jac A. M. Vennix, and “Sensitivity analysis of graphical functions (pages 186–205)” by Sibel Eker, Jill Slinger, Els van Daalen, and Gönenç Yücel. Articles in this issue also include a “notes and insights” article “Interactive web-based simulations for strategy and sustainability: The MIT Sloan LearningEdge management flight simulators, Part II (pages 206–231)” by John Sterman.
Updated Submission Guidelines and Tentative Schedule
The Africa Chapter of the System Dynamics Society is organizing its 1st International workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing with the main theme “Transformation for Sustainable Development” in Kenya on 12-13 January 2015. There is new and updated information about submission guidelines, the tentative schedule and more available via this link: Call for Workshop Papers. The paper submission deadline is November 15, 2014.
Waters Foundation Systems Thinking in Schools Newsletter
The October 2014 Waters Foundation Systems Thinking in Schools newsletter is now available online. In this issue you can read about how the Waters Foundation team has been busy supporting districts in New York, Wisconsin, Oregon and California in building their systems thinking capacity. Also read about the Project Based Learning workshop held this past summer in Tucson, Arizona, where teachers experienced with systems thinking tools and habits were able to further refine their skills at creating authentic, relevant learning opportunities for students. Also making news is the exciting completion of a 3-year systems thinking capacity-building plan for Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools that came to an impressive closure this past June.
New Feature: Language Field in the Bibliography
We now have a field so that references in our Bibliography can be searched by language. We invite those of you who wish to submit journal articles, books, chapters in books, and other forms of references to do so in your native language.
As always, we are looking for new references or references that have not yet been included in our Bibliography. If you have references that you would like to share with us, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bibliographic Updates page lists recent additions to the System Dynamics Bibliography. This list is updated whenever new submissions are received.
The third update of the 2014 Bibliography is now available. It can be viewed in text format (Notepad) as well as a tab delimited format (database compatible). For those who have EndNote X or higher, there is a compressed version. Instructions may be found on the Download page.
8th Annual German Chapter Meeting and 2014 Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Award Winner
More than 40 participants joined the 8th annual conference of the German Chapter, held in the end of May at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Karlsruhe. This year’s conference focused on System Dynamics methodology and the modelling process involving stakeholders. Related to this overall topic, Etienne Rouwette and Laura Black held key note speeches about their current research. Etienne Rouwette presented a project with the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Laura Black talked about “Modelling as Social Act.”
Furthermore, it was the 7th time the German Chapter awarded the Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Award in memory of Prof. Dr. Gert von Kortzfleisch who was a pioneer in teaching and using System Dynamics in his research in Germany. This year, the German Chapter awarded Roland Maximilian Happach for his master thesis titled “Three Scenarios of the European Natural Gas Market: A Market in Arrays”. In his thesis, Roland Maximilian Happach analyzes the impact of three distinct scenarios: the omission of long-term contracts, the increase of liquified natural gas and the introduction of bi-directional gas flows on the inner-European natural gas flows. It was the first time that the Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Award distinguished a master thesis. Segments of the thesis are published in the proceedings of the 2014 System Dynamics Conference (“Modelling the inner-European natural gas flows”). Roland Maximilian Happach completed the European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) at the universities of Bergen (Norway), Palermo (Italy) and Nijmegen (the Netherlands) in 2012 as part of the first cohort.
Society for Organizational Learning Announces Upcoming Leadership Program with Peter Senge and Robert Hanig
The Society for Organizational Learning (SOL) has announced its “Foundations for Leadership Program.” Deepen your capacity to lead effectively in this intensive three-day program, based on the leadership development process described in The Fifth Discipline, by Peter Senge, identified as a seminal management book by Harvard Business Review. Participants in the program will explore what it takes to create an environment where leadership is a shared responsibility, naturally embedded in the fabric of an organization and community, and connect with and benefit from the perspectives of colleagues from a wide range of organizations from around the world. The program, described by past participants as a “not-to-be-missed opportunity,” is facilitated by Peter Senge and Robert Hanig, and will take place December 9-11, 2014 and March 25-27, 2015 in Bedford, MA.
Creative Learning Exchange Newsletter
The Fall 2014 issue of The Creative Learning Exchange’s newsletter The Exchange is now available on their website. In this issue you will find “Innovation Academy Charter School Reaffirms a Systems Approach to Education,” a compelling article about the implementation of systems thinking and education at the Innovation Academy Charter School. Also in the newsletter is an update about CLE’s 11th biennial Systems Thinking and Dynamics Modeling Conference held near Boston, Massachusetts at the end of June.
