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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

office@systemdynamics.org

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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.

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Conference


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

SD Conference

2016, July 17 – 21, Delft, Netherlands
2015, July 19 – 23, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

Cases


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The System Dynamics Case Repository is a collection of consulting projects since 1990 that have used System Dynamics as their primary methodology. A capsule summary of each case is provided, and many have links to full articles. Submit your own — help us build this important resource for the SD community!


About the Society

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


News

Send us your news at news@systemdynamics.org. The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings. Please take a look!


Social and Behavioral Track of the Winter Simulation Conference: Call for Papers

The Winter Simulation Conference calls for you to submit your System Dynamics models of all kinds for the December 11th-14th conference in Washington, DC. Paper proposals for this premier international forum must not exceed 12 pages in length and are due on April 1, 2016. The WSC, committed to disseminating recent advances in the field of dynamic systems modeling and simulation, is especially interested in novel and exploratory work, even if the results are at a preliminary stage.
Please consider submitting a paper to this highly-visible, academically prestigious venue! Click here for more information on the Winter Simulation Conference “call for papers.”


Inaugural Edition of Newsletter

Member Greg Hennessy, Secretary of the Work & Organizations Division of the International Positive Psychology Association, announces the release of the inaugural edition of Positive Work and Organizations: Research and Practice. To be published twice a year, the newsletter is intended to promote communication between practitioners and scholars interested in the application of positive psychology in the workplace. It will feature interviews with experts, book reviews and previews, case studies, as well as original articles and briefs by leaders in the field of positive organizational psychology.

Future issues will be available in full only to members of the International Positive Psychology Association, but everyone is welcome to enjoy this premier edition.


Available Online in The Exchange: Systems Tools to Enhance Literacy in the Classroom

The Winter 2016 issue of The Exchange presents a selection of resources to help educators utilize systems tools in the classroom. Discover how behavior-over-time graphs can lead to a deeper understanding of literary works like Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt; see how feedback loops can illuminate stories like The Lorax by Dr. Seuss; and incorporate online model simulations that explore the dramatic events in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Systems tools are a natural support to clear thinking and communication, and guide students to higher critical thinking and better writing in the classroom. Hence, this online publication from the Creative Learning Exchange highlights resources that represent an entire library of free System Dynamics and systems thinking tools available online.

Important announcements included in this issue:


SD Movie Night: Group Model Building video this week at UAlbany

You are invited to this semester’s SD Movie Night, showing Forrester’s Seminar Series on System Dynamics, at the University at Albany School of Business. The videos will be shown, starting on February 10th, and will continue every week (except for the spring break) until the end of April.

  • Wednesdays, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, BB 121
  • Seminar Series Information

    Professor Jay Forrester, in the fall of 1999, conducted a seminar series for PhD students in System Dynamics. Each of the eleven three-hour sessions is devoted to a different stand-alone topic, which should be of benefit to any student or practitioner in the field. The series is not a progressive tutorial for learning System Dynamics, but covers related concepts and philosophy.

    In an educational setting, these sessions can be used as assignments to be viewed in preparation for a follow-up class discussion. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations should find these sessions useful in broadening their understanding of the field.

    Sessions A through E have already been shown. This week’s showing resumes with Session F: Group Model Building. What is group model building and why do we do it? Guest speaker, Professor George Richardson, opens the session with a list of group roles that various people can play in the group model building process. Richardson stresses that the model is a tool to enable deep conversation among the participants. He discusses different stages in building a System Dynamics model as a group. The ultimate goal according to Richardson is to develop great conversations as a step toward insightful models.

    We are confident every attendee will enjoy the sessions. Hope to see your there.


    iSDG Model – Tool for designing SDG strategies and roadmaps

    Millennium Institute is pleased to announce the launch of the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Planning Model (iSDG). The iSDG model simulates the fundamental trends for SDGs until 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario and supports the analysis of alternative scenarios. It covers all the 17 Goals, and facilitates a better understanding of the interconnections of the goals and targets, in order to develop synergetic strategies to achieve them. The model’s structure can also be expanded to support the analysis of other country-specific development issues beyond the SDGs.

