NEWS

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

Stay Connected with E-Communities

The System Dynamics Society has a wonderful list of resources available on the E-Communities page, found in the Activities and Resources section of our website. This web page gives you access to the Society and our community through popular social media links – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. (Follow us on our recently created LinkedIn page!) The E-Communities page also connects you to information within our website, including an introduction to Systems Dynamics and the history of the Society, the SDForum, and links to other websites relevant to System Dynamics and systems thinking. These websites offer a great supplement of knowledge through discussion forums, tutorials, and access to publications, videos, models and simulations. Don’t miss this terrific resource, visit E-Communities today!


Access Hundreds of Free Insightful Articles and More with The Systems Thinker

Announcing the launch of The Systems Thinker a website containing a completely free library of 800+ System Thinker articles, guides and webinars. The Systems Thinker works to catalyze effective change by expanding the use of systems approaches. This user-friendly site allows you to search articles in the collection or browse through the various categories, topics or sectors. You can also set up a free account to share and save your favorite articles. Visit thesystemsthinker.com to explore this incredible resource.


Oluwasegun Aluko Awarded the 2016 Student Prize at the UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference

At the UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference, held on April 14, 2014, Oluwasegun Aluko from the University of Leeds was announced as the winner of the 2016 Student Prize for his paper “A Model for the Evaluation of Transport Safety Policies in Commercial Motorcycle Operation in Nigeria.” The five full paper entries for the student prize were accessed by four criteria: dynamics problem formulation, justified use of system dynamic methodology, model results and implementation and contribution to knowledge. The award announcement notes “Three features of Oluwasegun’s work stood out. Firstly, the range of policy changes that gave insight into how the driver behaviour could be improved. Secondly, the data extraction methods used. Semi-structured interviews with drivers were used in model construction and calibration. Thirdly, the potential transferability of the model to other forms of commercial taxi services across many developing countries where the operational issues are similar.” A copy of his presentation is available on the UK Chapter website.


Chris Spencer awarded the 2016 Geoff Coyle Medal

On April 14, 2016, Chris Spencer was awarded the 2016 Geoff Coyle Medal at the 18th UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference, for his work in developing the Sysdea System Dynamics software. The two outstanding features of the browser-based Sysdea software are the speed with which models can be created and the ease of sharing the models, either finished for review or in co-creation. These features are beneficial not only for teaching, but also practical business applications and even scientific use. The award announcement states “Chris Spencer is highly deserving of the prize and the policy council have no doubt that Geoff Coyle, once recovered from the shock of how easy Sysdea makes System Dynamics, would agree wholeheartedly.”

The Sysdea software that Chris developed can be found at www.sysdea.com. A copy of the presentation Chris gave at the conference is available on the UK Chapter website.


Immerse Yourself in System Dynamics This Summer!

With courses taught at three levels, the 3rd System Dynamics Summer School offers something for everyone. Registration is now for open for the three-day System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University, the same site as the annual conference, the ISDC, in the Netherlands. Whether you are a newcomer to the field or an experienced practitioner, this Summer School program provides the opportunity to explore System Dynamics while building professional networks.

The Summer School program takes place Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening). On Saturday, July 16 there is an optional half-day social activity. Although summer school participants are not required to attend the conference, it is highly recommended that you also register for the ISDC, participate in the PhD Colloquium and the post-conference workshop day. Taking part in all offered events provides an exceptional experience with superior results.

Detailed information about the Summer School and registration is available on the Summer School website. Contact summerschool@systemdynamics.org for more information.


Washington Post article: Systems thinking as a key psychological driver for concern for environment

Scientists now know the psychology behind your worries about the environment,” an article recently published in The Washington Post, focuses on a study authored by Oberlin College psychologist Paul Thibodeau and his colleague Stephen Lezak. The study that was just published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology finds that those with a tendency to engage in systems thinking – embracing complex, multifaceted causal explanations for phenomena and recognizing the unpredictability of how nature works – tend to value the environment more and to be more concerned about climate change. Thibodeau is quoted in the article, “the idea is that it’s encouraging people to think about longer chains of causality, nuanced aspects of a complex system, and how any behavior in that system can have both intended and unintended consequences, and those can be hard to predict.” The full article can be read here.


