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.
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The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings. Please take a look!
David F. Andersen PhD, Distinguished Service Professor of Public Administration and Policy in the University at Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, and Associate Dean of the University at Albany College of Computing and Information, will be recognized with the College’s Distinguished Service Award on May 15, 2015. This Award recognizes David’s contributions during his thirty-eight years of affiliation with the College and University in both scholarship and service. While David is well known to the field of System Dynamics through his leadership in the System Dynamics Society, including his service as a founding member, Past President, and current Vice President Finance of the Society, he is also an important leader at the University at Albany as well. Professor Andersen’s current work centers on evaluating the cost and performance characteristics of information systems and decision support systems in the public sector. His recent work has focused on the use of formal computer-based tools and models to help groups understand the system-wide impacts of information and decision support systems. His consulting and research activities include assembling and managing research and consulting teams to address a wide variety of public policy problems with clients in the public and private sectors. Prof. Andersen is the co-author of Introduction to Computer Simulation: The System Dynamics Modeling Approach and Government Information Management as well as over eighty other edited volumes, journal articles, and book chapters dealing with System Dynamics, public policy and management, and information systems. He is a recipient of the Jay W. Forrester Prize for the best published work in System Dynamics. The faculty and staff of the College and University extend their congratulations and thanks to Professor Andersen for his manifold contributions over the last thirty-eight years. The 2015 Rockefeller College Annual Alumni & Awards Dinner will be held on May 15, at 6:00pm at the New York State Museum in Albany.
Dr. Florian Kapmeier and World Climate Inspire German Students
C-ROADS World Climate computer simulation game was introduced by Dr. Florian Kapmeier to college students in Reutlingen University’s ESB Business School in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. In the game, students were assigned roles as United Nation delegates to negotiate, make decisions, and try to reach an agreement that aims at a minimum rise of the global temperature. According to Dr. Kapmeier, the simulation game is a much more effective way for students to learn that early action is needed compared with traditional lectures. The event was reported by Climate Interactive and a local newspaper Reutlinger General-Anzeiger in Germany.
Photo courtesy Reutlinger General-Anzeiger www.climateinteractive.org
Brazil Chapter News About 2014 and 2015 Symposiums
On December 4, 2014, the Brazilian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society held a one-day symposium in São Paulo. Three of the presentations are now available (video & slides) at the Chapter webpage.
– by Kim Warren, on “Agile System Dynamics: Fast, Effective, Reliable”
– by Khalid Saeed, on “Economic Development, Creative Destruction and Urban Dynamics: Proposal for Rethinking Developmental Agendas”
– by Andrew Ford, on “Energy Market Dynamics: Lessons from the Case Study of Energy Storage for the Ontario Power System”
The Brazil Chapter welcomes everyone who may be interested in these topics to visit their webpage and to benefit from the availability of these materials, thanks to the generosity of our colleagues Kim, Khalid and Andy. These presentations were possible thanks to the initiative and technology provided by Karim Chichakly, of isee systems. The symposium was organized by our Chapter President Marciano Morozowski and hosted by Edmilson Moraes, at FEI University. Fifty participants attended in person. Local presenters were Edmilson Moraes, Newton Bueno, João Arantes and Rudolf Flunger.
The Chapter leadership has decided to expand the symposium this year (2015), to include not only presentations but also posters (on October 2), and workshops (on October 3). The event will once again be hosted by Edmilson Moraes at FEI University, in São Paulo. Marciano Morozowski and Karim Chichakly have agreed to serve as Program and Workshop Chairs, respectively. A call for papers is being prepared and key deadlines will be announced soon.
AcademyHealth announces a new scholarship opportunity for those with an advanced understanding of complex methodologies and rigorous approaches to systems-level challenges.