    The iSDG model is useful both in the early stages of policy design, to support scenario exploration; and in the advanced stage, when sector-specific interventions can be jointly simulated to assess their combined effect. This enhances the ability of policy makers and planners to evaluate and prioritize projects, investments, and strategies based on anticipated impacts, and to visualize how the combination of interventions lead to positive synergies.

    For more information and to download the beta version of the model, visit www.isdgs.org.


    Call for Papers: 34th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society

    The Web Portal is now open to accept paper submissions as well as proposals for workshops and tutorials to be presented in Delft, the Netherlands from July 17-21, 2016. Please consider the theme for this year: “Black Swans and Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Randomness and Political Power-play.”
    System Dynamics has proven useful to analyze dynamically complex economic, social, and environmental issues. It is an effective methodology for designing robust systems and policies. We hope to challenge this usefulness in two areas: first, when systems are prone to be affected by random events that we were not able to include in our models; second, when System Dynamics models are not used in a fair or transparent way.

    For a detailed list and descriptions of conference session topics, visit “Threads for 2016” website. The submission deadline is March 23rd. For more information, please visit “Call for Papers” website.


    Fires burning in Tasmania – system collapse?

    “This is bigger than us. This is what climate change looks like, this is what scientists have been telling people, this is system collapse,” fire ecologist David Bowman, was quoted in the article Tasmania fires: First images of World Heritage Area devastation emerge, show signs of ‘system collapse’ on abc.net.au. The first images to emerge from within Tasmania’s fire-affected World Heritage Area (WHA) have illustrated the level of destruction caused by bushfire, as experts warn such incidents are signs of a changing climate. 11,000 hectares of WHA are incinerated by the Tasmania bushfires. Wildlife, including wallabies and wombats, are also affected and experts say parts of the Central Plateau will not recover.


    Public Radio International interviewed member John Sterman

    Public Radio International invited member John Sterman to consider whether big oil companies are really on board for addressing climate change. Listen to the discussion about “Can a Norwegian company with ‘oil’ in its name transform into a wind company?” that aired on the PRI segment “Business, Finance & Economics.” Also on the heels of the December climate summit in Paris, John speaks in praise of electric cars in the PRI news story “What auto companies might look like in a world with less gas . . . and fewer cars.


    CPAs Can Earn CPE Credits at the Delft Conference

    The Society is approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to be a registered sponsor on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. Accountants attending the 2016 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Delft can earn up to 24 continuing professional education credits (CPEs) in the subject areas of Specialized Knowledge and Applications, Economics, Business Management & Organization, Computer Science, and Mathematics. System Dynamics modeling can greatly assist accountants by providing them with better insights and judgment in their estimates and measurements when working in areas beyond their current observation and available data. All of the details can be found on the Society’s website at CPE Credits for CPAs.

    System Dynamics Society is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org.


    Call for 2016 Award Nominations / Delft Conference

    One exciting conference highlight is the recognition of award winners for that conference year. We invite you to consider nominating a colleague or yourself for outstanding work in the field of System Dynamics. Please note the award criteria and submission due dates for the following recognitions.

  • The Dana Meadows Award acknowledges high quality student work in a paper presented at the conference. Self-nomination procedure should be followed with the conference paper submission, or no later than March 23rd.
  • The Lupina Young Researchers Award recognizes the exemplary conference paper presented in the specialization of health system dynamics. This award is intended for candidates in the early stages of their career, either pursuing graduate studies or recently graduated within five years of the submission deadline. Self-nomination procedure should be followed with the conference paper submission, or no later than March 23rd.
  • The Barry Richmond Scholarship Award will be awarded to a systems thinking or System Dynamics practitioner whose work demonstrates a desire to expand the field of System Dynamics, or has distinctively applied a System Dynamics approach to current social issues. Candidates will be considered based on quality of work as well as on the basis of financial need. Applications must be submitted no later than May 14th.
  • The Jay Wright Forrester Award, presented as often as once annually, celebrates the best contribution to the field of System Dynamics during the preceding five year period. Books, articles, papers, consulting reports, theses, research and modeling or gaming software are all eligible for consideration. Jay Wright Forrester Award candidates are not self-nominated, so please consider nominating your personal selection for the year no later than March 31st.
  • The System Dynamics Society Outstanding Service Award honors Society volunteers who have performed exemplary service over an extended period. Nominations can be sent to the Committee by email to the Society office by March 31st.
  • We look forward to honoring the award winners of 2016. See you this summer in Delft!