Tentative Workshop Schedule Now Available at ISDC16

We are happy to announce that the tentative Workshop Schedule is now available for the 2016 System Dynamics Conference in Delft, the Netherlands. 40+ hours of all levels of workshops will be offered to enhance your skill set! The date is Thursday, July 21. Customize your Schedule! Begin with three days of pre-conference Summer School; join the PhD Colloquium and other special events on Sunday; attend the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday invited and contributed sessions; then wrap up with the Thursday Workshop day. Optimize your conference experience with a balance of learning and sharing! The Program by Thread will be available on May 13 and the full conference schedule will be available in early June. Please check the conference website for updates as July approaches.

The conference stopwatch is ticking for #ISDC2016! Registration is now open. We hope to see you in Delft, the Netherlands; the dates of the conference are July 17 – 21, 2016.


Professional Development Opportunities at #ISDC16

What’s on your conference agenda?

Do you know about the considerable list of professional development opportunities available in Delft? In addition to paper presentations, there are many ways to optimize your conference experience. Create a customized schedule to include any or all of the following:

  • Pre-conference Summer School — Immediately preceding the conference, three days of small-group, intensive instruction sessions at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, taught by an international and exemplary team of System Dynamics professors.
  • Instructional Workshops and Tutorial Sessions — Hands-on sessions conducted facilitated by leading scholars and practitioners on Thursday, the last day of the conference. Workshops will be offered at all levels.
  • Modeling Assistance Workshop — This popular workshop includes two sessions of one-on-one modeling coaching to address your specific modeling questions. Workshop slots are first come, first served. Reserve your spot today by contacting Rod MacDonald.
  • Publishing Assistance Workshop — Seeking guidance for navigating the world of publishing? Expert mentors are available to meet with you to discuss your next steps to publication. Contact George P. Richardson in advance to schedule your session.
  • Continuing Professional Education for Certified Public Accountants — The System Dynamics Society is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. .CPA participants can earn up to 24 credits in Specialized Knowledge and Applications, Economics, Business Management & Organization, Computer Science and Mathematics.

Climate Interactive Encourages “Multisolving” – the search for systemic solutions

Multisolving is the implementation of strategies that improve health, well-being, social justice and resilience which, in turn, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate. Walkable neighborhoods, for example, can reduce pollution from cars, improve people’s health, and revitalize and connect communities. Climate Interactive encourages the use of FLOWER (the
Framework for Long-term, Whole-system, Equity Based Reflection), a visual framework for multisolving that provides users a diagram of the six common types of co-benefits of actions to protect the climate: benefits to health, well-being, and safety; energy industry and mobility; food and water; jobs and assets; resilience to extreme events; and connection to the environment and human communities. Learn more about FLOWER and multisolving here.


32nd SD colloquium at WPI

On Friday, April 22nd, System Dynamics graduate students and faculties gathered at the beautiful campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to present their SD-related research and receive feedback from the experts in the field. This System Dynamics Colloquium, which was the 32nd of the series, provided an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with faculty members, students, and practitioners of the field. Attendees enjoyed eleven presentations from WPI, MIT, Binghamton University, Harvard, Purdue University, and UAlbany. Topics ranged from competitive dynamics to the latest developments in leveraging XMILE standard. Working models presented had boundaries as expansive as a national economy or national water resource management to as focused a boundary as optimizing urban mobility and understanding the Lyme disease outbreak in the New England.

In his remarks, Professor Khalid Saeed reflected on the origins of the Colloquium as a “brown bag lunch discussion” at MIT on Fridays and how Professor David Andersen helped shape and guide those events to their current form of a Colloquium over time. He spoke of the benefit of informal, non-evaluated, collaboration such as the Colloquium. He encouraged students to organize their own informal learning meetings, citing the WPI SD Club’s weekly Collective Learning Meeting, often recorded and broadcasted live, as just one possible example.