The inaugural Systems Science Scholarship is now accepting applications. This scholarship will introduce systems science methods to the health services research (HSR) community. In particular, the scholarship seeks to foster collaboration between the scholars and those in HSR who are investigating systems-level challenges related to public health. It will provide travel support to five expert systems science methodologists to attend the 2015 Annual Research Meeting and Public Health Systems Research (PHSR) Interest Group Annual Meeting in June. Applications are due March 31.
Ideal candidates will have formal training in one or more systems science methodologies (e.g., complexity science, system dynamics modeling, agent-based modeling, social network analysis, discrete event simulation, microsimulation) and will have significant practical expertise in applying these methods. Experience in health or health care is not required. However, while preference will be given to applicants from outside of the health space, applicants should show an interest in understanding the complex nature of population health improvement.
Please consider sharing this new opportunity with any colleagues who are systems experts. Please direct questions to PHSR@AcademyHealth.org.
Jorgen Randers will be honored in May with a Festschrift, featuring a tabula gratulatoria, an extended list of academic colleagues and friends who send their best wishes. If you would like to sign up to congratulation Jorgen, purchase the forthcoming “Science Based Activism” celebration publication, or learn more about the associated seminar “Green Economics & Science Based Activism” please visit the event website. The deadline for inclusion in the tabula gratulatoria is April 7th. Jorgen is a founding member of System Dynamics Society, Professor of Climate Strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School, and formerly served as Deputy Director-General of the World Wildlife Fund. Happy birthday Jorgen!
Member Lukas Sihombing is now VP Construction Certification at IAMPI
IAMPI is the Indonesia Society of Project Management Professionals. Lukas is responsible to ensure that all of the candidates who desire project management professional certification pass the examination by IAMPI. IAMPI’s project management certification is competence-based and divided to be three levels: certified practicing project practitioners, certified practicing project manager, certified practicing project director and portfolio. The relationship between IAMPI and System Dynamics in Indonesia is still developing, some project management professionals have use System Dynamics as a tool to analyze projects’ scheduling, project finance, cost, etc. It is the first organization in Indonesia to incorporate System Dynamics in project management, and it has been challenging to ensure the use of System Dynamics for construction and public policy.
New PhD at Radboud University in Nijmegen:
On 13 March 2015 Philipp Wunderlich successfully defended his doctoral thesis at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His dissertation is titled “Innovation Diffusion within Organizations – Word of mouth and the effectiveness of intra-organizational innovation implementation.” After studying Business Administration at Mannheim University, Philipp joined the System Dynamics Group at Radboud in 2011. He supported System Dynamics education, for instance in the European Master in System Dynamics programme, and presented his research at the International System Dynamics Conferences. Part of his thesis was published as: P. Wunderlich, A. Größler, N. Zimmermann, J. Vennix (2014): “Managerial Influence on the Diffusion of Innovations within Intra-organizational Networks” in System Dynamics Review 30(3), 161–185. His doctoral work was supervised by Professors Vennix and Größler.
The photo shows Jac Vennix handing over the doctoral diploma to Philipp Wunderlich after his defense. In the background, the thesis committee (from left to right): Andreas Größler, Ad van Deemen, Peter Milling, David Lane, Kristina Lauche, Etienne Rouwette, and Nicole Zimmermann (present but not pictured).
Bibliography Highlights for March: Aging
Population characteristics draw more and more attention in diverse fields with special concern for the effects of aging on system behavior. Health care utilization, social welfare needs and consumer purchasing patterns change as people age. The selections for this month focus on how we simulate population attributes – from one-stock representations to the simple progression of an aging chain to the precise tracking of continuous cohorts. If you wish to submit additional references for high-quality applications of System Dynamics in Aging, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. See what you can find in the System Dynamics Bibliography.
