News Archives 2015

Learn to Facilitate the World Climate Role Play Simulation(December 31, 2015)

Learn how to facilitate the Climate Interactive World Climate role play simulation of the UN climate negotiations. Join the growing numbers of people who are running this interactive role play around the world: so far in 2015 alone, more than 10,399 participants in 246 events in 45 countries have played, including a session that was run at the Paris climate conference (see https://mitei.mit.edu/news/climate-negotiation-role-play-paris-feels-real-thing for a description). The next offering is on January 5, 11:00am EST. You can register here.

Climate Interactive writes, now that the Paris Agreement is real, “We think it even more important than ever to ramp up the dialogue on climate change. To encourage more ambitious commitments in the first review, more people around the world have to learn what climate change is all about and what it takes to address it. We think World Climate is an excellent tool to do just that. To that end, we are having a one-hour webinar this January 5, 11:00 EST to assist people in learning how to facilitate World Climate and to talk about how we will be incorporating aspects of the Paris Agreement into the simulation. It would be great if you could invite at least three people!

World Climate is an interactive role-playing exercise that uses Climate Interactive’s peer-reviewed computer model called C-ROADS together with role playing to provide participants a taste of the dynamics that emerge as nations negotiate a global agreement on climate change. It helps people develop an understanding of what is needed to address the problem and is designed to create a greater awareness of the issue by having participants consider both the science and the political realities. Participants explore their assumptions–learning by doing rather than by listening to a lecture–and come to their own conclusions.”


Continue the Learning Journey(December 22, 2015)

The Creative Learning Exchange announces their 2016 Systems Thinking & Dynamic Modeling conference to explore the theme: “Continue the Learning Journey.” The event will be held June 25-27th at the Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, MA. Potential presenters: please submit your proposals for workshop sessions related to the following:

Beginner to advanced level learning about systems thinking and System Dynamics and their use in K-12 education, with emphasis on skills and conceptual building (3 hours in length).

Sharing of stories, curriculum, teaching techniques and lessons learned from the integration of ST/SD tools in classrooms and schools (90 minutes in length).

Simulations of all types, including games and on-line simulations to stimulate learning and critical thinking (90 minutes to 3 hours in length).

Submit workshop proposals via email to Lees Stuntz before February 1, 2016. Proposals should list all presenters’ names, emails and addresses, and should also contain a paragraph about the proposed session. See detailed requirements for proposals and view conference details here on the Creative Learning Exchange website. Final presentation outlines and papers are due June 1, 2016.


The Chinese Chapter conducted its 2015 conference(December 21, 2015)

The Chinese Chapter conducted its 2015 System Dynamics Annual Academic Conference and Council Election at the Beijing Jiaotong University on November 14-15th. Nearly 100 attendees from 40 Chinese universities attended this conference hosted by the Systems Engineering Society of China (SESC). Professor Bo Xu, chairman of the SESC, gave opening remarks and Juliang Zhang, dean of the Management Engineering Branch of the School of Economics and Management at Jiaotong, delivered the keynote address. The conference included presentations on a multitude of topics, including: practical applications for System Dynamics, development and innovation of theory and methods, model testing, supply chain logistics, green development, public healthcare and medical management.


What Must We Now Do To Turn Promises Into Policies(December 16, 2015)

WGBH NEWS, Boston, with reporter Jim Braude, aired the interview “Will the COP21 Climate Deal Save the World?” Braude interviewed MIT Sloan School of Management Professor John Sterman and UMass McCormack School of Policy and Global Studies Dean David Cash, both just back from Paris, asking, “Is the COP 21 climate deal one which will help save the world? Or is it just a lot of hot air?” Sterman and Cash debated the topic after a recap that included a clip of President Obama, who stated “… We succeeded. We came together around the strong agreement the world needed …” Is that right? Watch and see. Sterman argues that debating whether the agreement is deliverance from climate catastrophe or a dud isn’t the right question. Rather, what must we now do to turn the promises of Paris into policies that cut greenhouse gas emissions? In related news, the Energy and Environment section of The Washington Post published the article by Chris Mooney, “The world just adopted a tough new climate goal. Here’s how hard it will be to meet?” This article references a “telling figure provided by Climate Interactive, showing how current pledges by countries (“INDCs”) take the world off the worst-case path for warming, but also how far they are from the “safe” path of less than 2 degrees C.” And, The Blog at the HUFFPOST GREEN posted the article “The Paris Climate Agreement: Deliverance or Disappointment?” by John Sterman.


New article in “Systems(December 13, 2015)

Neal Tan and Purba Mukerji, along with member Khalid Saeed, have produced a fascinating analysis of the 2007 US housing market collapse, investigating several accepted causes of the financial crisis and observing model simulation data to understand the validity of these hypotheses. For more, read the article “An Examination of the Influence of Household Financial Decision Making on the US Housing Market Crisis” available through the journal Systems.


System Dynamics Review Early View(December 13, 2015)

The Wiley Online Library has released an early view of member Hazhir Rahmandad’s article “Connecting strategy and System Dynamics: an example and lessons learned,” to be included in the System Dynamics Review.


Happy Holidays from the MIT PRESS!(December 13, 2015)

Just in time for holiday gift giving. The System Dynamics Society is collaborating with the MIT Press to offer Society members a 30% discount off all books published at the MIT Press. Please use the discount code MSDSHOLIDAY. This offer is available until December 31, 2015. Browse by discipline, title, or author.


Paris Climate Deals(December 08, 2015)

On December 5, 2015 the New York Times quoted member John Sterman in the article In War of the Temperatures, a Cease-Fire of Sorts: “It is dangerous for our leaders to count on emissions cuts that have not been pledged as if they will somehow occur automatically when those cuts require tough negotiations, greater funding and technology transfer for developing nations, and big changes in public opinion. Our leaders must not sugar coat the challenge we face just to paint Paris as a success.” Climate Interactive’s climate scoreboard, reporting the impact of new pledges for emissions reductions, is posted every day, with a daily headline. The breaking news for today, December 8, includes “No changes to the INDCs in the past couple of days. Therefore, if all INDCs now submitted are fully implemented, with no further action, global temperatures are still expected to rise 3.5°C (6.3°F) above preindustrial levels. Canada has surprised many with a call to limit warming to 1.5°C, joining with the most vulnerable nations.” Please visit the website for the full story and daily updates.


Five Prescient Classics That First Made Sustainability A Public Issue(December 07, 2015)

The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind by Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III is featured as one of “five prescient classics” that helped bring sustainability to the forefront more than four decades ago in an article in the November issue of Nature. “The launch of Spaceship Earth” by Adam Rome reviews the premises of five books, written between 1964 and 1972, that look at the topic of sustainability from different perspectives. This is an interesting read for those who would like to learn more about the evolution of sustainability issues.


Groundbreaking Model of Depression(December 02, 2015)

A new scientific study co-authored by Andrea K. Wittenborn and Society member Hazhir Rahmandad “opens the gate” to understanding the myriad drivers of depression. Funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, Michigan State University and MIT scientists developed a comprehensive model of depression, showing how biological, psychological, social and environmental factors overlap and intersect over time. This model is a pioneering tool for personalized treatment of a public health problem that costs the United States over $210 billion every year. Common treatments of psychotherapy and antidepressants are helpful and important, but results vary widely and meaningful improvement is reported by only about half of patients, as discovered through the analysis of nearly 600 scientific articles on depression. A paper detailing the research findings and model is forthcoming in the journal Psychological Medicine. Read more about the topic in the following press release.


Climate Interactive is in Paris for COP 21.(November 30, 2015)

Stay abreast of what is happening at the UN climate talks going on in Paris. Climate Interactive is hosting two “Updates from Paris” webinars. The webinars will be held on December 3rd and December 10th. Please send your questions through the registration link and questions will be answered during the webinar. Click through on other links on the registration page to learn about other events. Relatedly, C-ROADS’s analysis regarding emissions and expected temperatures was included in an infographic piece “After Paris: The rocky road ahead,” associated with a recent article in Sciencemag.org titled “Choosing a climate future in Paris.”


University of Bergen offers a graduate level distance learning course (MOOC) in Natural Resources Management.(November 25, 2015)

In this course, students learn to manage water reservoirs, fisheries, animal herds, climate etc., and they learn to operate in product markets and in case of commons problem, in quota markets. The course is interactive with on-line tasks and immediate answers, videos, analogies, animations, simulators, simulation models, and a message service. Earlier students rank highly the course and its innovative teaching methods. The course runs in fall and spring semesters, offers an exam, and there is no tuition fee.


Call for Papers: The Paradigm Shift from Output to Outcome Measures in the Public Sector(November 24, 2015)

The 7th Annual “Azienda Pubblica” Workshop and Symposium on Theory and Experiences in Management Science will be held at the University of Palermo in Italy from the 25th to the 27th of May 2016. Please consider this call for papers on the following topic: The Paradigm Shift from Output to Outcome Measures in the Public Sector.

This call for papers seeks both theoretical and empirical research on how public organizations have evolved their performance management systems toward outcome measures and on how public officials have used them for making managerial and political decisions.

Abstracts are due by January 15, 2016; completed manuscripts are due by March 31, 2016 to Carmine Bianchi—conference & symposium coordinating editor—at bianchi.carmine@gmail.com.

Manuscripts presented at the conference also are eligible for a special symposium on this topic for the International Journal of Public Administration, which will include a double-blind review process. Please also direct questions regarding manuscripts to bianchi.carmine@gmail.com.

For complete details on the symposium/workshop or call for papers, visit http://ced4.com/workshop-e-symposium/.


Climate Change Interactive Graphic(November 24, 2015)

The climate change pledges are in for the Paris Climate Change Conference 2015 that will take place in early December. Will they fix anything? The New York Times published another article today using Climate Interactive’s recent analysis on the Paris climate talks. This article is an “interactive graphic” designed for mobile devices (i.e., open it on a phone or tablet and swipe). It is an interesting way to tell the story based on model output. The original video “How Could Paris Talks Ratchet Up To Success?” featuring Drew Jones of Climate Interactive, that was posted earlier was short, but this is even more of an “executive summary” of the pledges to date. Questions and comments sent to Climate Interactive are being addressed on a quick FAQ page for the article here.


System Dynamics Review Early View (November 18, 2015)

An online early view of the Liang Qi and Cleotilde Gonzalez’s forthcoming research article, “Mathematical knowledge is related to understanding stocks and flows: results from two nations,” to be published in the System Dynamics Review, is available now.


How Could Paris Talks Ratchet Up To Success?(November 12, 2015)

How could the upcoming Paris talks ensure that we ratchet up the INDCs toward success in limiting warming to 2°C? Drew Jones of Climate Interactive presents scenarios from the C-ROADS simulation and explores how far these contributions get us, and what more is needed to keep warming to within 2° Celsius (3.6°F) of temperature change above pre-industrial levels. This video reviews contributions that countries are making and how far they take us to addressing climate change. To learn more, watch this seven-minute, motion-graphic-filled tour of the INDCs and how they could ratchet up to bring long term climate results. Check it out here.


Reminder for a Call for paper: Education as a Complex System(November 09, 2015)

Due date: November 30, 2015. The guest editors would like to share with you a call for papers on the topic of Education as a Complex System for a special issue of Systems Research and Behavioral Science. They invite original research articles on the broad area of Education as a Complex System. Some examples of potential topics are: education as a socio-technical system, massive open online courses (MOOCs), guided learning pathways (GLP), customized education, Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) education, performance in Kindergarden-12 education, higher education, education enterprises, research in higher education, government and education, research funding and higher education, and the research and education workforce including teachers, postdoctoral associates, and professors.

Please submit your work by the deadline to any of the Guest Editors: Navid Ghaffarzadegan (Virginia Tech, navidg@vt.edu), Joshua Hawley (The Ohio State University, hawley.32@osu.edu), and Richard Larson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, rclarson@mit.edu).


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics(November 06, 2015)

Professor Jay Forrester, in the fall of 1999, conducted a seminar series for Ph.D. students in System Dynamics. Each of the eleven three-hour sessions is devoted to a different stand-alone topic, which should be of benefit to any student or practitioner in the field. The series is not a progressive tutorial for learning System Dynamics, but covers related concepts and philosophy. Please preview Session K: Future of System Dynamics. In this session, the group discussed both the successes and shortcomings of the field of System Dynamics. Questions about how the field can be expanded successfully, how can good work in System Dynamics be distinguished from less competent efforts, and how can System Dynamics help evaluate data in a time of “information pollution.” Professor Forrester talks about change as a slow process. System Dynamics as a foundation for kindergarten through 12th grade education is discussed as a high-leverage, long-term approach to creating a public that better understands social and economic systems. Using System Dynamics to clarify public issues such as social security, imbalances of foreign trade, world free trade, and the size of government versus our standard of living are areas where System Dynamics should improve public understanding of complex situations.

The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org


New System Dynamics article in the European Journal of Operational Research(November 04, 2015)

Members Jim Thompson and Susan Howick, together with Valerie Belton, have published the paper “Critical Learning Incidents in System Dynamics modelling engagements,” available online now and published this month in a special issue of the European Journal of Operational Research. The article reports in-depth behavioural OR on how individual clients learned to resolve dynamically complex problems in System Dynamics model-based engagements. Paper highlights:

  • Identifies clients’ Critical Learning Incidents by System Dynamics engagement activity.
  • In-depth analyses of interviews from client–consultant dyads.
  • Maps learning incidents to prescriptive or predictive model-based engagement phases.
  • Ten System Dynamics consulting case studies.
  • Applies constructivist learning theory to complex consulting environments.