The event concluded with a great dinner reception at a local restaurant where the guests enjoyed socializing with their friends and colleagues, not to mention a delicious meal as well!

The next System Dynamics Colloquium will be scheduled by students of University at Albany in the fall of 2016.


Society President Etiënne Rouwette Gives Inaugural Speech: Messy problems: from black and white to color, April 28, 2016

On Friday, Etienne Rouwette will give his inaugural speech as the newly appointed Chair, Research and Intervention Methodology, at Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University. His lecture will talk about when there is an issue that is more important, the more likely it is that a group of people is responsible for decision making. It’s surprising then to realize that discussing issues in groups has not fundamentally changed over the last centuries. Nowadays we have access to a huge amount of information, more and more stakeholders want to have a voice and complex challenges are all around us. And yet a meeting is still a group of people who talk to one another. It is time to bring the meeting into the 21st century and this lecture tells you how. In particular for complex, messy problems issues it is difficult to obtain an overview and to find a solution that is supported by all stakeholders. Some stakeholders are already in the solution mode: if only everyone would implement the plan that we have come up with, the problem would be solved. Approaches such as these are likely to lead to a deadlock and increased frustration. What works better is to ask each stakeholder for their opinions and to combine these in a coherent view of the issue at hand. For this we need an approach to structure information, so that we increase insight into the relationships between ideas and arrive at a shared understanding. Solutions that are based on this approach do work and will be implemented. This lecture deals with methods that create progress in messy problems.

Etiënne Rouwette is Professor of Research and Intervention Methodology at the Nijmegen School of Management. He focuses on supporting group decision making, using methods such as System Dynamics and group model building, scenario analysis and electronic meeting systems. He is particularly interested in the effect of these methods on communication, attitudes and the behaviour of participants.


Register Now for CC Modeling Systems’ Summer Online Modeling Courses for Pre-College Educators

CC Modeling Systems is offering summer online modeling courses, starting June 13, 2016, for math and science teachers who would like to incorporate System Dynamics modeling in their curriculum. The three sequential ten week courses will provide participants with model-building activities that they can use, or modify, for their students (ages 15 to 20 or older). Registration is currently being accepted for Course 1 and Course 2. The cost of the course is $570 without credit and $750 with 3 graduate credits awarded by the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Portland State University. For more information contact Diana Fisher at dfisher@ccmodelingsystems.com or visit the CC Modeling Systems website.


Member Gautam N. Yadama’s Study Published in International Journal for Equality in Health

On April 26, 2016, International Journal for Equity in Health published the study “Dynamics of sustained use and abandonment of clean cooking systems: study protocol for community-based system dynamics modeling,” the work of member Gautam N. Yadama, along with colleagues Praveen Kumar and Nishesh Chalise. As stated in the abstract, “More than 3 billion of the world’s population are affected by household air pollution from relying on unprocessed solid fuels for heating and cooking. Household air pollution is harmful to human health, climate, and environment. Sustained uptake and use of cleaner cooking technologies and fuels are proposed as solutions to this problem. In this paper, we present our study protocol aimed at understanding multiple interacting feedback mechanisms involved in the dynamic behavior between social, ecological, and technological systems driving sustained use or abandonment of cleaner cooking technologies among the rural poor in India.” Read more about this study in the International Journal for Equity in Health.


Discover a wealth of information right at your fingertips!

Past Conference Proceedings give you access to all the papers, workshops and other materials presented at previous System Dynamics Conferences. You can find the link to Past Conference Proceedings in the Activities and Resources section of the website. With conferences spanning from 2015 to 1983, and including early System Dynamics Research Conferences from 1981 and 1976, the information available is unsurpassed.

