The System Dynamics Club at WPI, founded by Professor Oleg Pavlov, hosts lectures, discussions, games and other social events to promote SD to the community of WPI and Worcester College Consortium. Among these events, is the Collective Learning Meeting (CLM). The CLMs are informal meetings to share work in progress, invite guest speakers on specific topics, or dive deep into “classic” texts or videos (e.g. Jay Forrester’s MIT series or Meadows lectures on games.) The CLMs are held weekly by the WPI SD Club on site and broadcasted online over Google hangout. All are welcome to join or present.
The WPI SD Club has recently announced new leadership: Timothy Clancy (President), Christine Tang (VP), Shia Cao (Treasure). The outgoing team includes: Raafat Zaini (President), Saeed Langarudi (VP), Christine Tang (Treasurer). For more information about the WPI SD Club and the CLMs, please visit their website.
On December 16th, 2016, the WPI SD Club participated in the 33rd System Dynamics Colloquium at the University at Albany. (See photo below.) The Colloquium, with students and faculty from WPI, MIT and UAlbany, provides the attendees with an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with faculty members, students, and practitioners of System Dynamics.
System Thinking Webinar Series Starting in January
isee systems has created a new option for student licenses to help with the increasing demand for student access to the software. Similar to university lab packs, the student packs are owned by the university and come with support, but the licenses can be installed directly on a student’s personal computer. Support is included with these licenses and enables the students to download and install the latest versions of the software while they have access to the license. Please visit the isee systems website for details.
New System Dynamics Book in Springer Texts in Business and Economics
System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation, by Bilash Kanti Bala, Fatimah Mohamed Arshad and Kusairi Mohamed, is now available on the Springer website. The book, featuring the essentials of System Dynamics and systems engineering, is useful as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses, and is an excellent reference guide for practitioners and researchers. The summary on the publisher’s website states, “This book covers the broad spectrum of system dynamics methodologies for the modelling and simulation of complex systems: systems thinking, causal diagrams, systems structure of stock and flow diagrams, parameter estimation and tests for confidence building in system dynamics models. It includes a comprehensive review of model validation and policy design and provides a practical presentation of system dynamics modelling. It also offers numerous worked-out examples and case studies in diverse fields using STELLA and VENSIM. The system dynamics methodologies presented here can be applied to nearly all areas of research and planning, and the simulations provided make the complicated issues more easily understandable.” System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation is available in hardcover or as an eBook on the Springer website.
Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah Appointed Full Professor
Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah was appointed a Full Professor of Decision Sciences at the School of Administrative Studies, York University, Canada, in January, 2016. Dr. Hassan has over 18 years of teaching, research, industry, and consulting experience in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Norway, UK, Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Colombia, Switzerland, Spain, and Pakistan. His research interests include dynamic decision making, sustainable energy policies, and System Dynamics modeling. Hassan teaches courses on quantitative methods, operations management, decision analysis, and systems thinking for management in the 21st century. He has received several teaching awards including the ‘Recognition for Excellence in Teaching’ by the School of Administrative Studies for five consecutive years and the 2015 Doctoral Workshop Teaching Award for Excellence by Monarch Business School, Switzerland. Hassan is serving as the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Complexity in Applied Science and Technology, Associate Editor, International Journal of Global Energy Issues, appointed member of the Advisory and Editorial Board of Springer Complexity, USA, and director of board of Swiss Federation of Private Business Schools, Switzerland. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Hassan!
Research Article Explores Inferences of Insider Threat Risk
The journal article “Using dynamic models to support inferences of insider threat risk,” by Elise Axelrad and Paul Sticha, was published in a recent issue of Computational and Mathematical Organizational Theory. In the abstract, the authors explain “Two modeling approaches were integrated to address the problem of predicting the risk of an attack by a particular insider. We present a system dynamics model that incorporates psychological factors including personality, attitude and counterproductive behaviors to simulate the pathway to insider attack. Multiple runs of the model that sampled the population of possible personalities under different conditions resulted in simulated cases representing a wide range of employees of an organization. We then structured a Bayesian belief network to predict attack risk, incorporating important variables from the system dynamics model and learning the conditional probabilities from the simulated cases.” The full article can be accessed on the Springer Link website.
Dynaplan Wins People Analytics Award of Business Supercharger
Dynaplan was announced the winner of the Business Supercharger Award at the People Analytics 2016 conference in London on November 22. With more than 300 delegates representing 220 companies from 30 countries, this annual conference is one of the largest HR analytics events in Europe. In a news article on their website, Dynaplan founder Magne Myrtviet states, “We are proud to have received this award; it reconfirms to us, as well as to our customers, that we are on the right track. Our journey started at the strategic level, where the impact of making the right decisions is the greatest. But the other levels of the maturity pyramid also brings value to workforce management. Dynaplan is continuing its innovative journey, expanding our technology and services into the areas of statistics and benchmarking as well.” Additional details are available in the full article.
Software News from Ventana
The new version of Vensim 6.4E is available for download or purchase in the Vensim store. Some interesting new Vensim 6 features include:
Significant upgrades to the Help system, including improved indexing and nearly 100 sample models illustrating the use of almost every built-in function
Native Mac support (licenses are portable across platforms)
GET DIRECT functions that can access spreadsheets and other delimited data files, like the GET XLS functions without the overhead of launching Excel
The option of observing integer constraints in the ALLOCATE AVAILABLE function
Great for managing allocation of discrete items like customers or aircraft
Enhancements to the document tool and SyntheSim functionality with lookups in large models
On-the-fly configuration of subscripts (arrays) with the GET DIRECT SUBSCRIPTS or GET ODBC SUBSCRIPTS functions
Great for matching model detail to your data
EXCEPT: statements that let you handle exceptions to subscripted equations more easily
Ventana is also on track to release a beta version of 64-bit Vensim this month, available to Vensim Pro and DSS users current with their maintenance. The Vensim team is developing a major revision/upgrade with new capabilities and dramatic improvements for ease of use. One cool feature in the pipeline is Synthesim for sensitivity simulations, exploiting Vensim’s speed to make risk and uncertainty interactive.
For quick turnaround help, visit the Vensim support forum. The forum now has over 2000 successfully answered queries, and also contains the archive of the SD mailing list. Among the many queries posted, a few recent topics include: setting calibration results into the model, reordering a matrix, and sensitivity simulation setup.
The Creative Learning Exchange ST/SD Educator Survey
The Creative Learning Exchange, a collaborative group of experienced systems thinking and System Dynamics practitioners/educators, invites you to participate in a short survey as a part of their research on where and how ST and SD are being used globally in pre-college education. The CLE hopes to collect information about what ST/SD tools you use, how you assess the effectiveness of student learning, and the impact ST/SD has had on your students’ learning. Please complete the survey by December 23, 2016. If you respond by December 16 and include your name and email in the appropriate survey questions, you will receive a 20% off coupon for one purchase at the Creative Learning Exchange!
Climate Interactive Provides Data for The New York Times Digital Story
Society member and co-director of the Climate Interactive, Andrew Jones, has posted a blog article that discusses the data used in The New York Times digital story “How Trump Can Influence Climate Change.” The article, written by Jasmine C. Lee and Adam Pearce, uses models and analysis obtained from the Climate Interactive to illustrate how potential policy changes by a Trump administration would affect the goals of the Paris agreement. Jones’ post explains the analysis and provides references for the data that the Climate Interactive provided for the story. He states, “The data we provided for this story pulls together several analyses from others (particularly LBNL) and some from ourselves (the C-ROADS simulation and Climate Scoreboard analysis).” Read more about the climate related data and the models used in the full blog post.
The EMSD partner universities have announced two additional scholarships for next year’s cohort. Adding to the three Erasmus Mundus scholarships and the 6 EMSD scholarships that were already available, there are now 11 scholarships for non-EU students entering the program. The European Master in System Dynamics is a two year master program that equips students to analyze complex issues in an analytically sound and socially responsible manner. Students learn to use an advanced approach to feedback-rich problems: System Dynamics modelling. Models are built in close collaboration with decision-makers and stakeholders so that their insights are captured and recommendations implemented. The program offers a truly international experience as students from all over the world participate. Semesters are in four different European locations: Bergen (Norway), Lisbon (Portugal), Palermo (Italy) and Nijmegen (the Netherlands). The deadline for applying for scholarships has been extended to January 15, 2017. More information on the program and scholarships can be found on the EMSD website.
Creative Learning Exchange Releases New SD Apps
The Creative Learning Exchange, in collaboration with the Center for Interdisciplinary Excellence in System Dynamics and BTN, has developed four new apps that feature simple System Dynamics models. Based on the models created by Society member Jeff Potash and his colleague John Heinbokel, these fun apps were designed as an educational tool for kids and adults alike. With these apps, you can explore models on population, retirement planning, bacterial growth and inflation on your phone, tablet or Chromebook. Visit the CLE website for access to the free System Dynamics apps.
Members’ Article Published in Resources
An open-access review article regarding SD applications in agriculture and natural resource problems was recently published in the journal Resources. The paper, “System Dynamics Modeling for Agricultural and Natural Resource Management Issues: Review of Some Past Cases and Forecasting Future Roles,” was written by Society members Ben Turner, Hector Menendez, Roger Gates, Luis Tedeschi and Alberto Atzori. The article also cites many other Society members work and introduces System Dynamics to the natural resource disciplines. Read the full article on the MDPI website.
A Memorial Service for Jay W. Forrester
Since Jay’s passing, several obituaries have been published in various newspapers and local university newsletters. Most recently Jay’s obituary was published in The Wall Street Journal, The Bergen Times and The Concord Journal. Please see the web page for Jay to see the full list including links to the obituaries. Information regarding services for Jay is listed in the obituary from The Concord Journal. A memorial service will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, December 10, 2016, at the Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street, Concord, Massachusetts.
Announcing the Two New SIGs: Asset Dynamics and Transportation
The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce the official start of two new Special Interest Groups: the Asset Dynamics SIG and the Transportation SIG. The Asset Dynamics SIG promotes and supports the application of System Dynamics for the management of complex technical systems, complex inter- and intra-organizational collaboration, multi actor/stakeholder involvement and long-term interests. If you are interested in joining, please email the Asset Dynamics representatives Michel Kuijer and Arjen Ros. The Transportation SIG supports and promotes the use of System Dynamics within the transportation sector. If you are interested in joining the Transportation SIG, please email the group’s representatives, Simon Shepherd and Enzo Bivona. Websites for each of the new SIGs will be available soon.
Call for Papers for a Special Issue of the Journal Complexity
The web based journal, Complexity is now accepting submissions for their upcoming Special Issue titled “Managing Information Uncertainty and Complexity in Decision-Making,” which will be published in September 2017. Authors are encouraged to submit both original research articles and review articles by April 28, 2017. Complexity is a peer-reviewed journal published by Hindawi as part of a publishing collaboration with John Wiley & Sons. Visit the Hindawi website to access the full Call for Papers and to see the submission guidelines.
University at Albany Students Participate in World Climate Exercise
How do we find pathways to limit temperature change and its effects? 45 students, faculty, and community members from the University at Albany, State University of NY enacted the World Climate Exercise climate negotiation role play, learning about the near-term actions to protect our future world. The System Dynamics Group at UAlbany organized the event, with Eliot Rich as facilitator and Babak Bahaddin as the Secretary-General of the UN. Dr. Rich noted: “This World Climate Exercise was different than others I’ve run. The need for determination and activist-driven optimism has never been greater. The WCE provides both.”
Participants surveyed after the session loved the role play and interactions built into the exercise. Through the debrief, attitudes changed from hopelessness to engagement:
“I was surprised how much developing countries contributed to global warming.”
“A moving simulation; Activism and consensus is more important.”
“I want to work with businesses to help them mitigate climate change; the best part was the learning process at the end.”
“I will work harder towards my political classes and share this knowledge with friends, family and where I work.”
“I plan to think more about my daily actions and what I can change.”
Starting next year, the World Climate Exercise will be integrated into the University’s MBA programs through its G3 – Going Green Globally capstone course. The exercise will be used to introduce the entire first year class to the systems perspective on sustainability, bathtub dynamics, feedback, and stakeholder dynamics. As part of their course project, students bring these concepts to bear on sustainability strategies and tactics for local businesses and non-profit agencies.
Climate Conference Yields New Analysis
At the recent UN climate conference in Morocco, an MIT team including Society member John Sterman worked together with the Climate Interactive to discuss issues concerning the Paris agreement. Through the use of models and educational tools, they are helping political leaders, policymakers and the public to see the urgency of emissions cuts, how plans that move past the Paris agreement make an impact and potential problems. The Climate Interactive has released new analysis on the 2050 climate goals of the United States, Canada and Mexico. The full report is posted on the Climate Interactive website.