J.P. Thompson et al., Critical Learning Incidents in System Dynamics modelling engagements, European Journal of Operational Research (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2015.09.048


“Misleading U.N. Report Confuses Media On Paris Climate Talks,” article by Joe Romm(November 03, 2015)

Joe Romm, founding editor of the blog Climate Progress, posted the article “Misleading U.N. Report Confuses Media On Paris Climate Talks” today (Nov 3, 2015). The article is based on the C-ROADS analysis of the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs). The author demonstrates, through clear analysis, the way in which various groups are spinning the pledges to present that there is stronger progress in the negotiations than there is. The Climate Scoreboard shows the progress that INDCs to the UN climate negotiations will make, assuming no further action after the end of the country’s pledge period (2025 or 2030).

In 2013 the work Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model, by John Sterman, Thomas Fiddaman, Travis Franck, Andrew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Philip Rice, Elizabeth Sawin and Lori Siegel, won the Society’s System Dynamics Applications Award for the best “real world” application of System Dynamics.


New Book: Analytical Methods for Dynamic Modelers(November 03, 2015)

Simulation modeling is increasingly integrated into research and policy analysis of complex sociotechnical systems in a variety of domains. Model-based analysis and policy design inform a range of applications in fields from economics to engineering to health care. This book offers a hands-on introduction to key analytical methods for dynamic modeling. Bringing together tools and methodologies from fields as diverse as computational statistics, econometrics, and operations research in a single text, the book can be used for graduate-level courses and as a reference for dynamic modelers who want to expand their methodological toolbox.

The focus is on quantitative techniques for use by dynamic modelers during model construction and analysis, and the material presented is accessible to readers with a background in college-level calculus and statistics. Each chapter describes a key method, presenting an introduction that emphasizes the basic intuition behind each method, tutorial style examples, references to key literature, and exercises. The chapter authors are all experts in the tools and methods they present. The book covers estimation of model parameters using quantitative data; understanding the links between model structure and its behavior; and decision support and optimization. An online appendix offers computer code for applications, models, and solutions to exercises.

Analytical Methods for Dynamic Modelers is edited by Hazhir Rahmandad, Rogelio Oliva and Nathaniel D. Osgood, and all proceeds from this book will be donated to the System Dynamics Society. The MIT Press is partnering with the System Dynamics Society to offer a 30% discount to Society members for this book; members, please use the digital discount code MSDS30 when ordering directly from the MIT Press website. Please note that while this discount code can only be used on the MIT Press website, it is applicable to both the print and forthcoming electronic version of the book, can be used more than once, and for multiple copies. Pre-ordering for the hardcover version of this book is available now. To pre-order the book, learn about the book and the contributors, please visit the MIT press website.


Member Bernard Amadei, PhD, Authors New Book(October 29, 2015)

Member Bernard Amadei, PhD, has authored A Systems Approach to Modeling Community Development, which looks at the application of System Dynamics to develop conceptual models of small-scale communities and addresses specific issues they might face at different scales. Amadei demonstrates how to include a system and complexity-aware approach in the different phases of small-scale community project management, and details the need for community development practitioners to integrate in all stages of their projects: participation, systems thinking, continuous reflection-in-action, and a combination of critical and creative tools. Bernard Amadei, PhD, is a Professor of Global Engineering at the University of Colorado.


New issue of System Dynamics Review Available(October 27, 2015)

The latest issue of System Dynamics Review is available on the Wiley Online Library. This issue of System Dynamics Review includes the research articles “Exploring retailers’ ordering decisions under delays” (pages 1–27) by Sebastián Villa, Paulo Gonçalves and Santiago Arango; “Evaluating group model building exercises: a method for comparing externalized mental models and group models” (pages 28–45) by Geeske Scholz, Martina Austermann, Kai Kaldrack and Claudia Pahl-Wostl; “Does analytical thinking improve understanding of accumulation?” (pages 46–65) by Arash Baghaei Lakeh and Navid Ghaffarzadegan; and “Towards the algorithmic detection of archetypal structures in System Dynamics” (pages 66–85) by Lukas Schoenenberger, Alexander Schmid and Markus Schwaninger. Articles in this issue also include a “notes and insights” article by Robert Ward, James Houghton and Ivan A. Perl: “SDXchange: stand-alone translators to enable XMILE model adaptation, transportation, and exchange” (pages 86–95).


Complimentary Webinar: Introduction to the XMILE Candidate OASIS Standard(October 23, 2015)

In this 30-minute, high-level overview, members of the OASIS XMILE TC will explain the vital role XMILE plays in the Systems Dynamics field and market, and will make the case for why this specification deserve to be approved as OASIS Standards. It will be held on Tuesday, 3 November 2015 at 5:00 PM UTC/12:00 PM. EST. Registration Link.

XMILE enables System Dynamics modelers to share models and tools across platforms. Before XMILE, System Dynamics models were stored only in proprietary formats and it was impossible to share or build off of others work unless you used the same tool – and that tool also supported the features you needed. XMILE enables the sharing of models and archiving of important models, the re-use of common components, the development of add-on tools that support the modeling process, and the integration with Big Data. Use XMILE if you want to:

  • enable integration and interoperability (opening doors to new applications);
  • promote innovation and competition;
  • increase collaboration;
  • legitimize the market for, and reduce risk to, large corporate users;
  • and increase demand by growing the market.

Speakers include Steven Adler, Chief Information Strategist, IBM and Karim Chichakly, Co-President, isee Systems, Inc.


Call for Papers Reminder: IAWSD2016(October 22, 2015)

The System Dynamics Africa Chapter is conducting the 2nd International Annual Workshop on System Dynamics and Data Analytics for exchange of novel ideas and practical experience in System Dynamics. You are invited to submit original basic or applied research, case studies, critical review essays, surveys, opinions and commentaries on how System Dynamics may address societal challenges. Topics of interest related to the theme “Systems Modeling for Sustainable Development,” to be held at Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi on 21-22 January 2016. The paper submission deadline is 15 November 2015 and authors will be notified on 30 November 2015.

As part of the Chapter’s innovation, there will be a System Dynamics Savannah School preceding the workshop from 18-20 January 2016. The aim of this educational experience is to provide modeling support on a range of emerging sustainable development challenges, and a PhD colloquium. Registration details and for the Savannah School and System Dynamics Africa Chapter Workshop can be found here.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics(October 22, 2015)

In 1999, a seminar series was led by Professor Jay W. Forrester at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. These seminars focus on System Dynamics fundamentals. To see a preview of the tenth session, please click on Session J: Management. This session looks at ways to use System Dynamics to improve management education, not only for System Dynamics majors but also for operating managers and corporate designers. Professor Forrester and the students discuss models that could be used for teaching: bankruptcy from too much success, faltering from influx of untrained employees, excess debt, problems with traditional forecasting, understanding commodity markets, maintaining balance in corporate growth, rapid innovation versus reputation for quality, and maintaining company leadership and vitality. Professor Forrester believes that there is a vast amount of available material, not yet explored in detail, that could be coupled with a new kind of education in management.

The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org


Figuring out how to split the bill(October 21, 2015)

Member Drew Jones, co-director of Climate Interactive, explains the Paris climate talks on the NPR radio show “Morning Edition” this morning (October 21st): It’s like splitting a bar tab. To listen to the story (or read the transcription), please click this link. The talks at the final summit in Paris are just weeks away.


Welcome Iran Chapter!

On October 8th, the Policy Council voted to approve a new Chapter. The Iran Chapter is now one of 19 Society Chapters that help further the dissemination and encourage the advancement of System Dynamics.
There are 16 founding members of the newly formed Chapter. Many of them attended the Cambridge conference and are pictured below.

The new Chapter is in the process of electing officials and establishing a website. They are also looking for new Chapter members. Contact information will be provided after the officer elections are held for those who are interested in joining the Iran Chapter.

If you have not yet renewed your membership and would like to become a member of the Iran Chapter, please note it on your membership form.

As more information becomes available, it can be found on the Chapters of the System Dynamics Society webpage.

The Society is very pleased to welcome the Iran Chapter!

(October 16, 2015)


Bibliography News

The System Dynamics Bibliography continues to grow. The Proceedings from the Cambridge Conference are being added and the ‘2015c’ version will be uploaded as soon as the process is complete.

Responding to an earlier request, there have been references added that are in languages other than English. Users are able to search the ‘language’ field to see if there are references available in their native language. Many of the older references have been updated with the language field completed for foreign language submissions. Check it out if you are looking for a reference in French, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, or one of more than 10 other languages. If you find an incorrect language field, please let us know and we will correct it.

Many of our students use a free and open source reference management software called Zotero. We are working to export our EndNotes files to Zotero so that when the ‘2015c’ version is uploaded, Zotero will be one of five formats that can be used to download the Bibliography. We hope that this will make the Bibliography more accessible to you.

We have been looking at the reference numbers in the Bibliography over the past 15 years. In 2005, there were 7,754 items. By 2010, there were 9,358. When the ‘2015c’ version is uploaded, the number of references will be over 11,300!

As always, the most recently submitted journal articles can be found on the Bibliographic Updates page. Please send us your references to help us grow our Bibliography and so that it will be as up to date as possible.
(October 16, 2015)


European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD): application open for next cohort

EMSD is two-year fulltime study international masters program that builds on the strengths of four leading universities: the University of Bergen (Norway), the New University of Lisbon (Portugal), the University of Palermo (Italy), and Radboud University (the Netherlands). The program is specifically designed for students who are interested in learning how to initiate strategic change in organizations, supported by the use of computer simulation models. For the 2016-2018 cohort, the scholarship application period is now open until December 1st, 2015. Please see http://europeansystemdynamics.eu/students/application-procedure/ for more information on how to apply! The deadline for self-financing students is 10 February 2016 for non-EU/EEA students and 10 April 2016 for EU/EEA students. Questions? Feel free to email the EMSD team at info@europeansystemdynamics.eu or visit www.emsd.eu. (October 16, 2015)


The Third Brazilian System Dynamics Symposium

Today, the III Brazilian System Dynamics Symposium opens with 48 participants and a presentation by Amit Bhaya on “Modeling the liquid bulk upstream supply chain to offshore installations.” This and seven other plenary presentations, and sixteen posters, many on client-based applications, promise a busy and exciting day for System Dynamics in São Paulo, Brazil. Among the presenters: Andy Ford, Markus Schwaninger, Isaac Dyner and Karim Chichakly. The symposium will run October 16-17, 2015. (October 16, 2015)


Member Niyousha Hosseinichimeh Accepts New Position (October 14, 2015)

We are pleased to share the news that Niyousha Hosseinichimeh, after finishing a post-doctoral appointment, has been named to a tenure track position in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. She will continue her work on health policy research at the Northern Virginia Center in the Washington DC area. Niyousha writes about her System Dynamics colleagues: “Thank you so much for all the support and help that you have provided.” Niyousha received her PhD from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, University at Albany in May 2012. Her thesis was entitled “Essays on the Effects of Public Policies On Emergency Department Use in US.” Congratulations, Niyousha!


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (October 06, 2015)

Professor Jay W. Forrester, founder of the field of System Dynamics, led a seminar series at the Sloan School of Management at MIT for PhD students in the fall of 1999 on the topic of System Dynamics. Each three-hour session covers a different stand-alone topic. Please preview Session I: Ethics. Questions discussed in this session include: what are ethical considerations for modelers, should the field of System Dynamics have a certification test, what is good research, will the client use the model properly, are System Dynamics models useful for forecasting, does every model involve an ethical compromise, and what are the ethics of larger models versus smaller models?

The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org


Member Krys Stave Promoted to Professor at UNLV (October 02, 2015)

System Dynamics Society Member Krystyna Stave Ph.D., has been promoted to the rank of Professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Environmental and Public Affairs, effective July, 1, 2015. Krys has been an active member of the System Dynamics Society for many years, serving in several capacities, including Society Policy Council Member (2006-2008), Dana Meadows Award Committee Member (2005-present), VP Member Services (2009), and Conference Thread Co-chair (2010-2015). Krys writes “The System Dynamics Society has been an important professional family for me throughout my career. This promotion is due in large part to the wonderful friendships and collaborations I’ve had with SD Society members over the years. Thank you all for your support.” Congratulations Krys!


Member Tiru Arthanari to Receive “Lifetime Achievement” Award (October 02, 2015)

Congratulations to colleague Tiru Arthanari! The Operational Research Society of India (ORSI ) has announced Tiru will be honored with the ORSI Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual convention to be held in Bhubaneswar in December 2015. “I thank all my colleagues and co-authors who supported me and my research all these years,” says Tiru. In addition to this recognition, Tiru will also become a fellow of ORSI, an exceptional distinction. ORSI is a national forum committed to improving the quality of life for individuals through promoting education and the application of OR in business, industry and other organizations. This memorial award is given in tribute to Dr. Munish Chandra Puri, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.


The Exchange: Land Management Simulation in the Classroom (October 01, 2015)

The Fall 2015 issue of The Exchange, published quarterly by the Creative Learning Exchange, is now available online. This newsletter features a land management simulation module for K-12 students. The free simulation lesson, entitled “Living Lands—Forest and Town,” leads students through issues related to the management of national forest lands and the support of surrounding populations. Objectives in this simulation are to manage natural resources in an environmentally sustainable way while improving economic viability for a fictional town over fifty years. Also outlined in this issue of The Exchange is a list of seven presentations—all relevant to the process of learning and teaching System Dynamics principles—that were given at this summer’s International System Dynamics Society Conference in Cambridge. Additionally included is a summary of George P. Richardson’s problem-solving session from DynamiQueST in May, describing how the distribution of mosquito nets to prevent malaria in Africa has led to overfishing in communities across the continent. View Richardson’s application of systems thinking to teach students System Dynamics on page eight of The Exchange.


