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System Dynamics Society
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University at Albany
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office@systemdynamics.org

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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

2015, July 19 – 23, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

2014, July 20 – 24, Delft, Netherlands

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.
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News

The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings. Please take a look!


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 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 sadly 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

In summer 2014, the Sustainability Laboratories, New York, for the first time, 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 aim 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, students constructed Causal Loop Diagrams, together with citizens of Martina Bustos, 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

The Oasis XMILE Technical Committee has been working on the development of a standard for storing System Dynamics models, and have recently approved a Committee Specification Draft (CSD) and submitted it for 30-day public review. The public review started September 12, 2014 and ends October 11, 2014. This document defines an open XML protocol (XMILE) for the sharing, interoperability, and reuse of System Dynamics models and simulations. This is an open invitation to comment, and OASIS solicits feedback from potential users, developers and others, whether OASIS members or not, for the sake of improving the interoperability and quality of its technical work. Reviewers may provide comments directly from the comment-tag version of the document. Full information on the 30-day Public Review of XMILE can be found on the SDForum.


Member John Sterman and Climate Interactive featured in film “Disruption

The film Disruption features incredible and informative interviews from scientists, activists and leaders – including Climate Interactive partner John Sterman of MIT. The film has been released in advance of the People’s Climate March, the largest climate march in history, happening in the streets of New York City on September 21, 2014. Climate Interactive uses system dynamics modeling to explore the interplay between social and planetary systems and focuses on climate change research. In 2009 John Sterman was part of the group that developed the Climate Rapid Overview and Decision-support Simulator (C-ROADS). The C-ROADS simulation calculated the long-term climate impacts of proposals that were under consideration in the negotiations to produce a global climate treaty at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2009. Last year, the System Dynamics Applications Award was presented by the Society to John Sterman, Thomas Fiddaman, Travis Franck, Andrew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Philip Rice, Elizabeth Sawin and Lori Siegel for their work Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model. This award is presented for the best “real world” application of system dynamics.


EncyclopediaYutaka TakahashiSystem Dynamics Included in Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology for the First Time

The new edition of Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology was published in July, 2014 by IGI Global. This third edition of the encyclopedia includes System Dynamics as its content for the first time. One whole chapter is devoted to System Dynamics, and is written by the Society member Yutaka Takahashi. This chapter provides a brief introduction to the System Dynamics approach and lists fundamental and recent works in this field. For more information about the encyclopedia and the chapter, please click here.


book coverBrian DangerfieldNew Book on Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics Methods

In recent years, there has been a growing debate, particularly in the UK and Europe, over the merits of using discrete-event simulation (DES) and system dynamics (SD). There are now instances where both methodologies were employed on the same problem. The new book Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics for Management Decision Making edited by Sally Brailsford, Leonid Churilov, and Brian Dangerfield (pictured left) details each method and compares each in terms of both theory and their application to various problem situations. It also provides a seamless treatment of various topics–theory, philosophy, and detailed mechanics and practical implementation–providing a systematic treatment of the methodologies of DES and SD, which previously have been treated separately.


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 Radicalization under deep uncertainty: a multi-model exploration of activism, extremism, and terrorism by Erik Pruyt and Jan Kwakkel, Model behaviour and the concept of loop impact: A practical method by John Hayward and Graeme Boswell, and Public and health professionals’ misconceptions about the dynamics of body weight gain/loss by Tarek Abdel-Hamid et al.. Articles in this issue also include a research-problem article Levels of evidence in system dynamics modeling by Jack homer, and notes and insights articles “Model” teaching by George Richardson and Interactive web-based simulations for strategy and sustainability: The MIT Sloan LearningEdge management flight simulators, Part I by John Sterman.


System Dynamics Society Awards Given at the Conference

Pictured left to right: Jorgen Randers, and Jack Homer

Lifetime Achievement Award
System Dynamics Society occasionally recognizes people for making a significant contribution to a field or a practice over an extended period of time by giving them Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the only award of the Society that is based on a body of work done over lifetime and not on a single article. This year, this award was presented to Jorgen Randers for his leadership in futures research and global sustainability.

The System Dynamics Society Outstanding Service Award recognizes individuals that have, on a volunteer basis, made exceptional contributions to the Society over an extended period of time. This year the Society awarded Pål Davidsen and Jac A. M. Vennix this award in grateful recognition of their exceptional volunteer contributions to the System Dynamics Society.


Pictured left to right: Pål Davidsen, and Jac A. M. Vennix

Pictured left to right: Andy Ford, David Andersen, Pål Davidsen, Roberta Spencer, Jac Vennix, Peter Milling, Bob Eberlein

Conference Paper Awards

The Dana Meadows Award of the System Dynamics Society is given annually for the best paper by a student presented at the annual System Dynamics Conference. Established in 2001, the prize celebrates and recognizes high quality student work in the field of system dynamics. The 2014 recipient was Can Sücüllü from Bogaziçi University for his paper (co-authored by Gönenç Yucel) Behavior Analysis and Testing Software (BATS).

The Lupina Young Researchers Award is given annually for outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics authored by students. The 2014 recipient was Mohammad Jalali from Virginia Tech for his paper (co-authored by Hazhir Rahmandad, Sally Bullock, and Alice Ammerman) Dynamics of Obesity Interventions inside Organizations.

Pictured left to right: Can Sücüllü, and Joel Rahn
Pictured left to right: Mohammad Jalali, and Gary Hirsch
Pictured left to right: Siva Muthuprakash, Karim Chichakly, and Bob Eberlein

The Barry Richmond Scholarship Award is presented annually to a deserving Systems Thinking or System Dynamics practitioner whose work demonstrates a desire to expand the field or to apply it to current social issues. This year’s recipient was Siva Muthuprakash K. M..


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