REPORT OF THE UK CHAPTER : 2005
1. Annual Winter Gathering at Harrogate
This is the main meeting each year. This year the theme was “System Dynamics in Government” and three speakers (Nick Mabey, Eric Wolstenholme & Brian Dangerfield) described uses of System Dynamics at government level.
Following the talks, speakers were questioned individually in three separate break-out sessions.
The following morning members were offered a choice between a workshop exploring the interface between SD and Cybernetics (hosted by Alfredo Moscardini) and a brains trust on modelling problems (led by Dave Exelby & Brian Dangerfield).
Mark Ratnarajah (London Business School) was awarded the UK Chapter Student Prize for 2005 for his analysis of the effects of the new EU Directive affecting junior doctors’ working hours, carried out as part of his Executive MBA Studies.
The attendance was 51. The number of active UK Chapter members is thought to be in the 60 – 80 range, although there are over 400 names on our email database of people who have had any contact with the Chapter since its formation.
2. Online Questionnaire to Members
In the Spring the Chapter issued an online survey designed to capture views on needs and expectations of the Chapter. Responses = 74.
· Only 30% were affiliated to academic institutions, so the practitioner base is important.
· Age profile is skewed to those aged 25+.
· Over 50% reside in London and South East England.
· 63% had attended an ISDC but for many the Chapter was the SDS.
· The 2005 gathering (see above) was rated ‘excellent’ by 43%, while 57% rated the format for presentations and breakout sessions ‘high quality’. More workshop events are required.
· A Chapter website would be welcomed. An embryonic one already exists but it is planned to overhaul it and re-launch it by November 2005.
· There is a need to support younger members in learning System Dynamics and to raise its profile in UK Universities.
· Need to promote System Dynamics more externally. Already we have held a joint meeting with the International Council of Systems Engineers, but more is expected especially in respect of government and its agencies.
3. Further Meeting in 2005
Our planned second meeting on “System Dynamics in Education” in London in November has been postponed to 2006 and will be replaced by another event as yet to be decided.