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System Dynamics Society
Milne 300, Rockefeller College
135 Western Avenue
University at Albany
Albany, NY 12222 USA

Phone: +1 (518) 442-3865
FAX: +1 (518) 442-3398

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The Society’s annual international conference is held alternately in North America and Europe, with occasional appearances in Asia and the Pacific Rim. These conferences, and the meetings of local chapters and interest groups… (read on)

SD Conference

2014, July 20 – 24, Delft, Netherlands

2015, July 19 – 23, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA


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About the Society

The System Dynamics Society is an international, nonprofit organization devoted to encouraging the development and use of system dynamics and systems thinking around the world. With members in seventy countries, the Society provides a forum in which researchers, educators, consultants, and practitioners in the corporate and public sectors interact to introduce newcomers to the field, keep abreast of current developments, and build on each other’s work.
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Society Member Kimberly M. Thompson, and colleagues, win the Edelman Award

Press Release (March 31, 2014) – INFORMS issued a press release that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which collaborated with Kid Risk, Inc. to use analytics and operations research to combat the remaining pockets of polio around the world, won the 2014 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

The award is a top honor for high impact real-world applications of operations research and management science.
The award was for their work “Using Integrated Analytical Models to Support Global Health Policies to Manage Vaccine Preventable Diseases: Polio Eradication and Beyond.” Here is a short video of the award announcement and presentation.

Society member Kimberly M. Thompson is President of Kid Risk, Inc. Kim spent several years as a visiting faculty member at the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan. Kim and her nonprofit, Kid’s Risk work to use data, models, and analytics to improve the health and welfare of children around the world.

Kim is also a winner of the Jay W. Forrester Award (2008) with Radboud J. Duintjer Tebbens, for “Eradication Versus Control for Poliomyelitis: an Economic Analysis” published in The Lancet 369 (9570): 1363-137, April 2007.

Congratulations to Kim and her colleagues.

Live Web Seminar – Online Analytics: Bringing the Power of System Dynamics within Reach

Announcing the sixth webinar in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series! Join us on April 8 as Micheal Bean, the co-founder of Forio presents Online Analytics: Bringing the Power of System Dynamics within Reach.

Michael will present LatinoVoteMap, a tool used in the 2012 presidential election along with a number of online simulators developed for business education and published by Harvard Business Review. These interactive tools provide the insights and understanding that come from long hours of modeling and analysis to people without the requisite technical expertise quickly and effectively. Michael will outline the design principles necessary to make world class simulators that many people can use.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register.

The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discusses new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

Frank Davidson, 95, of Concord, MA and Montfort-L’Amaury, France has passed away

Frank Davidson, past chair of the System Dynamics Steering Committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has passed away. Frank served on this committee for more than a quarter century along with Jay Forrester. Frank was one of the earliest sponsors of the System Dynamics Society and continued to support the Society in a number of ways. Frank had a diverse and interesting background, he founded and co-chaired the Channel Tunnel Study Group and was credited with getting the Channel Tunnel built. In 2006, he published a two-volume classic, Building the World, featuring the world’s greatest engineering works with original contracts that launched these achievements. Just recently the sequel Building the Future was presented. Jay Forrester said, “I was always amazed by Frank’s wide acquaintanceship. I seldom mentioned a name that he did not know, or knew someone who knew the person.” Roberta Spencer noted “Frank’s energy and cheerful enjoyment of life was contagious. I admired him greatly.” Jim Hines adds “Frank Davidson was many things. To me, he was a gentle raconteur with old world manners and the most charming man I ever met.” Please see the tribute written by Kathleen Lusk Brooke.

Dr. Max Moehs discusses climate change with Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) — picture from

Annual Climate Science Day

Charles Paul “Max” Moehs, Ph.D. from the American Society of Plant Biologists writes a short blog describing his experience as one of about 40 scientists who lobbied members of Congress on the annual Climate Science Day, this past January. Max describes how Climate Science Day works, and how he used concepts from Climate Interactive’s climate modeling including the “carbon bathtub” to help people understand why it’s urgent to cut emissions and how deeply they must be cut. John Sterman notes “It’s great to see these system dynamics concepts spreading and to see folks like Max engaging in direct action.”

First Issue of “Policy and Complex Systems” Now Available!

The Policy Studies Organization is pleased to announce that the first issue of the Journal on Policy and Complex Systems.