|Ansah, J. P., Eberlein, R. L., Love, S. R., Bautista, M. A., Thompson, J. P., Malhotra, R., & Matchar, D. B.||2014||Implications of long-term care capacity response policies for an aging population: A simulation analysis||Health Policy|
|Thompson, J. P., Riley, C. M. and Eberlein, R. L.||2014||Modelling for Insight: The Case of Dementia in Singapore||Systems Research and Behavioral Science|
|Thompson, J. P., Riley, C. M., Eberlein, R. L. and Matchar, D. B.||2012||Future Living Arrangements of Singaporeans with Age-Related Dementia||International Psychogeriatrics|
|Walker, B. and Haslett, T.||2001||System Dynamics and Action Research in Aged Care||Australian Health Review|
|Mohapatra, P. K. J., Mandal, P. and Mahanty, B.||1992||Dynamic Modelling for Age Distribution and Age-Based Policies in Manpower Planning||Applied Math Modelling|
|Barlas, Y. and Wu, J.||1988||A System Dynamics Model of Population Growth and Regulation||Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America|
Member David Keith participates in “Innovations in Energy and Mobility Affecting the Future of Our Cities”
“Innovations in Energy and Mobility Affecting the Future of Our Cities,” hosted by Iceland Naturally, MIT Media Lab, and City Science Initiative, is one of the events that took place at the Taste of Iceland Festival in Boston on March 12. The discussion was a city-to-city dialogue about energy innovation centered on Boston and Reykjavik’s efforts to innovate energy for a better future. Among the speakers was David Keith, System Dynamics Society member and assistant professor of System Dynamics at MIT. Other speakers included Dagur B. Eggertsson, Reykjavik’s mayor, and Vineet Gupta, director of Planning for Boston Transportation.
Member Etiënne Rouwette has been appointed as a Full Professor of Research and Intervention Methodology as of March 1 this year. He will be Chair of the Methodology and System Dynamics Group of the Nijmegen School of Management, which will continue the strong future presence of System Dynamics in Nijmegen. Future plans include the continuation of the work in Group Model Building and Facilitated Modelling, the development of the Nijmegen Decision Lab, and the further advancement of the European Master Program in System Dynamics together with Andreas Grössler.
Etiënne received his PhD from Radboud University in 2003. He has been teaching System Dynamics and Group Model Building since 1995. He conducted many GMB projects for a wide variety of organizations. In his research he focuses on the systematic, empirical assessment of GMB interventions and the further development of scripts for GMB.
Etiënne has a long history of volunteering for the System Dynamics Society (e.g. Policy Council Member, Conference Host of the European SD Workshop in 2005, Organizing Chair of ISDC 2006 in Nijmegen, Co-program Chair ISDC 2014, and VP of Membership) . He is currently President Elect.
Congratulations to Etiënne and good luck on behalf of the Society!
World Climate Game, developed by Climate Interactive and MIT SD Group, featured in ScienceInsider
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) magazine ScienceInsider published an article about World Climate, a game co-developed by the nonprofit Climate Interactive and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology System Dynamics Group. A colleague of the Group, Juliette Rooney-Varge (Director of Climate Change Initiative at UMass), ran it at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco this past fall. The game, which simulates international climate change negotiations, was created in 2010. It is to U.N. climate negotiations what Model U.N. is to the real thing: a chance for outsiders to get a glimpse of what it takes to hammer out a consensus on a thorny international issue. After the game, Rooney-Varga gathered the group to debrief. “It wasn’t obvious until we did this exercise just how strong the change needs to be…” said Lev Horodyskyj, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University, Tempe. Organizers said that the goal of the game is to inspire, not terrify. Mitigating climate change is an enormous task, but it’s not impossible; and it won’t be resolved without teamwork. “The key insights are that you need everybody to act,” Rooney-Varga said. “It’s all in.”
NASPAA’s First National Student Simulation Competition Uses a System Dynamics Simulator
The National Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration(NASPAA) conducted its first-ever National Student Simulation Competition, “Creating a Locally-Led ‘Bottom Up’ Reform to the Affordable Care Act” on February 28, 2015. The daylong event brought together about 200 students from 93 NASPAA member graduate schools to five regional locations across the country to analyze the delivery of health care service at the local level. Participants presented their solutions to a national panel of judges. The competition featured ReThink Health Dynamics Model, a System Dynamics simulation model, which enables students to think dynamically and over long time horizons to identify sustainable solutions to health care problems. Participants ran more than 4,400 different simulation runs using a Forio user interface that worked flawlessly.