Food and Agriculture Organization Call for Papers – Deadline Updates
In the context of their “Meeting Urban Food Needs” project, the Food and Agriculture Organization of UN (FAO), in collaboration with the System Dynamics Italian Chapter and the University of Turin, has announced new deadlines for its call for papers (3/2014) on “Complex-systems dynamics principles applied to food systems.” The new proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2014; and new full paper submission deadline is January 30, 2015. Selected papers will stimulate discussion on how complex-systems dynamics perspective can contribute to the understanding of the characteristics, structure, performance and behavior of food systems meeting urban food needs and to the formulation of appropriate policies, strategies and investments plans. At least five authors among those whose paper will be published (one author per paper) will be invited to attend an expert meeting in FAO-Rome in 2015.
International Research Conference on Systemic Analysis in Economics
Member and Russian Chapter Representative Natalia Lychkina invites system dynamicists to participate in the upcoming “International Research Conference on Systemic Analysis in Economics” to be held November 13-14, 2014 in Moscow. Join in several opportunities for the themes of “Theory of Social and Economic Systems,” “Methods for Systemic Modelling,” “Systemic Analysis in Solving Social and Economic Problems,” “Social and Economic Cybernetics,” and “System Measurement and Soft Computing.” Conference working languages will be in English and Russian. For more information including registration information, please visit the conference website.
Member Andrew Jones to speak at Smithsonian’s Grand Challenges Consortia Symposium
Member Andrew Jones will give a presentation at the one-day symposium titled Living in the Anthropocene: Prospects for Climate, Economics, Health, and Security, organized by the Smithsonian’s Grand Challenges Consortia. It will be held at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, on October 9, 2014. Andrew’s presentation is titled “Solving Climate Change in 20 Minutes: A Guided Simulation.” The symposium will consider how humans are transforming the climate and environments of the Earth at an accelerating rate through agriculture, urbanization, transportation, the use of fossil fuels, and many other activities. The views of leaders in the fields of climate, health, economics, and security who will consider the problems we face will be featured and possible solutions offered. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.
Last year Andrew, along with his co-authors, was the recipient of the System Dynamics Applications Award, presented every other year for the best “real world” application of system dynamics. The award was for their work Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model. Andrew is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive.
“5 Conditions for Shifting Social Fields” article in The Huffington Post
A recent article in The World Post, a partnership of The Huffington Post and Berggruen Institute on Governance by Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer from MIT is titled “5 Conditions for Shifting Social Fields.” It talks about participants engaging in intense discussions with key thought leaders in global finance (Simon Johnson), Systems Thinking (Peter Senge), data-driven societies (Sandy Pentland), urban transformation (Phil Thompson), mindful systems change (Dayna Cunningham), and System Dynamics (John Sterman). The participants of this multi-day event spent one half-day in a workshop related to global climate change. Please click on the article link to read about what it takes to address the current crises of our time at the level of the source (as opposed to the level of the symptoms) and more.
25th Systems Thinking in Action Conference
Systems Thinking in Action+ DC 2014 Conference with the theme “Systems of Wellbeing” will be held November 5 – 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. Systems Thinking has long been established as a discipline, a lens, and a set of tools necessary to create long-term, sustainable solutions, especially when focused on solving problems. The conference goal is to go beyond problem solving and start imagining healthy, thriving individuals, communities and families, and organizations and institutions that promote wellbeing. Where is there leverage for wellness? Where is positive change emerging in our world? And what would it look like if we were to redesign systems, big and small, to facilitate wellness and wellbeing? Keynote speakers include Glenda Eoyang, David Stein and Maria Seddio, David Peter Stroh, Marilee Adams, and Victor Garcia.
EURAM’15 – Entrepreneurship SIG track
The EURAM (European Academy of Management) Conference will be held in Warsaw, Poland in mid-June, 2015. Please see the Call for Papers (CfP) and specifically the CfP for the business simulation topic within the Entrepreneurship SIG track. The title of this track is Visionary entrepreneurship in complex worlds: Computer modeling, business games and scenario analysis. Co-proponent for the Entrepreneurship SIG and Society member Stefano Armenia states, “It is a great occasion for System Dynamics people in Europe to attend a great management conference and for our community to spread out and disseminate in a very large attendance event (usually around 1500 attendees).” Submissions will be done on-line on the EURAM 2015 website from December 1, 2014, till January 13, 2015. For more information, please visit the EURAM’15 Conference website www.euram2015.org.