Here’s what one of our members has to say about this valuable resource: “I recommend the past Society conference proceedings to my students to have a first look at what was modelled and simulated before by others. It is a great source to figure out who has been working on what, why, when and how.” -Erik Pruyt, Assistant Professor of System Dynamics and Policy Analysis at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology, currently serving the System Dynamics Society as VP of Meetings.


BSIG Webinar with Jim Rogers, Thursday April 28

On Thursday, April 28 from noon to 1 PM EDT, the Business Special Interest Group of the System Dynamics Society will host their latest webinar “Dynamic Healthcare Models- accelerating diffusion and adoption” with guest presenter Jim Rogers of Advance Management Group. Jim, who has been consulting with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota since 1997, will discuss the use of System Dynamics models to improve patients’ quality of life while lowering the cost of care, using SD models for current research and insights for action, and drafting a framework towards model-informed, personalized care.

Please visit the webinar website for details. Information about the Business SIG and the other Special Interest Groups of System Dynamics Society is available on our website.


Register Now for the Creative Learning Exchange System Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference, June 25-27, 2016.

The Creative Learning Exchange invites you to attend their 12th Biennial Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 Education in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The event will be held at the Babson Executive Conference Center from June 25-27, 2016, with an Introductory Workshop on Friday, June 24.

The CLE Conference will offer sessions that focus on skill refinement and development and other sessions will be held that give the opportunity to view how technology has been integrated using a Systems Approach, and how educators have used Systems Thinking in their curriculum. Keynotes will be given by: John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at MIT; Peter Hovmand with Megan Odenthal from the Brown School of Social Work and the Ritnour School System; and Brad Morrison, Associate Professor of Management at Brandeis University, with Tracy Benson, President of the Systems Thinking in Schools Group from the Waters Foundation.

Don’t miss this excellent opportunity, visit the CLE website to register today!


Society Sponsors Featured on Website

You may have noticed the new look to the System Dynamics Society’s website. The headers that appear on the homepage feature the logos and identities of some of our generous Society sponsors. You can visit the website and watch the distinctive headers scroll by, or view all of them—they are conveniently located below the full list of sponsors that appears on our website, click here and then scroll down to see the image! It is our great pleasure to share sponsor information.


Society Members Gary Hirsch and Krys Stave Presenting at Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference

Gary Hirsch will present “The ReThink Health Model: Supporting Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration in Local Communities,” and Krystyna Stave will present “Exploring the Nature of Insight in Participatory System Dynamics Modeling.” Other presentations include the titles “Biases, Beliefs and Values in Participatory Modeling and Citizen Science” and “Unity over Discipline: Tales from the Borderlands of Two Cultures.” For more information about the conference, visit the ICM website. Early bird conference rates end soon: Register by May 2nd, 2016. The conference dates are June 14-15, 2016.


Model Expo – Share your model? Definitely!

Again this year a Model Expo will be held at the Aula Conference Center at Delft University. Authors who are presenting model-based work will have an opportunity to show their model to others and let them interact with it. Participants have the opportunity to showcase their model-based work at this fun and perennially popular event. The open atmosphere of this exhibition allows for demonstration and feedback.

Presentations will be on a laptop, tablet computer, or smartphone with the model loaded, or cellular connectivity (wireless will be available). Please see the conference website for further details.


Unique Courses Customized To Your Level: SD Summer School

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity! The 3rd System Dynamics Summer School, titled “Black Swans & Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play,” is a three-day international Summer School hosted at the same venue as the annual conference, the ISDC, Delft University in the Netherlands.

Where do you fit in? The summer school will offer three levels for different target audiences:
Relative newcomers to the System Dynamics field who want to quickly acquire the necessary basic/intermediate System Dynamics modeling skills to get started and/or need good advice/supervision to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. After this basic course, participants will be able to make and use their own System Dynamics models and will know which common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.

Those in need of project supervision and additional supervision (e.g. regarding their PhD research) will be supervised by experienced supervisors.

System dynamicists or students in System Dynamics who want to take advanced topics (exploratory SD modeling and analysis, deep uncertainty, data rich simulation, collaborative modeling) and/or are in need of supervision regarding their SD research (PhD or otherwise).