Member John Sterman Quoted in Live Science Article on Climate Change
In the article “How to Avoid Stephen Hawking’s Dark Prediction for Humanity” published by Live Science, John Sterman responded to a statement made by Stephen Hawking regarding the extinction of humans and the need to colonize other planets. John states “While I respect Stephen Hawking enormously, speculating on how long Homo sapiens will survive before extinction is foolish. Whether we survive and thrive or descend into chaos is not something to predict or lay odds on, but a choice to be made.” John concludes by saying “Anyone who thinks we can solve these problems by colonizing other worlds has been watching too much ‘Star Trek.’ We must learn to live sustainably here, on the one planet we have, and there is no time to lose.” Read more in the full article.
System Dynamics Review Early View
A newly released Early View of the System Dynamics Review features the research article “Estimating the parameters of system dynamics models using indirect inference,” by Society member Hazhir Rahmandad and his colleagues, Mohammad Jalali, Niyousha Hosseinichimeh and Andrea Wittenborn. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.
A Note to the System Dynamics Community
The System Dynamics Society has received a huge response since sharing the news of Jay’s passing on November 16. Members of our community have sent countless emails to the System Dynamics Society office and to date have posted over 100 messages in the comments section on Jay’s page. These kind and thoughtful words illustrate the consummate importance Jay has had in the field of System Dynamics and the mark he has left on the lives of so many. Jay’s legacy will continue into the future as we move forward to promote the field of System Dynamics–this is a collective common thread expressed in the messages and it is an important mission of the Society. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories and encourage you to continue to do so.
We continue to be touched and grateful for the outpouring of thoughts and remembrances from all “four corners of the earth.”
It is with great sadness that the System Dynamics Society announces that Jay W. Forrester, Professor of Management Emeritus at MIT, has died at the age of 98 on November 16, 2016.
Jay founded what became the field of System Dynamics in 1956 and has had a profound and lasting influence on it throughout its 60-year history. A lifelong innovator, Jay was a pioneer in digital computing and helped create the computer age in which we all live today. Trained in electrical engineering, Jay came to MIT in 1939, where he worked on feedback control servomechanisms during World War II. After the war, Jay directed the MIT Digital Computer Laboratory, where he led the design and construction of Whirlwind I, one of the world’s first high-speed digital computers. He invented and holds the patent for magnetic core memory, the dominant form of random access memory (RAM) for decades (even travelling to the moon with the Apollo astronauts), until it was eventually replaced by semiconductors. Whirlwind became the basis for many innovations, from numerically controlled machine tools to SAGE, the first integrated continental air defense system.
Invited to join the faculty of the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1956, Jay created the field of System Dynamics to apply engineering concepts of feedback systems and digital simulation to understand what he famously called “the counterintuitive behavior of social systems.” His groundbreaking 1961 book, Industrial Dynamics, remains a clear and relevant statement of philosophy and methodology in the field. His later books and his numerous articles broke new ground in our understanding of complex human systems and policy problems. Jay officially retired in 1989, but continued his work unabated, focusing on promoting the use of System Dynamics in K-12 education.
John Morecroft (London Business School) wrote “My life was changed by Jay Forrester. His influence came in two distinct ways, from personal encounters and from the research environment he created as founder and leader of the System Dynamics Group at MIT-Sloan. I spent a decade at MIT, first as a doctoral student and later as a member of faculty at Sloan. So there is much to remember.”
George Richardson, Professor Emeritus at the University at Albany, said “Jay opened a path that gave many of us voices we did not know we had. What a life of towering achievements, to have been crucial to the development of computing in its infancy, and then to show us how to use its power to help us make progress together on seemingly impossible problems. I am profoundly grateful for his presence and influence in my life. ”
Professor John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at MIT and Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group said “Like so many others, I was fortunate to be able to work with and learn from Jay. He constantly challenged us to think deeply, speak plainly, and work on issues that matter, not only to build understanding, but to act. And he always led by example.”
Roberta Spencer, Executive Director of the System Dynamics Society, remembers, “During a conversation Jay said to me ‘figure out a way to have courage.’ Jay said this to everyone—I took it to heart and it changed my life.”
Jay was married for sixty-four years to Susan (Swett) Forrester, who died in 2010. Survivors include one daughter, Judith Forrester of Concord, Massachusetts; two sons, Nathan B. Forrester of Boca Grande, Florida, and Ned C. Forrester of Falmouth, Massachusetts; four grandchildren, Matthew S. Forrester of Arcadia, CA, Julia D. Forrester of Bois, ID, Neil T. Forrester of Torrance, CA, and Katherine J. Forrester of Chicago, IL as well as two great grandchildren Everett Chen Forrester and Faraday Chen Forrester, both of Arcadia, CA.
Please visit the webpage dedicated to Jay and write about how Jay touched your life. A full obituary and funeral arrangement details will be available soon.
Special Editorial by Yaman Barlas Featured in the System Dynamics Review
Yaman Barlas, Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review, delivered an important message in his editorial in the last issue of the SDR. Yaman discusses the challenges involved in increasing the number of papers submitted to the journal. He states “My concern is that there is currently a narrow, almost parochial perception of SDR, due to the confusion of philosophy and principles of System Dynamics with tools and software. My suggestion is simple: System Dynamics belongs to the larger field of “sciences of dynamic systems” and SDR is a natural platform to publish good systemic-dynamic research and applications, regardless of what tools or software they use.” Yaman argues System Dynamics Review will reach its full potential by SD Society members, as well as other dynamical system scientists submitting their best work to SDR. The full editorial is freely accessible through the Wiley Online Library.
BSLab-SYDIC Workshop: Submission Deadline Extended to November 30
The deadline for the submissions to the BSLab-SYDIC Workshop has been extended until November 30, 2016. The BSLab-SYDIC Workshop, Model-based Governance for Smart Organizational Future, has been organized by the Business Systems Laboratory (BSLab), in cooperation with the System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC). The workshop will take place at Sapienza University of Rome from January 23-24, 2017. Information about the workshop and submission guidelines can be found on the BSLab website.
World Climate Simulation at the University at Albany, November 21, 2016
UAlbany’s School of Business will host the World Climate Exercise on Monday, November 21st, from 5:45 – 9 PM. In this simulation you must face the climate science, engage in the drama and tensions of global politics, test your ambitions against a climate-modeling tool used by actual climate negotiators, and then reflect on how the experience challenges your assumptions about climate action. The event is open to students, faculty and their friends, as well as high school students. Space is limited so register now to join in on a fun, thought-provoking evening! To learn more about the World Climate Simulation, visit the Climate Interactive’s website.
New Job Posting on SDS Career Link
The Climate Service Center Germany, an independent scientific establishment within the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, seeks applicants with research experience in System Dynamic modelling for a PhD position. The focus of the position will be independent research on the integration of social-ecological systems analysis using SD models to guide decision making processes. Please visit the Career Link page of our website to see the full listing.
New Activity in Society’s Special Interest Groups (SIG)
The recent motion to change the name of the Psychology SIG has passed. The name has been changed to Psychology and Human Behavior SIG, reflecting the larger scope covered by this group. If you would like to join Psychology and Human Behavior SIG, please contact the SIG representatives Pascal Gambardella and David Lounsbury.
In other news, the voting process by Policy Council is currently for the creation of two new Special Interest Groups: 1.) Transportation SIG and 2.) Asset Dynamics SIG. More information about these new SIGS, including how to join, will be posted after the voting period.
Two New Job Postings on SDS Career Link
The Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht seeks applicants for a PhD position in the area of “ocean energy pathways.” This position is part of a new Collaborative Research Centre “Energy transfers in the Atmosphere and Ocean” conducted together with partners including the University of Hamburg and Bremen. For the full listing, please visit the Career Link page on our website.
The Climate Service Center Germany, an independent scientific establishment within the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, invites applications for a Scientific Researcher. The position will focus on independent, self-governed research on the integration of climate and climate impact models and socio-economic models, to provide a good basis for decision making processes in the water and agricultural sectors. The full listing is available on the Career Link page on our website.
5th Annual AnyLogic Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, November 16-17, 2016
Next week, on November 16th and 17th, AnyLogic will be hosting a two day conference at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown. The event will feature presentations from leading organizations in the industry, workshops and networking opportunities. Attendees will have the opportunity to see how AnyLogic is being applied across multiple industries and experience innovative ideas for simulation modeling. For more information or to register, visit the AnyLogic website.
Climate Interactive at the UN with Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
On November 4, 2016, the Paris Climate Agreement came into legal force, and Society member John Sterman presented the work of Climate Interactive at the United Nations Headquarters. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon chaired a session with leaders from different civil society organizations, and Climate Interactive/MIT were selected as one of a few to speak. John Sterman’s presentation represented not only the work of Climate Interactive/MIT, but also that of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Climate Central, and the Carbon Tracker. John said “I was happy to do so as they each do great work toward our common goal.” Please visit the Climate Interactive webpage to watch the video and see the transcript of his speech, which also includes related links.
An Article on Finding the Optimal Model Complexity
Professor Daniel Peter Loucks explores the topic of simplifying models to meet changing information needs in his November 3rd blog post, “Model complexity – What is the right amount?” In the article, Loucks writes “Modelers of real systems addressing real problems have the job of providing the information needed by those making recommendations or decisions. But those individuals themselves often don’t know what they will need or want until they get what our models give them.” He discusses the relationship between the modeler and the stakeholder, stating “One way to build that level of trust and at the same time help guide modelers in determining just what level of complexity may be most appropriate is to start simple and only add complexity when it is called for.” Loucks supports this point by reviewing two case studies. Read the full article on the Integration and Implementation Insights blog.
BSLab-SYDIC Workshop: Submission Deadline Extended to November 15
The deadline for the submissions to the BSLab-SYDIC Workshop has been extended until November 15, 2016. The BSLab-SYDIC Workshop, Model-based Governance for Smart Organizational Future, has been organized by the Business Systems Laboratory (BSLab), in cooperation with the System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC). The workshop will take place at Sapienza University of Rome from January 23-24, 2017. Information about the workshop and submission guidelines can be found on the BSLab website.
SD Research Article Explores Work-Family Conflict in the Construction Industry
The research article “System Dynamics Model and Simulation of Employee Work-Family Conflict in the Construction Industry,” by Guangdong Wu, Kaifeng Duan, Jian Zou, Jianlin Yang, and Shiping Wen, has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In the article, the authors explore how work-family conflict effects not only the family life of an employee, but also how the conflict impacts the employee’s job performance. The authors built a model that focuses on the construction industry in particular. In the abstract, they explain “In order to analyze the dynamic evolution of construction industry employee’s work-family conflict between work and family domains, this paper constructs a bi-directional dynamic model framework of work-family conflict by referring to the relevant literature. Consequently, a System Dynamics model of employee’s work-family conflict in the construction industry is established, and a simulation is conducted.” The full paper is available on the MDPI website.
SDS LinkedIn Company Page
On November 10, 2015, the System Dynamics Society activated a LinkedIn Company Page. In the last year, just shy of 1,000 people signed up to follow this page. Thank you to all who are following! We are proud of the page and the interest shown. As we near our one year anniversary, we expect to reach our goal of 1,000 followers, and keep growing! On the System Dynamics Society Company Page, we post news of current happenings in the field of System Dynamics and welcome comments. The Society also has two “Showcase” pages on LinkedIn: The Case Repository and SD Conference. Stay connected, stay informed: follow us on LinkedIn!
Deadline Today: Call for Papers for the Special Issue of the System Dynamics Review
Today, October 31, 2016, is the last day to submit your two page extended abstract for the special issue of the System Dynamics Review. Don’t miss the opportunity to contribute to this special issue commemorating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field! Please see the full call for papers for detailed information. Send questions and abstracts to SD60th@mit.edu. Full papers will be due on May 15, 2017.
Member Özge Karanfil Appointed Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Member Özge Karanfil has received the Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and been appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Global Health and Population Department, starting September 2016. She is currently working on projects that involve chronic and cardiovascular disease modeling for Malaysia and South Korea, obesity in the Middle East, and a systematic review of risk factors for dyslipidemias in Southeast Asia. Özge completed her PhD in System Dynamics Research Group at MIT in 2016, and is a previous recipient of the Dana Meadows Award from the System Dynamics Society. Her PhD dissertation is entitled: “Why Clinical Practice Guidelines Shift Over Time: A Dynamic Model with Application to Prostate Cancer Screening”. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations and good luck to Özge!
Member Shayne Gary’s Article Published in The Accounting Review
The September 2016 issue of the The Accounting Review, features the article “Dynamics Decision Making Using the Balanced Scorecard Framework,” by Society member Shayne Gary, along with his colleagues at UNSW Australia Business School, Kerry Humphreys and Ken Trotman. The article discusses the study of managerial mental models, building on work that Shayne has published previously. As stated in the abstract, “This study examines the effects that two balanced scorecard framework (BSF) elements, causal linkages between strategic objectives (“causal linkages”) and time delay information (“delays”) in a strategy map, have on long-term profit performance in a dynamic decision-making environment.” The full article is available on the American Accounting Association’s website.