Offers for Paris Climate Talks Would Reduce Warming by 1°C (September 25, 2015)

Climate Interactive’s Climate Scoreboard analysis, produced in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management (MIT Sloan), shows that the intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) put forward in advance of the UN climate talks this December make a sizeable contribution towards curbing global emissions and limiting warming. However, the offers need to be paired with further action if warming is to be kept below the 2°C target, avoiding the worst impacts of catastrophic climate change. Please see the full news release of their new analysis of the expected impact of the emissions pledges nations have made in the run up to Paris.

The climate scoreboard is an embeddable widget that people can embed on their sites, blogs, etc. and will automatically update as analysis is revised when new pledges come in. The New York Times and in Science Magazine Science Insider (dated September 28, 2015) have pick up this story so far. Climate Interactive is also hosting an informational webinar on Wednesday, September 30th at 12 pm EDT. Please RSVP for the webinar here.

In 2013 the work Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model, by John Sterman, Thomas Fiddaman, Travis Franck, Andrew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Philip Rice, Elizabeth Sawin and Lori Siegel, won the Society’s System Dynamics Applications Award for the best “real world” application of System Dynamics.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (September 25, 2015)

Professor Jay Forrester, in the fall of 1999, conducted a seminar series for Ph.D. students in System Dynamics. Each of the eleven three-hour sessions is devoted to a different stand-alone topic, which should be of benefit to any student or practitioner in the field. The series is not a progressive tutorial for learning System Dynamics, but covers related concepts and philosophy. Please preview Session H: The National Model. In this session, Professor Forrester relates history of the National Model Project explaining that although the model draws heavily on United States information, it should be considered a general theory of behavior in an industrial nation. The National Model is an endogenous model of an economy based on local short-term policies in business, government, the monetary authority, households, and banking. Among other insights, the model provides a theory for the controversial Kondratieff long wave (45-70 years between peaks). Professor Forrester reminds the students that the large National Model can lead to important future work with smaller models.

The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org


A selection of SD papers is presented now in the special issue of Systems Research and Behavioral Science. (September 23, 2015)

In April 2013, many of our Society members participated in the 6th Annual European System Dynamics Workshop at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. The purpose of this event was to explore policy strategies for the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 initiatives. A selection of papers from this workshop is presented now as full journal articles in the July-August 2015 special issue of Systems Research and Behavioral Science. Guest editors David Lane, Ӧzge Pala and Yaman Barlas outline the aims and content of the collection in their introduction; “Health, Demographic Change and Well-Being: The European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme and System Dynamics.” Fifteen of our Society members are featured on topics such as: food provision and environmental goals in the social-ecological framework (+); methods for exploring social-ecological system dynamics (+); changing client perceptions through model validation (+); validity—a core value early in the pioneering days of in System Dynamics—now also critical in the disciplines of Operational Research and Management Science (+); consequences of performance-based systems in public hospitals (+); more analysis of pay-for-performance plans (+); a system dynamics approach to societal ageing (+); and government and outcome-based performance management in the context of societal ageing (+).

David, Ӧzge and Yaman hope this collection is of scholarly value to Society members, and invite members to explore and debate the contents of this issue.


Creating and Sustaining Client Interest (September 22, 2015)

Registration is open for the 3rd Brazilian System Dynamics Symposium and Workshop which will be held on October 16-17, 2015. Friday’s schedule includes presentations and discussions focusing on twenty-two papers accepted to the symposium, with the participation of four invited speakers/discussants. This will include plenary sessions during the day and a poster-session with reception in the evening. Then, on Saturday, participants will attend a full-day workshop focused on engaging stakeholders and clients in applied modeling and simulation. The instructors will lecture on the theme of working with clients in the real world, sharing their own experiences and, then, facilitate thread-based discussions aimed at promoting applications in Brazil. The group-discussion threads will be chosen based upon symposium submissions and topics of interest to the participants. More information can be found on the registration form.


Dartmouth Engineer Magazine article about students presenting at Cambridge Conference (September 22, 2015)

In the “CoolStuff” section of this magazine, the projects of three Dartmouth non-engineering majors, who presented at the Cambridge conference, were highlighted. The projects included work on gaining an understanding of the logical mechanisms of transmission of Ebola, by Sara Peterson; the production of agriculture and biofuels in Ethiopia, by Patrick Campbell; and the supply chain of ISIS terrorists in France, by Cecelia Shao. The article also describes the course ENGS 18: System Dynamics in Policy Design and Analysis, which is offered to the greater Dartmouth community in an effort to spread engineering concepts to non-majors. Please see the full article.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (September 10, 2015)

In the fall of 1999, Professor Jay Forrester, author of Urban Dynamics, led a seminar series for PhD students at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. These seminars focus on System Dynamics fundamentals. To see a preview of the seventh session, please click on Session G: Confidence in Models. During this session he concludes that a user’s faith in a System Dynamics model comes from the degree of correspondence between the model and the real world. Because users cannot have proof of validity, only some level of confidence can be attained. Professor Forrester suggests eight tests of System Dynamics models for comparison with the real world. Some of the questions include: is more testing better, how much testing is enough, and can we model mental models? Professor Forrester believes that the final test could be, “Is the model persuasive?”

The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org


Ross Collins brings his System Dynamics application to PA Consulting (September 18, 2015)

Ross D. Collins, 2015 PhD graduate of MIT in Engineering Systems, is turning convention on its head with dissertation research on sustainable energy in developing countries. Whereas current evaluation practices measure economic progress retrospectively—looking at established infrastructure and capital assets—Ross projects sustainability prospectively by analyzing models of alternative energy infrastructure development in several oil-exporting countries in the Middle East. His dissertation title is “Using Inclusive Wealth as a Measure of Sustainability for Infrastructure Planning and Evaluation.” Read more about Ross’ recent involvement with the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan. Now Ross brings his System Dynamics application to PA Consulting in Cambridge, MA. Congratulations, Ross!


Society for Organizational Learning Offers New Program (September 17, 2015)

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Fifth Discipline, by Peter Senge, the Society for Organizational Learning is offering “Applied Organizational Learning for Business Results” on December 7, 2015 through December 11, 2015 at The Warren Center in Ashland. Massachusetts. Presented by Peter Senge, Rick Karash, and Deborah Reidy, this highly interactive workshop will demonstrate the tools and methods necessary for building learning organizations and apply them to your most pressing business challenges. Individuals and teams from all sectors – corporate, non-profit, government and education – who recognize that a new way of doing business is needed to survive and succeed in the 21st century are encouraged to attend. Please note: there is a 10% tuition discount when people register by October 15th.


System Dynamics Review Early View (September 16, 2015)

An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is the “Research” article — “Does analytical thinking improve understanding of accumulation?” written by Arash Baghaei Lakeh, and Navid Ghaffarzadegan. Articles in this issue also include a “notes and insights” article “SDXchange: stand-alone translators to enable XMILE model adaptation, transportation, and exchange” by Robert Ward, James Houghton, and Ivan A. Perl.


Member David Wheat Inducted into Lord Botetourt High School Hall of Fame (September 15, 2015)

Member David Wheat has been inducted into the Lord Botetourt High School Hall of Fame in Daleville, VA. David moved his family to Botetourt County in 1980 for a slower pace of life after government and consulting careers in Washington and Houston. During his time at LBHS in the 1990s, David was an Advanced Placement government teacher and coach of the Lady Cavaliers basketball team, leading the students to academic and athletic success in the classroom and on the court.

David returned to consulting full-time after his teaching and coaching experience, then moved to Norway to earn a PhD in System Dynamics at the University of Bergen, where he is now an associate professor. In Norway, David teaches simulation modeling and policy design to about 50 international students each year, and supervises Master’s and PhD students. His research involves building simulation models of national and regional economic systems. This month (September 2015), he is in Kyiv and Vilnius, teaching monetary policy and conducting research at Lithuania’s central bank. David is also an adjunct professor of economics at Virginia Western Community College, and for fifteen years has been teaching online distance learning courses to students in Roanoke from his home in Norway. David has conducted guest lectures in Africa, Europe, and North and South America. He is currently a Policy Council Member of the System Dynamics Society and also served as past-president of the Economics Chapter. You may find the full article here. Congratulations David!


Two System Dynamics-based articles will be published in the upcoming ISOCARP Review (September 10, 2015)

Two System Dynamics-based articles will be published in the upcoming ISOCARP Review, a publication of the International Society of City and Regional Planners. This edition of the Review celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Society and is titled “Reinventing Planning: Examples for the Profession.”

The first article describes the use of a land-use simulation model, ALCES, to estimate the impacts likely to result from the next 50 years of population growth in the Calgary, Canada area. The analysis compares the consequences of continued reliance on low density suburban development with a proposed regional plan that incorporates densification. ALCES incorporates a Stella-based System Dynamics model for holistic assessment of the cumulative effects of land use to environmental and economic systems. Authors of this article are Matt Carlson, Michael Quinn and Brad Stelfox.

The second article re-examines Forrester’s controversial book – Urban Dynamics, published in 1969. Using a computer model, Forrester’s explores how federal housing policies and the state’s efforts to help the needy might impact the City of Boston and its cohorts. Khalid Saeed presents a paper which describes Forrester’s model of growth and stagnation in urban areas, establishes it’s linkage to Schumpeter’s concept of creative destruction and finally demonstrates the continued value and utility of this historic System Dynamic application to economic development.

The ISOCARP Review will be published October 20th, 2015. Copies of the Review can obtained by contacting ISOCARP (International Society of City and Regional Planners). Once the publication is released, copies of the articles can be obtained by contacting the authors at (http://www.alces.ca/) and (SAEED@wpi.edu).


Member Warren Farr visited Rockefeller College at the University at Albany to give a lunchtime presentation titled “Durable Diffusion Dynamics.” (September 10, 2015)

He talked about his path to System Dynamics and how SD was used to analyze residential air conditioning industry unit sales and in what way this would affect his firm, Refrigeration Sales Corporation, located in Ohio. Warren is a practicing System Dynamics modeler and mid-size business owner / manager. In his model, he projected that ‘word of mouth’ helped the industry sales grow in early years. However, the ‘durability of the products’ prevented the need for customers to replace the air conditioner very often. In fact, ‘durability’ plays the role of ‘delay’ in this system and it causes an overshoot in sales before the long-run replacement sales rate is reached. The structure of the air conditioning industry made a sales overshoot inevitable. The model’s behavior is robust to changes in parameters values (with the exception of durability). For better understanding, Warren showed another model in which the durability lasts a lifetime and the behavior is the same. The latter model was about acquiring MBA degrees in the United States. When one gets a degree, it is recognized for the remainder of that person’s working career. While the dynamics of the air conditioning industry are now known, it is unclear if the “MBA industry” will experience a similar sales overshoot.

For more information on the air conditioning model, please see the 2013 conference paper “Value and Acceptance of System Dynamics in Business: Business Owner as SD Practitioner Perspective.” And, for more information on the MBA degree model, please see the 2014 conference paper “Implications of MBA Durability for Providers of Masters in Business Administration Degrees.”


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (September 10, 2015)

Professor Jay Forrester, in the fall of 1999, conducted a seminar series for Ph.D. students in System Dynamics. Each of the eleven three-hour sessions is devoted to a different stand-alone topic, which should be of benefit to any student or practitioner in the field. The series is not a progressive tutorial for learning System Dynamics, but covers related concepts and philosophy. Please preview Session F: Group Model Building. In this session, guest speaker Professor George Richardson opens the session with a list of roles that various people can play in the group model building process. What is group model building and why do we do it? Richardson stresses that the model is a tool to enable deep conversation among the participants. He discusses different stages in building a System Dynamics model as a group. The ultimate goal according to Richardson is to develop great conversations as a step toward insightful models. The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org


NEW Available for Sale: Urban Dynamics (September 09, 2015)

What makes cities degenerate? What can be done to revitalize stagnant urban areas? In this controversial book, Urban Dynamics, Jay Forrester presents a computer model describing the major internal forces controlling the balance of population, housing, and industry within an urban area. He then simulates the life cycle of a city and predicts the impact of proposed remedies on the system. Startling in its conclusions, this book became the basis of a major research effort that has influenced many government urban-policy decisions. Limited copies of this book are available. Orders will be taken for next printing. To order the book, please visit the Society’s book store.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (September 04, 2015)

In the fall of 1999, Professor Jay Forrester, author of Industrial Dynamics, led a seminar series for PhD students at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. These seminars focus on System Dynamics fundamentals. To see a preview of the fifth session, please click on Session E: Theory Underlying Modeling . Topics in this session include System Dynamics as a meta-discipline, and System Dynamics compared to the social sciences and other fields. Professor Forrester also suggests four categories of theory: structural, methodological, behavioral, and principles of good practice in modeling. The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org


Valerie Gacogne Elected Deputy Mayor of Quimper, Brittany, France (September 02, 2015)

Valerie Gacogne has partially set aside her System Dynamics consulting projects and her firm Complexio for the next six years. A novice in politics, she has been catapulted into the governance arena in Quimper, Brittany, France. Valerie wrote “Two years ago I was convinced to run for local elections, and I have been elected Deputy Major for six years (did not expect that!). This is a big job but I love it. For the first time in my life I feel a little helpful to other people. Quimper is a wonderful city with about 95,000 inhabitants.” The term as Deputy Mayor started in April 2014.

Valerie has recently developed a System Dynamics model to simulate the pork market in France, since 15,000 jobs are currently in jeopardy in Brittany. Valerie writes “So, System Dynamics helps me every day.”


Member David Ford Promoted to Professor at Texas A&M (September 01, 2015)

We are pleased to share with you news that System Dynamics Society Member, David Ford, Ph.D., P.E., has been promoted to the rank of Professor at Texas A&M University, Department of Civil Engineering, effective September, 1, 2015. David has been a long-term, active member of the System Dynamics Society, serving as President of the Society in 2012, Managing Editor of the System Dynamics Review from 2008 through 2011, and Program Chair for the 2009 International Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. David writes “I am grateful to all those who have supported my career over the years. I look forward to continuing to be an active member of the System Dynamics Community.” Congratulations David!