    New Publication by United States Environmental Agency

    The paper “A System Dynamics Model for Integrated Decision Making: The Durham-Orange Light Rail Project” has recently been published online at the EPA Science Inventory. The purpose/objective states “The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program (SHC) has committed to developing systems approaches that enable communities to act on an enhanced understanding of these interconnections and to comprehensively account for the full costs and benefits of community decisions in the social, economic, and environmental dimensions. This report documents the development and testing of a System Dynamics (SD) model as a decision support tool for community sustainability with the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Project (D-O LRP) in Durham and Orange Counties, North Carolina, as a case-study.” The description of the work includes “In the first phase of this modeling effort, a conceptual model for the D-O LRP was designed with a high degree of input from stakeholders, including representatives from the regional transit authority, county health department, stormwater management department, and city and regional land use and transportation planning departments, among others. This conceptual model served as a framework for the operational SD model, which was built to evaluate a number of policy scenarios, many of which were also suggested by stakeholders. The operational model was subjected to rigorous quality assurance tests, including the sensitivity of the model to assumptions and inputs, and the evaluation of outcomes – social, economic, and environmental – resulting from actions that emanate from or impinge on the D-O LRP.”


    New Article in Early View at the System Dynamics Review

    Read Erik Pruyt and Tushith Islam’s article “On generating and exploring the behavior space of complex models” in Early View for the System Dynamics Review.


    New Article in Jacobs Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

    The article “Systems Thinking for Medicinal Chemists” by Robert E. Smith, Kevin Tran, and Kristy M. Richards has been published in the Jacobs Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. The article shows an interesting view of the landscape of medicinal chemistry; and its increased use of technology and big data, and government initiatives. The abstract states: “Systems thinking has become an essential part of modern medicinal chemistry and new drug development. It is based on the concepts that complex problems almost always have multiple causes and that there are often connections that have not always been obvious. In contrast to reductionist thinking, systems thinking uses network theory and nonlinear mathematics to prevent, diagnose, treat and even cure diseases. Systems thinking is an integral part of predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory (P4) medicine.”


    2016: New System Dynamics Song

    “System Dynamics Song: Close The Loop” was originally written and performed in 1976 at Geilo, Norway Conference by a group of attendees who protected their anonymity under the name of the Transient International Consortium at Geilo (TICAG). The song had an encore performance at the 2000 Bergen Conference.

    This year, there is a new song: “Looking for Feedback Loops.” Below are the artists’ stories and photos.

    Wolfram Reinhard, born on the 6th of June 1990 as Wolfram Pallaske, is a student at the Leibniz University Hannover and is focusing on regional development in his Bachelor’s thesis. In 2009, he graduated high school with music as one of the main courses, but he started learning to play several instruments when he was six. After his brother Georg wouldn’t stop bugging him, he recorded and cut the song “Looking for feedback loops”, of which Georg wrote the text himself. Wolfram Reinhard has already finished several music related projects, which he was realizing outside of the curricula of his temporary education, alongside which he produced one CD. The strong positive feedback on the song “Looking for feedback loops” surprised the artist.

    Georg Pallaske, born on the 4th of October 1987, is a current student in the European Masters Programme in System Dynamics (EMSD). After his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administrations, he entered the EMSD because of the potential the he saw in the application of the method with expert-groups (group-model building). After one and a half years of studying SD, and a lot of conversations with peers and experts, he decided to write a song about SD which compiles the things that are still at odds within the field, and put them into a nice message that comes across easily. And thanks to his little brother the song is available in a version that people might even enjoy listening to. Georg Pallaske is currently in the last semester, and will soon start writing his masters’ thesis.

    Thanks to Wolfram and Georg!


    UK Chapter Conference Registration and Award Nominations Open

    Registration is now open for the UK Chapter Annual Conference, to be held April 14-15, 2016 in London. The conference theme is “System dynamics for developing strategy in the real world”.