The program takes place from Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening), with the option of a half-day social activity on Saturday, July 16.

Detailed information about the Summer School and registration is available on the Summer School website. Contact summerschool@systemdynamics.org for more information.


New Analysis Released by Members John Sterman and Andrew Jones Discussed in Online Publication

The article “Paris Agreement Pledges Must Be Strengthened in Next Few Years to Limit Warming to 2°C,” released on April 20, 2016, details the new analysis of the Climate Scoreboard, a project lead by John Sterman of MIT Sloan and Andrew Jones and Ellie Johnston of Climate Interactive. In the article, Dr. John Sterman stated “Paris is a major step. But the current pledges defer the emissions reductions needed to keep warming below 2°C until after 2030. By then, substantial additional fossil fuel infrastructure would be built, only to become stranded assets after 2030 at great cost to the companies that built them and the citizens of the nations who financed them.” Information on the computer simulation used by the Climate Scoreboard is available for public use at www.climateinteractive.org/tools/scoreboard/.


New PhD: Member Chris Browne Passes the Examination of His PhD Dissertation

We are happy to share the news that member Chris Browne has recently passed the examination of his PhD dissertation! Chris is Lecturer and Tuckwell Fellow at the Research School of Engineering, Australian National University. Chris gratefully acknowledges those individuals and organizations in the System Dynamics community who contributed to and supported him in the development of his PhD thesis, titled “A Double-Loop Learning Approach to Construct Understanding of Accumulation Principles.” Congratulations and best wishes on a successful future, Dr. Browne!


System Dynamics Research Published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change: An International Journal

The March 2016 issue of Technological Forecasting and Social Change: An International Journal features the research article titled “A system dynamics based market agent model simulating future powertrain technology transition: Scenarios in the EU light duty vehicle road transport sector.” This study is the work of System Dynamics Society members, Lee Jones and Andrew Hill, and their colleagues Guzay Pasaoglu, Gillian Harrison, Alexandre Beaudet, and Christian Thiel.

The highlights of this research include: “simulation model to analyze the trends in the EU passenger road transport sector, analysis of technology transition in the EU passenger road transport, understanding of the market dynamics of the future EU road transport sector, modelling and analysis of interactions between agents in the EU road transport, and scenarios to explore how alternative power-trains may replace conventional vehicles.”


Editorial changes at the System Dynamics Review

Many thanks to Rogelio Oliva, the outgoing Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Since the first issue in 1985, Rogelio was the fifth Executive Editor. The other four previous editors were Eric F. Wolstenholme, George P. Richardson, Graham W. Winch, and Brian Dangerfield. Their expertise and service has been greatly appreciated.

The Society would like to welcome Yaman Barlas as the new Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Yaman’s editorship began in January 2016, with Volume 32, issue number 1. Yaman invites members of the Society to submit their best research and application papers to the Review.

Now in the 32nd year of publication, topics of peer-reviewed articles have ranged from “Aggregation in System Dynamics” (R. Joel Rahn. System Dynamics Review 1, no. 1 (1985)) to “‘The potential of learning from erroneous models” (Frances M. Wijnen, Yvonne G. Mulder, Stephen M. Alessi and Lars Bollen. System Dynamics Review 31, no. 3-4 (2015)).

An all-inclusive list of articles published in the System Dynamics Review and a complete list of all members of the editorial board may be found on the Society website.
Congratulations and welcome to Yaman!


Agriculture & Food SIG, the Society’s Newest Special Interest Group

The newly created Agriculture and Food (A&F) SIG will serve as a focal point for food systems researchers in the System Dynamics community. Albreto Stanislao Atzori and Stefano Armenia, leaders of the A&F SIG and representatives to the Society, envision this SIG to attract interest not only from those in the field of agricultural sciences, but also in a broad range of disciplines, including such areas as food science, rural sociology, veterinary sciences, plant pathology, environmental engineering, public policy, biology and urban planning.