According to Laurel McFarland, NASPAA Executive Director, “This competition demonstrates the tremendous learning opportunities gained by using simulations to immerse students in situations where they are able to immediately see the complexities and systemic aspects of public policy and management challenges.”
Bobby Milstein, Director of ReThink Health wrote “It was a thrill to hear the insights from each regional winner about where the real leverage may lie in shaping sound health policy. These teams displayed a mix of curiosity, skill, and moral clarity that bodes well for effective action on this critical national challenge. I was also amazed that students from different schools could instantly work so well together and accomplish so much in a single day. . . . Hopefully, we’ll look back on this as an important landmark both for educational methodology and for the U.S. health reform movement. ”
The Discover magazine posted a new article titled “Does Science Produce Too Many PhD Graduates?” The post reflects on a 2014 paper published in System Research and Behavioral Science by Richard Larson, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, and Yi Xue. The original published paper which is titled “Too Many PhD Graduates or Too Few Academic Job Openings: The Basic Reproductive Number R0 in Academia” analyzes the growth in population of PhDs in academia. A follow-on article by the same group of researchers uncovers structural reasons and systemic flaws of science workforce development in the US.
Creative Learning Exchange Newsletter
The Winter 2015 issue of The Creative Learning Exchange’s newsletter The Exchange is now available on their website. In this issue you will find the article “Population Dynamics, Connecting, Past, Present, and Future,” which discusses a four part curriculum by Jeff Potash and Jennifer Anderson designed to supplement existing high school history curricula, and intended to introduce students to a variety of systems tools. Also in the newsletter is information about the upcoming DynamiQueST, a showcase of student projects that utilize critical thinking skills to analyze complex dynamic systems in a relaxed environment. Students, ages 8-18, will showcase their work at Worcester Polytechnic Institute using their ability to analyze and to clearly communicate critical thinking using the tools and methods of system thinking and system dynamics. See the CLE newsletter for complete details.
John Sterman Invited as a Guest Speaker on Radio BostonJohn Sterman, professor of management and director of the System Dynamics Group at the MIT Sloan School, was invited to share his thoughts about the crisis of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) on Radio Boston. MBTA passengers have been experiencing frustrating transportation delays during this frigid winter. John said that this is a systemic issue. He anatomized the problem from an interesting System Dynamics perspective. Visit the website of Radio Boston to listen to the broadcast.
February 2015 The New Systems Thinker
Leverage Networks’ first subscriber-only issue of The New Systems Thinker (TNST) is now available. Leverage Networks has revamped and resurrected the Systems Thinker in an effort to bring you useful, relevant cases and insights to advance your work and communicate systemic ideas to others. The newsletter is offered on an annual subscription basis with 10 issues each year featuring Success Stories, From the Headlines, Noteworthy Insights, Toolbox, Feedback-User Submitted Articles, and Industry Insights. Individual articles may also be purchased. Also available from their online shop are hundreds of past Pegasus Systems Thinker articles.
SoL North America recently launched Virtual SoL, a collaborative, online learning platform allowing members of to engage in a lively exchange of ideas, perspectives, and insights on the theory and practice of organizational learning, leadership, and related areas of research. The platform combines state-of-the-art technology with SoL North America’s diverse membership base to provide an immersive virtual learning model—a collaborative, intuitive space where members can share learning products and professional development resources.
Virtual SoL offers ease-of-use and critical elements of presence to create a responsive, integrated, and dynamic community. Since its launch, Virtual SoL has attracted thought leaders, seasoned practitioners, students, and professionals serious about expanding their competencies in the field of organizational learning. Collectively, participants create a vibrant, real-time conversation on current systemic and popular issues of the day. As the community continues to grow, it serves as a critical meeting of minds where perspectives intersect, interests align, viewpoints converge, and ideas evolve.