    The Chapter will accept nominations for the Geoff Coyle Medal until April 1, 2016. The medal is awarded for innovative system dynamics work in the UK for practitioners in early career (first ten years). Learn more and submit nominations here.

    The UK Chapter held a networking meeting in Wales earlier this month. The event focused on mathematical modelling in the healthcare sector. The chapter also recently published a short document featuring the winners of the Steer Davies Gleave Prize, for work in the field that had a real impact. The award was given four times between 2008 and 2014. The paper summarises the winning entries, which all came from the healthcare domain.


    2016 Behavioral Operational Research Summer Program

    The Systems Analysis Laboratory at Aalto University, in collaboration with the Behavioral Operational Research community, is initiating an international BOR Summer School at the Otaniemi Campus of Aalto near Helsinki, Finland from May 15-22.

    Using this emerging specialization in operational research, participants will investigate behavioral issues related to model based decision making and develop models to describe human behavior in problem solving and complex settings. Pioneers of the field will present on topics such as problem structuring, multi-criteria decision making, heuristics and biases, simulation, systems thinking and forecasting. Brain researchers will demonstrate new measurement techniques, including brain imaging, and illuminate their value in understanding human emotions and behavior. Additionally, students will have opportunities to discuss their research with peers and distinguished presenters attending the summer school.

    Doctoral and advanced master’s students, as well as post docs, from the behavior, social, computational and organizational sciences are invited to attend this inaugural training. Interdisciplinarity is key in BOR, therefore knowledge of OR is not a prerequisite to participation.

    The application deadline for participation is February 20, 2016.



    Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette, President 2016.

    Winter Meeting slated for February 23 in Cambridge, Massachusetts

    The Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society will meet for the Winter Meeting on February 23 at 11:00 AM. President Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette will preside over the meeting. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. As stated in the Bylaws, the Policy Council shall meet as a separate body, electronically or in person, at least twice each year, once on the day before or after or during the annual international meeting and once during the first fiscal quarter of the year. Protocol for the meetings is available online. All past Policy Council Meeting minutes are archived on the Society website, and can be found using “Governance” menu item. Please see the e-brochure “Meet the Officers and Members of the Policy Council.” Advance reservations are required for attendees; please contact the Society office.


    New System Dynamics Article in Risk Analysis

    The recently published the article “A Simplified Approach to Risk Assessment Based on System Dynamics: An Industrial Case Study” in the journal Risk Analysis is currently available electronically (ahead of print). The authors are Emmanuel Garbolino, Jean-Pierre Chery and Franck Guarnieri. The abstract states “Seveso plants are complex sociotechnical systems, which makes it appropriate to support any risk assessment with a model of the system. However, more often than not, this step is only partially addressed, simplified, or avoided in safety reports. At the same time, investigations have shown that the complexity of industrial systems is frequently a factor in accidents, due to interactions between their technical, human, and organizational dimensions. In order to handle both this complexity and changes in the system over time, this article proposes an original and simplified qualitative risk evaluation method based on the System Dynamics theory developed by Forrester in the early 1960s. The methodology supports the development of a dynamic risk assessment framework dedicated to industrial activities. It consists of 10 complementary steps grouped into two main activities: System Dynamics modeling of the sociotechnical system and risk analysis. This System Dynamics risk analysis is applied to a case study of a chemical plant and provides a way to assess the technological and organizational components of safety.”


    New BLOG: Overcoming the Systemic Challenges of Inequity

    Bridgeway Partners has started a new blog post that describes several dynamics and assumptions that lead inequity to persist, and six high leverage interventions leaders can pursue to create greater equity in their communities. The announcement about the new blog post states “related problems of structural racism and economic inequality undermine the moral as well as social and economic fabrics of our country.” Many of the ideas in this post are drawn from David Peter Stroh’s book Systems Thinking for Social Change.