“State of the Global Economy” Fireside Chat was Big Success at Conference(September 01, 2015)

The “State of the Economy” Fireside Chat, held during the 2015 System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was well-enjoyed by conference attendees. The plenary session was moderated by Mike Radzicki of WPI, and featured prominent economists Barry Armstrong, David Colander, and John Harvey, who discussed the current state of the U.S. and world economies as well as the future of alternative approaches to economic analysis. Barry Armstrong is the president and founder of the Armstrong Advisory Group, a Boston-area wealth management firm. David Colander is the Christian A. Johnson Distinguished Professor of Economics at Middlebury College since 1982. John Harvey is Professor of Economics at Texas Christian University and contributor to Forbes Magazine. Watch and enjoy the video HERE.


Member Wolfgang Munar appointed as Associate Director for Global Health and Social Policy

Design at the Brown School Social System Design Lab (August 28, 2015)

We are pleased to share with you Dr. Wolfgang Munar’s new role at the Brown School Social System Design Lab as the Associate Director for Global Health and Social Policy Design.

Dr. Wolfgang Munar joined the Brown School as a Senior Scholar last year and is now the Associate Director for the Institute for Public Health’s Center for Global Health at Washington University. Dr. Munar has extensive experience working with policy makers on global health issues, and has made significant contributions in advancing the application of systems science tools to informing the design of country level global health initiatives and policies. In his new role as the Associate Director for Global Health and Social Policy Design, Dr. Munar will lead the development of system science translational tools for global health and social policy.


Special issue on System Dynamics and Operations Management (August 28, 2015)

The Journal of Operations Management has just published a special issue on System Dynamics and Operations Management. The special issue was edited by Elliot Bendoly (Ohio State), Kevin Linderman (Univiversity of Minnesota), Rogelio Oliva (Texas A&M) and John Sterman (MIT). The issue is available to subscribers or those with other institutional access. Right now the papers are available online prior to publication. The special issue includes the following papers.

  • System dynamics perspectives and modeling opportunities for research in operations management , by John Sterman, Rogelio Oliva, Kevin Linderman, Elliot Bendoly
  • Inventory Record Inaccuracy: Causes and Labor Effects , by Howard Hao-Chun Chuang, Rogelio Oliva
  • The Problem with Workarounds is that They Work: The Persistence of Resource Shortages , by Bradley Morrison
  • Inter-phase Feedbacks in Construction Projects , by Kiavash Parvan, Hazhir Rahmandad, Ali Haghani
  • How analytic reasoning style and global thinking relate to understanding stocks and flows , by Justin M. Weinhardt, Rosa Hendijani, Jason L. Harman, Piers Steel, Cleotilde Gonzalez
  • Cost-sharing in directed networks: Experimental study of equilibrium choice and system dynamics , by Caiyun Liu, Vincent Mak, Amnon Rapoport
  • “I’m not hoarding, I’m just stocking up before the hoarders get here.”: Behavioral causes of phantom ordering in supply chains , by John Sterman, Gokhan Dogan

Try the #SystemDynamics tool used by UN #climate negotiators in an interactive webinar (August 27, 2015)

Apply System Dynamics to climate change with the World Climate negotiation simulation by joining free webinars. Developed by Climate Interactive and MIT, World Climate is being used to engage thousands worldwide in cultivating leadership around climate change.

Free webinars are happening every week this fall in anticipation of the December United Nations (UN) talks in Paris.

Register at: https://www.climateinteractive.org/world-climate-project/

The “How to Run A World Climate Event” webinar will provide an overview of the World Climate exercise and include an interactive demo of the System Dynamics model, C-ROADS, that is used to accompany the simulation to assess emission reductions. Drew Jones, co-director of Climate Interactive, and Ellie Johnston, Manager of the World Climate Project with be the presenters on this webinar.

A second webinar, titled “Interactive Simulation Tools for Assessing the Global Climate Deal” will explore the dynamics of C-ROADS and the latest assessment of pledges to the UN. More technical than the first webinar.

On August 20th, World Climate was featured as a climate education initiative at the White House. And the effort won the SD Society’s application award. Adoption of this transformative simulation tool is occurring worldwide. Learn what all the buzz about this systems thinking tool is all about.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (August 20, 2015)

Professor Jay W. Forrester, founder of the field of System Dynamics, led a seminar series at the Sloan School of Management at MIT for PhD students in the fall of 1999 on the topic of System Dynamics. Each three-hour session covers a different stand-alone topic. Please preview Session D: Non-linearity. In this session, participants discuss linearity versus non-linearity, when is non-linearity important, how computers and simulation can play a part in better understanding, how a person can test a computer model, the importance of simplicity in a model, how to look for the high leverage policies in a model, are bigger models better, and the importance of generic structures and how to use them. The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org.


Climate Interactive Announces Mock-UN Climate Negotiations Game at the White House (August 20, 2015)

Climate Interactive announced the World Climate Project at a Back-to-School Climate Education Event at the White House. The World Climate Exercise is a role-playing simulation game that puts teams, classrooms, and communities into the role of international climate negotiators to create a pathway to solutions that limit global warming. Through these simulation games, Climate Interactive plans to reach more than 10,000 people by December, when nations will come together to finalize a global agreement on climate change in Paris.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (August 20, 2015)

In 1999, a seminar series was led by Professor Jay W. Forrester at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. These seminars focus on System Dynamics fundamentals. To see a preview of the third session, please click on Session C: Corporation Growth. In this session, Professor Forrester tells the story of his “Market Growth as Influenced by Capital Investment” article, the three control loops in the model, the use of a floating goal, how to relate goals to company policies, the effect of long delivery delays, the growth of a local high technology company, the characteristics of information channels, and the role of forecasting and the problems it can cause. The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (August 14, 2015)

In fall 1999, Professor Jay Forrester, writer of the book “World Dynamics”, led a seminar series for PhD students at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Each three-hour session covers a different stand-alone topic. Please preview Session B: World Dynamics. In this session, you can watch a discussion based on Jay Forrester’s 1971 book, “World Dynamics”. Some questions have been answered in this video, such as: when will growth stop, what will then be the condition of the world, how the Club of Rome meetings led to “The World Model,” and what is equilibrium? Topics include current conditions around the world, and history of “The Limits to Growth” book. The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org.



Comments by Jay W. Forrester at the 2015 System Dynamics Conference
(August 11, 2015)

Conference attendees were delighted and honored to have Professor Jay W. Forrester, founder of the field of System Dynamics, as a special guest speaker at the conference. Jay gave a brief talk during the banquet at the 33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. Speaking on July 21 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he reflected on the first small gathering of people interested in System Dynamics, many years ago. He made observations about the current situation of System Dynamics, and he commented on its future, directions, and the mountains System Dynamicists can scale going forward. The banquet attendees thanked him by giving an enthusiastic standing ovation for several minutes. Anyone interested in Professor Forrester’s latest statements about the field he founded almost 60 years ago will find this recorded speech worth watching. (Click here for the transcript.)


System Dynamics Africa Chapter 2nd International Workshop in January 2016 (August 07, 2015)

The System Dynamics Africa Chapter is organizing its 2nd International Chapter Workshop on System Dynamics and Data Analytics (IAWSD 2016). “Systems Modelling for Sustainable Development” will be held at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi, Kenya on January 21-22, 2016. Authors are invited to submit original basic or applied research, case studies, critical review essays, surveys, opinions and commentaries on how system dynamics may address societal challenges. There are many topics of interest including, but not limited to, green energy, smart cities, and environmental conservation. Participants will benefit from an international perspective and meaningful insights of leading SD experts and fellow delegates from the Africa region and the rest of the world. Important dates and registration details can be found HERE.


First Mediterranean Conference on Food Supply and Distribution Systems in Urban Environments (August 4, 2015)

The System Dynamics Italian Chapter’s “First Mediterranean Conference on Food Supply and Distribution Systems in Urban Environments” took place in Rome from July 6-7, 2015. Along with program and organizing chair, Stefano Armenia, the organizing team included Olivio Argenti, Andrea Furlan, Alberto Atzori, Vanessa Armendariz, Valerio Ciuffini, and Eleanor Piacenza. The Sapienza University of Rome served as the host of the conference. This conference was a great success. Check out more pictures HERE.


System Dynamics Review Early View (July 30, 2015)

An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is the “Research” article — “Exploring retailers’ ordering decisions under delays” written by Sebastián Villa, Paulo Gonçalves, and Santiago Arango.


Creative Learning Exchange Summer Newsletter (July 29, 2015)

The Summer 2015 issue of The Creative Learning Exchange’s Newsletter The Exchange is now available on their website. In this issue, read about Executive Director Lees Stuntz’s “whirlwind tour” of Tucson schools and the ways they have incorporated systems thinking and System Dynamics lessons into their curriculums. Also in the newsletter is an update on the Eighth Annual DynamiQueST Expo which took place this past May, and information about the next Systems Thinking and Dynamics Modeling Conference for K-12 in June 2016 in Wellesley, Massachusetts.


News from the XMILE Technical Committee(July 29, 2015)

On Monday, July 20, 2015, during the annual research conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the XMILE Technical Committee voted unanimously to submit the XMILE 1.0 specification dated 29 October 2014 as a candidate OASIS standard. The committee wait several months to meet the requirements of OASIS. Now, there will be a 60-day Public Review and then a ballot within OASIS. If the ballot is successful, XMILE will become an OASIS standard.


System Dynamics Society Awards Given at the Conference (July 24, 2015)

The Jay Wright Forrester Award recognizes the authors of the best contribution to the field of System Dynamics in the preceding five years. This year the award was presented to Hazhir Rahmandad, for his winning work, Impact of Growth Opportunities and Competition on Firm-Level Capability Development Tradeoffs. Organization Science 23(1):138-154. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1100.0628

Pictured left to right: Hazhir Rahmandad and Khalid Saeed

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 Dean Christensen this award in grateful recognition of their exceptional volunteer contributions to the System Dynamics Society.

Bob Eberlein, Roberta Spencer, Dean Christensen, David Andersen, and Andy Ford

The System Dynamics Applications Award is presented by the Society every other year for the best “real world” application of System Dynamics. The Society awarded its 2015 Applications Award for the work Biomedical System Dynamics to Improve Anemia Control With Darbepoetin Alfa in Long-Term Hemodialysis Patients, by James T. McCarthy, MD; Craig L. Hocum, PA-C; Robert C. Albright, DO; James Rogers, MS, MBA; Edward J. Gallaher, PhD; David P. Steensma, MD; Stephen F. Gudgell, MA; Eric J. Bergstralh, MS; John C. Dillion, MD; LaTonya J. Hickson, MD; Amy W. Williams, MD; and David Dingli, MD, PhD.

Bradley Morrison, Edward J. Gallaher, James T. McCarthy, and Craig L. Hocum

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 2015 award was accepted by Mohammad S. Jalali from Virginia Tech for the paper Information Diffusion through Social Networks: the Case of an Online Petition, co-authored by Armin Ashouri Rad, Oscar Herrera-Restrepo, and Hui Zhang, all from Virginia Tech. The two 2015 Honorable Mention recipients were Chris Browne from the Australian National University for his paper (co-authored by Paul Compston) Rethinking intuition of accumulation principles and also Arash Baghaei Lakeh from the Virginia Tech for his paper Does Analytical Thinking Improve Understanding of Accumulation? (co-authored by Navid Ghaffarzadegan).

Pictured left to right: Thomas Fiddaman and Mohammad Jalali
Pictured left to right: Chris Browne and Thomas Fiddaman

The Lupina Young Researchers Award is given annually for outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics authored by students. The 2015 recipient were Philipp Schwarz and Sebastiaan Fakkert from Delft University of Technology for their paper (co-authored by Erik Pruyt) Kidney transplantations in the United States: A System Dynamics approach to reduce the waiting list and illegal trafficking.

Sebastiaan Fakkert, Philipp Schwarz, and David Lounsbury

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 recipients were Therese Bennich, Tom Bongers, and David Collste for their paper Exploring Degrowth Pathways Using System Dynamics.

Karim Chichakly, Tom Bongers, Bob Eberlein, and Therese Bennich

2015 Conference Wednesday Afternoon Best Poster Award Winner(July 23, 2015)

The Best Poster Award for the Wednesday afternoon Economics, Security and Operations Poster Session was presented for The Paradox of Redistribution: A System Dynamics Translation, by David Collste. The session co-chairs stated it was difficult to pick a winner because many posters we interesting and qualified. We particularly liked this one for a number of reasons: important topic of income and welfare inequality in society and clarity of the presentation. Congratulations to David!


2015 Conference Wednesday Morning Best Poster Award Winner(July 22, 2015)

The Best Poster Award for the Business & Strategy Poster Session was presented for paper The impact of Australia’s carbon tax on an unshielded emissions intensive trade exposed manufacturing industry by Sue McAvoy. The Session Co-chairs commented about this paper: “This poster deals with an important topic at the intersection of public and business policy; the model is complex but helps reach interesting conclusions. An important problem; interesting insights. Congratulations!”

John and Sue with the Winning Poster

2015 Conference Tuesday Afternoon Best Poster Award Winner(July 22, 2015)

The Best Poster Award for the Methodology and Learning Session was presented for The Capability Traps in Explaining the Capability Trap: Lessons from the Field on Conveying Generalizable System Insights, by Peter Hovmand, Laura Guzman-Abello, Camilo Olaya, Wolfgang Munar, Mary Jo Stahlschmidt. The session co-chairs commented about this paper “The authors did a great job grounding their work in achievable goals, were able to find practically important problems with untrained clients, and developed a method for replicating these quantitative insights in other settings. Results provide better changes of communicating systems insights.”