New Research Article by Members Published in Group Decision and Negotiation
The Springer Link journal Group Decision and Negotiation recently published the article “Evaluating Facilitated Modelling Processes and Outcomes: An Experiment Comparing a Single and a Multimethod Approach in Group Model Building,” by Hugo Herrera, and Society members Marleen McCardle-Keurentjes and Nuno Videira. In the abstract, the authors compare group model building and the multimethod approach, “We explored the differences between these two modelling approaches in facilitating cognitive change, consensus and commitment by building an experimental research design with real clients, working on their organization’s problem.” The full paper can be accessed by visiting the website of Springer Link.
The Final Day of the XIV CLADS
So far the XIV CLADS has been very successful! As shown in these photos of yesterday’s events, Hazhir Rahmandad taught a workshop on Analytical Methods and presented “The Viability of Good Jobs in the Service Sector.” Today, October 21, will be the last day of the XIV CLADS. The schedule for the day includes plenary sessions and workshops, and will conclude this evening with a workshop led by Kim Warren. On October 22, the day after the conference, Kim’s “Strategy and Business Dynamics Workshop” will continue at the Leques Hotel.
The XIV CLADS is Currently in Progress
October 19th, marked the first day of the XIV CLADS (Congresso Latino Americano de Dinâmica de Sistemas) in São Paulo, Brazil. This three day event, promoted by the Brazil and Latin American Chapters of the System Dynamics Society, is being hosted by Centro Universitário FEI. The System Dynamics Society’s president, Etiënne Rouwette, opened the first day with his keynote speech, “System Dynamics, Stakeholders, and Marking an Impact.” Later in the day, Etiënne delivered a workshop on Group Model Building and Karim Chichakly held an introductory workshop in System Dynamics. Other events on the first day included three plenary and twelve parallel presentations. The presentations explored various topics, such as energy transition, disaster relief and taxation dynamics. On Thursday, Kim Warren gave his keynote address. Thursday’s workshops were led by Kim and Hazhir Rahmandad. Eighteen parallel presentations are also on the day’s schedule. XIV CLADS will conclude on Friday with additional presentations and workshops.
UAlbany to Host Upcoming 33rd SD Colloquium
The System Dynamics Colloquium will be meeting at UAlbany in December. This student-organized colloquium brings together graduate students from UAlbany SUNY, MIT, and WPI. The one-day colloquium offers non-evaluative peer review and allows students to present System Dynamics related research to faculty, other students, and practitioners for feedback and informational exchange. In an effort to pick a date that works for the majority of the potential attendees, a scheduling survey has been created. Please vote by visiting the online survey, the poll will close at 12:00 AM on October 30, 2016. For more information about the past events, please visit our MIT-UAlbany-WPI SD Colloquia page.
New Job Opportunity at Zürich University
A new job opening for a research assistant is now available at Zürich University of Applied Sciences in their System Dynamics research group for “Transition of Regional Energy Systems.” Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2016. A full job description has been posted on the Society’s website. As skills in German are essential to the job, the description has been posted in German.
Protecting the Climate: SD Model Used to Analyze Policy Changes
In the Citizen-Times article “Climate-change models inform negotiators, engage regular folks,” author Mike Cronin discusses the important role the Climate Interactive has in environmental policy. The Climate Interactive is a non-profit organization founded in 2010, with headquarters in Washington D.C. and additional offices in Asheville, North Carolina, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Hartland, Vermont. The Climate Interactive, along with Tom Fiddaman of Ventana Systems, created the System Dynamics model used to determine the effects of proposed environmental policies. The Climate Interactive plays a significant role in climate policy, in fact, during the recent Paris Climate Agreement negotiations, attendees regularly conferred with the researchers and scientists at the Climate Interactive. The models have remained as a free and open source, and are used by many. As quoted in the article, Climate Interactive co-director Elizabeth Sarwin states “We make our simulations easy to use and freely accessible to people all over the world who want to understand what it will take to protect the climate. We use our tools to open up the discourse about infrastructure investments that impact the climate to bring more people and more perspectives into decision-making.” Read more in the full article on the Citizen-Times website.
News from the Australasian Chapter
The Australasian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society met for lunch in mid-October in Brisbane. Members included system dynamicists from the University of Queensland (UQ) and Griffith University. Discussion items included the idea of hosting the next Asia Pacific SD conference in Queensland. The UQ and Griffith SD people plan to have regular meetings to further discuss this idea and other chapter business. Shown in the photo are (from left to right) Carl Smith (current Australasian Chapter president), Russell Richards, Khoi Nguyen, Edoardo Bertone, Emiliya Suprun, Mehdi Hafezi, Rodney Stewart and Oz Sahin. Also present was Sue McAvoy.
Psychology SIG to Increase Focus by Including Human Behavior
The Psychology SIG proposes to change their name to the Psychology and Human Behavior SIG. As noted by the co-chairs of the SIG, David Lounsbury and Pascal Gambardella, “Our request to change the SIG’s name comes from members’ observations that psychology, as a primary domain focus, describes only a fraction of what we actually discuss, critique, and support. This is evidenced in the workshops and presentations that the SIG has organized and supported.” So far the request has been met with positive responses, and ten members have added their name to the formal request. Members of the Society may comment on the name change, contact David and Pascal by email. The Psychology SIG welcomes new members, please see the website for more information.
Wikipedia: Jay W. Forrester, the Father of System Dynamics
On a Wikipedia reference page listing the people who are considered the father or mother of a scientific field, Jay W. Forrester is acknowledged as the father of System Dynamics. The list contains nearly 150 scientific fields, the person or persons considered “father” or “mother” of the field, and the rationale for the choosing that person. Under the rationale column for Professor Forrester, his book Industrial Dynamics (1961) is listed. The Systems Theory section on this page provides a link to the Wikipedia page for System Dynamics and to Jay’s bibliography, which includes his publications and other external links.
New Publication: System Dynamics Models Used to Analyze PTSD
A new research article titled “A Dynamic Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for Military Personnel and Veterans,” by members Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Mohammad S. Jalai and their Virginia Tech colleague Alireza Ebrahimvandi, has recently been published in PLOS ONE. In this study, the authors developed a System Dynamics simulation model of the population of military personnel and veterans affected by this mental illness and then used the model for an analysis of health policy. The full paper is available on the PLOS ONE website. Mohammad Jalai discusses the topic further in a related article published in the Conversation, “Fighting another war: How many military personnel and veterans will have PTSD in 2025?” When speaking of the results, Mohammad concludes, “…that in a post-war period there is no easy solution for overcoming the problem of PTSD, and the current screening and treatment policies used by the VA and the DOD must be revolutionized to have any noticeable effect. The VA and the DOD should work together and try to offer timely service to patients. However, we showed that they cannot do much to decrease health care costs. These are the consequences of wars.” For the use of the public and policymakers, the authors have provided access to the online model.
Now Available in Print: Principles of Systems
In Principles of Systems, author Jay W. Forrester explains the basic principles behind system behavior. The book introduces the concepts of structure and dynamic behavior on which were based the author’s earlier books, Industrial Dynamics, 1961 and Urban Dynamics, 1969. Due to the general nature and wide applicability of the principles discussed, the book has been accepted as a starting point for teaching dynamic systems on many multidisciplinary courses on urban, ecological, corporate and other complex social systems. The reprinted edition of Principles of Systems can be ordered through the Society’s book store on our website.
Your Assistance is Requested in Creating a Database of K-12 Teachers
Member Diana Fisher is reaching out to colleagues in the field of System Dynamics for assistance in creating a database of K-12 teachers (globally) who are using systems thinking (BOTGs, causal loops, ladder of inference, iceberg, and/or Behavior of a Systems Thinker cards) and/or are using System Dynamics models or are having students build System Dynamics models in their classes. Once these teachers are identified, they would be invited to participate in the annual international research conference when the conference is relatively close to their location. Diana would also like to determine how best to help network those teachers to share resources. If you know any K-12 (pre-college) teachers who are using ST/SD in your area, Diana requests that you send her their names and contact information (email to fisherd at pdx.edu) so she can communicate with them to see if they are willing to be part of the database. Please note that she would like to have the information within the next 2-3 weeks. On behalf of Diana, thank you for any help you can provide!
Fall 2016 Issue of The Exchange is Now Available Online
The Fall 2016 issue of the Creative Learning Exchange newsletter, The Exchange, features various articles that engage young students in System Dynamics modeling. The newsletter opens with an overview of the book Model Mysteries: An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies and Other Fantastic Scenarios to the Make the World a Better Place, by Anne LaVigne and Lees Stuntz. Model Mysteries contains six chapters, each presenting a mystery to solve by using SD modeling. In the article “To be or not to be… I am Hamlet,” Hae-Hyun Park reports on Professor Chang Kwon Chung’s Shakespeare’s Hamlet Modeling program. Alan Ticotsky follows a group of Massachusetts high school students as they investigate the crisis of opioid addiction in his article “Students Examine the Opioid Crisis.”
Also in this issue, the Creative Learning Exchange announced that WPI will host DynamiQueST 2017. The event will take place Friday, March 17, 2017, at the WPI Student Center. More information about DynamiQueST 2017 can be found on the Creative Learning Exchange website.
New Career Link Post: Full Professor of Policy Modelling for Global Challenges
Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) has the unique opportunity to establish a new chair in Policy Modelling for Global Challenges in The Hague. The move of the TPM MSc in Engineering Policy Analysis to The Hague, a major centre for the United Nations (along with New York, Geneva & Vienna), creates opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the TU Delft and The Hague based organizations working towards solving global challenges. This will be conducive to the quality and relevance of both research and educational activities. The new chair holder will lead the ‘Delft in The Hague’ initiative, manage the branch in The Hague and create and pursue opportunities to strengthen research and education, both in Delft and in The Hague. For more information on this position, please use this link. To see a list of all the job listings, or to post a job, please see the Career Link page.
Partnership Between Universities Benefits Students of Public Health and System Dynamics
The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) will partner with colleagues at the University of Bergen in Norway (UiB) to train students in each of the university’s areas of expertise. As System Dynamics is increasing applied to analyzing public health topics, the need for “cross training” students of public health and students of System Dynamics is evident. The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education under the Partnership Program with North America will fund the project from January 2017 through December 2020. The grant titled “Model-based Public Health Education,” was awarded to UND SMHS Assistant Professor Arielle Selya, PhD, and Master of Public Health Founding Director and Professor Raymond Goldsteen DrPH, in collaboration with Associate Professor David Wheat and Professor Pål Davidsen in the Department of Geography at UiB. The grant will allow the exchange of studies for up to five students per year, providing students the opportunity to gain highly marketable skills. Read more about this project in the full article.
Member Jeroen Struben Appointed Assistant Professor at EM Lyon Business School, France
Jeroen Struben has recently been appointed assistant Professor at EM Lyon Business School in Lyon, France. Jeroen will be teaching within the Strategy and Organization Department. Among other classes, he will teach the new master level course “Systems Thinking and Sustainability.” Jeroen studies dynamics of market formation and transformation, addressing questions, such as “How do alternative products and practices penetrate in the marketplace – or society at large, rather than falter?” Jeroen analyzes market formation processes, focusing on the over-time interactions across stakeholders working through both social and material adoption challenges. He conceptualizes and studies these efforts as market formation processes because significant uptake of such products involves the joint development of consumer familiarization, complementary infrastructure, and technology improvement. Jeroen tackles these problems using simulation and empirical analysis of large spatiotemporal datasets. His current research program consists of three projects: (I) Market formation for alternative fuel vehicles, (II) Market formation for nutritious food, and (III) Market formation theory. Jeroen’s research produces insights for both scholars and practitioners about coordination and collective action across organizations, industries and governments. Congratulations to Jeroen! On behalf of the Society, we wish you the best of luck in your new position.
Breaking the Deadlock: How “Qualitative System Dynamics” Can Help to Overcome Emergency Department Crowding in Singapore
The article “Emergency department crowding in Singapore: Insights from a systems thinking approach,” by members Lukas Schoenenberger, John Ansah, and David Matchar, along with their colleagues from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Steffen Bayer, Rajagopal Mohanavalli, Sean Lam, and Marcus Ong, has been published in the open access journal SAGE Open Medicine. The work vividly shows how causal loop diagramming can be used for both eliciting the systemic structure of emergency department crowding and causally inferring (relative) impacts of different policies currently debated by policy-makers in Singapore. The full article can be viewed on the SAGE Open Medicine website.
System Dynamics / Thinking Addressing Day-to-Day Decision-Making
Krishna Pendyala, founder of the ChoiceLadder Institute is looking for System Dynamics / Thinking articles or papers that address day-to-day decision-making, choices that take a few minutes and do not involve a systematic or process-oriented decision-making. He is also interested in collaborating with a researcher who is willing to do an expanded literature search and write a white paper along similar lines. For more information, please contact Krishna directly.
Available Now: Stella Architect Webinar
In August, isee systems held a live webinar giving an overview of the newly released Stella Architect. The overview provides guidance for navigating the latest features and introduces the new interface design and publishing tools of Stella Architect. The webinar, presented by isee systems lead developer, and Society member Bill Shoenberg, is now available on the isee systems website.