Their proposal states “The dynamics of food systems often have important impacts on the well-being of agriculture producers and consumers, the environment and nutritional outcomes. Given their importance, food systems have been the focus of many policy initiatives, including farm-level support policies, environmental regulations, food safety requirements and price interventions…The proposed SIG will focus on food systems as integrated dynamic systems in which economic, social and biophysical are important elements to enhance our understanding and management.”

Information on joining the Agriculture and Food Special Interest Group will be available on our website shortly.


Motion to Establish a VP K-12 Education

The System Dynamics Society Policy Council has approved a motion to add a new office in 2017, Vice President K-12 Education. The Vice President K-12 Education will be responsible for matters related to the use of System Dynamics in pre-college education, working to promote and support the use of System Dynamics. The Vice President K-12 Education will also assist pre-college educators with the adoption and development of programs based systems, encourage activities and events to assist pre-college educators, and foster effective communication and cooperation with other organizations contributing to the development of System Dynamics in pre-college education. For information on Policy Council and other governance matters, please visit the Society’s Governance page.


System Dynamics Featured in “Of Wolves And Sheep” Post on Online Publishing Insider

The April 14, 2016 post on Online Publishing Insider, “Of Wolves And Sheep,” by Paolo Gaudiano, discusses the well-known predator-prey Systems Dynamics model. The population dynamics model simulates the relationship between wolves and sheep being the only two animals in existence. The article states “One troubling aspect of predator-prey models is that, in many cases, they are unstable: Under most conditions the populations exhibit feast-to-famine swings, until at some point either the last wolf dies, leading to an explosion in the sheep population, or the wolves eat all the sheep and then they too become extinct, having annihilated their food supply.” Gaudiano talks about the current situation of the growing population and “careless” consumption of resources. The author relates the predator-prey model to another situation, “the Internet was like an immense field. Internet users, like our peaceful sheep, grazed on information: the digital equivalent of nutritious grass…” In conclusion, he writes “Unless greed is put in check, oscillations will continue until eventually one or more of these populations will drive themselves to extinction.”


Student Presentations at Lee Kuan Yew School, National University of Singapore

On May 3, 2016, students from the Lee Kuan Yew School and other NUS (National University of Singapore) programs will present their original model-based public policy oriented projects. The event recognizes the students’ achievements in the challenging class titled “Dynamic Modeling of Public Policy Systems” instructed by John Richardson. The presentations will take place from 1-3 p.m. in Lecture Hall 3-1, in the Manasseh Meyer Building, on the Bukit Timah campus. All are welcome to attend.

Eleven presentations will be given in four subject-matter areas; Health Care Dynamics, Economic Dynamics, Population Dynamics and Political Dynamics. Final projects, oral and written, provide class members with the opportunity to demonstrate the level of mastery they have attained. They are expected to define a policy relevant problem and craft a dynamic computer simulation model of that problem using the Vensim graphical user interface software. After rigorous validity and robustness testing, the model is used to diagnose the problem and point to accessible and compelling policy recommendations.


New Issue of System Dynamics Review Available

The Society is pleased to announce that the October/December issue of System Dynamics Review is now available on the Wiley Online Library. This issue features the research articles “Cows, agency, and the significance of operational thinking” (pages 183-219) by Camilo Olaya; “On generating and exploring the behavior space of complex models” (pages 220-249) by Erik Pruyt and Tushith Islam; and “The potential of learning from erroneous models: comparing three types of model instruction” (page 250-270) by Frances M. Wijnen, Yvonne G. Mulder, Stephen M. Alessi and Lars Bollen. In addition, this issue includes the “notes and insights” article “Maintaining stock and flow: a constructive alignment approach to training system dynamicists” (pages 271-283) by Albert Munoz and Matthew Pepper.


Member John Richardson Conducts Public Lecture, Singapore, April 22, 2016

Member John Richardson will be giving a public lecture to the Graduate Seminar in Defense Technology and Systems of the National University of Singapore’s Temasek Defense Systems Institute. The seminar, titled “Messages from ‘Global Models’ About Interdependence, Sustainable Development and the Future of Our Human Species,” will be held on April 22, 2016.

