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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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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?


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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..

Join the Delft Conference conversation at #ISDC14 !

During #ISDC14 we want to create a more engaging conference by using social media.

Join the live conversation at the Delft conference via Twitter by using the hashtag #ISDC14. Share the excitement, post inspiring quotes, ask questions, provide feedback, engage by using #ISDC14 as the conference happens. Onsite, the conversation will be visible, so if you are not attending, please join in and follow the conversation from home! Make sure you are already following our Twitter account on If you do not have a Twitter account, please sign-up.

During and after this year’s conference, use the ISDC LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Follow the conference happenings while participants load conference reports and blogs on the LinkedIn System Dynamics Conference group. Reports will also be displayed at the conference. We expect some pictures will also be shared.

Some fun onsite: the best e-participant at the conference will be rewarded. Make sure you are part of the conversation!

2013-14 ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth (left) presents Samir Traboulsi with an Exceptional Service Award

Member Samir Traboulsi Receives ASHRAE Exceptional Service Award

Samir Traboulsi, Ph.D., P.Eng., ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Assessment and High-Performance Building Design Professional from Beirut, has received an Exceptional Service Award from ASHRAE at its 2014 Annual Conference recently held in Seattle. The Exceptional Service Award recognizes Distinguished Service Award recipients who have continued to serve the Society faithfully and with exemplary effort.

Traboulsi is senior lecturer, American University of Beirut; general manager, Thermotrade; managing director, Ranec; Beirut, Lebanon. He served as the Region-at-Large director and regional chair on the Board of Directors. In that role, Traboulsi identified local HVAC&R needs; energized members to become advocates for the spread of standards; and encouraged professionals to become more involved. He founded the Lebanese Chapter and also initiated the founding of several other chapters throughout his region. As a senior lecturer, he uses ASHRAE Handbooks as part of his courses on building services and the environment.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 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. More information can be found at

Samir is a long-time member of the System Dynamics Society. Congratulations Samir!

Peer Mentoring Network

David Andersen connects with colleagues via a System Dynamics peer mentoring network, aka The Thursday Morning Group. David says peer mentoring is imperative to increasing effectiveness and progression in careers and professions, specifically in fields such as System Dynamics. The Thursday Morning Group meets via live video chat in order to catch up and provide support for fellow System Dynamicists who are exploring new challenges and project avenues. Participants come from as far west as California and as far east as Ethiopia. Some members have known each other since 1975, and others as recent as several years ago. Attendance is very regular and members of the group are committed to high quality work in System Dynamics and its effect on society. Participants act as the group mediator to ensure effectiveness of the online peer mentoring session. The international group explores and develops aspects of System Dynamics issues, concerns and future planning by rotating who presents research and issues at the meetings. Each meeting has a particular focus and participants prepare questions they would like to address during meeting times. Friendships are strengthened and professional development increases as projects are launched and research continues to be conducted through the System Dynamics Peer Mentoring Network group meetings on Thursday mornings.

Perhaps there are similar efforts elsewhere that the Society can share on our website? If so please send us your news!

Diana Fisher is one of three expert panelists discussing the impact of XMILE

XMILE Panel Disucssion: How Will XMILE Impact the System Dynamics Landscape?

Over the past months, we’ve seen great System Dynamics use cases, ranging from climate to retail, some using Big Data. The goal of XMILE is to make it easier to develop such applications and support the integration of System Dynamics models into additional solutions being developed for business and policy makers. To finish the year, we are presenting four webinars that focus on the draft XMILE specification developed by the OASIS Technical Committee.

In this fourth and last XMILE overview webinar, we will have an open panel discussion with three leaders of the System Dynamics field on their views of what XMILE can do to change the field. Please join Andrew Ford of Washington State University, Diana Fisher of CC Modeling Systems, Ignacio Martinez-Moyano of Argonne National Laboratory, and us for what promises to be an energetic and informative discussion.

This webinar is the twelfth in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series jointly sponsored by IBM, isee systems, and the OASIS XMILE Technical Committee. The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discuss new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted.

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

C-ROADS Analysis in Science article

The news item A bold baby step on emissions, by Eli Kintisch from the new issue of Science (6 JUNE 2014 • VOL 344 ISSUE 6188 1071) discusses the likely impact of the new proposed EPA rules limiting CO2 emissions from existing coal plants. The team at Science asked Climate Interactive to analyze the impact of the rules on global emissions and warming.

Opponents of the rules including the coal industry argue that the US rules will have only a small impact on global emissions and warming, but the goal of the rule is also to promote reductions by other nations. Up to now, nations including China (the world’s largest emitter), India, and other key developing nations have argued that they should not be asked to cut their emissions or coal use when the US has no policies to cut theirs. The new rules, if implemented, will undercut this argument, and may be important in leading to a new global agreement to reduce emissions now being negotiated, with a target date for agreement of 2015, at the UNFCCC meeting to be held in Paris that year. The C-ROADS analysis shows that if other nations follow the US reductions the benefits are huge, with future warming falling from nearly 5°C above preindustrial levels to just above 2°C.