Peter with the Winning Poster

2015 Conference Tuesday Morning Best Poster Award Winner(July 21, 2015)

There was a tie for the Best Poster Award during the Tuesday morning Health and Human Behavior Poster Session. The winners are Sarah Peterson for Understanding the dynamics of Ebola transmission using a simple dynamic model. The session chairs stated “This poster addresses an urgent public health problem using an innovative combination of System Dynamics modeling and network dynamics using online data sources building on a classic epidemiology framework.”

The other winner paper was Local Area Physician Workforce Planning Model Pilot, by Michael Dill, Gary Hirsch, and Emily Yunker. The session chairs stated “ This poster presents a pilot project designed to engage local stakeholders in a health care work force capacity-building effort, with important implications for participatory modeling methods and planning for national-scale implementation.”


Sarah with the Winning Poster

Emily, Michael, and Gary with the Winning Poster

2015 Conference Monday Afternoon Best Poster Award Winner(July 20, 2015)

The Best Poster Award for the Environment and Public Policy Poster Session was presented for Product Policy Impact in the Lifecycle of Light Bulbs Through System Dynamics, by Luz-Angelica Rodriguez, Enrique Estupinan, Sonia Jaimes, and Diego Toro. The session co-chairs commented “This paper addresses an important environmental problem in an engaging and informative way.”

Luz-Angelica and Enrique with the Winning Poster

2015 Conference Monday Morning Best Poster Award Winner(July 20, 2015)

There was a tie for Best Poster Award for the Resource Management poster session on Monday morning at the conference. Resilience in Zambia’s Maize Value Chain. An explorative case study on using System Dynamics for resilience testing, by Conrad Steinhilber was one of the winners. Congratulations Conrad!

The other poster to tie for Best Poster in the Resource Management Poster Session on Monday morning was Rooftop Solar and the Utilities Death Spiral – a system dynamics analysis, by Conor Meehan. Congratulations Conor!


Conrad with the Winning Poster

Conor with the Winning Poster

Healthcare Adventures© at the Center for Medical Simulation (July 09, 2015)

Healthcare Adventures© at the Center for Medical Simulation, facilitated by Dr. Brad Morrison and Dr. Fred Davis, will be offered at the 2015 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society again this year. Scheduled for Thursday, July 23, this simulation is a customized experience that will thrust you into the dynamic environment of health care on the front lines. Participants will step into the healthcare arena and take on challenges of patient care and crisis management with a simulated patient. The event will be held at the Center for Medical Simulation, a highly realistic clinical environment with an operating room and other patient care settings used for education of physicians and other healthcare professionals. In this session, non-clinicians will actually get the chance to care for a patient and experience real-life issues first hand. It’s sure to be an engaging experience.

The event is open only to paid conference registrants. Click to learn more. Registration is limited and space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Light breakfast will be available, and lunch will be arranged. Participants will be asked to pay $10 to contribute to the cost of food and beverages. Please visit www.signupgenius.com to register.


Strategy Dynamics Essentials now available in paperback (July 09, 2015)

Strategy Dynamics Essentials shows how to develop a joined-up strategy plan with rigorous, practical frameworks that anyone can use. The method leads to working, quantified models that support the main aim of strategy – strong, sustainable performance over long periods of time, and the book provides access to numerous working examples. Strategy Dynamics is a helpful method to use on many problems in business, ecology, healthcare, HR – to name a few, but is primarily aimed at executives, analysts, consultants and business students at all levels. Its method works for any enterprise, or any component part, of any scale, in any sector, and at any stage – including before a new venture starts or an expected challenge takes place. It can be used for continued strategic planning or to deal with any issue an enterprise may face. Over the last few years this condensed version of the textbook Strategic Management Dynamics (published by Wiley), has been available in PDF and Kindle formats only, but it is now available in paperback from Amazon stores globally and a new Kindle textbook-replica format. The text has been updated to take into account the Sysdea software and to improve layout. Registered teachers can also download an inspection copy free of charge. For more information, chapter outlines and links to global Amazon stores, visit the Strategy Dynamics LTD website.


Third Symposium Held by the Brazil Chapter (July 09, 2015)

The Brazil Chapter is pleased to report that their 3rd Brazilian Symposium, to be held October 16-17, 2015, is shaping up well. Themes will include energy (including ethanol production, biomass distributed generation, and solar photovoltaics); climate change, water shortages, and the energy-water-environment nexus in general; corruption; health care and management; and participatory modeling, to name a few. Submissions have been received from members of the Brazil Chapter and from around the world. In addition to the selected papers, there will be five high-level presentations by experts, to be delivered in person (or via the web). For more information, please email simposioDS@gmail.com.


Second Edition of Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics Just Published (July 08, 2015)

A second edition of Strategic Modeling and Business Dynamic: A feedback systems approach by, Society member, John D.W. Morecroft was recently published and is available for purchase. Morecroft’s book is an essential guide for understanding the importance of modelling in the business environment. Covering all the stages of model building, the book provides the latest state-of-the-art thinking, concepts and techniques for systems modelling. John A Queich, Professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School and formerly Dean of London Business School, said, “This book, with its vivid examples and simulators, is helping to bring modelling, system dynamics and simulation into the mainstream of management education where they now belong.” In addition to the new version of the book, the updated version includes a learner’s website with models, articles and videos. For more information please visit the publisher’s website. John is a Senior Fellow, Management Science and Operations at London Business School.


Summer School Schedule Available (July 02, 2015)

The pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School will start on Wednesday, July 15. It will be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Again this year, the summer school will be taught by leaders in the field and allow for individual and group instruction. Check the Summer School schedule to see more details.


System Dynamics Review Early View (July 01, 2015)

An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is the “Research” article — “Towards the algorithmic detection of archetypal structures in system dynamics” written by Lukas Schoenenberger, Alexander Schmid and Markus Schwaninger.


Enterprise Architecture and System Dynamics (June 29, 2015)

Strategy Dynamics is pleased to announce a practice-and-research collaboration with Chinese Culture University of Taiwan into the opportunity for System Dynamics to contribute to Enterprise Architecture (the mapping of organisational processes and capabilities as a platform for enterprise-wide information-systems planning – for more on the topic, see the Open Group, a network of global organisations collaborating on EA).

A summary slide-show on the connection we will be exploring is at sdl.re/easdlink. A video of the announcement is at sdl.re/aEADlaunch. Segments of a lecture to an Enterprise Architecture conference in Taipei on the EA<>SD linkages are in a playlist at sdl.re/EASDvideos. Essentially, EA focuses on descriptive mapping of an organisation’s business processes, while SD builds working models of the system itself, on which those processes act – so combining the two should be both possible and valuable, especially to the IS/IT community.

Kim Warren of Strategy Dynamics Ltd states “We are delighted to be working with Professors Simon Lu and Min-Ren Yan and Dr. Lesly Lin at CCU’s School of Continuing Education on this.” For enquiries please write to <href=”mailto:info@strategydynamics.com”>info@strategydynamics.com.


The Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics (June 26, 2015)

Professor Jay W. Forrester, founder of the field of System Dynamics, led a seminar series for PhD students in the fall of 1999 on the topic of System Dynamics. Taking place at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, the 11 part series was videotaped. Each three-hour session covers a different stand-alone topic. Please preview Session A: What is System Dynamics. The entire video series is available for purchase with an accompanying CD containing suggested readings for each session. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations will find the series useful in broadening and deepening their understanding of the field. For more information on the series, please visit the website. To purchase the series, please contact the System Dynamics Society at office@systemdynamics.org.


Calling All System Dynamicists!

We invite you to participate in our workshop “Modeling Psychological and Sociological Dynamics” on Thursday July 23, 2015 at the System Dynamics Society Conference in Cambridge.

Register for the conference and attend the workshop — conference.systemdynamics.org.

Led by Psychology Interest Group Co-Chairs Pascal Gambardella (a physicist) and David Lounsbury (a psychologist), we hope to provide you with unique insights into using psychological and sociological concepts (e.g., motivation, trust, morale, customer satisfaction, and burnout) as variables in system dynamics models.

Some people are skeptical about using these concepts in models and have labeled them as “soft” or “intangible.” They question whether these concepts can be measured or quantified. Yet these concepts can be essential for a model to properly address its objective or purpose. Come and learn how to integrate such variables into your models in useful, defensible ways.

We invite you to participate in our workshop as we describe the process (complete with activity diagram and decision tree) of transforming a psychological and/or sociological concept into a variable. We illustrate the detailed mechanics of building a model with these variables, and also discuss how to validate both the variables and the model.

Where else, but in our workshop, can you hear a discussion of Hamlet, the Stanford prison experiment, the Milgram experiment, burnout, family in crisis over care of a sick child, dynamics of HIV prevention and care, and riots? In addition, we have compiled a comprehensive literature search and used the resulting information to create the workshop, developed an associated annotated bibliography, and collected and generated example models in Vensim and iThink/Stella (see the conference website for our workshop materials).

Questions? Please e-mail Pascal Gambardella: pascalgambardella@gmail.com and David Lounsbury: david.lounsbury@einstein.yu.edu. Hope to see you on July 23rd! (June 26, 2015)


Third Symposium Held by the Brazil Chapter (June 25, 2015)

The Brazil Chapter will hold its 3rd Symposium on October 16-17, 2015, in São Paulo. The Call for Papers is now available. On Friday, October 16, there will be presentations and discussions focusing on papers submitted. Submissions of applied work in progress are encouraged. On Saturday, October 17, there will be a full-day workshop with Karim Chichakly and Andy Ford, engaging stakeholders and clients in applied modeling. The instructors will share their experiences and facilitate thread-based discussions aimed at promoting the impact and quality of ongoing and potential applications. The threads will be chosen based upon submissions, and the interests of modelers and model users in attendance. Submissions in Portuguese are welcome, but it may be advantageous to the authors to submit their papers in English. Please send email submission summaries (600-800 words) to simposioDS@gmail.com by July 6.


Jay Forrester is the topic of an article published this week in the MIT Technology Review. The article, titled “The Many Careers of Jay Forrester,” explains how a young boy, born and raised on a Nebraska farm, went on to develop magnetic-core memory and founded the field of System Dynamics. Forrester’s long and distinguished career is chronicled in this article, with sections devoted to the many occupations and roles he has had. Ranch hand, military engineer, computing pioneer, Lincoln Lab division leader, management theorist, educator, and social analyst are just some of the titles used to describe Forrester’s many careers. If you would like to learn more about Jay’s life, a great article by David Lane can be found in your System Dynamics Review, in the article “The Power of the Bond Between Cause and Effect: Jay Wright Forrester and the field of system dynamics.” Anyone interested in learning more about the life and achievements of Jay Forrester and the growth System Dynamics will find these articles to be worth the read. (June 25, 2015)

Society to Collapse by 2040? (June 25, 2015)

A recent article in the Mint Press News, “Society to Collapse by 2040 Due to Catastrophic Food Shortages, Environmental Disaster,” explains how industrial civilization will cease to exist if the current course of events is not altered. The article is based on new scientific models supported by the British government’s Foreign Office but the scientists who conducted the study maintain that the models are not predictive as they do not include any reaction from people to the crises. The topic of sustainability is also found in the book 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years by Society member Jorgen Randers. Published in 2012, Randers’s book draws on his experience in the sustainability arena as well as input from numerous experts to synthesize a prediction of what the world will look like in 2052. From population and consumption to energy and ecosystems, 2052 provides an in depth analysis of what lies ahead and what we all can do.
(June 25, 2015)


System Dynamics Society Applications Award (June 18, 2015)

Nominations are open for the System Dynamics Society Applications Award, presented for the best full-length paper describing a “real world” application of System Dynamics. Award details may be found on the Society website. To nominate a paper, please send the paper or a citation and your comments in support to Brad Morrison at morrison@mit.edu. Nominations will close on June 30. The list of past winners includes:

  • 2013: John Sterman, Thomas Fiddaman, Travis Franck, Andrew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Philip Rice, Elizabeth Sawin and Lori Siegel
    “Climate Interactive: the C-ROADS Climate Policy Model”
  • 2011: Jack Homer, Kristina Wile, Gary Hirsch, Justin Trogdon, Amanda Honeycutt, Bobby Milstein, Diane Orenstein and Lawton Cooper
    “Prevention Impacts Simulation Model (PRISM) for Chronic Disease Policymaking”
  • 2009: Kenneth Cooper and Gregory Lee
    “Application of System Dynamics: Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor”
  • 2007: Vince Barabba, Chet Huber, Fred Cooke, Nick Pudar, Jim Smith, and Mark Paich
    “A Multimethod Approach for Creating New Business Models: The General Motors OnStar Project”

SD Career Link Bulletin Board (June 16, 2015)

During the conference the SD Career Link Bulletin Board will be available. The Bulletin Board provides an opportunity for businesses and organizations to post information and connect with the conference audience: clients, students and interested persons. The Bulletin Board will highlight company profiles that describe how System Dynamics fits into the organization, as well as current job opening for people with System Dynamics expertise. For a preview, please visit the SD Career Link page. If your organization is not listed, please taking advantage of this opportunity to post a company profile and/or career information. Many companies will have a representative/attendee at the conference making this a great networking opportunity.


Schedule Update for 1st Mediterranean Conference (June 15, 2015)

Plenary sessions at the System Dynamics Italian Chapter / 1st Mediterranean Conference on Food Supply and Distribution Systems in Urban Environments will include:

  • Planetary issues and Food Systems meeting Urban Food Needs
  • Inclusive and Resilient Food Supply
  • Distribution Systems Meeting Urban Food Needs
  • Complex systems approaches to manage Food Systems Meeting Urban Food Needs
  • Cities and Policies for better FSDS Meeting Urban Food Needs.

For further details on the program including parallel sessions, workshops, meetings and other events please visit the website.