Call for Papers Deadline Extended: Asia-Pacific Region Conference
There is still time to submit your paper for the Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference! The deadline for the submission of papers has been extended to November 3, 2016. The conference will take place February 19-22, 2017, at the National University of Singapore. The program committee welcomes all research and documented consulting activities using System Dynamics, including applications of the methodology to solve real world problems, new technical and software developments, and productive integration of complementary methodologies in order to create new solutions. Please visit the Asia-Pacific Region Conference website for information on submission requirements and instructions on how to submit your paper and key dates.
System Dynamics Provides Businesses with a Path to Improvement
The article “Absorptive capacity, technological innovation, and product life cycle: a System Dynamics model,” by Bo Zou, Feng Guo and Jinyu Guo, was recently published in the web based journal Springer Plus. The article is a summary of the authors’ study of using System Dynamics modeling to provide analysis for adjusting the management policies of businesses. In the abstract, the authors state “While past research has recognized the importance of the dynamic nature of absorptive capacity, there is limited knowledge on how to generate a fair and comprehensive analytical framework. Based on interviews with 24 Chinese firms, this study develops a system-dynamics model that incorporates an important feedback loop among absorptive capacity, technological innovation, and product life cycle (PLC).” The full article can be viewed on the Springer Plus website.
10th Annual Meeting of the German Chapter, October 6-7, 2016
The German Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, Deutsche Gesellschaft für System Dynamics e.V. (DGSD) will hold its annual meeting at Stuttgart University on October 6-7, 2016. This meeting will be a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the DGSD. International guest speakers include: Dr. David Lane, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading, UK and Dr. Brad Morrison, Brandeis International Business School, Waltham, USA. The conference program will feature the presentation of the Gert von Kortzfleisch Prize for outstanding SD work in Germany, a PhD Colloquium, a Company Colloquium, the presentation of the first DGSD scholar enrolled in the European Master in System Dynamics program, Miriam Spano, and dialogue on the DGSD core values. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the climate change strategy game “World Climate Simulation.” Additional details and registration information can be found on the meeting website.
Working to Meet Sustainable Development Goals
In his blog post “Business can rock the world,” Bjørn Kj. Haugland, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer in the DNV GL Group, discusses the forecast of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The article features details about the DNV GL report “The Future of Spaceship Earth,” a study of seventeen SDGs each paired with a leading global company with relevance to a particular goal. Haugland notes “In our quest to assess the likelihood of the SDGs being achieved by 2030 we took, as a starting point, the long-term forecast created by one of the original members of the Club of Rome, Jørgen Randers. We then surveyed over a dozen forecasting models. Of these, we found the two most suitable supplementary models were the System Dynamics-based “T21” model of Millennium Institute [System Dynamics], and the Regional Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (‘RICE’) led by Professor William Nordhaus of Yale University. Our team performed structural sensitivity analyses using these two supplemental models, and drew on the T21 model in particular to assess SDG issues and targets not covered by the Randers model.”
The results were expressed in terms of a scorecard, which revealed progress in the areas of health, innovation and education, but shows the sustainable development goal in climate action falling short across the board in all five global regions. Read the full blog post for additional information and a video presentation. Access the full report from DNV GL to learn more about the seventeen companies involved in this project.
SD Modeling for Strategy and Performance in Higher Education
A video presentation by member Kim Warren of Strategy Dynamics, Workshop: Modeling University Strategy and Performance with System Dynamics, is now accessible online. Kim’s presentation focuses on how to model challenges for higher-education organizations. Your questions and comments are welcomed and can be shared on the forum that follows the video. The presentation was recorded from a session at the EAIR (The European Higher Education Society) Forum held earlier this month at Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK. Additional information on EAIR Forum can be found their website.
Rome’s Systemic Week: January 23-27, 2017
As a part of Rome’s Systemic Week, Sapienza University of Rome will host the BSLab-SYDIC Workshop from January 23-24, 2017, and the 17th Congress of World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics from January 25-27, 2017. The BSLab-SYDIC Workshop, Model-based Governance for Smart Organizational Future, has been organized by the Business Systems Laboratory (BSLab), in cooperation with the System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC). The workshop committee will accept the submission of extended abstracts for panel presentation or poster session until November 1, 2016. The deadline for registration and membership is December 30, 2016. For more information about the workshop and the conference, visit the SYDIC website.
Meet our Volunteer Conference Team for the 2017 ISDC!
We are pleased to introduce our team of conference organizers for the 2017 Cambridge, Massachusetts, Conference! The Program Chairs are John Sterman and Nelson Repenning from MIT Sloan, and the Workshop Chairs are Jack B. Homer from Homer Consulting and Hazhir Rahmandad from MIT Sloan. Thank you to our conference volunteers for their dedication and service! For more information on the 35th Annual International System Dynamics Conference, a 60th Anniversary Celebration, visit the conference website.
RFI: Helping Decision-Makers Understand Complex Social Behaviors / Systems
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is requesting information on new ideas, approaches, and capabilities for developing interactive simulations that can be used to calibrate the validity of different social science research methods and tools in drawing “strong inference” about causal mechanisms that can lead to emergent complex behaviors in human social systems. Please see the Request for Information (RFI) for full information. Responses will be accepted until October 18, 2016.
Call for Papers Deadline: Asia-Pacific Region Conference
The Call for Papers deadline for the Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference is October 13, 2016. The conference will take place February 19-22, 2017, at the National University of Singapore. Information on submission requirements and instructions on how to submit your paper can be found on the A-P Conference website. The website also contains links to two articles by member Tom Fiddaman featuring tips on writing good System Dynamics Conference papers.
isee systems releases Stella Simulator
Earlier this week, isee systems announced the release of Stella Simulator. Stella Simulator is a stand-alone, XMILE-compatible simulation engine based on isee systems’ STEAM engine. It can be used for sever or High Performance Computing applications, or embedded in desktop applications. Visit isee systems’ website for additional details.
News from the India Chapter of the System Dynamics Society
On October 5, 2016, the India Chapter will host a New Delhi/National Capital Territory regional meeting for System Dynamics professionals and those who are interested in the subject. The meeting will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the headquarters of IORA Ecological Solutions Pvt. Ltd. in Lado Sarai, New Delhi. The Governing Council of the SDS India Chapter is meeting at 10 a.m. on October 7th, at the Symbiosis Institute of Computer Science in Pune, Maharashtra. The focus of this meeting is to develop a strategy for engagement and activities for 2016-2017 in India. The India Chapter welcomes your suggestions, comments, and ideas on how to increase the level of engagement with System Dynamics practitioners in India – please email Karan Khosla at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the India Chapter, please visit their web page.
Latin American Conference of System Dynamics, October 2016
The Latin American and Brazil Chapters of the System Dynamics Society invite you to attend the XIV Latin American Conference of Systems Dynamics (CLADS 2016), October 19-21, 2016, at the University Center FEI, São Paulo, Brazil. The following Society members are scheduled to speak at the conference: Kim Warren, Hazir Rahmandad, Etiënne Rouwette, and Karim Chichakly. A registration discount is available through September 26, 2016. Additional conference information can be viewed on the CLADS 2016 website.
News from the Russian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society
On behalf of the Russian Chapter, Member Natalia Lychkina invites system dynamicists to participate in the IV International Research Conference, “System Analysis in the Economy – 2016.” The SAvE 2016 Conference, hosted by the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, will be held in Moscow, November 9-11, 2016. The main purpose of the conference is to create a platform for scientific generalizations and achieved practical results in the social and economic sphere in order to develop the science of the economy and society on the basis of the theory of socio-economic systems. The founder and head of the conference is the corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Georgii Borisovich Kleiner.
The deadline for submission of reports for presentation to students, masters and post-graduate students is October 30, 2016. Please see the conference website for additional details. For information about the Russian Chapter, visit their web page.
David Peter Stroh
Systems Thinking Concepts (September 19, 2016)
Explore applications of Systems Thinking: Learn the theory and practice of systems thinking from world-renowned experts Michael Goodman and David Peter Stroh. This six-class course will teach how to use and apply the core tools and frameworks of systems thinking including the iceberg, causal loop diagrams, system archetypes, systems mapping, and mental models. For a list and descriptions of the classes, information about the instructors, the schedule and to register please visit the website. Class 1 “Overview and Systems Thinking for Change,” about the history of systems thinking, why good intentions are not enough, differences between conventional and systems thinking, and why systems thinking catalyzes change, will meet on September 30th.
Climate Interactive’s World Climate Simulation October 9th-16th (September 16, 2016)
From October 9th-16th, people from across the globe will come together for World Climate Week to build awareness about climate change. Climate Interactive invites you to join the movement and engage people by facilitating a mock-UN climate negotiation a month before the actual COP 22 climate talks. The System Dynamics model and online simulation behind the negotiation was built by a large team of long time SDS members, including John Sterman, Andrew Jones, Tom Fiddaman, and Michael Bean. Since the UN climate agreement was signed in Paris last December, Climate Interactive’s simulation of UN Climate talks has become an important tool for promoting understanding and encouraging action. Join the group of volunteer World Climate Ambassadors and Facilitators who have already planned over 50 events involving over 5,000 participants. Please visit the Climate Interactive website for detailed information about World Climate Simulations and to access the free resources and materials to plan an event.
Iran Chapter’s Report to the System Dynamics Society (September 16, 2016)
On July 17th, the annual meeting of Iran Chapter was held at the 34th ISDC in Delft. There were eighteen researchers in attendance. The meeting opened with an introduction and welcome by Babak Bahaddin, the past president of Iran Chapter. He gave a brief background about the committee and covered agenda items including the process of electing new committee officers. Dr. Ali N. Mashayekhi, the newly elected president of Iran Chapter, opened the floor for general questions and suggestions before the meeting concluded.
The new officers of the Iran Chapter include:
President: Dr. Ali N. Mashayekhi
Vice President: Masoud Rabieh
Vice President Publishing: Davood Andalib
Vice President Electronic Presence: Ali Haji Gholam Saryazdi
Secretary: Hamid Abdolabadi
Society Liaison: Babak Bahaddin
A second meeting of Iran Chapter committee was held in Iran on August 14th. Dr. Mashayekhi welcomed the incoming officers and chapter members. In this meeting, an updated committee organizational chart was presented. In addition, an overview of the responsibilities of each position and the relationships between the committee members were defined. The main objectives of Iran Chapter were listed: establishing a website, providing researchers and professionals with the suitable information and publications utilizing System Dynamics, highlighting members’ activities, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge among members.
The Iran Chapter will celebrate its first anniversary next month. Since their start in October, 2015, they have seen tremendous growth. This active chapter has built an incredible network of over a hundred members. For more information about the Iran Chapter and becoming a member, please visit their web page.
System Dynamics Review Early View (September 15, 2016)
Using System Dynamics Techniques to Analyze the Convergence of Environmental and Energy Issues (September 15, 2016)
In the article “Retooling regulation: Clean air and clean energy demands an integrated oversight regime” by Kenneth Colburn and Chris James of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP), the authors discuss integrating energy and environmental regulations and the problems that arise. Author Kenneth A. Colburn, Principal, U.S. Programs at the Regulatory Assistance Project says “I am by no means an expert on System Dynamics modeling, but I have been involved with one or two such efforts, during which I gained immense respect for the capabilities and promise of System Dynamics analysis and modeling techniques.” The article, posted on the website Utility Drive, states “Specifically, RAP is developing a model process we’ve dubbed “E-Merge” to meld best principles from energy planning, such as long-term reviews of what energy resources are needed and most cost-effective, with environmental improvement more aligned to how people breathe and businesses operate.” The full article, the first of a four part series, can be read on the Utility Dive website.
Strategy Dynamics releases new mini-course on Agile System Dynamics (September 15, 2016)
Simulating business situations was, until recently, complicated, slow and costly – and the end-result could be disappointing. But recent advances in both method and tools have transformed this situation – building working, quantified business models is now easier, faster, cheaper and more reliable than trying to do the same thing with a spreadsheet.
The videos were recorded in a half-day workshop led by Kim Warren of Strategy Dynamics at the System Dynamics conference in Delft and have been edited into a series of clips, in three parts. They explain and demonstrate an “Agile” approach to System Dynamics, in which very simple working models are built quickly with users, before adding more and more elements to build up a rich model of the situation. To access the full content of the course, please complete the required free registration.
The class uses the Sysdea software – designed to be as easy-as-possible to use, although any System Dynamics software could be used. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Member Corey Lofdahl Takes On New Position as Principal Engineer at System of System Analysis Corporation (SoSACorp) (September 12, 2016)
Member Dr. Corey Lofdahl is now employed as a Principal Engineer at System of System Analysis Corporation (SoSACorp) starting August 2016. At SoSACorp, he will work on the design of policy support systems. Specifically, he will leverage model creation and combination insights from the System Dynamics (SD) simulation methodology to inform the design of support tools for Department of Defense analysts. This work is based on research started under the DARPA Integrated Battle Command (IBC) and Conflict Modeling, Planning, and Outcomes Experimentation (COMPOEX) programs in which he built a suite of integrated political, economic, and military SD models. As follow-on work to this research, Corey spent six months working as a political-military quantitative analyst in Kabul, Afghanistan. He holds degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and international relations from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Brown University, and MIT. He is also the author of the monograph Environmental Impacts of Globalization and Trade: A System Study (MIT Press 2002) that combines SD simulation with spatial econometric and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques. On behalf of the Society, congratulations and good luck to Corey!