Further explanation and documentation of the analysis can be found here. Sent in by John Sterman.

In Memoriam

Klaus Dieter John

Klaus Dieter John from Chemnitz University of Technology passed away two weeks ago. Klaus was a long time member and participant at our conferences every year. In addition to being a past representative of the Economics Chapter, Klaus was an enthusiastic reviewer for conference paper submissions. Klaus introduced his daughter Sarah and son Sebastian to System Dynamics and they accompanied him to a number of our conferences. Sarah wrote recently “My father often told us how much he enjoyed being part of the System Dynamics Society. He really cherished the friendly and warmhearted atmosphere that he hadn’t experienced at any other society in that intensity and manner. I just wanted to let you know, how inspiring the System Dynamics Society had been to him.”

Narendra K Patni
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Narendra K Patni from Patni Holdings LLC has died recently. Naren was a steadfast sponsor and member the System Dynamics Society for many years. He was a graduate of MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Naren was a student of Jay Forrester and worked for him for a few years prior to the formation of Patni Computer Systems, an extremely successful Indian outsourcing business. Earlier this year, Naren wrote a quick note to the Society office, “He [Jay] and I go a long way back. He is my true mentor.” Naren introduced his son Anirudh to System Dynamics; Anirudh was also a member of the Society.

Rogelio Oliva wins POM Society’s Skinner Teaching Innovation Award

Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review and MIT Sloan PhD alum in System Dynamics Rogelio Oliva has been awarded the Skinner Teaching Innovation Award by the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). Congratulations Rogelio! Below a description of the award and the citation.

The purpose of this award is to recognize impact and innovation in the teaching of Production and Operations Management courses.

Award Criteria:

  1. Pedagogical excellence. This could be documented through the diversity of courses taught and student evaluations, letters of support from former students and/or assessments of knowledgeable colleagues.
  2. Creativity and/or innovation. This would be reflected in teaching approaches and methodologies (e.g., team teaching, student teams, action learning, role playing, etc.) and/or new ways for understanding actual operations problems and the methods that can be applied to deal with them (e.g., frameworks, technology, software, etc.).
  3. Impact. In this case, impact on the field, the profession, students/executives, and managers is of relevance. Various types of evidence could be offered to demonstrate that the applicant’s teaching has influenced the world of POM. Having taught large numbers of students is certainly one measure of impact, but more important is evidence that the applicant’s teaching has influenced behavior. This could be documented via letters from former students, statements from people in industry who have hired former students, and letters from other academics who have themselves been influenced by the applicant’s teaching (e.g., by adopting a book, case or course structure).

Citation: Professor Oliva is truly a master of the case method of teaching. His former students describe his classes as extremely demanding, even stressful, but their appreciation is clear from his consistently school-leading teaching evaluations as well as the remarkable 12 teaching awards that he has received in his 16 years of teaching. Former students consistently comment that Professor Oliva’s classes were transformational for them in the professional journeys. In addition, he has made substantial contributions to our profession through his numerous case method workshops around the world, as well as his widely-adopted Harvard Business School cases and teaching notes.

The list of past winners is at

Live Web Seminar – XMILE’s Display and Interface Capabilities

Announcing the third overview XMILE webinar! Join us on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 as Billy Schoenberg of isee systems and Gary Baxter MEMIC of will explain how stock-flow diagrams are represented in XMILE. They will also discuss how output objects (such as graphs and tables) are described, how input objects (such as sliders and switches), are specified, and how the stock-flow diagram can be annotated with text, graphics, and buttons.

Over the past seven months, we have presented seven System Dynamics use cases, some using Big Data. To finish the year, we are presenting four webinars that focus on the draft XMILE specification developed by the OASIS Technical Committee: overview, technical details of simulation aspects, technical details of display and interface aspects, and a panel discussion with System Dynamics leaders about the impact of XMILE on their work and the field. The webinar series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discuss new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted.

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

Yukata Takahashi quoted in Japanese newspaper

Society member, Professor Yutaka Takahashi of Senshu University School of Commerce, reported to us that he was recently quoted in the Yomiuri Shimbun morning edition.

At issue was public procurement for a job training program. There are laws in Japan that prohibit public officers having close contact with prospective bidders prior to the bidding process. Despite this, several officers of the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare gave much information to a prospective bidder, the Japan Organization for Employment of the Elderly, Persons with Disabilities and Job Seekers (JEED).

Professor Takahashi credits his System Dynamics experience with aiding him in concluding that even though regulation and punishments are in place for the public procurement process, there are “systematic problems…” He went on to say, “The schedule and nationwide scale of this project caused uncertainty and related organizations’ avoidance of responsibility. The correct solution must redesign the whole project as a system, balance resources and project size, and avoid underestimating unfavorable time evolution of small changes.”