    System Dynamics Career Link

    The SD Career Link is the gateway for connecting you with companies worldwide that use System Dynamics. The site is divided into two sections. First, employers are able to provide general descriptive information about how System Dynamics fits into the organization, typical jobs, career paths, and other aspects of employment within the company. This section allows employers to define specific System Dynamics information and opportunities within their firms and to supplement the more general information contained on their corporate or academic websites. The other section highlights a list of current job openings. Find the Career Link on the Society’s website to review the list of companies.

    Is your firm is seeking candidates, specifically with System Dynamics backgrounds? Would you like to add your Company or University profile? Please use this free, exclusive networking and recruiting site. The SD Career Link provides a valuable exchange of information about positions and people in the field of System Dynamics.


    Member Andreas Größler Appointed Full Professor

    Member Andreas Größler has been appointed as a Full Professor of Operations Management starting February 1, 2016. Based on a long tradition, his work at Stuttgart University will also include teaching and research in System Dynamics. Future plans include the continuation of the work in strategic operations management and dynamic decision making. Andreas received his PhD from Mannheim University in 2000. He has been teaching System Dynamics and Operations Management since 1995. Before the move to Stuttgart, he worked as Associate Professor at the Nijmegen School of Management and Academic Director of the European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) programme. Andreas has a long history of volunteering for the System Dynamics Society (e.g. Policy Council Member, Conference Host of the European SD Workshop in 2003 and 2011, Program Chair of ISDC 2006 in Nijmegen, and VP of Meetings). He is Program Chair of the 2016 ISDC Conference in Delft and a Managing Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Congratulations to Andreas and good luck on behalf of the Society!


    WPI to Host Upcoming SD Colloquium

    The System Dynamics Colloquium will be meeting at WPI this spring! Cast your vote and help decide the scheduling details of this event by filling out an online survey at the WPI System Dynamics Club website. Initiated in 2000, this colloquium is a gathering of graduate students from UAlbany SUNY, MIT, and WPI and takes place bi-annually in the spring and fall semesters at one of these three campuses. This one-day event offers non-evaluative peer review and allows students to present System Dynamics related research to faculty, other students, and practitioners for feedback and informational exchange. This event is organized by the students.


    System Dynamics Review Early View

    A new System Dynamics Review early view article has been released. Read Albert Munoz and Matthew Pepper’s publication “Maintaining stock and flow: a constructive alignment approach to training system dynamicists.”


    Member Simon Shepherd, and Chandra Balijepalli recently published the article “A game of two cities: A toll setting game with experimental results” in the journal Transport Policy. The paper extends the idea of competition between cities by setting up a System Dynamic model of two cities which includes modes such as car, bus, train and walking and cycling. This paper innovates by integrating the simulation of land use transport interactions with a class room style experimental game and analyses the gaming strategies from a continuous repeated prisoner’s dilemma involving setting of tolls to maximize the welfare of residents. Highlights of the paper include the development of a twin city land use transport interaction model; the incorporation of gaming facility to explore competition, and analysis of toll setting gaming experiment and use of information over regulation in policy making.

    Other recent related papers on this topic include “Cordon tolls and competition between cities with symmetric and asymmetric interactions” published in the Journal of Transportation by Chandra Balijepalli and Simon Shepherd and “A review of system dynamics models applied in transportation” by Simon Shepherd published in Transportmetrica B: Transport Dynamics.


    3rd Annual South Africa System Dynamics Conference: A Report

    The 3rd Annual South Africa System Dynamics Conference was held at the Eskom Research, Testing and Development Centre in Johannesburg on November 16, 2015. This conference, collaboratively hosted by Eskom and the South Africa Chapter, explored a variety of topics, including: energy, gangsterism, health systems, Ponzi schemes, project prioritization, chemical usage, situational awareness, innovation process and green economy. 75 participants who were academics, researchers, government officials, consultants and students, attended the workshop.

    Several awards and recognitions were given at the conference for outstanding achievement:

    • Andries Botha, winner of Best Presentation for his work titled “Ponzi Schemes—A System Dynamics Perspective (It’s not all about work!).”
    • Danie Booyens, winner of Best Contribution for his paper “System Dynamics Simulation using Non-Traditional Platforms.”
    • Jacobus Smit van Niekerk, Willem Jonker, Aliza Pienaar, Theodore York, Juan Oosthuizen, and Lize Duminy, all students from Stellenbosch University, winners of Best Student Paper. These six students co-authored the paper “A System Dynamics Approach to Understanding the Implications of a Green Economy Transition in the Western Cape Province of South Africa” with Prof Alan Brent, Dr Josephine Musango, and Imke de Kock.