SoL is now SoL North America!
Following the first and very successful Global Forum hosted by the Global Association of SoL Communities (GASC) in Paris, France in May 2014, it became clear that GASC had established itself as an independent and self-sustaining entity. Recognizing the need for differentiation, the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) officially changed its name to SoL North America to better serve and represent local communities. This change firmly establishes SoL NA as one of the many SoL communities around the world – such as SoL France, SoL Sweden, and SoL Austria – who are now part of the GASC. SoL NA will continue its offerings, including workshops with Peter Senge. 2015 workshops will be offered starting in March. For information, please visit www.solonline.org.
An Interview about System Dynamics Modeling by and for Chinese speaking students
Earlier in February, member Dr. John Richardson, Visiting Professor at Residential College 4 and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (NUS) was interviewed for WeMedia, an organization whose primary audience is Chinese-speaking students. The interview is about systems thinking and especially System Dynamics modeling, emphasizing its relevance to future opportunities and challenges that Singapore faces.
WeMedia’s (by the people and for the people) platform is devoted to “stories of people worth spreading.” It was founded by a group of international graduates from NUS and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in October 2014. Their slogan is “through the person to see the world.” The interviewer, Sun Jie, whose WeChat ID is xin-yue-du, is a graduate of the NUS University Scholars Program. She completed John Richardson’s course in the Dynamic Modeling of Public Policy Systems at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Spring, 2013.
Please read the interview, presented in Chinese and English text, along with some photos.
Member Samir Traboulsi Recognized for Outstanding Industry Achievements
ASHRAE President Tom Phoenix and Samir Traboulsi
Samir R. Traboulsi was recognized for his contribution to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the built environment industry at ASHRAE’s 2015 Winter Conference in January. ASHRAE elevated Samir’s membership to the grade of Fellow. This is an honor that recognizes members who have attained distinction and made substantial contributions in HVAC&R and the built environment such as education, research, engineering design and consultation, publications, presentations and mentoring. Samir is a longtime member of the System Dynamics Society and a Senior Lecturer at American University of Beirut; General Manager at Thermotrade; and Managing Director at Ranec SARL, all in Beirut, Lebanon.
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. ASHRAE and its members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.
Bibliography Highlights for February: Health
High-quality application of System Dynamics in health-related research covers a breadth of interconnected topics. This month’s Bibliography Highlights complements the new System Dynamics Applications to Health and Health Care virtual issue of the System Dynamics Review. In addition to articles, the virtual issue contains an extended bibliography. If you wish to submit additional references for high-quality applications of System Dynamics in Health, please send them to email@example.com. See what you can find in the System Dynamics Bibliography.
|Hirsch, G., Homer, J., Trogdon, J., Wile, K., and Orenstein, D.||2014||Using Simulation to Compare 4 Categories of Intervention for Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risks||American Journal of Public Health|
|Sabounchi, N. S., Hovmand, P.S., Osgood, N. D., Dyck, R F., and Jungheim, E. S.||2014||A Novel System Dynamics Model of Female Obesity and Fertility||American Journal of Public Health|
|Lich, K. H., Tian, Y., Beadles, C. A., Williams, L. S., Bravata, D. M., Cheng, E. M., Bosworth, H. B., Homer, J. B., and Matchar, D. B.||2014||Strategic Planning to Reduce the Burden of Stroke among Veterans: Using Simulation Modeling to Inform Decision Making||Stroke|
|Kunc, M. and Kazakov, R.||2013||Competitive Dynamics in Pharmaceutical Markets: A Case Study in the Chronic Cardiac Disease Market||Journal of the Operational Research Society|
|Carrasco, L. R., Lee, V. J., Chen, M. I., Matchar, D. B., Thompson, J. P., and Cook, A. R.||2011||Strategies for Antiviral Stockpiling for Future Influenza Pandemics: A Global Epidemic-Economic Perspective||Journal of the Royal Society Interface|
|Hirsch, G., Homer, J., Evans, E., and Zielinski, A.||2010||A System Dynamics Model for Planning Cardiovascular Disease Interventions||American Journal of Public Health|
|Walker, B. and Haslett, T.||2001||System Dynamics and Action Research in Aged Care||Australian Health Review|
|Wolstenholme, E.||1993||A Case Study in Community Care using Systems Thinking||Journal of the Operational Research Society|
This year, isee systems is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. Founded as High Performance Systems in 1985 by Barry Richmond, the company began showing the first version of STELLA the same year. At the time, Dynamo and its cousins were used to build models by typing in equations, and printing out results plotted with teletype style printers – the same type of plots that were shown in industrial Dynamics. STELLA, running on the very new Macintosh computer, brought icon-based model building to the System Dynamics community and opened the doors to its use in new areas including the K-12 classroom.isee systems is a longtime sponsor of the System Dynamics Society and our annual conference and continues its innovations in software for System Dynamics. Congratulations!