Professor Takahashi is a member of the public procurement supervision committee, Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in Japan.

The Yomiuri Shimbun has a daily circulation of over 9.8 million copies.

The System Dynamics Bibliography has been updated (May 22, 2014)

The second update of the 2014 Bibliography is now available. It can be viewed in text format (Notepad) as well as a tab delimited format (database compatible). For those who have EndNote X or higher, there is a compressed version. Instructions may be found on the Download page.

The Bibliographic Updates page lists recent additions to the System Dynamics Bibliography. The Updates Page includes references for recent journal articles as well as older journal articles that have just been brought to our attention. We are always looking for new references or references that have not yet been included in our Bibliography.

Was your paper accepted for our Delft Conference? Have you had a journal article or conference paper published recently? Did you find your references in the System Dynamics Bibliography? If not, and you would like to share the System Dynamics, Systems Thinking or Systems Modeling references that you used, please send them to We would love to hear from you.

System Dynamics Africa Chapter takes off with a big bang!

The Society’s Policy Council recently approved the formation of the System Dynamics Africa Regional Chapter. This is an important step in creating awareness of System Dynamics and its applications in solving pressing societal challenges across Africa. The Chapter’s membership covers nearly 30 countries.

The objectives of the Chapter are to:

  1. promote understanding and awareness of System Dynamics as a problem solving approach to many Africa-based problems;
  2. identify, develop, extend and disseminate knowledge contributing to the understanding of feedback systems in Africa;
  3. promote the development of the field of System Dynamics and the free interchange of learning, research and scholarship in all related fields in Africa;
  4. encourage and develop educational programmes in the feedback behaviour of systems in Africa.

In order to achieve these objectives, the Chapter shall conduct meetings, workshops, and conferences; and publish books and other materials.

There are many items on the Chapter’s agenda. Soon it shall hold its proposed flagship Conference, the 1st International Workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing. The conference will be held on the 11th and 12th of November, 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya. The 10th of November will be reserved for the PhD Colloquium.

You are welcome to take part as an author, reviewer, adviser or participant to get current knowledge and understanding of System Dynamics and its applications in Africa.

The president of the Chapter, Professor Ddembe Williams, says, “We expect Case studies, experience papers, and theoretical papers mainly focusing on global societal challenges, including global health, food security, climate change, software development, water usage, and policy development.” There will be four plenary sessions.

More information including the call will be available on the Society’s website.

New article in the American Journal of Public Health, “Using Simulation to Compare 4 Categories of Intervention for Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risks”

AJPH is one of the world’s leading public health journals and has been selected as a core journal by the Medical Library Association. The June 2014 issue includes three articles with System Dynamics content. The above-named article uses the Prevention Impacts Simulation Model (PRISM) to compare four categories of intervention—clinical, behavioral support, health promotion and access, and taxes and regulation—for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. PRISM is a wide-ranging, evidence-based System Dynamics model funded continuously since 2007 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with additional major funding from the National Institutes of Health. It received the System Dynamics Society’s Application Award in 2011. The new article is the most complete published presentation of PRISM to date. The authors are System Dynamics Society members Gary Hirsch, Jack Homer, and Kristina Wile, along with health economist Justin Trogdon and CDC supervisor, Diane Orenstein. For more information, go to or contact one of the authors.

We are happy to announce the tentative Schedule by Thread is now available for the 2014 System Dynamics Conference in Delft, the Netherlands. Sessions have been organized to demonstrate the value of System Dynamics for Good Governance in a Complex World, which is the theme of the conference. Sessions include the role of models in governance in the public and private sectors, involving a diversity of domains, disciplines, organizations, stakeholders, policies, and goals. Please take a look to see the list of research topics and documented applications solving real world problems. To name a few, some plenary session titles include Award-Worthy System Dynamics Applications; Supply Lines and Resources; Methodology: Analysis and Data; and Governance.

Additionally, the Thursday Workshop Schedule is also available. All levels of workshops will be offered; enhance your skill set!

The Modeling Assistance Workshop, the Newcomer Orientation, and the Red Ribbon Event are perennial favorites, all returning to the Delft conference. Additionally, building on the success of last year, the Model Expo will return to the schedule this year. Meet the sponsors and exhibitors to learn about their new products and developments. Details on these items and more can be found online.

The program schedule will be available in early June on the conference website; please check for updates as the conference approaches. The program promises to provide an opportunity for you to learn about the latest work and research, and receive state-of-the-art information on a range of topics. Join the enthusiastic students, academic leaders, and expert consultants and professionals who will debate topics with the breadth and depth needed to really understand what people are doing in the field.

Registration is now open. Take advantage of opportunities to gain and share knowledge in the field, network and more. We hope to see you in Delft, the Netherlands; the dates of the conference are July 20 – 24, 2014.

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