Member Rogelio Oliva appointed Full Professor (September 6, 2016)
Member Rogelio Oliva has been appointed a Full Professor of Information and Operations Management at Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, starting September 1st, 2016.
His research explores how behavioral and social aspects of an organization interact with its technical components to determine the firm’s operational performance. Rogelio teaches courses in operations management, supply chain management, and management information systems for the MBA and Executive MBA programs. Prior to joining the Mays faculty, Rogelio served in the faculty of the Harvard Business School, Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Chile, and ITESM in Mexico. He has received multiple teaching awards including the Production and Operations Management Society’s Skinner Teaching Achievement Award and the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University Distinguished Achievement Award at the College and University levels. Rogelio has a strong tradition of volunteering for the System Dynamics Society. He was program co-chair of the 2007 ISDS Conference in Boston, served as President of the Society in 2010, and was the editor of the System Dynamics Review from 2012-2015.
Dynamic Estimation Model: the gap between needs and availability of health services through 2020 (September 6, 2016)
Member Jim Thompson’s work with healthcare System Dynamics in Indonesia has recently been published as a series of 34 booklets titled Dynamic Estimation Model: the gap between needs and availability of health services through 2020. Written in Bahasa, the Indonesian language, each booklet covers the results of one of the nation’s 33 provinces, and the final booklet contains a summary report for the full country. The booklets are now available as a free download. The principal audiences are, as Jim has noted, “provincial parliamentarians who enact laws to conform with the national goal of universal healthcare coverage. Hospital administrators, medical school administrators, pharmaceutical providers, and commercial developers use the reports in their strategic planning.” Referring to the publications and the work he led in Indonesia, Jim states “Our work already has had quite a strong impact. Because of our reasoning and recommendations, provinces are planning medical schools and revising plans for hospital facilities. Immigration regulations covering physicians and nurses are under review for liberalization, and provinces are taking a second look at their plans to expand healthcare coverage between now and 2019. So I think the methodology is contributing a lot to healthcare systems conditions in this very large and wonderful country!” A 300-page English language book is now in production that summarizes results for each province and discusses development of the underlying System Dynamics model.
SD Model for New Mexico (September 6, 2016)
New Mexico’s Water Resources Research Institute, Tetra Tech and the University of New Mexico, along with other affiliates, have completed the first version of a Dynamic Statewide Water Budget Model. Society member Len Malczynski notes “System Dynamics is a great fit for hydrologic modeling. This is an excellent example of model meets interface to form a useful application.” The goal of this model, as described on their website, “is to provide a consolidated account of all of the historical trends and to forecast future trends of New Mexico’s water resources in an easily accessible format. This is done through the use of stocks and flows. Stocks are the given amount of water in one area at a time. Flows are the movement of water between these stocks.” The functionality of model used in this project will continue to be improved as they transition into the third year. It is currently available for anyone to use. To learn more about this project and the model used, read the full article on the New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute website.
Announcing the Call for Papers for the Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference (September 1, 2016)
The 2nd Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference of the System Dynamics Society will be hosted by National University of Singapore on February 19-22, 2017. The conference committee is now accepting paper submissions. The deadline for paper submissions and workshop proposals is set for October 13, 2016. This year’s conference will emphasize the public policy issues relating to sustainability, resilience, and human well-being of particular relevance to the region. Because of the Residential College 4’s sponsorship role, emphasis will also be given to the effective teaching of systems thinking and System Dynamics modeling as a part of general education curricula for upper level secondary school and for first and second year undergraduate students. Visit the Asia-Pacific Region Conference web page for detailed information.
System Dynamics Review Early View (August 25, 2016)
Jay W. Forrester and his work in the field of System Dynamics have provided inspiration for many. In a letter published last August on the MIT Technology Review website, system dynamicist Ralf Lippold recalls his brief meeting with Professor Forrester, “At the MIT workshop we discussed learning to see the connections within the larger social field and how they are embedded in existing feedback systems. What still sticks in my mind from my short chat with Jay is his saying, ‘Don’t fear objection by others—in the end, you learn for yourself!’ With a personal dream to establish a System Dynamics Institute here in Dresden, I recently initiated Dresden U.Lab Hub and X Prize Think Tank Dresden, hoping that both may work as door openers into an uncharted yet fascinating future. As Jay observed, one should always go through doors that look like an interesting opportunity!” In a blog post titled When Dynamic Complexity Drives a Dream: A Team Action Lea(r)ning —A Journey into the Future, Ralf discusses the proposal that was inspired by his past meeting with Professor Forrester. The proposal, initially a ‘Google 10^100 Project’ proposal, aims to revive the former economic strength of the region around Dresden and Saxony. It was the core of this proposal that Ralf had used as a starting point for change in what is now, after several prototypes, the “Citizen Science Lab,” a System Dynamics action research institute. His ultimate vision is “to grow people inside their area of living towards their strengths so they can build up an economy that is sustainable and much more resilient to the crisis that we face right now.” See the blog post to read more about the proposal and a list of steps documenting the progress that has been made thus far.
Call for Papers for both the 2017 Conference and special issue of the System Dynamics Review (August 29, 2016)
In 2017 the System Dynamics Society will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. In honor of the 60th anniversary, there will be a special issue of the System Dynamics Review. This issue will feature work that speaks to the future of the field. At the 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society we will celebrate the accomplishments of the past six decades and explore the future directions by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. The 2017 conference will take place in Cambridge, Massachusetts next to the MIT campus – the very place where Jay Forrester developed the field. System Dynamics has expanded across the globe – from K-12 classrooms through doctoral programs, in research and in applications in a multitude of disciplines – progressing immensely as technology grew. We reflected upon this growth in 2007 as we celebrated the first 50 years of the field of System Dynamics, and now, as we celebrate the 60th anniversary, we look ahead to all the potential opportunities in store for the next half century. We hope you will take part in the events of this special anniversary! View the conference Call for Papers for information and a list of the important dates and also the Call for Papers for the special issue of System Dynamics Review. Share this information with fellow dynamics modelers, system dynamicists and students with the printable Power Point presentation.
Publication by Members Mohammad S. Jalali and Hazir Rahmandad in Obesity Reviews (August 26, 2016)
The article “Social influence in childhood obesity interventions: a systemic review,” by members Mohammad S. Jalali and Hazir Rahmandad, along with their colleagues, Zahra Sharafi-Avarzaman and Alice S. Ammerman, has been published in the September 2016 issue of the journal Obesity Reviews. In the summary of the article, the authors write “The objective of this study is to understand the pathways through which social influence at the family level moderates the impact of childhood obesity interventions. We conducted a systematic review of obesity interventions in which parents’ behaviours are targeted to change children’s obesity outcomes, because of the potential social and environmental influence of parents on the nutrition and physical activity behaviours of children.”
Read more in the full article available on the Wiley Online Library. The casual loop diagram created by the authors to visualize the outputs of the literature review can also be viewed online.
System Dynamics Review Early View (August 25, 2016)
New Certificate in Systems Thinking (August 19, 2016)
In collaboration with Michael Goodman and David Peter Stroh, experts from Innovation Associates, isee systems has developed a System Thinking and System Dynamics certification program. The program consists of courses that teach the concepts and real world practice of System Thinking. The first of two courses, System Thinking Concepts, will meet six times over a three month period beginning on September 30th, 2016. Visit isee systems website to learn more about the courses and the benefits of earning a Certificate in Systems Thinking.
Publication by Members Jack Homer and Gary Hirsch in Health Affairs (August 15, 2016)
Members Jack Homer and Gary Hirsch, together with colleagues Bobby Milstein and Elliott Fisher, have a new publication entitled “Combined Regional Investments Could Substantially Enhance Health System Performance and Be Financially Affordable” in the August issue of Health Affairs, a leading health policy journal in the US, (Health Affairs 2016;35(8):1435-43). The article reports on policy conclusions drawn from the ReThink Health model. A blog posting about the article including a link to the article itself can be viewed online. More information about the ReThink Health Dynamics is available on their website.
The authors write “Results suggest that there may be an effective and affordable way to unlock much greater health and economic potential, ultimately reducing severe illness by 20 percent, lowering health care costs by 14 percent, and improving economic productivity by 9 percent. This would require combined investments in clinical and population-level initiatives, coupled with financial agreements that reduce incentives for costly care and reinvest a share of the savings to ensure adequate long-term financing.”
The 9th Annual ARCS Research Conference, June 2017 (August 10, 2016)
Information on a conference of potential interest to those using System Dynamics in sustainability contexts: The Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability (ARCS) will bring together scholars from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives interested in advancing research on corporate sustainability. The 9th Annual ARCS Research Conference will be held June 14-16, 2017 at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands. The conference welcomes unpublished working papers focused on business and sustainability from all disciplines and research areas. The deadline for submitting papers is November 28, 2016, see the Call for Papers announcement for guidelines and additional information.
Last Call for Abstracts for the South Africa Chapter Annual SD Conference (August 09, 2016)
The 4th Annual System Dynamics Conference for the South Africa Chapter will be held on November 17-18, 2016, in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The SASD Chapter and ESKOM, hosts of the conference themed Facilitating Just Transitions, invite the submission of extended abstracts that entail a diversity of domains, disciplines and stakeholders. The August 20th deadline for Extended Abstracts is right around the corner. For additional information and inquiries about submitting a paper, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication by Member Bill Grace in the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research (August 09, 2016)
Member of the Australasian Chapter, Bill Grace, who is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia’s Urban Design Research Centre, has published an article in the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research (Volume 7, Issue 4) entitled “Simulating sustainability: a resources perspective.” Inspired by the Limits to Growth studies, the article reports the application of a global population–economy–resource model to explore the future impact of declining resource availability on the world economy.
Bill explains “The model is highly simplified in comparison to the World 3–03 model and focuses on the influence of resource constraints on aggregate global output. Thus it seeks to capture the essential resource crisis reflected in Scenarios 1 and 2 of World 3–03 but using readily available data, which facilitates a quasi-quantitative analysis of system trajectory, and application at the region or nation scale. The model has been constructed to project the current trajectory of population, economic production and associated resource use into the future, with results that are similar to World 3–03. Policy interventions involving a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, reduced resource intensity and materials recycling are necessary to correct this trajectory and facilitate ongoing improvements in global average living standards.”
The model is accessible via Bill’s website.
The Application of System Dynamics to Impact Assessment (August 09, 2016)
Impact assessment, simply defined, is the process of identifying the future consequences of a current or proposed action. (International Association for Impact Assessment).
In recent years there have been increasing calls for impact assessment to better recognize the interconnectedness of the various components of socio-ecological systems, and to adopt a systems approach to conducting impact assessments. This is particularly important for forms of impact assessment that focus upon sustainability, since sustainability itself is a holistic concept in which social and environmental concerns are inherently intertwined, regardless of which particular definition of sustainability is adopted.
Society member, Bill Grace together with his co-author Dr Jenny Pope, a leading sustainability assessment scholar, have written a book chapter in The Handbook of Sustainability Assessment (eds Morrison-Saunders, Pope, Bond) entitled “A Systems Approach to Sustainability Assessment.” The chapter introduces System Dynamics to the reader through a simple example of sustainability-related analysis, considering the extent to which the system behavior reflects some of the concepts and heuristics of resilience thinking. The authors then propose the structure for a systems model for sustainability and describe how systems analysis can inform sustainability assessment, i.e. any process that seeks to direct decision-making towards sustainability. The Handbook of Sustainability Assessment can be found on the website of its publisher, Edward Elgar.
Call for Papers: Special Issue of the System Dynamics Review (August 01, 2016)
From Guest Editors Nelson Repenning and John Sterman (MIT Sloan School of Management): The special issue of the System Dynamics Review will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the field. The field of system dynamics was founded by Jay Forrester 60 years ago. The 2017 conference of the System Dynamics Society will celebrate this milestone and, in conjunction, the System Dynamics Review seeks contributions for a special issue commemorating this anniversary. Whereas the 50th anniversary special issue celebrated the achievements of the field in its first half-century, for the 60th anniversary special issue we seek papers that look forward to the next 50 years. We particularly welcome work that provides new approaches to important theoretical and methodological issues, application areas, modeling practice, education, empirical methods and integration of different approaches to modeling the dynamics of complex systems. We also encourage descriptions of exemplary applications and other developments that explore important paths for the future of the field, including the integration of dynamic modeling with modern approaches to data analytics, parameter estimation, machine learning and optimization, and the integration of system dynamics with new developments in economics, political science, psychology, sociology and other disciplines.