Along with program and organizing chair, Stefano Armenia, the organizing team includes Olivio Argenti, Andrea Furlan, Alberto Atzori, Vanessa Armendariz, Valerio Ciuffini, and Eleanor Piacenza. The Sapienza University of Rome will serve as the host of the conference. For further information, you can contact the SYDIC organizing team at the following email addresses: workshop2015@systemdynamics.it and staff@systemdynamics.it. The conference will take place in Rome from July 6-7, 2015.


New eBook on Systems Thinking (June 15, 2015)

A new eBook, Systems Thinking: An Enabler for Innovation by Dr. Thomas Gannon and Dr. Jamie Monat of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is available for download from WPI’s website. The book focuses on how systems thinking can be used in the development of innovative products and services that fuel business growth. In a global economy as technology increases complexity, companies must compete while doing more with less. This eBook will provide companies with a strategic competitive advantage by using systems thinking.


What Students Are Up To (June 15, 2015)

See what System Dynamics students are doing! A new webpage on the conference site highlights student papers scheduled for presentation at the upcoming System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to be held July 19 – 23, 2015. Please take a moment to read through the important works of these hard-working students. (If you are a student with an accepted paper that does not appear in this list please contact the Society). To learn more about System Dynamics Society student events, please visit the Student Chapter Website and LinkedIn Group. To help support students to attend the conference, please consider donating today to our Conference Scholarship Fund.


Member Hazhir Rahmandad’s course ‘Research Seminar in System Dynamics’ Now Online (June 10, 2015)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is now offering the course Research Seminar in System Dynamics as part of its OpenCourseWare. This doctoral level seminar in System Dynamics modeling provides background on classic works in dynamic modeling as well as current research problems and papers. With a focus on social, economic and technical systems, participants will learn to critique theories and models. The course was originally taught in the spring of 2014 by Professor Hazhir Rahmandad. MIT OpenCourseWare, founded in 1999, provides free and open materials online from the MIT curriculum.


Professor Khalid Saeed Discusses the System Dynamics Approach to Economics In his most recent paper, “Jay Forrester’s operational approach to economics,” (System Dynamics Review Volume 30, Issue 4) Khalid Saeed discusses the importance of Forrester’s contribution to the field. Instead of focusing on rational agency, Forrester bases his economic models on managerial roles and policies that relate to everyday decisions. Saeed believes that System Dynamics does not have a specific take on economics, saying that it is a neutral methodology that can be used to model any concept. The paper is not about one specific model built by Forrester, but instead explains how his approach is different from mainstream economic practices. Economists wishing to operationalize the field, managers and policy makers dealing with firms, regions and nations, and those wishing to learn about Forrester’s work in general will all find the paper to be worth the read! Please watch the video as Professor Saeed talks about this work. (June 10, 2015)


Agile SD – fast, reliable, effective

This workshop will be taught by Kim Warren.

Register for the conference and attend the workshop — conference.systemdynamics.org.

Join us on the Workshop day to discover the “agile” approach to building reliable models, fast, with teams. This will be a very ‘hands-on’ session.

Anyone about to start out with system dynamics modelling, or recently started, may worry about how to get – and keep! – their audience engaged in the process, and whether the effort will produce a valuable result. Standard recommended approaches take too long, and are too uncertain in their outcome, so this workshop will give you a strong capability that will instill confidence, both for yourself and those you are helping.

Experienced modelers can also benefit, by comparing this alternative method to their current approaches, and assessing the opportunity that may exist to deliver better results more efficiently. (June 09, 2015)


Getting started with the 2015 version of Sysdea browser modeling app.

This workshop will be taught by Kim Warren.

Register for the conference and attend the workshop — conference.systemdynamics.org.

System dynamics models are complex (!) so you need the greatest possible ease-of-use and the clearest-possible presentation of what a model is doing and why. Beginners in particular need the lowest possible barriers to getting started with building good models.

Sysdea is a browser-based software, based on principles that aid fast and reliable models. Time-charts on every object, and time-series for both actual (or desired) and simulated values, plus a non-technical interface, allow anyone to be building models very fast, and with much less chance of errors – if the lines don’t match, there’s a problem! Participants from K-12 schools, colleges and Universities will see plans for simple institutional access to Sysdea, and how this will help manage the modeling for whole classes.

The 2015 version has been entirely rebuilt, to add speed and reliability to this ease-of-use, so that more demanding features can be added without compromising power. We will show you how to use the basic elements and mechanisms of the software, along with some of its more advanced features, such as intuitive user-defined functions and powerful sub-models. (June 09, 2015)


Getting Started with Powersim Studio (June 04, 2015)

Powersim Studio covers all your needs when building simulations, running in-depth analyses, risk analyses, and optimizations.
Studio has 223 built-in functions, MS Excel and database connectivity, the most complete unit handling on the market, native complex application design tools including embedded html, sophisticated debugging and run time diagnostics, context sensitive help, and more.
Studio also has the ability to build your own functions, especially useful for hybrid modeling. The workshop will introduce you Studio’s interactive development environment (IDE), self-training opportunities, the user community, best practices, and more.
The workshop will be taught by Len Malczynski, Group Moderator of the Powersim Tools User Group on Yahoo. The group has been operating since December 2003 and has 600+ members.
If you do not already run Studio, please download a copy at www.powersim.com and visit the User Group at groups.yahoo.com.
See you in Cambridge.


Forrester Seminar Series Screenings begin June 8th in Albany

The Albany System Dynamics Group will be screening the Forrester Seminar Series over the summer break. On Monday, June 8th, we begin with the first half of Session A – “What is System Dynamics.” Join us on the UAlbany Uptown Campus, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222–Room BB 368 (that is the new School of Business building) at 5:00 PM. We will watch together and have an informal discussion afterwards. The suggested readings will be made available for attendees. For more information, please contact Eliot Rich at erich2@albany.edu.

Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics

Professor Jay W. Forrester, the founder of the field
Jay Forrester is Professor of Management at the Sloan School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is founder of the field of system dynamics. Beginning in 1946, Forrester directed the MIT Digital Computer Laboratory, which built whirlwind, the first digital computer, at MIT. He invented random-access, coincident-current, magnetic memory which launched the era of reliable digital computers. Later, at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, he directed development and installation of the SAGE system for North American air defense. Forrester has pioneered the use of system dynamics in management education, applications to social systems, and more recently, system dynamics as a foundation for a more relevant pre-college education from kindergarten through 12th grade.
Seminar Information
Professor Jay Forrester, in the fall of 1999, conducted a seminar series for Ph.D. students in system dynamics. Each of the eleven three-hour sessions is devoted to a different stand-alone topic, which should be of benefit to any student or practitioner in the field. The series is not a progressive tutorial for learning system dynamics, but covers related concepts and philosophy.
In an educational setting, these sessions can be used as assignments, to be viewed in preparation for a follow-up class discussion. Those who are applying system dynamics in business and social situations should find these sessions useful in broadening their understanding of the field.
Session Descriptions:
Session A: What is System Dynamics?
Professor Jay W. Forrester discusses how system dynamics started with a history beginning just before World War II. The students ask about mental models, kinds of feedback, and the relationship between system dynamics and cybernetics. (June 03, 2015)


Beer game at Technical Univeristy of Denmark

During the 28 and 29 of May, a System Dynamics workshop was held at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), located in Lyngby, north of Copenhagen. In this activity, the classic beer game was played, and the assistants got the chance of experiencing the need for understanding structure which drives nonlinear behavior. Additionally, lectures and group activities introduced PhD students and researchers from DTU and the University of Aalborg to the basic tools for systems thinking and System Dynamics modeling. The sessions were led by Prof. Christian Erik Kampmann, MIT PhD and professor of the Copenhagen Business School, Prof. Josef Oehmen, PhD and professor form the department of Management Engineering at DTU, as well as Daniel Sepulveda, System Dynamics Society member and PhD student at DTU. (June 03, 2015)


The Creative Learning Exchange (CLE) Hosts DynamiQueST again at WPI (June 03, 2015)

The CLE and the Boston Area Systems Thinking Educators put on the eighth DynamiQueST, an exposition of K-12 student learning on Friday, May 29th with the support of the WPI System Dynamics Program. The day featured 21 students presenting projects to expert system dynamicists and knowledgeable K-12 teachers as well as their peers. A rendition of the Infection Game (see CLE website) was run with liquid in cups for the whole group and the afternoon session featured a guided group discussion run by a dear friend of K-12, George Richardson, featuring a NY Times article about the unintended consequences of the distribution of mosquito nets to prevent malaria.
Innovation Academy, a school with System Dynamics in their charter, brought multiple groups of students and was joined by students from the Lawrence Elementary (K-8) School in Brookline, MA. The project titles included: Fish Banks Policy Project, Population Growth and Energy Efficient Innovation; The Simplicity of Catapults, A Taste of Hollywood: Expressing Character Development and Theme with the Support of Systems Thinking Tools; American Revolution: Causes and Reflections; Systems of Rome; Rocket Modeling Project; and Solar Oven Modeling Project.


Mentoring in Health Modeling (June 01, 2015)

Are you looking for a mentor or mentee as you develop models in areas of health policy, population health, health care delivery and related fields? The Health Policy SIG of the System Dynamics Society believes that mentoring can improve the work of everyone involved. With that in mind, a new process is being offered by the Health Policy SIG to match mentors and mentees with similar interests. If you would like a mentor or are looking to serve as a mentor, please contact health@sigs.systemdynamics.org by June 10 with the following:

  • Your name and contact information, at least your e-mail address and any other means of communicating such as Skype address;
  • Whether or not you are planning on attending this year’s ISDC in Cambridge, MA;
  • For mentees, the problem or area in which you are working and need help;
  • For potential mentors, areas in which you are interested in and feel qualified to serve as a mentor. Let us know if you are willing to mentor multiple people or only one;
  • For both, any other information you feel would be useful (e.g., preferred modeling software).

The Brown School Social System Design Lab Will Host the Changing Systems Student Summit on Racism in June (May 29, 2015)

The Brown School’s Social System Design Lab (SSDL) at Washington University in St. Louis is hosting a 3-day Student Summit that will use systems thinking/systems dynamics tools to address issues pertaining to structural racism in the St. Louis region. The Summit will bring together approximately 120 students from over 14 local school districts to engage in conversations about how to create social change from a systems perspective. The event is being designed and led by a group of 12 high school interns at the the Brown School’s SSDL. Megan Odenthal will be the Program Coordinator for this initiative. Megan is a graduate of the Brown School MSW program with the System Dynamics Specialization and Gephardt Civic Scholar with a background in youth development. The Changing Systems Student Summit on Racism in June is the result of longstanding commitments in St. Louis to systems thinking by the Waters Foundation, Ritenour School District, and Boeing.


Teaching Students to Create Original Models in a Ten-Week Course (May 29, 2015)

This workshop will be taught by Diana Fisher.
Register for the conference and attend the workshop — conference.systemdynamics.org.
If you have wanted to include a System Dynamics (SD) model-building component in your course that can include having student teams build small original SD models, write short technical papers explaining their models, and present their models to the class, this workshop could get you started. Those SD concepts, the sequence of concepts, and suggestions for assessments, that have been successfully used for a number of years in environmental modeling classes that are 10-weeks in duration will be presented and discussed.
The workshop is appropriate for professionals in any discipline, but is aimed more directly at those who are in an instructional/academic setting.


Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling for Math and Science Instruction: Online Professional Development Opportunity (May 29, 2015)

This workshop will be taught by Diana Fisher.
Register for the conference and attend the workshop — conference.systemdynamics.org.
If you are looking for a sequence of online courses that provide a gentle introduction to System Dynamics (SD) modeling, and you are a math or science instructor (of students ages 15 – 20+), you will find this workshop instructive. Samples of the instructional videos, samples of participant & student lessons, and a display of the general organization of each session for the first course will be presented. The examples and lessons are directly related to mathematics and science concepts. For those professionals in other disciplines, who are comfortable reading graphs and have average comfort with algebra concepts (linear, exponential, oscillatory behavior) these courses would be appropriate, with one caveat. The examples and lessons are specifically designed for math and science so application to your area would have to be your own task.
These courses provide extensive hands-on model building activities for the participants that can then be modified (or used as-is) for their students. The model-building lessons have been tested in a classroom setting.
The three courses are:

  1. Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling for Math and Science Instructors: Course 1: Basic Models (Course starts June 22, 2015)
    For more information and to register go to: www.ccmodelingsystems.com;
  2. Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling for Math and Science Instructors: Course 2: More Advanced Models;
  3. System Dynamics Modeling: A Different Way to Think: Course 3: Building Original Models from the News.

Calling All System Dynamicists! We need you to run World Climate before the UN Climate talks in Paris.