    System Dynamics Application Used in Investment Research Methods

    The FA Online edition of Financial Advisor, on January 12, posted the article “Cucchiaro Launches RIA, Hedge Fund.” Stephen J. Cucchiaro has formed 3EDGE Asset Management, a Boston-based Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) where he will serve as president, CIO and chairman of the investment committee. Parts of the article follow: Cucchiaro, who uses a scientific methodology in his investment strategy, began managing investment portfolios in 1994 and was founder, president and CIO of Windward Investment Management. … Cucchiaro uses proprietary investment research methods, including applications of engineering, System Dynamics and complexity economics concepts to analyze the relationships that drive markets. “Our approach seeks to identify asset classes and geographies that may be undervalued as a result of the macro-inefficiencies inherent in the global markets,” Cucchiaro said. “We are looking to capture the potential for material long-term price appreciation of these undervalued asset classes and geographies over different time frames.”

    The firm will apply a multiplayer game theory framework to better understand how policies by actors like central banks might influence the direction of capital markets. “We may be at a critical juncture in the global markets,” Cucchiaro said. “The massive central bank intervention since 2008 has, in many instances, elevated asset prices. In the years ahead, attractive investment returns, particularly on a risk-adjusted basis, could be difficult to achieve as markets may be susceptible to diminishing returns from monetary stimulus. In such an environment, more passive buy and hold strategies could prove to be disappointing, while short-term trading strategies could also be counter-productive since investors may be whipsawed by market volatility.” …

    Mr. Cucchiaro gave a plenary presentation at the 2013 Cambridge Conference titled “A System Dynamics Approach to Modeling the Global Capital Markets.”


    New Book by Society Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah

    Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah has published a new book, The Physics of Stocks and Flows of Energy Systems: Application in Energy Policy, available now online. Using System Dynamics, Hassan illustrates the physics of stocks and flows across the demand and supply sectors of energy systems. By studying the dynamics of these fundamental structures, the reader better understands stocks and flows and their role in energy policy.

    Hassan’s book is useful to managers, practitioners, teachers, researchers and students interested in the design and assessment of policy for complex and dynamic energy systems.


    Demonstrating the Utility of SD Modeling for Synthesizing Epidemiologic Evidence to Inform Public Policy

    Member David Lounsbury, along with Anton Palma, Nicholas Schlecht and Ilir Agalliu recently published the article “A System Dynamics Model of Serum Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for Prostate Cancer” in the prestigious American Journal of Epidemiology. The article is currently available electronically (ahead of print). Their publication adds to the on-going deliberation about the benefits and harms of regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for adult men. Since 2012, US guidelines have recommended against PSA screening for prostate cancer, which was based mainly on the results of two large clinical trials [i.e., the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening trial and the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC)]. However, evidence of screening benefit from the PLCO and the ERSPC trials has been inconsistent, due partly to differences in participant noncompliance and contamination. In their article the authors describe how they used System Dynamics modeling to replicate the PLCO trial and to extrapolate follow-up to 20 years, correcting for effect attenuation in a three different scenarios. Two of three simulated scenarios showed a benefit of PSA screening, with relative risks of 0.62 (95% confidence interval: 0.53, 0.72) and 0.70 (95% confidence interval: 0.59, 0.83) for cancer-specific mortality after 20 years, demonstrating that after correcting for noncompliance and contamination, there is potential benefit of PSA screening in reducing prostate cancer mortality. This work underscores the utility of System Dynamics modeling for synthesizing epidemiologic evidence to inform public health policy.


    Member Alexander V. Ryzhenkov has published an updated version of his paper

    Member Alexander V. Ryzhenkov has published an updated version of his paper, “Socially Efficient Stabilization Policies for Growth Cycles,” in the journal Advances in Economics and Business. Read the full text of the paper here.