Inquiries about proposed papers are welcome; the guest editors will provide feedback on proposals. A 2-stage procedure will be followed. Initially authors are requested to submit an extended abstract (2 pages maximum). These will then be reviewed by the editors and selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper, which will go through normal peer review. Inquiries and extended abstracts should be directed to the editors for the special issue at SD60th@mit.edu. Final papers should follow the journal’s Guidelines for each category of contribution and transmitted via the System Dynamics Reviewonline submission system. The full Call for Papers is available online.
LinkedIn Pulse Article by Member Kim Warren (July 29, 2016)
The article “The Power of Living Business Models” by Kim Warren of Strategy Dynamics has been published on LinkedIn Pulse. In the article, Kim discusses the importance of building functional business models, he states “…working, quantified business models are easy to build (easier, faster and way-better than those tired old spreadsheets!)
In these business models, everything is specified and quantified, every causal relationship is explicit and can be checked, and the result is a living model of the business or issue of interest that mimics its actual and prospective performance. Such models do what the real world does, and do so for the same reasons, and can also include all relevant external factors, including competitors.” Kim explains that most business plans neglect to show revenue generated and expenses incurred. The models he shares demonstrate the benefits of a “live” business model. Read more about Kim’s business models in the full article.
New Research Opportunities Available (July 29, 2016)
Making potential grant applications and requests for proposals visible to members is critical to the field. Two opportunities have recently come across our desk at the System Dynamics Society office; we would like to share this information with our members.
The Gulf Research Program & Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are committing $10 million to fund projects that explore human dynamics of resilience. They are currently seeking researchers and community members working across the boundaries of science and practice and of society and the environment to advance our understanding of what makes and keeps Gulf communities resilient, healthy, and thriving. Detailed information is available on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine website. Register for their webinar on August 11, 2016 to learn more.
The UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) is seeking qualified firms to conduct a review of systems change since 2011/2012 in four countries (Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan) in an effort to improve and develop child protection systems in the region. The review will directly contribute to programming directions in each country, the approach to systems strengthening in other countries in the region and global directions on how UNICEF engages in systems development. Complete details can be accessed on the United Nations Global Marketplace website.
Member Kim Warren’s Plenary Talk Featured in a Video (July 29, 2016)
Check out this video posted by Strategy Dynamics featuring Kim Warren’s plenary talk from the International System Dynamics Conference in Delft. The video, titled “From spreadsheets to models: Making System Dynamics mainstream,” uses humor to illustrate how useful and powerful System Dynamics can be to people outside of the SD community.
Poster by Andrea Navarrete, Camilo Olaya, and Juliana Gomez-Quintero
Best Poster Winner presented at the ISDC 2016 (July 28, 2016)
At the 34th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, two poster presentations received the award of Best Poster Winner. The awards were presented to Joona Tuovinen for his poster The Dynamics of Product Commonality: Implications of the circular causality between product and firm structures, and Andrea Navarrete, Camilo Olaya, and Juliana Gomez-Quintero, for their poster To Legislate or not to Legislate? That is the Question: How Legislative Inflation Boosts Prison Overcrowding. Congratulations on your outstanding poster presentations!
Publication by Member Salman Ahmad in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (July 27, 2016)
The article “Application of System Dynamics Approach in Electricity Sector Modelling: A Review” by member Salman Ahmad, along with colleagues Razman Mat Tahar, Firdaus Muhammad-Sukki, Abu Bakar Munir, and Ruzairi Abdul Rahim, has been published in volume 56 of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, April 2016. As stated in the abstract, “Electricity has become a vital source of energy for social and economic development in modern era. Likewise, the issues of its planning and management have grown complex. To address complexity in decision making, researchers have chosen system dynamics (SD) modelling and simulation technique. A state-of-art of such studies published during the period 2000–2013 is presented in this paper. The contribution of this review lies in categorizing the literature based on the important and contemporary researched areas. These research areas include models developed for policy assessment, generation capacity expansion, financial instruments, demand side management, mixing methods, and finally micro-worlds.” The full article can be accessed on the Science Direct website.
Member David Keith quoted: Tesla Motor Company’s Role in Popularizing Green Energy (July 27, 2016)
In a July 24, 2016 New York Times article by Matt Richtel titled “Elon Musk of Tesla Sticks to a Mission Despite Setbacks,” the future path of Tesla is explored. After a fatal accident involving Tesla’s Autopilot, entrepreneur Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors, presses forward with his vision to expand the use of green energy. Musk talks about his plan for the largest battery factory, the Gigafactory in Nevada. As stated in the article, “Scale and speed are watchwords for Mr. Musk and his save-the-world view of business, which addresses some of the biggest pressure points in climate change. Mr. Musk wants to create an alternative to fossil fuels by popularizing solar power and by using batteries to store energy from the sun and wind to power homes, cars and businesses at any time of day and in any season.” Speaking of the impact Tesla has made by influencing the culture, David Keith, an assistant professor at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management and System Dynamics Society member, said “It’s the first time, possibly ever, that a green product, with significant environmental credentials, has been the thing that everybody wanted.” The full article can be viewed on the New York Times website.
Using System Dynamics to Analyze Social Networks and Messaging Apps(July 27, 2016)
In his blog post titled “The MIT way to spot unicorns with mad cow disease,” Technology Executive and Strategy Consultant Pieter Nel discusses how he is successfully using System Dynamics to analyze social networks and messaging apps. Looking to make a prediction about the path of tech companies and mobile social networks, Nel, the former CTO of the mobile instant messaging company Mxit, enrolled as a Sloan Fellow at MIT. Nel created a model that simulated retention of users on a social networking platform, “If you think of a bucket leaking water, the active users would be the water in the bucket (the stock), and the leaks would be users/month churning out (the flow).” He goes on to explain that “…the rate of the leak is dependent on the remaining amount of water in the bucket. As the water empties, the leak weakens. This is the “dynamic” nature of system dynamics and in a complex system with many such interconnected “buckets” it leads to non-linear effects which are impossible to anticipate unless you model them.” In the post, Nel also discusses how fast users are acquired in the Bass diffusion model and how long they stay using Little’s Law. Nel’s models have accurately depicted outcomes, catching the attention of leading tech analysts. Please visit Pieter Nel’s blog post to read more about his use of System Dynamics.
Announcing a Call for Abstracts for the WOSC 2017 Congress (July 25, 2016)
Join the conversations about social dynamics from a cyber-systemic perspective at the 17th Congress of World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics in Rome, Italy, January 25-27, 2017. The conference, themed “Think outside the box with System Dynamics,” will be hosted by the Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, at Sapienza University of Rome. Abstracts that have a focus on any of the Congress’s tracks , which are grouped under three themes: people, technology and governance for sustainability; democracy, interactions and organization; and cyber-systemic thinking, modeling and epistemology, should be submitted by the August 30 deadline. For more information about the WOSC 2017 Congress, including abstract submission guidelines and conference registration, please visit the WOSC website.
System Dynamics Society Awards Given at the Conference (July 21, 2016)
The Jay Wright Forrester Award recognizes the authors of the best contribution to the field of System Dynamics in the preceding five years. The Forrester Award, presented as often as once annually, is the highest award given by the System Dynamics Society. This year the award was presented to Shayne Gary and Robert Wood, for their winning work, Mental models, decision rules, and performance heterogeneity, published in June, 2011, in the Strategic Management Journal. Congratulations to Shayne and Robert on your outstanding achievement!
Pictured left to right: Shayne Gary and John Sterman
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 Yaman Barlas the Outstanding Service Award in grateful recognition of his exceptional volunteer contributions to the System Dynamics Society.
Pictured left to right: Bob Eberlein, David Andersen, Roberta Spencer, Yaman Barlas, and Peter Milling
The Lupina Young Researchers Award is given annually for outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics authored by students. The 2016 recipients were Bramka Arga Jafino and Pedram Soltani for their paper Saving Lives and Time: Tackling Transportation Induced Air Pollution in Jakarta. The Lupina Award Committee of four judges (Gary Hirsch, Jack Homer, Wayne Wakeland, David Lounsbury, Chair) agreed that this was a strong paper with important health policy implications, and that it was most deserving of recognition among those submitted for consideration.
Pictured left to right: David Lounsbury, Bramka Arga Jafino, Pedram Soltani, and Gary Hirsch
The Barry Richmond Scholarship Award is presented annually to a deserving Systems Thinking or System Dynamics practitioner whose work demonstrates a desire to expand the field or to apply it to current social issues. This year’s recipient was Jeffrey Walters from the Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile.
Pictured from left to right: Bob Eberlein, Karim Chichakly, and Jeffery Walters
A Note of Gratitude (July 20, 2016)
The Scholarship Committee and staff of the System Dynamics Society were touched to receive this kind note from scholarship recipient Hamid Abdolabadi. This year the Society raised enough funds to award scholarships to eleven participants. We would like to extend this thank you note to all who contributed, your support made this great opportunity possible.
“I am writing to express my appreciation for the scholarship that helped me to attend the 34th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. This was such a meaningful and worthwhile experience! I can honestly say, I would not have had the opportunity to learn so much without the scholarship offered to me! Many thanks again!” -Hamid Abdolabadi
High School Students Use System Dynamics to Tackle Gun Violence at the Changing Systems Student Summit at Washington University in St. Louis (July 20, 2016)
From June 28 through July 1, 2016, the second annual Changing Systems Student Summit brought together dozens of high school students from surrounding communities to discuss how System Dynamics can be used to change the cycle of gun violence. This summit, a part of Washington University’s yearlong initiative “Gun Violence: A Public Health Crisis,” was sponsored by the Brown School’s Ferguson Seed Fund and Social System Design Laboratory and the Institute for Public Health, all a part of Washington University in St. Louis. A news article on Washington University’s website states “The summit considered gun violence through a program designed, led and facilitated by 15 interns from Ritenour and Jennings high schools trained in system dynamics, a method of modeling complex problems. They in turn worked with 28 high school students representing 19 schools in St. Louis city and county. The high school facilitators engaged their peers in scripted activities to map out the underlying system structure that leads to gun violence in St. Louis. Specifically, they focused on the cycles that perpetuate gun violence to identify ways to restructure the system.” The results of their research was shared with the community, regional leaders and members of the Brown School. Students who participated will continue to work on this issue. Read more about the Changing Systems Student Summit and the work they are doing in the full article.
Announcing a new publication by members Guido Veldhuis and Hubert Korzilius: “Seeing with the Mind: The Relationship Between Spatial Ability and Inferring Dynamic Behaviour from Graphs.” (July 20, 2016)
Is people’s understanding of accumulation and correlation heuristic reasoning related to their spatial ability? It has been several years since the ‘systems thinking inventory’ task was introduced by Linda Booth Sweeney and John Sterman. Since then researchers around the world have repeated and extended the systems thinking inventory experiments. The results have again and again demonstrated that many people misperceive the relation between stocks and flows. In a new publication, members Guido Veldhuis and Hubert Korzilius shed light on the precursors of this phenomenon. Their research draws on knowledge and experimental results from other domains and offers a new perspective on performance in the aforementioned tasks. As stated in the abstract, “We tested if two dimensions of spatial ability, spatial visualization and spatial relations, are related to selecting correct or correlation heuristic answers in tasks involving graphs over time. The analyses show that spatial visualization is positively related to performance in some systems thinking inventory tasks and is negatively related to responses that show correlation heuristic reasoning.” The article is now available as an Early View publication from Systems Research and Behavioral Science. The full article can be accessed on the Wiley Online Library.
New York Times talks about a publication by member Navid Ghaffarzadegan (July 14, 2016)
On July 14, 2016, the New York Times featured an article written by Gina Kolata titled “So Many Research Scientists, So Few Openings as Professors,” which discusses the challenges of academic job market for PhD graduates. The article refers to a previous systems analysis done by Richard Larson, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, and Yi Xue on measuring growth in the PhD population in the United States. The original paper, “Too Many PhD Graduates or Too Few Academic Job Openings: The Basic Reproductive Number R0 in Academia,” was published in 2014 in Systems Research and Behavioral Science. As quoted from the abstract, “the academic job market has become increasingly competitive for PhD graduates. In this note, we ask the basic question of ‘Are we producing more PhDs than needed?’ We take a systems approach and offer a ‘birth rate’ perspective: professors graduate PhDs who later become professors themselves, an analogue to how a population grows. We show that the reproduction rate in academia is very high.” The full paper can be viewed on the Wiley Online Library website.
isee systems releases Stella Architect (July 13, 2016)
Last month isee systems announced the release of their new model building program Stella Architect. As stated in the press release, “Stella Architect’s design and publishing capabilities create attractive, engaging, widely shareable models and simulations. “For Stella models to reach an audience and deliver insight, they must engage users, even those with little Systems Thinking or modelling experience,” says Karim Chichakly, co-President isee systems. “Quickly creating and sharing compelling simulations is what Stella Architect is all about.” Stella Architect includes all the functionality of Stella Professional and adds enhanced design and publishing capabilities. “Stella Architect lets System Thinkers go from concept to a full- fledged web experience very simply and effectively,” says Bob Eberlein, co-President isee systems.” Detailed information can be found in the full press release.