Join John Sterman, Drew Jones, Florian Kapmeier, and partners of Climate Interactive for a one-day training in Cambridge, MA at the System Dynamics Society Conference – Thursday Workshop Day (July 23) to learn to lead the World Climate Exercise, a mock UN climate negotiation backed by the C-ROADS System Dynamics model used at the actual UN climate negotiations.
Register for the conference and attend the workshop — conference.systemdynamics.org.
Check out this short video of World Climate (bit.ly/1fLExEZ) being led at MIT by John Sterman.
Be part of the movement that won the recent System Dynamics Society Award for Best Application of System Dynamics. This effort needs you.
While world leaders prepare to gather in Paris for the UN climate change negotiations in December, people everywhere are needed to engage in acts of leadership on climate change. The World Climate Project will offer you the resources to confidently engage people with rigorous, science-based tools developed with MIT and facilitate engaging “mock-UN” events that simulate the Paris climate talks in order to engage people about what is needed to address the climate challenge.
Thousands have participated in World Climate events ranging from Fortune 500 business CEO’s to primary school students in Austria. And longtime SD folks such as Michael Goodman, Kris Wile, Rogelio Oliva, David Ford, Eliot Rich, Fabian Szulanski, Eduardo Fracassi, and Chris Soderquist have led the game.
New and updated materials will be released, making it easier than ever to lead your own World Climate event from wherever you are.
We’ve assessed the impact of these transformative learning experiences – through scientific studies we found that 76% of UMass Lowell students who took the workshop reported they were more likely to take action to address climate change.
Questions? Email Drew Jones: apjones@climateinteractive.org and Ellie Johnston: ejohnston@climateinteractive.org. Hope to see you on July 23rd! (May 27, 2015)


CALL FOR PAPERS – Education as a Complex System (May 05, 2015)

Guest editors Navid Ghaffarzadegan (Virginia Tech), Joshua Hawley (The Ohio State University), and Richard Larson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have issued a call for original research articles/papers on the topic of Education as a Complex System for a special issue of Systems Research and Behavioral Science. Some examples of potential topics are: education as a socio-technical system; massive open online courses (MOOCs); guided learning pathways (GLP); customized education; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education; performance in Kindergarden-12 education; higher education; education enterprises; research in higher education; government and education; research funding and higher education; and the research and education workforce including teachers, postdoctoral associates, and professors. The deadline for manuscript submission is November 30, 2015. Additional details may be found here.


Otto Scharmer awarded the Jamieson Teaching Award (May 05, 2015)

Otto Scharmer has been awarded the Jamieson Teaching Award at MIT Sloan. The Jamieson Award is the highest teaching award at MIT Sloan, and was established to honor educational innovation and excellence. Otto works closely with people in the System Dynamics community. Besides pioneering important methods to complement and enhance the effectiveness of System Dynamics tools, Otto has also used a variety of System Dynamics models in his work including C-ROADS and the World Climate role-playing simulation based exercise developed by Climate Interactive. Otto is receiving the Jamieson Prize for two decades of dedication to pedagogical innovation at Sloan, with impact extending across the School and beyond to the Institute. Congratulations Otto!


Fifth-year Anniversary of the First SD Class at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (May 05, 2015)

To celebrate the fifth-year anniversary of the first module (class) in Dynamic Modeling of Public Policy Systems, at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, John Richardson’s students will be giving “final examination” presentations describing their original model-based projects. Presentations are given using the “Pecha Kucha” format (20 slides 20 seconds per slide, 6 min, 40 seconds) first introduced by a community of architects in Japan. As in recent past years, they will be acknowledging their achievements with presentations to a wider audience, comprising not only National University of Singapore faculty and students, but also members of the wider Singapore Community. This will also mark the completion of the module by more than 100 students from Singapore, China, India, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan and the many other nations that the Lee Kuan Yew School serves. Most students will return to or embark on careers as public policy professionals.
What does the module in the Dynamic Modeling of Public Policy Systems entail? Students are expected to define a policy relevant problem and craft a system dynamics model that addresses it. After rigorous validity and robustness testing, the model is used to diagnose the problem and point to policy recommendations. These must be accessible and compelling to potential clients with no background in dynamic systems modeling. These final oral presentations, backed up with written reports and documentation, provide class members with the opportunity to demonstrate the level of mastery in public policy modeling that they have attained.


Mississippi State University receives grant from USDA for SD Modeling (April 27, 2015)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced three research grants totaling almost $3 Million that are designed to boost food security by minimizing livestock losses to insects and diseases. The awards to support research, education, and Extension efforts were made through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Mississippi State University has been awarded $47,464 to create a portable computer and communication center for training veterinary students, graduate students, practicing veterinarians, and other food production stakeholders to use System Dynamics modeling, other forms of stochastic and deterministic modeling and health data management or analysis software to protect livestock from pests and disease.


The Creative Learning Exchange Spring 2015 newsletter is now available online (April 24, 2015)

The Exchange newsletter is now available on The Creative Learning Exchange’s website. This issue contains the Fish Banks Simulation Guide, an online multi-user simulation that explores the management of a marine fishery. In the new issue you’ll also find an article about “Engineering Mission to Mars,” a course currently taking place at the Worcester Think Tank. Using the scientific method, the engineering design process, and concepts in system dynamics, students ages 9-12 are learning to provide solutions to problems associated with a successful human mission to Mars. This issue also contains information about the upcoming DynamiQueST, an exciting showcase of student projects that utilize critical thinking skills to analyze complex dynamic systems in a relaxed environment, free from “winner/loser” constraints.


New issue of System Dynamics Review Available (April 23, 2015)

The latest issue of System Dynamics Review is available on Wiley Online Library. This issue of System Dynamics Review includes research articles “Jay Forrester’s operational approach to economics (pages 233–261)” by Khalid Saeed, and “A realistic leverage point for one-planet living: more compulsory vacation in the rich world (pages 264–282)” by Jorgen Randers. Articles in this issue also include two “notes and insights” article “Model teaching II: Examples for the early stages (pages 283–290)” and “Model teaching III: Examples for the later stages (pages 291–299)” by George P. Richardson, and a piece of announcement Citation Lifetime Achievement Award (pages 262–263) by Jack Homer.


Martin Kunc Awarded the Geoff Coyle Medal (April 16, 2015)

The Geoff Coyle Medal was awarded to Dr. Martin Kunc at the International System Dynamics Society UK Chapter Conference on March 26, 2015. The Geoff Coyle Medal is a new prize, awarded for innovative System Dynamics work in the UK. Since Geoff Coyle had encouraged early career developments in System Dynamics, this forms the scope of the prize for either research or practice. The award recognizes Martin’s major contributions in terms of introducing System Dynamics to a wide number of people and a new area of management research within his first 10 years of using SD. Dr. Martin Kunc is Associate Professor of Operational Research and Management Science at Warwick Business School. The main contribution of his research has been to embed the use of System Dynamics into one of the main streams in the strategic management field: the Resource-Based View of the firm to which he has brought a behavioral and cognitive perspective. He has organized the Strategy stream in several diverse conferences: International System Dynamics Conference, Operational Research Society, International Federation of Operational Research Societies and European Academy of Management for the last five years, and has recently taken the role of System Dynamics co-chair in the merged Simulation Interest Group in the OR Society. Martin has taught at all levels at Warwick from undergraduate, postgraduate (taught and research) and executive education. He has supervised four PhDs to completion, acting as first supervisor, as well as many MBA student dissertations. Prior to joining WBS he was a consultant at Arthur Andersen, and then an independent consultant with projects in media, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services, consumer goods, and the cement and wine industries.


Berlin WINS Announces PhD Course – “Systems Thinking and Practice in PhD Research: Cybersystemic Possibilities for governing the Anthropocene Berlin Workshop in Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems (WINS), together with ISSS and Humboldt University, announces the PhD course, “Systems Thinking and Practice in PhD Research: Cybersystemic Possibilities for governing the Anthropocene.” The course will be held in connection to the 2015 ISSS Conference in Berlin (July 30 –August 7, 2015), “Governing the Anthropocene.” The objective is to work strategically to negotiate boundaries for research in a meaningful way in the areas of contemporary concern, such as sustainability, development, health, farming, food, rural areas and environment/biodiversity, to name a few. The purpose of the course is to help the PhD student develop skills in contextualizing their research, to make connections among issues using systems, cybernetic and complexity thinking and to so improve their ability to work together strategically and purposefully. Nominations are open to any current PhD students studying anywhere in the world. Click here for a pdf with complete details. (April 10, 2015)

Springtime in Switzerland

The Bibliography has been updated! (April 08, 2015)

The most recent version of the Bibliography (2015a) includes references that have been sent in by authors. In addition, this update features references from the bibliographies of the three Virtual Issues of the System Dynamics Review that had not been previously in the bibliography. If you are looking for journal articles, papers, or books relating to health and healthcare, structural dominance or project management the System Dynamics Bibliography now contains a more complete set of references. We are always appreciative of references sent in by our authors. Please send us your publications (journal articles, books, papers, thesis, etc.) with key words included. Submissions may be sent to office@systemdynamics.org. The Updates page always includes a current list of recent additions to the Bibliography.


New issue of The New Systems Thinker is now available Leverage Networks’ latest issue of The New Systems Thinker (TNST) is now available on their website. In this issue you will find articles about celebrating the use of systemic thinking in a legislative setting; exploring the interpersonal dynamics of introverts and extroverts; revisiting the dynamics of terrorism; and examining important patterns in project management for large projects. The issue also contains their regular monthly columns, Success Stories, Off the Shelf, From the Headlines, and Systems Thinker. Subscription information can be found here. Leverage Networks is also very excited to announce their new website with easier navigation, better organization, new membership opportunities, and content-rich Learning Pathways. (April 06, 2015)

First Mediterranean Conference to be held July 6-7, 2015 – “Food Supply and Distribution Systems in Urban Environments” (April 2, 2015)

The System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with “Sapienza” University of Rome, the System Dynamics Society (SDS), and with the organizational support of OWS Srl, is proud to announce the First Mediterranean Conference on Food Supply and Distribution Systems in Urban Environments, to be held in Rome on July 6-7, 2015. The Conference will be held at “Dipartimento di Scienze Odontostomatologiche e Maxillo Facciali,” and will deal with the topic of food supply and distribution systems dynamics in urban environments, with a specific focus across the Mediterranean basin. The FAO and SYDIC have recently been working on the Call for Papers of the FAO Project “Meeting Urban Food Needs (MUFN).” Some of the best selected papers of this activity will be presented at the conference. The conference will bring together outstanding scholars in the field of Complex Systems and System Dynamics who apply their research to the food and sustainability arenas, but also high level political and social stakeholders in the field. The SYDIC Conference brochure can be viewed here.


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. (March 27, 2015)

Dr. Florian Kapmeier and World Climate Inspire German Students (March 25, 2015)

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 (March 25, 2015)

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.


New opportunity for systems science methodologists (March 24, 2015)

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.


A Festschrift to Jorgen Randers, 70 years, 2015 (March 20, 2015)

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 (March 19, 2015)

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: Philipp Wunderlich (March 19, 2015)

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). Congratulations Philipp!


Bibliography Highlights for March: Aging (March 17, 2015)

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 office@systemdynamics.org. See what you can find in the System Dynamics Bibliography.

Author Year Title Journal
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” (March 13, 2015)

“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! (March 06, 2015)

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.” (March 06, 2015)

NASPAA’s First National Student Simulation Competition Uses a System Dynamics Simulator (March 04, 2015)

Photos taken by George P. Richardson

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. (March 02, 2015)

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. (February 26, 2015)

John Sterman Invited as a Guest Speaker on Radio Boston (February 25, 2015)

John 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 (February 24, 2015) 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.

(February 23, 2015) 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! (February 23, 2015) 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 (February 20, 2015) 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 (February 20, 2015)

Pictured from left to right: 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 (February 20, 2015)

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 office@systemdynamics.org. See what you can find in the System Dynamics Bibliography.

Author Year Title Journal
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

System Dynamics Review Virtual Issue (February 13, 2015) The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce we have just published the virtual issue of the System Dynamics Review. A virtual issue is a special grouping of papers on a topic that have already been published in the Review. This issue was edited by Gary Hirsch, Jack Homer, and Andrada Tomoaia-Cotisel on “System Dynamics Applications to Health and Health Care.” In addition to a brief introduction by the editors, this issue offers a direct link to papers in the System Dynamics Review as well as a full bibliography of other resources related to the topic. The two previous virtual issue titles are “Methods for Identifying Structural Dominance” and “Applying System Dynamics to Project Management” and are also available online.

(February 07, 2015) 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 (February 05, 2015) 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 (February 04, 2015) 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 (February 03, 2015) 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.

The 2nd Annual System Dynamics Conference held collaboratively between Eskom and the South Africa Chapter (January 31, 2015)

On the 12th November 2014, the 2nd Eskom Annual System Dynamics conference was held at Eskom College in Midrand, South Africa – collaboratively hosted by Eskom SOC and the South Africa Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. The objective of the conference was to bring the South African system dynamics network together to share experiences gained in applying a system dynamics methodology to better understand the dynamic behaviour of complex systems over time with respect to system description, problem identification and, policy analysis and design. By giving the system dynamics community a platform to demonstrate their work and share lessons learnt, growth of this science was aimed at on a national level so that South Africans are better equipped to make strategic decisions. Cooperative learning was stimulated by showcasing the exciting work that Eskom and other institutions have been undertaking in this field. A publication with the conference proceedings, ISBN 978-0-620-64282-8, is currently being edited and will be available in the first quarter of 2015. The website of the South Africa Chapter was also formally launched.


The System Dynamics Africa Chapter News (January 29, 2015)

The System Dynamics Africa Chapter held its 1st ever International Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya from 11th and 13th January, 2015. The workshop focused on Systems Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing with the theme “Transformation for sustainable development.” The workshop came just one year after the African Chapter was formed. As such, it accorded the chapter, the opportunity to build its capacity in creating awareness of System Dynamics and its applications in solving pressing societal challenges across Africa and elsewhere in the world. The workshop attracted interests of System Dynamics members, researchers and practitioners in sustainable development and PhD candidates who are interested in System Dynamics as a problem solving approach from across the globe. There were three keynote speeches and 14 papers plenary papers presented at the workshop.

The keynote speakers were Dr. Kim Warren (Chairman of Strategy Dynamics Ltd- UK); Dr. Charles Macal (Director Argonne National Laboratory- USA); and Ddembe Williams (President System Dynamics Africa Chapter). We also held a high level panelists Dr. Titus Olaniyi, Prof. Tim Waema, Dr. J. Muthee, Dr. Marcel Castro- Sitiriche, Eng. Simon Thuo, Prof. Paulo Gonclaves, Prof. Ddembe Williams and Dr. Ignacio Martinez and all the workshop presenters. The panel discussed ways to advance SD and data analytics.