John is a Visiting Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Residential College 4, and an Honorary Fellow at Temasek Defence Systems Institute at National University of Singapore. In this seminar he will discuss the models that target exponential growth in population, economic output, consumption of natural resources and pollution as global-scale threats.


Have You Reserved Your Spot for SD Summer School?

The three-day pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School is scheduled for July 13-15th at the Delft University of Technology; there is a spot for you:

  • MA, MSc, PhD students interested in, but new to, the SD method who want to learn basic/intermediate modeling skills;
  • PhD students in SD at the start of their PhD process who need to learn basic/intermediate modeling skills and need advice;
  • Policy analysts and Systems Thinkers who want to add System Dynamics to their methodological toolbox;
  • Managers and policymakers who want to learn System Dynamics in order to be able to deal with dynamically complex issues;
  • Professors/teachers who want to start teaching System Dynamics and need inspiration and coaching.

In combination with the PhD Colloquium, the three-day International System Dynamics Conference, and post-conference workshops, there are unparalleled opportunities available in Delft for networking, learning and skills-building.

This is also an exceptional opportunity for instruction and professional development at the intermediate to advanced level:

  • MA, MSc and Self-study students in System Dynamics who want to take advanced topics in System Dynamics;
  • PhD students in System Dynamics who are about halfway through their PhD process, want to take advanced topics, and/or need advanced supervision;
  • SD Practitioners who would like to learn new/advanced System Dynamics skills and discuss their work with experienced supervisors.

Instruction will be delivered at all levels by an international team of distinguished System Dynamics professors and practitioners. Make this opportunity happen!


What’s happening within the Society’s Chapters?

The Chapters of the System Dynamics Society, have postings of various events and news throughout the year. Here are some of the latest occurrences:

  • In January, the Africa Regional Chapter held an international Workshop of System Dynamics and Data Analytics.
  • As the Call for Papers has come to a close, the Student Chapter is preparing for the PhD Colloquium to be held July 17, 2016 in Delft as part of the #ISDC16.
  • The UK Chapter will host its 18th Annual Conference, themed System Dynamics for Developing Strategy in the Real World, in London, April 14-15, 2016.
  • The Italian Chapter announces the International Workshop on Computational Economics and Econometrics, to be held on June 30- July 1, 2016, in Rome.
  • The South African Chapter’s 4th Annual System Dynamics Conference will be held on November 17-18, 2016 in Stellenbosch.

To learn more about these events, to stay in tune with the latest news, and to join please visit the Chapters’ website. Joining a Chapter is a great way to unite with fellow System Dynamicists.


New Publication by Members John Lyneis and John Sterman

The MIT Sloan School Management Review, Big Idea: Sustainability Blog recently posted the article on green buildings and System Dynamics titled “The MIT Sloan School found that when you crunch the numbers, you can’t afford not to.” This post highlights work done by members John Lyneis and John Sterman in a new paper in the journal Academy of Management Discoveries: “How to Save a Leaky Ship: Capability Traps and the Failure of Win-Win Investments in Sustainability and Social Responsibility.”

The full paper, documenting the project was presented in July 2015 at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. It is available with a video abstract and a link to a simple simulator of the capability trap.


Member J. Chris White Named President of pmBLOX, Inc.

Member J. Chris White has been named the President of pmBLOX, Inc. pmBLOX is a commercially available project planning and management tool that has System Dynamics modeling and simulation as its foundation. A book has recently been published by Chris and fellow member Robert Sholtes on the Dynamic Progress Method (DPM), the underlying approach used in pmBLOX. DPM offers a major innovation over the current Critical Path Method used in other project management tools. Chris is also President of ViaSim Solutions, the company that originally created pmBLOX through the Department of Defense Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program with DARPA. pmBLOX, Inc. is now the commercial retailer of pmBLOX. pmBLOX, Inc. has also been accepted into the 2016 class of Tech Wildcatters, the #5 technology/business incubator in the U.S. based in Dallas, TX. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Chris! We wish you the best of luck in your new position.