    ANZAM Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation of 2015

    Rodney Scott, freshly graduated with a PhD from the University of Queensland, recently received an impressive recognition: the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation of 2015. His PhD thesis title is “Group Model Building and Mental Model Change.” Rodney completed his doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Donald Cameron at the University of Queensland and Dr. Bob Cavana of Victoria University of Wellington. Colleagues applaud Rodney’s work helping to raise the profile and impact of Systems Thinking and System Dynamics in the Australasia region and beyond. Congratulations and best wishes on a promising future, Dr. Scott!


    Recently Published Materials of Several MIT System Dynamics Courses

    Several course offerings in System Dynamics are newly available through the MIT OpenCourseWare free online curriculum program: Introduction to System Dynamics and System Dynamics II taught by John Sterman, in addition to Research Seminar in System Dynamics taught by Hazhir Rahmandad.

    MIT OpenCourseWare is a free and open publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum and used by millions of learners and educators around the world. Browse a complete listing of courses offered by the MIT Sloan School of Management OpenCourseWare program.


    Six PhD Scholarships in the Centre for Systems Studies, Hull University Business School

    The Centre for Systems Studies, based in the Business School at the University of Hull (UK), has a strong international reputation for its cutting edge work on the theory, methodology and practice of systems thinking. Six scholarships for the Systems Science PhD program are available to offer to successful candidates wanting to start a PhD in September 2016. The deadline for applications is 29 February 2016. These scholarships are structured into three research areas, each of which has a pair of scholarships associated with it:

    Resilient Communities for Sustainable Development: exploring the potential for harnessing ecosystem services and local sustainable development to promote the physical, social, mental and economic well-being of communities in different socio-economic settings. One PhD student will work on local “green economy” models and their impact on the socio-economic well-being of the community, and the other will work on the exploitation of ecosystem services for health and well-being.

    Resilience in Cyberspace: examining the opportunities and challenges for public and private sector service providers operating in the digital economy. The focus will be on internet-based business models and their sustainability. One PhD student will focus on the way social media and pervasive technologies furnish data and networks that can be harnessed by businesses; and the other student will focus on how the digitisation and connectivity afforded by these technologies can expose service providers and consumers to ethical and security challenges.

    Marginalisation and Conflict: extending the capabilities of systemic action research methodologies and complexity science to address the dynamics of conflict and marginalisation and their consequences in complex social systems. The first PhD student will focus on health/welfare settings, and the second will focus on social inclusion/exclusion, collective identities and radicalisation. Both students will work with the wider team of academics to develop a framework for understanding and explaining the systemic phenomena associated with the dynamics of marginalisation, in order to inform the design of policies and interventions to minimise the social costs of this.

    Further details about these scholarships including application, fees, stipend, and more are online. On the main scholarship page, scroll down the list, and click on Resilience and Sustainability of Socio-Ecological Systems, which is the overall title for the Centre for Systems Studies cluster of scholarships. In the resulting drop-down menu click on each Systems scholarship topic to view details. To apply, please use Apply Now button and follow the instructions.


    New issue of System Dynamics Review Available

    The latest issue of the System Dynamics Review is available on Wiley Online Library. This issue includes the following research articles: “Mathematical knowledge is related to understanding stocks and flows: results from two nations” by Liang Qi and Cleotilde Gonzalez; “Effects of systemic complexity factors on task difficulty in a stock management game” by Onur Özgün and Yaman Barlas; and “Connecting strategy and System Dynamics: an example and lessons learned” by Hazhir Rahmandad. Included in “Notes and Insights” is the article “Reflections on peer mentoring for ongoing professional development in System Dynamics” by George P. Richardson, Laura J. Black, Michael Deegan, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Donald Greer, Hyunjung Kim, Luis F. Luna-Reyes, Roderick MacDonald, Eliot Rich, Krystyna A. Stave, Nicole Zimmermann and David F. Andersen. Please also read the Announcement about the 2015 Jay Wright Forrester Award.


    Update: XMILE Approved

    The XMILE 1.0 was voted and approved as the international technical standard by OASIS on December 14th, a significant achievement. This is the first standard implementation of System Dynamics vocabulary since it was first imagined by Jay Forrester in the 1950s.


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