New Ph.D.: SDS Member Diana M. Fisher Successfully Defended Her Dissertation in System Science (July 13, 2016)
We are happy to share the news that Diana M. Fisher has successfully defended her dissertation titled Introducing Complex Systems Analysis in High School Mathematics Using System Dynamics Modeling: A Potential Game-Changer for Mathematics Instruction in the System Science Ph.D. Program at Portland State University. Diana is grateful to her Ph.D. committee: Dr. Wayne Wakeland (chair), System Science, Dr. Brian Greer, Mathematics Education, Dr. Ron Narode, Mathematics Education, Dr. Robert Fountain, Statistics, and Dr. Lisa Weasel, Biology who were very supportive. Additionally, Diana would like to thank the SD teachers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute System Dynamics Program, as well as George Richardson and Barry Richmond who provided significant instruction in System Dynamics Modeling in preparation for her doctoral work. Diana is an adjunct professor at Portland State University. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Dr. Fisher!
New App Available: ISDC 2016 Schedule (July 8, 2016)
A new app has been created specifically for the Delft conference giving you easy access to each day’s scheduled events. The app gives you several helpful options: select a time to see the sessions, select a session to see the papers being presented, select a paper to see the abstract and author, or select the author to see their bio and photo. Download ISDC 2016 Schedule app to your phone to conveniently have all this information at your fingertips! The app is now available at the Apple Store or Google Play store, find it by searching for System Dynamics. You can also access the schedule online.
Plan your days at the Delft conference (July 8, 2016)
We think that you might find yourself quite busy once you arrive in Delft, so please take a moment today to look over the program and note the sessions and activities you don’t want to miss. Use the personal schedule planner (printable) while you preview the schedule. Pencil in all presentations, authors, meetings, ceremonies and special events you want to keep track of. Here are a just few of the events that you will find:
The Delft conference will begin with the PhD Colloquium on Sunday, July 17. The Tentative Schedule lists the events of the day, including a group activity, a participant lunch, plenary presentation and the PhD Colloquium Poster and Networking Session. View the Tentative Schedule to see the titles of all posters, authors and links to the abstracts.
New to the ISDC? Be sure to check out the Newcomer Orientation scheduled on Monday morning. This session will bring together attendees based on topics of interest. Veteran attendees will provide guidance to newcomers, ensuring that they get the full benefit of the conference experience. Learn more about the Society and meet a few of the officers by attending Getting to Know the System Dynamics Society presented on Monday afternoon.
Announcements of award recipients: during the Monday Afternoon Plenary Session announcements will be made for the Dana Meadows Award, the Outstanding Service Award, the Lupina Young Researcher Award, and the Barry Richmond Scholarship Award. On Wednesday morning the Jay W. Forrester Award will be presented. There will also be Best Poster Awards and also a Best E-Participant Award! If you can’t make the conference, check back to the homepage during the week. Names of the award winners will be released on the homepage after being announced in Delft.
During the conference you can refer to the daily online schedule to see what is happening and zoom in on sessions, papers, and presenter bios. You can find the online schedule at the Web Portal under the menu item “Conference Related.” And it you are at the conference or not, please help our social media team tweet about the conference. Follow us on Twitter! The conference will showcase real-time feedback using #ISDC16.
Announcing the Publication of Members’ Article “Let’s Talk Change in a University: A Simple Model for Addressing a Complex Agenda” (July 7, 2016)
Included in the Early View of the journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science is an article titled “Let’s Talk Change in a University: A Simple Model for Addressing a Complex Agenda” by Society members Raafat M. Zaini, Oleg V. Pavlov, Khalid Saeed, and Michael J. Radzicki, along with fellow colleagues Allen H. Hoffman and Kristen R. Tichenor. As stated in the abstract, “This paper reports on a real-life study in a US university. In response to financial issues, the administration at an undergraduate tuition-dependent university pushed for growth in student enrollment. The faculty, who argued that the quality of education had been declining, resisted the expansion. More students also affected the use of the university’s infrastructure. By actively engaging key stakeholders, we developed a simple system dynamics model of university expansion. A major insight suggests that policy decisions made non-holistically might result in counter-intuitive outcomes that could take considerable time from which to recover.” The article is set to be published in a special issue, Education as a Complex System, of which Society member Navid Ghaffarzadegan is the guest editor. The full article can be accessed on the Wiley Online Library.
Member Stefan Groesser Appointed Visiting Professor at Heilbronn University Graduate School, Germany (July 7, 2016)
Member Stefan Groesser has been appointed as a visiting Professor at Heilbronn University Graduate School (HUGS), starting September 2016. At the HUGS, he will be lecturing on research methods and research designs. Stefan is currently a professor of Strategic Management and Organization at the Bern University of Applied Sciences and a senior lecturer at the Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen. He applies System Dynamics to his research on business model, strategy, and technology management. Stefan holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He is an author of articles and peer-review journals, including the System Dynamics Review, and books with, for example, Wiley and Springer. More information is available at stefan-groesser.com and strategysimulationlab.org. On behalf of the Society, congratulations and good luck to Stefan!”
Some of the Latest News Headline Topics Presented at the Delft ISDC (July 7, 2016)
Explore the understanding and management of resources including governance, social welfare, equity, justice, political science, urban dynamic, infrastructure, and transportation in the presentations within the Resources thread at the Delft conference. The parallel presentations are grouped into three sessions titled “Energy & Efficiency Rebounds,” “Socio-technical Energy Transitions,” and “Biomass Deployment.” Poster presentations in the Resources thread are in the session titled “Market Dynamics of Resources.” The Energy SIG Annual Meeting has also been scheduled in this thread.
The Security thread presentations concern issues related to security including defense, conflict, military, insurgency and counterinsurgency, social unrest, disaster management, crime, policing and incarceration. Presentations are divided among the two part parallel session “Conflict, Defense, and Security,” and a poster session. Also on the schedule is the Conflict, Defense and Security SIG Annual Meeting.
The Resources thread and the Security thread are just two of the fourteen threads at the Delft conference, see the full list of the Threads for 2016 and the Tentative Schedule of conference presentations and meetings on our website. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread to view the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material.
Jay W. Forrester Featured in Four Centuries on Innovation Exhibit at Logan International Airport in Boston (July 6, 2016)
Jay W. Forrester’s invention of the computer’s first core memory in 1946 is featured in Four Centuries of Innovation, an exhibit at Logan International Airport in Boston that highlights the history of Massachusetts as a center of innovation. Of the nearly 600 innovations complied, Jay was one of the 49 selected to be included in the exhibit. Exhibit creators Robert Krim of Framingham State University and Janey Bishoff of Bishoff Communications note that “Each of the Massachusetts innovations made such a significant impact on life or society, that it changed the nation or the world.” Four Centuries of Innovations opened in June in the new connection between Terminals C and E at Logan International. On display in this corridor exhibition are 49 wall mounted tiles, as well as a sixteen screen video installation, featuring innovations in medicine, technology, education, bio-technology, and social and cultural advancements. The exhibit has gained much attention from visitors and will remain as a permanent fixture at Logan International Airport.
System Dynamics Used in Predicting Population with Alzheimer’s Disease in the EU (July 5, 2016)
The article “Prediction of population with Alzheimer’s disease in the European Union using a System Dynamics model” was recently published by Dove Press in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. The article is the work of Hana Tomaskova, Jitka Kuhnova, Richard Cimler, Ondrej Dolezal and Kamil Kuca, of the University of Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic. In this research, the simulation software STELLA was used with population data from Eurostat to create the model. As stated in the article, “System Dynamics modeling approach has been used for the prediction of the number of patients with AD in the EU population till the year 2080. These results can be used to determine the economic burden of the treatment of these patients. With different input data, the simulation can be used also for the different regions as well as for different noncontagious disease predictions.” The full article is available online at Dove Press.
Member Benjamin Chang-Kwon Chung Introduces Systems Dynamics to High School Students in South Korea (July 1, 2016)
Member Benjamin Chang-Kwon Chung reports success in bringing System Dynamics into the K-12 program in South Korea. Through social media, Professor Chung has introduced a modeling program based on Pamela Lee Hopkins’ “Simulating Hamlet in the classroom” published in the System Dynamics Review Vol 8, Issue 1. Chung’s efforts in the classroom were published on June 21, 2016, in Chosunilbo, a top daily national newspaper in South Korea. The article describes that after students analyzed the text, they “…were arranged in groups of four and each assigned and submitted a rating. Professor Chung then used a computer simulation to quantify the play with those scores.” While speaking of this new type of curriculum, Professor Chung states “I hope many people can develop their imaginations through the meetings of humanities and engineering. I want to see Systems Thinking permeate South Korea.” Read more about Professor Chung’s “Shakespeare’s Hamlet Modeling program” in the full article.
Public Policy Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (June 30, 2016)
Public Policy thread at the Delft conference will feature plenary and parallel presentations concerning the issues in public policy including governance, social welfare, equity, justice, political science, urban dynamics, infrastructure and transportation. The Monday morning plenary session titled “Uncertainty, Risk and Recovery” is comprised of three presentations:
—On Addressing Grand Challenges and Complex Issues: Dealing with More Than Just Dynamic Complexity, by Erik Pruyt, Willem Auping, Philipp Schwarz, Jan Kwakkel, and Tushith Islam, all from Delft University of Technology.
—Business Tsunami: In Between Black Swans and Little White Lies, by Henk Akkermans from Tilburg University.
—A Dynamic Feedback Theory of Community Recovery from Shock Events, by Prof. David Ford, from Texas A&M University and Bruce Keith, Professor of Technology at the United States Military Academy.
The parallel and poster presentations are divided among nine sessions. In the Public Policy thread there is a scheduled meeting for the development of a new Transportation Special Interest Group. The Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule provide the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material.
New PhD: Member Vincent de Gooyert Passes the Examination of His PhD (June 29, 2016)
We are happy to share the news that member Vincent de Gooyert has recently passed the examination of his PhD dissertation! Vincent is Assistant Professor at Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University. Vincent gratefully acknowledges those individuals and organizations in the System Dynamics community who contributed to and supported him in the development of his PhD thesis, titled “Stakeholder Dynamics in the Dutch Energy Transition.” His supervisors were Etiënne Rouwette, Hans van Kranenburg, and Edward Freeman. An article based on the research, titled “Sustainability transition dynamics: towards overcoming policy resistance,” has just been published in the journal Technological Forecasting & Social Change. Congratulations Dr. de Gooyert! The Society wishes you much success.
Complimentary Live Webinar
July 13, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Followed by a live Q&A on Facebook
(June 29, 2016)
How can we respond to climate change? Can we build an economy powered by clean, renewable energy in time? Does the agreement forged at the recent Paris climate conference (COP21) deliver us from catastrophe, or is it another diplomatic disappointment? How can the science be made accessible to the policymakers, the media, and the public at large?
Join MIT Sloan Professor John Sterman on July 13 for a one-hour, complimentary webinar to experience an interactive simulation—developed by Sterman and his colleagues—that helps people understand climate change and the long-term climate impacts of policy scenarios.
This online event, The Dynamics of Climate Change—from the Political to the Personal, will explore the dynamics of the climate interactively and suggest what we can do both professionally and personally to build a safer, sustainable world. Known as C-ROADS, this award-winning modeling software has been used by more than 15,000 people, including policy makers and negotiators, in 53 nations around the world, and is freely available to participants in the webinar.
Participants of this webinar will learn:
Why discussions on climate change have led to so much public confusion
The state of climate policy after the Paris agreement
What we can do to manage the unavoidable and avoid the unmanageable
What impact you can have in your community
Who should attend:
This webinar is designed for innovators for sustainability in private, public, NGO, and hybrid sectors, as well as anyone interested in climate policy and sustainability.
About the presenter: John Sterman’s research focuses on improving managerial decision making in complex systems. He has pioneered the development of “management flight simulators” of corporate and economic systems now used by businesses and universities around the world. He is the author of Modeling for Learning Organizations and the award-winning textbook, Business Dynamics. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Fortune, The Financial Times, and BusinessWeek, among others. He has received eight awards for “Teaching Excellence” at MIT, as well as numerous other honors.
New Postings in Conference Sponsor Notes (June 28, 2016)
This year our sponsors will be posting information to Conference Sponsor Notes before, during and after the Delft conference. Check our website’s Conference Sponsor Notes frequently to stay informed on all the latest conference news and updates from sponsors. Highlights from a few of the recent posts are noted below.
Copernicos Groep invites you to a kick-off meeting to start a brand new special interest group, the Asset Dynamics SIG. As quoted from the post, the “Aim of the SIG is applying System Dynamics for the management of complex technical systems, complex inter- and intra-organizational collaboration, multi actor/stakeholder involvement and long term interests.” The Asset Dynamics e-poster can be viewed on our website; other SIG e-posters will be available soon.
Whole Systems Partnership has posted news promoting their conference presentation Relational value as a key model intangible. WSP invites conference attendees to join this “discussion starter” on the topic of relational thinking in health and social care.