Spring 2016 Issue of The Exchange is Now Available Online

The Spring 2016 issue of The Exchange features various articles about educators engaging young students in System Dynamics modeling, including “Building the Behind Closed Gates Model,” an activity created by Anne LaVigne. This model building activity explores the situations of power and control based on an experiment about prison environment that was conducted at Stanford University. Also featured is “Among the Hidden,” Gail Falewicz’s summary of her 5th grade Critical Thinking and Reading class, and a reflection of the successful DynamiQueST 2016, which was held this past March at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Read more on these topics by visiting the Creative Learning Exchange website.

Important announcements included in this issue:


Meet the 2017 Policy Council Candidates

There are nine Policy Council seats to be filled for 2017. Get to know the candidates – learn their names, see their photographs and read their bio-sketches. Ignacio Martínez-Moyano will become President Elect in 2017. He is a member of the Society Program Oversight Committee, has served on the Policy Council of the Society and as the Program Co-Chair for the 31st International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. Stefano Armenia, currently the President of System Dynamics Italian Chapter, is the candidate for VP Chapter Activities. David Andersen, VP Finance and Bradley Morrison, Secretary are both currently serving and are on the slate as reappointed candidates. The four candidates for Policy Council Members are Nancy Hayden, Florian Kapmeier, John Pastor Ansah, and Nuno Videira. In addition, it is proposed that existing PC Member Elke Husemann (2014-2016) be appointed for an additional, partial one-year term for 2017 to fill opening created by appointment of VP Chapter Activities: Stefano Armenia whose original Policy Council Member term was 2015-2017.

The Nominating Committee and Policy Council are pleased to present these leaders who share the vision for a prosperous System Dynamics Society.


Bibliography News

The ‘2016a’ version of the System Dynamics Bibliography has been uploaded. There are four different formats to choose from for download.

The items most recently added to the Bibliography appear on the Bibliographic Updates page. New references are added to the Updates page and remain there for easy access to ‘what is new’ in the Bibliography. Items are listed with the most recent addition at the top of the list. For references other than journal articles take a look at the ‘Updated Information’ at the bottom of the page.

The 2016a version of the Bibliography contains 11,353 items. References include 2,540 journal articles, 6,711 conference papers, 424 books, 464 book sections, 123 edited books, and 4 e-books. As you can see, there are a many resources in the Bibliography.

If you have a System Dynamics or systems thinking article, book, discussion paper, or other reference item for our Bibliography, please send it to office@systemdynamics.org.


Basic, Intermediate, and Advance Courses at System Dynamics Summer School–Earn ECTS Credits

All participants at the three-day System Dynamics Summer School will receive a certificate of participation and will have the option to earn ECTS credits. Participants are required to choose a level (basic, intermediate or advanced) and supply a “learning objective” statement to be appropriately assigned to groups and professors. The basic course will cover modeling skills to get started and how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. The intermediate course will offer supervision regarding research and further modeling skills.

The proposed ingredients for the advanced course include:

  • pySD with a focus on data handling and extending SD models with more advanced functions/structures/etc.
  • Modeling and Simulation under Deep Uncertainty (exploratory SD including the use of machine learning algorithms to make sense of large ensembles of outcomes).
  • Hybrid SD-AB modeling with the necessary scripting to make that happen.
  • Advanced Group Model Building

System Dynamics Summer School 2016 will focus specifically on approaches for dealing with uncertainty (grey and black swans) and for dealing with actors in participatory and political processes. An international group of System Dynamics professors will instruct classes grouped into the three different levels.

Where: Delft University in the Netherlands (same site as the ISDC)
When: July 13-15 (immediately before the conference)

For more information on earning ECTS credits please visit our website. Detailed information about the Summer School and registration is available on the Summer School website. Contact summerschool@systemdynamics.org for more information.


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