During the workshop emphasis was laid on the diverse ways of leveraging System Dynamics methodology to dissect and simplify Big Data and complex societal issues to the benefit of policy makers and users in different areas. The System Dynamics Methodology was explored in different fields and faculties including solving complex health, environment, education, engineering, governance, energy, agriculture, socio-econo-political frontiers among other fields of academic and professional.

The workshop is a start of a series of annual workshops that will be organised by the System Dynamics Africa Chapter. The 2nd International Workshop for the Africa Chapter is scheduled to take place 11th to 12th January, 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. We look forward to welcoming you to the workshop!

Some of the participant at the Workshop


Costa Rica: Pura Vida! XII Latin American Conference of System Dynamics, 2014 (January 29, 2015)

Surrounded by lush vegetation and in an atmosphere of camaraderie was held the XII Latin American Conference on System Dynamics in San Jose Costa Rica, from 9 to 11 December. This conference was organized by Dr. Luis López and Dr. Roy Zúñiga under the auspices of INCAE Business School, Campus Walter Kissling Gam. The conference was attended by about 90 researchers, teachers and students from Latin America, Spain, USA and Egypt. Participants were attending plenary, parallel conferences and workshops, as well as a social program which included a welcome dinner, a visit to a coffee plantation and a dinner at a recreation of a typical village, with dances and folk music. The Latin American Conference 2015 will be held in Cartagena, Colombia during October, so there is enough time to prepare!


Society Member Henk Akkermans e-book available from Studystore (Jan 26, 2015)

Henk Akkermans’s e+book Supply Chain Dynamics is now available from Studystore: nine real-world cases of major companies experiencing turbulence in supply chain dynamics in the electronics, aerospace, IT and telecom industries, fourteen years of accumulated teaching experience at TU Eindhoven and Tilburg University, 20+ simulation games to explain these dynamics, 180+ YouTube clips of open online course material describing the theory and the models, 378 pages of text, all combined in one volume, in electronic and paper format. The book is available via Studystore or directly from the publisher.

Evans & Peck has transformed into Advisian (January 22, 2015)

Longtime member Mark Heffernan is now a Specialist Advisor at Advisian, bringing System Dynamics into consulting at the new firm. Advisian is a global advisory firm built from the merger of Evans & Peck, MTG, Ltd. and EcoNomics™ plus the real world experience of WorleyParsons. Advisian is the independent advisory arm of the WorleyParsons Group. Advisian will provide deep domain expertise and advice to clients in the hydrocarbons, transport, utilities, social infrastructure and minerals, metals and chemicals sectors. The System Dynamics practice will offer advice across all industries and sectors including public policy, sustainability, finance, health and education. Based in Sydney, Mark is looking forward to some international travel.


“Systems Literacy” collection now available on PBS On Line (January 21, 2015)

Linda Booth Sweeney, who received her doctorate from Harvard Education School and studied System Dynamics at MIT has created a set of online resources introducing System Dynamics concepts for teachers. Dr. Sweeney has been working the past year with PBS Learning Media to develop free, media-based resources to foster systems literacy. The pilot collection, designed for students ages 5-25, and their teachers, has just been announced and is now available at www.pbslearningmedia.org.

Dr. Sweeney writes “Here’s what I find most exciting about this collection: much of our education remains focused on discrete disciplines (e.g., math, science, engineering) that train students to cope with technical-based problems but not with understanding the impact of their actions on the often tightly interconnected system of which they are a part. Through this collection WGBH/PBS is helping to reverse this outmoded trend toward fragmentation, enabling youth and their teachers to understand the nature of complex systems, and as such, encouraging them to stop jumping to blame single causes for the challenges they encounter and instead, look for the deeper nature of what is causing particular behaviors to occur. In addition, with over a million registered users from 196 countries, including 74% of the public schools in the United States, gives us an opportunity to invite a wide range of educators to “think about systems.”

At the moment the collection includes six existing PBS resources that have been repurposed to teach about systems. The hope is the collection will eventually grow in size and scope to include a wide array of media-based materials — some derived from existing PBS archives, some newly produced, and some created by other developers and organizations. If you have thoughts on how this collection might be leveraged in its existing form or how an expanded version could support your work, please contact Dr. Sweeney at lbsweeney@verizon.net. This project was done with the support and expert review of Beth Sawin, Lees Stuntz, Steven Roderick, Alan Ticotsky, Jeff Potash, Kirk Bergstrom and Sheri Marlin.

For a short, fun video introduction that was shot to introduce the concept of systems please see: www.pbslearningmedia.org.

If you’re interested in learning more, PBS will be offering an introductory webinar — Becoming Systems Literate — on January 29th. You can register here: wgbh1.adobeconnect.com.


Member Harald Sverdrup to give seminar at the Central Bank of Iceland on System Dynamics – A tool for economic analysis (January 16, 2015)

A seminar on this topics will be held in the meeting room Sölvhóll in the Central Bank of Iceland Tuesday January 20 at 3 pm. In this seminar professor Harald Sverdrup and his graduate student Rafn Thorsteinsson, both from the University of Iceland, will introduce system dynamics as a tool for economic analysis and show how it has been applied. System dynamics is a methodology and a mathematical modelling technique, developed by Jay Forrester, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) around 1950, to frame, understand and work with the behaviour of complex systems over time. Through out the years system dynamics has been used by companies like, GM, DuPont, Stat Oil and British Petroleum with success.

Rafn Thorsteinsson will explain the overall methodology behind system dynamics, how it is applied in practice and how group system analysis is used to uncover the underlying causal structure of the system. Harald will talk about using systems dynamics for modelling economic systems on regional and national scales. He will show some examples from gold market, trade, derivatives and commodity markets, how such models can be used for commodities (oil, steel, copper, aluminum) and the interactions with the financial system. He will show some of the work that is being done for the German government at present as a part of developing a new type of model for the German National economy.

The seminar will be in English.


Bibliography Highlights for January (January 15, 2015)

Fossil fuel research begs for system dynamics models because there are many interconnected system conditions that affect the results: the nature of the substance consumed, regeneration rates, the proportion of gases (oxygen, CO2, NO, NO2, etc.) and water in the environment, and on and on. In carbon-capture models, these variables get very complicated and the assumptions range from overly simple to elaborate fantasy. Fossil fuels use and consequences represent hundreds of articles in the System Dynamics Bibliography. If you search on energy, there are hundreds more. See what you can find in the System Dynamics Bibliography.

Author Year Title Journal
Ahmad, S. and Tahar, R. 2014 Using system dynamics to evaluate renewable electricity development in Malaysia Kybernetes
Pasqualini, D. and Bassi A.M. 2014 Oil shale and climate policy in the shift to a low carbon and more resilient economy Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Barter, G.E., Reichnuth, D., Westbrook, J., Malczynski, L.A., West, T.H., Manley, D.K., Guzman, K.D. and Edwards, D.M. 2012 Parametric Analysis of Technology and Policy Tradeoffs for Conventional and Electric Light-Duty Vehicles Energy Policy
Bassi, A.M., Schoenberge, W. and Powers, R. 2010 An Integrated Approach to Energy Prospects for North America and the Rest of the World Energy Economics
Bassi, A.M. and Baer, A.E. 2009 Quantifying Cross-Sectoral Impacts of Investments in Climate Change Mitigation in Ecuador Energy for Sustainable Development
Arif, M.T. and Saeed, K. 1989 Sustaining economic growth with a nonrenewable natural resource: the case of oil-dependent Indonesia System Dynamics Review
Sterman, J.D. and Richardson, G.P. 1985 An Experiment to Evaluate Methods for Estimating Fossil Fuel Resources Journal of Forecasting

System Dynamics Review Early View (January 14, 2015)

An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is the “Notes and Insights” article — “‘Model’ teaching III: Examples for the later stages” written by George P. Richardson.


Call for submissions: Special Issue on Dynamic Decision Making in Controlled Experiments (January 06, 2015)

Society members Andreas Groessler and Hendrik Stouten are guest-editing a special issue of Systems, which is an open-access journal with a relatively fast revision cycle. For all contributions in the special issue, no author fees apply. Deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2015. Revised and good-quality conference papers or theses might be publishable. More information are available at the Systems website.


Call for nominations: Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Preis Award (January 06, 2015)

In 2015, the German Chapter of the System Dynamics Society will again award the Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Preis for published system dynamics related work in either German, or published by a German, or published by somebody working in Germany. Deadline for nominations is January 30th, 2015. Nominations should be send to Andreas Größler at a.groessler@fm.ru.nl. More information are available at the German Chapter website.


Funding opportunity: Building resources for action-oriented team science through syntheses of practices and theories (January 06, 2015)

Proposals are invited for synthesis projects focused on tools, methods, and other practices applicable to actionable team research on socio-environmental problems. Multiple teams will be supported, and together their syntheses will contribute towards the development of new toolkits, roadmaps, curricula, and other practical advice. The proposal deadline is March 9, 2015; click here for more about the RFP: Enhancing Socio-Environmental Research & Education.

Effective team science is key to finding solutions to socio-environmental problems. Many tools have been developed for integrating ideas, data, and methods across the diverse disciplines involved when researching complex problems. Similarly, practices have been identified that facilitate the linkage of research results with informed policy decisions. Relatively few of these tools and practices have been assessed and optimized for addressing socio-environmental challenges. We invite proposals for synthesis and refinement of the tools and practices of team science from all disciplinary sources for use in socio-environmental applications.

The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) will fund up to six international teams (up to 12 members each) to meet over two years (approximately four three-day meetings per team) to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize the practices, tools, methods, and strategies of transdisciplinary team science to significantly improve research teams’ effectiveness at understanding socio-environmental problems and informing socio-environmental decisions. The focus may be on improving research methods, on educating new generations of researchers, or both.

This call is open to researchers and educators with expertise in all aspects of the practice and scholarship of actionable team research, including diverse areas of environmental and social investigation and other areas that have not traditionally engaged in socio-environmental contexts, such as public health, international development, security, or other research areas. Successful proposals could include participants from a variety of relevant disciplines including environmental science, ecology, social psychology, systemic intervention, political science, organizational management, implementation science, cognitive science, operations research, information science, and computer science.

Purpose: The aim of the synthesis teams to be established under this proposal is to aggregate and synthesize the tools, methods, and other practices used in action-oriented team research as applicable to socio-environmental science. We encourage proposals that address issues across all stages throughout the lifecycle of an interdisciplinary project from problem formulation to approach design, data gathering analysis and synthesis, publication and other dissemination, implementation, and assessment, although individual teams might only work on a subset of these. Many types or combinations of synthesis approaches are possible and many sources of data for aggregation and analysis are appropriate, including diverse case study examples, concepts, methodologies, procedures, protocols, computational applications, or theoretical foundations.


SDIM Announcement: System Dynamics and Innovation Management (SDIM) (January 02, 2015)

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is pleased to announce the establishment of a new graduate program in System Dynamics and Innovation Management (SDIM). Students may choose to pursue a Certificate, dual Bachelor’s/Master’s and Master’s degrees. Curriculum includes management courses offered by WPI Foisie School of Business and courses in system dynamics taught by the faculty in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies. This program is open to residential and on-line students.

WPI has offered undergraduate and graduate courses in system dynamics since 1997. WPI Foisie School of Business is ranked #1 Part-Time MBA in the Northeast and #16 in the U.S. by Businessweek.

Queries about the SDIM program should be sent to:

  • Professor Khalid Saeed, Social Science and Policy Studies Department
    SDIM Program Director (saeed@wpi.edu)
  • Professor Michael Elmes, Foisie School of Business
    SDIM Program Co-Director (mbelmes@wpi.edu)

(January 02, 2015) Start the new year by taking advantage of all your Membership benefits. They include a subscription (four issues) to the System Dynamics Review. In addition, other membership benefits include:

  • New in 2015: Special 35% discount on books published by John Wiley & Sons;
  • Access through a membership key to the Review online, all current and past issues;
  • Discounted registration fee at the annual research conference;
  • Access to our searchable online Membership Directory;
  • Eligibility to purchase hard-copy back issues of the Review;
  • Eligibility to borrow Beer Game boards through the Society’s loaner board program;
  • Contact with others in the field through publications such as the Society’s Newsletters;
  • Member support from the Society office;
  • And the privilege of voting in all elections, standing as an officer or as a member of the Policy Council, and nominating members for office or for service as a member of the
    Policy Council.

If you are not yet a member, please take a moment and renew now. It is simple to become a member; for full details, please visit the Joining the System Dynamics Society website.


Policy Council 2015 (January 1, 2015)

The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce the 2015 Policy Council.

President: Jürgen Strohhecker (2015)
President Elect: Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette (2015)
Past President: Edward G. Anderson (2015)
Founding President: Jay W. Forrester
Secretary: J. Bradley Morrison (2015-2016)
Vice President Chapter Activities: Martin Schaffernicht (2014-2016)
Vice President Electronic Presence: Robert L. Eberlein (2015-2017)
Vice President Finance: David F. Andersen (2014-2016)
Vice President Marketing & Communications: Peter Hovmand (partial term 2014-2015)
Vice President Meetings: Leonard Malczynski (2013-2015)
Vice President Membership: Özge Pala (2015-2017)
Vice President Professional Practice: Kenneth G. Cooper (partial term 2014-2015)
Vice President Publications: Pål Davidsen (2015-2017)

Policy Council Members are Elise Axelrad, Paulo Gonçalves, Inge Bleijenbergh, Timothy Taylor, Jim Duggan, Warren Farr, Elke Husemann, David Wheat, Stefano Armenia, Özge Karanfil, Erik Pruyt and Gönenç Yucel.

Congratulations to both the new and returning members of the Council! For more information on the Policy Council, Society committees, past meetings and other related topics, please visit the Society Governance page.

The Policy Council will meet on February 9, 2015.


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