WPI to Offer Major Combining System Dynamics, Innovation Management – Link to TIES Newsletter page
WPI has been one of a handful of universities around the world to offer an undergraduate major and graduate programs in System Dynamics, and now WPI is reinforcing its leadership in the discipline by offering a master’s degree program in System Dynamics and Innovation Management. The new program is based on a proposal of professors Khalid Saeed and Oleg Pavlov of the Social Science and Policy Studies Department, and professors Amy Zeng and Michael Elmes, program director Norm Wilkinson, and executive director Paul Mack of the Foisie School of Business. The 33-credit degree splits course work between that Department and Foisie. “Our management and System Dynamics colleagues worked together for more than six months to develop a proposal for the degree, which is aimed at students who want to apply System Dynamics to management, create computer models, think outside of the box, and aspire to leadership roles.” Saeed said. “We expect to attract students who want to go into management with a high level of analytical skills. In this complex world, that is an important value proposition.” Saeed, who came to WPI in 1997, is a winner of the Jay Wright Forrester Award and former President of the System Dynamics Society. According to Jay Forrester, the founder of System Dynamics, “Today, interest in System Dynamics is growing faster than the supply of skilled professionals in the field. At present, there is a bottleneck in education for System Dynamics expertise. The new program will help reduce that bottleneck.” The new program is expected to be offered in the next academic year. Click here to see the complete TIES Newsletter.
System Dynamics Centre of Expertise Continues to Grow
Eskom SOC (an electricity utility in South Africa), is in a unique position to be able to oversee the generation-to-end-user value chain, however, the complexity in the electricity sector required a move away from conventional modelling approaches to approaches such as System Dynamics that would assist in system understanding and bridging the risk-uncertainty gaps. The System Dynamics Centre of Expertise, headed by Nalini Sooknanan Pillay, within Eskom’s R&D business unit was founded in 2011, and is currently staffed with 6 engineers with a variety of disciplines (Mechanical, Chemical & Industrial) to assist in merging Eskom’s empirical history with scenario-based simulations of future trends. Some of the current suite of projects include: diesel logistics; coal as a strategic resource; water strategy dynamics; customer satisfaction and the distribution business; and sectoral electricity demand.
Learning Economics with Dynamic Modeling: An International Collaboration
During a visit to Ukraine on November 18, 2014, the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, attended a briefing by David Wheat (University of Bergen) and Iryna Lukianenko (National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy; NaUKMA) on “Learning Economics with Dynamic Modeling” (LEDM). Funded by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and administered by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education, LEDM is a four-year project designed to develop dynamic modeling capacity among economists and finance scholars at NaUKMA. In September 2015 Wheat will offer the first online SD-based economics course for NaUKMA students. The presentation to the prime minister and over 200 students and professors was arranged by the Norwegian Embassy in Kiev, as an example of cooperation between Norway and Ukraine in the field of education. Here is a 5-minute video about the project.