The Journal on Policy and Complex Systems is a new open access journal to be published twice a year, promoting professional and public understanding of the relationship between policy studies and complex systems thinking. The peer-reviewed journal provides a platform whereby researchers, policy makers, experts in relevant disciplines, and modelers can join together to offer scientifically valid, and societally appropriate, solutions to challenging problems facing the world today, from the perspective of systems and complexity science. The first Table of Contents includes titles such as “The Price of Big Science: Saturation or Abundance in Scientific Publication?” To learn more about this journal, and other open access publications please visit the website:

Dynamics of Resilient Socio-Economic Systems
-– Summer School August 2014

For the first time, Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands) is offering a summer school in August 2014. System Dyanmics Society members Etiënne Rouwette and Andreas Größler are offering a course on Dynamics of Resilient Socio-Economic Systems. The target group for this one-week course are advanced undergraduate or graduate students interested in this topic. The course includes an introduction to system dynamics. However, if a substantial number of people with pre-knowledge of System Dynamics attends, an advanced thread will work on research oriented topics. The course will run from 3-8 August 2014.

General information about the summer school can be found at
Specific information about our course can be found at .. resilient/

There is an early-bird registration deadline on 1 April 2014. Students can gain 2 EC points when successfully finishing the course.

Description: Financial crises, natural disasters, man-made conflicts, logistical problems and fraudulent behavior pose great risks to companies and not-for-profit organizations. How can organizations survive in such turbulent environments? How can organizations fulfil their tasks if its members are bounded rational? How can an organization compensate for setbacks? And how is it that some organizations even seem to benefit from problems? This course attempts to answer these questions. You will design and run simplified versions of these organizations and analyze what they need to endure environmental setbacks. In addition to providing some theoretical input, this course will also emphasize a hands-on approach and creating what has been called “resilient” organizational structures with the help of computer modelling and simulation.

This topic will be approached from a dynamic perspective, in which resilience means that dynamic equilibria exist (e.g. a company’s ability to balance its newly hired and its leaving employees) and that oscillations are within the system’s span of control of the system (e.g. the tasks a person can effectively handle and on which they always rely). Modeling and simulation will be used as the primary forms of investigation. On the one hand, we will learn how to create the archetypal structures of resilient systems. On the other hand, we will use pre-developed simulators to study the effects of dynamic adaptive systems in action. With the help of these models and simulators we will investigate the effects of organizational policies on pre-defined performance indicators.

We will introduce system dynamics as a modeling and simulation method and apply this method to a hot topic in the organizational and political debate: How can we build resilient systems that can cope with complexity, uncertainty and change? This practical course with a theoretical foundation will give you the opportunity to practice hands-on model building and simulation. You will also evaluate structures and policies to improve the level of organizational resilience.

New article in the Special Issue Systems Education for a Sustainable Planet: “The Design of Educational Programs in System Dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute”

Educational programs leading to degrees in system dynamics are rare and thus of critical importance to the future of the field of system dynamics. However, to a large extent such programs have not yet been made transparent to the system dynamics community as a whole. The present article describes the design and rationale for undergraduate and graduate programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The goal of the article is to invite feedback from the system dynamics community about our specific programs as well as to facilitate wider discussion about the appropriate content, design, and pedagogy of degree programs and courses in system dynamics. The authors of this open access paper are System Dynamics Society members Oleg V. Pavlov, James K. Doyle, Khalid Saeed, James M. Lyneis, and Michael J. Radzicki. Guest Co-editor of this special issue is System Dynamics Society member Robert Y. Cavana.

Systems 2014, 2(1), 54-76; doi:10.3390/systems2010054 (doi registration under processing)

The 2014 Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference was held at Senshu University in Tokyo, Japan, February 22-24, 2014. The conference celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the first publication of System Dynamics work in Japan. Conference participants came from more than 25 countries, including Australia, Canada, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA, UAE, UK, and Vietnam. There were about 95 conference participants, 7 plenary presentations, 31 parallel session papers, and 8 workshops. The overall organization of the conference allowed for time to interact with colleagues and make new contacts with people from the Asia-Pacific region. Highlights of the conference included the Welcome Reception and Conference Banquet, where superb Japanese cuisine was mixed with some formal comments celebrating 50 years of System Dynamics in Japan, and some interesting reflections on the changes in Japan since the International System Dynamics Conference there in 1995. The Conference Organizing Team plans to hold a formal Asia-Pacific Conference every two years, with the next conference possibly being in Singapore in 2016. They would also like to hold some activity in the region every alternative year. Thank you to the organizers, sponsors, and participants for making this event a great success.

News Archives 2014 2013 2009-2012

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