New Publication: Extensive coverage of System Dynamics modeling in new CSS textbook
This new textbook, by Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Ph.D., D.Sc.Pol., provides a unified Introduction to Computational Social Sciences in a reader-friendly format. The four methodological approaches; automated social information extraction, social network analysis, social complexity theory and social simulation modeling are explained in detail. In addition to explicit mention of all the main pioneers, the System Dynamics Society, the System Dynamics Review, software, and much more, the book features System Dynamics Society member Professor Nazli Choucri of MIT. Chapter 9 includes coverage of System Dynamics models since System Dynamics is an essential component of the CSS core. This book highlights the main theories of the Computational Social Science paradigm as causal explanatory frameworks that bring light on the nature of human and social dynamics.
NIH grant-funding and System Dynamics
The NPR blog posted a new article titled “After The NIH Funding ‘Euphoria’ Comes The ‘Hangover’.” The post reflects on a paper published at Service Science in 2012 by Richard Larson, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, and Mauricio Gomez Diaz. The original published paper developed a simple difference-equation model of new funding versus past commitments for grant funding agencies, and uncovered a balancing loop which can create periodic oscillations in National Institutes of Health new competing grants and magnify effects of change in budget on new funding.
First International Workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing
The System Dynamics Africa Chapter is organizing its inaugural Chapter Workshop to exchange novel ideas and practical experience in System dynamics, “The 1st International Workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing” will be held at the Safari Park Hotel Nairobi in Kenya on 12-13 January 2015. The theme of this workshop is “Transformation for Sustainable Development” and is therefore designed for SD members and practitioners in Africa and elsewhere in the world who are interested in emerging societal challenges and how to leverage the developments in big data and cloud computing technologies. Participants will benefit from an international perspective and meaningful insights of leading SD experts and fellow delegates from the Africa region and the rest of the world. Click here for more information about this workshop.
Member Jim Thompson to present at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research
Member Jim Thompson is giving a presentation at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, co-sponsored by WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. More than 1,700 health systems researchers from 100+ countries are participating in the conference in Cape Town, South Africa, September 30-October 3, 2014. The theme for this Symposium is on people-centered health systems: health systems that recognize that people are their central focus and resource, and that address responsiveness at population and patient levels as a central goal. The event brings together researchers, policy and decision makers, advocates, and implementers from around the world to develop the field of health systems research.
Jim’s session presents a study of a novel medicines access program to assist the poor living in rural villages in Kenya. A System Dynamics model simulates the idealized program and concerns about its actual implementation. Presentation participants will be invited to interact with the model by trying alternative parameter values and suggesting improvements to the concept model.
The presentation includes a section on System Dynamics methodology publications and global learning resources. The slides include a list of System Dynamics courses and degree programs around the world. If you have information on currently offered degree programs and university-level courses in System Dynamics, especially in Africa and East Asia, please send new or updated information to the Society using the course survey form. This information will be used to update the Society Web site.
Jim is a founding member of the Society’s Health Policy Special Interest Group and feels that this occasion is a fantastic opportunity for outreach to highlight System Dynamics as an extremely powerful tool for health policy and systems research.
In Memoriam (September 2014)
Past member Richard Stevenson passed away last week after recently being diagnosed with sarcoma. Richard founded Cognitus Ltd. and did much to promote System Dynamics through teaching and consultancy throughout the 1990’s. Amongst other things, Cognitus Ltd. was a sponsor of the Society, the UK distributor for the ithink System Dynamics software, and the organizer of the annual gathering of the UK Chapter in Harrogate for its first few years. Thanks to Eric Wolstenholme for sharing this information.
Global Sustainability Fellows Program
For the first time, in summer 2014, the Sustainability Laboratories of New York realized the Global Sustainability Fellows Program (GFSP), a trans-disciplinary study program at master level for students from all over the world. The purpose of the GFSP is to support a worldwide transformation toward a sustainable society. The program’s goal is to prepare future leaders and managers from all sectors, including governmental bodies, companies and civil society, to master this challenge. The pilot program took place at EARTH University in Costa Rica. This small university is focused on sustainability; it even has an organic farm on its campus. Participants came from 15 countries and all five continents. Besides theory, an exploration of the tropical rainforest and visits to organic farms and factories, the program included fieldwork in Martina Bustos, a poor district of the city of Liberia. Markus Schwaninger, professor at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and a long-standing member of our Society, was on the faculty of the GSFP. He taught System Dynamics, the qualitative version of which provided excellent tools for the fieldwork: For example, together with citizens of Martina Bustos, students constructed causal loop diagrams in order to explore paths for the development of the district. Final evaluations show that the program was a big success.
Students and faculty of the Global Sustainability Fellows Forum, Costa Rica, 2014
EARTH University, Pococí Campus, Limón, Costa Rica