Delft University of Technology has shared information about the Vermeer exhibition at the Museum Prinsenhof Delft. The exhibition Vermeer is coming home/The Little Street returns to Delft, which closes on July 17th, is a “must see” for those who will be in Delft before the start of the conference.
Announcing the Call for Papers for Journal of Simulation (June 28, 2016)
The Journal of Simulation has announced a call for papers for a special issue on the topic of System Dynamics. As described on their web page, “The journal provides a single source of accessible research and practice in the fast developing field of discrete-event simulation, System Dynamics and agent-based modelling.” Martin Kunc, Sally Brailsford and member John Morecroft have been selected as guest editors of this special issue. The announcement states “the journal is interested in submissions that discuss: mode conceptualization, model development and testing, policy development, and other areas.” The deadline for submission is March 31st, 2017. Specific information on submission guidelines and dates can be found on the call for papers.
Operations Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (June 28, 2016)
The Operations thread at the ISDC relates to the business and other process operations including: capacity management, quality control, operations management, supply chains, workflow, queuing, and workforce planning. There are three plenary sessions in the Operations thread. Jürgen Strohhecker and Michael Leyer will present Intelligence and (Mis) Understanding of Accumulation as Explaining Factors of Stock Management Failures. J. Bradley Morrison and Robert Wears will discuss their case study in Why Patient Assignment and Teamwork in the Emergency Department is Challenging: A Simple Stock and Flow Insight. Paulo Gonçalves and Simplice Kamdem will present Evidence-Based Policy Design for HIV/AIDS Response Programs in Côte. Parallel presentations in the Operations thread are divided into two sessions titled “Sustainability in Urban Context” and “Managing Quality and Performance in Operations.” The Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule provides the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material.
Research Seminar Preceding Vennix’s Valedictory Lecture at Radboud University (June 28, 2016)
A research seminar was held on June 27th that preceded Jac Vennix’s valedictory lecture at Radboud University. About 25 researchers attended the seminar entitled, “New developments in participatory modelling and conceptualization.”
Presentations from Radboud University included: Group model building—Be prepared by Marleen McCardle, Group model building in an intercultural perspective by Inge Bleijenbergh, The development and validation of a team level cultural intelligence scale by Hubert Korzilius, Conflict, power and group model building by Etiënne Rouwette, and Five ways to use system dynamics for theoretical contributions by Vincent de Gooyert. The event also featured David Lane of the University of Reading presenting GMB work for the Munro review of child protection and The supply line bias—less problematic than assumed? by Andreas Größler of the University of Stuttgart.
Jac participated in the lively discussions and provided links between the works presented and the farewell speech that he gave later that day. He thanked all participants and attendants for the high quality of the talks and the contributions to the discussion.
In addition, Methods, Model Building and Management: A liber amicorum for Jac Vennix has been published in honor of Jac’s retirement. The liber amicorum (book of friends), edited by Inge Bleijenbergh, Hubert Korzilius and Etiënne Rouwette, can be found here. The book and each chapter has been added to the System Dynamics Bibliography. To see the list of references, go to the Bibliographic Updates Webpage under Updated Information for references other than journals.
The University of Witwatersrand Now Offering Free Online Courses (June 27, 2016)
Creamer Media’s Engineering News has recently published the news that the University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa will be offering free online courses. System Dynamics for Health Sciences, instructed by member David Rubin, is the first of three courses that are being launched. As stated in the article “ The System Dynamics for Health Sciences, which would educate learners on how to use system dynamics to better understand complex medical issues and intervention, would be taught by Wits biomedical engineering Adjunct Professor David Rubin, Wits biomedical engineer and lecturer Robyn Letts and Johns Hopkins University Professor Tak Igusa.” View the full article to learn more about this course and other courses that are being launched in an effort to increase access to higher education.
Annual Chapter Meetings Scheduled at the ISDC (June 24, 2016)
The System Dynamics Society Chapters are formed by active and committed Society members to strengthen interaction among their group and to enhance their ability to reach other people. Each Chapter will hold its annual meeting at the conference in Delft. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule to view these meetings and all the events that will take place at the conference. Chapter meetings that are scheduled, including links to each of the abstracts, are listed below.
Africa Regional Chapter Annual Meeting, by Ddembe Williams Abstract Asia Pacific Chapters Meeting, by Robert Cavana Abstract Australasia Chapter Annual Meeting, by Robert Cavana Abstract Benelux Chapter Annual Meeting, by Martijn Eskinasi Abstract Brazil Chapter Annual Meeting, by Karim Chichakly, Ricardo Chaim Abstract China Chapter Annual Meeting, by Haiyan Yan, Ying Qian Abstract German Chapter Informal Gathering, by Florian Kapmeier Abstract Iran Chapter Annual Meeting, by Babak Bahaddin Abstract Latin America Chapter Annual Meeting, by Gloria Perez Salazar Abstract Russian Chapter Annual Meeting, by Natalia Lychkina Abstract South Africa Chapter Annual Meeting and Roundtable, by Josephine Musango Abstract Student Chapter Annual Meeting, by Yekatherina Bobrova Abstract Swiss Chapter Annual Meeting, by Birgit Kopainsky Abstract System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC) Annual Meeting, by Stefano Armenia Abstract UK Chapter Annual Meeting, by Douglas McKelvie Abstract
There are also Chapters located in India, Japan, Korea, and Pakistan. Information about all of our Chapters can be found on our website.
This book provides a practical introduction to System Dynamics, and explains key model structures including material delays, stock management heuristics, and how to model effects between different system elements. Examples from epidemiology, health systems and economics are presented, and the R programming language is used to provide an open-source and interoperable way to build System Dynamics models.
The book also presents techniques that can enhance client confidence in System Dynamic models, including model testing, calibration, and statistical screening. The book is written for undergraduate and postgraduate students of System Dynamics, simulation, computer science and applied mathematics.
The choice of R as a modeling language makes it an ideal reference text for those wishing to integrate System Dynamics modeling with related data science methods and techniques.
Methodology Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (June 22, 2016)
Explore the contributions to the methodology of System Dynamics, modeling and simulation including model development, model analysis, validation, graphical presentation formats, and computational techniques in the sessions of the Methodology thread at the Delft conference.
In the plenary session “Implementation and Politics,” Alexander Voigt, from Greenwood Strategic Advisors, and Florian Kapmeier, from ESB Business School of Reutlingen University, will present A Mismatch Between Aspirations and Reality: Why Are We Letting Black Swans Pass Us By? Also in this plenary session, John Sterman, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will give his presentation titled The Paris Climate Agreement: Do Models Really Matter? What Must We Do Now?
There will also be over twenty parallel and poster presentations within the following sessions: Multi Methods/Cross Methods, SD Taxonomy, Model Methods, Team and Methods, System Dynamics and Systems Thinking, and Cross/Multi Methods.
Additionally, there are twelve workshop sessions scheduled within the Methodology thread. View the Draft Program Overview by Thread or the Tentative Schedule to see a list of these workshop sessions, titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts. Meetings scheduled in the Methodology thread include a Model Analysis Roundtable and the SIG-MA Annual Meeting. Tweet your comments to #ISDC16.
Professor Qifan Wang’s Memorial Service (June 22, 2016)
Prof. Qifan Wang’s memorial service was held at the Xibaoxing Road Funeral Home on Saturday, June 4, 2016. There were around 150 people who attended including Prof. Wang’s family members, friends, colleagues and students et al. “We reviewed his past, his contributions, and his personality charm with deep grief” says Haiyan Yan, Representative of China Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, who has kindly shared the following summary of the memorial service.
More than 20 professional and university groups placed flower baskets at the memorial service and dozens of flower baskets were from Professor Wang’s colleagues, friends and relatives. Some of the families and friends who were unable to attend the memorial service sent messages of condolences. Among them, China Association for International Economic Cooperation’s vice president Professor Xiashan Chen et al. Professor Xia wrote a long article “Remembrance of Management Master – Professor Wang Qifan” which was issued on the Twenty-fourth Chinese Biz News on June 11, 2016.
At the memorial service, Prof. Lihua Huang, secretary of School of Management, Fudan University, introduced Professor Wang Qifan’s lifetime and his indelible contribution to the development of System Dynamics in China. Student representatives, Dr. Li Lingling memorialized Professor Qifan Wang’s guidance and love to his students. Mr. Shoukim Shen, on behalf of the students of Professor Wang’s Alma Mater Tsinghua University made a speech. Finally, Professor Wang’s son Mr. Min Wang, on behalf of the relatives, thanked all the guests present at the memorial service, as well as those who sent wreaths and message of condolence. All the guests bowed and sent flowers one by one.
Professor Wang’s students from Fudan University, Tongji University and other overseas universities, distributed in all parts of the world, all walks of life, memorialized their teacher through social media. Prof. Qifan Wang, one of the most widely beloved master and profoundly influential scholar of all-time, leaves an indelible imprint on System Dynamics, leads us to harbor ideals, and march forward courageously.
AnyLogic’s Simulation and Modeling Software Selected by Ford Motor Company (June 21, 2016)
An article in the web based news Virtual Strategy Magazine, June 2016, shares that the Ford Motor Company has chosen AnyLogic software to model real world concepts in a virtual setting to gain insight from global data and analytics. As noted in the article, “Simulation modeling is a tool that allows organizations to model the real world in a virtual environment; look at systems from a clearer viewpoint, and run what-if scenarios of proposed variations without disruptions to the current system. AnyLogic’s unique multi-method capabilities enable system dynamics, agent-based, and discrete-event modeling in one modeling environment for a more accurate representation of the real system.” To learn more, please see the full article in Virtual Strategy Magazine.
Learning and Teaching Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (June 21, 2016)
The Learning and Teaching thread at the Delft conference will focus on the manner in which system skills are taught and learned including pedagogy, learning experiments, curriculum development, workshop design and interactivities designed to be a part of an educational experience. Session titles in this thread include: Group Modeling and Debriefing, Research on Leaning Systems Dynamics, and Games, Learning, and Teaching. Workshop sessions in the Learning and Teaching thread include:
Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling for Math and Science Instruction: Online Professional Development Opportunity
Creating Interactive Simulations Online with Forio Epicenter
Teaching Students to Create Original Models in a Ten-Week Course
Getting Started with Powersim Studio
Feedback Rich Model Construction
Getting Started with Stella Designer
Member Stephen Cucchiaro Featured in Current Issue of Bloomberg Magazine (June 21, 2016)
Member Stephen Cucchiaro, president of 3Edge Asset Management in Boston, is featured in a story in the Bloomberg Markets magazine. The article, written by Jon Asmundsson, reveals how Stephen developed an investment method using complex systems. Stephen had studied complex systems as a math major at MIT and went on to study finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It was at the Wharton School that “he began to realize that global capital markets are a perfect example of complex systems.” As a management consultant, economist, and entrepreneur, Stephen has started several investment firms, 3Edge Asset Management is the latest. He states “…part of our approach is to identify asset classes that are not only undervalued but where there’s a catalyst that we can identify.” As a result, gold and emerging markets became his current focus. The full article can be seen in the June/July issue of Bloomberg Markets.
Report on Impact Factor for the System Dynamics Review (June 20, 2016)
This week Thomson Reuters published their Journal Citation Reports for 2015. We are pleased to announce that the Impact Factor for System Dynamics Review has risen by 34% from 1.026 to 1.37. The journal has now moved up in position in its two ISI subject categories rankings. In the Management category, the journal ranks 91st out of 192 titles, and the journal is 20th out of 49 titles in the Social Sciences, Mathematical Methods category. Yaman Barlas, Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review, notes “These numbers reflect that the journal is moving in the right direction, thanks to my predecessor Rogelio Oliva and the editorial team.”
SIG Meetings Scheduled at the ISDC (June 20, 2016)
Most of the Special Interest Groups of the System Dynamics Society will host their annual meetings at the Delft conference. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread and the Tentative Schedule to view the scheduled meetings taking place at the conference. The following list includes the SIG meetings on schedule with a link to each of the abstracts.
Special Interest Groups bring together members who share interest in a particular area. For more information or to join a SIG, please visit our website.
Presiding Rector Magnificus Bas Kortmann (middle) surrounded by System Dynamics professors Etiënne Rouwette, Jac Vennix, Pål Davidsen, Peter Milling, David Lane, Andreas Größler
Member Jac Vennix Gives Valedictory Lecture at Radboud University (June 20, 2016)
On May 27th, Jac Vennix held his valedictory lecture Management Science: that can be quite an art at Radboud University. It served the purpose to get the System Dynamics and Group Model Building message across to a wider audience, including colleague professors and members of the University Board. Subjects discussed in the lecture included a.o.: SD: origins and basic assumptions, the Limits to Growth study (recent research shows that real developments over the last 40 years come closest to the standard scenario of LtG), SD modelling as a learning process, the need to involve stakeholders, GMB and group facilitation, the EMSD (European Master in System Dynamics) program (combining the “science of model building” with the “art of facilitation”), as well as results of evaluation studies on the effectiveness of GMB. The lecture was well received by the audience. With that lecture Jac Vennix effectively has become professor emeritus as of June 1st. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Jac!
Jac Vennix delivering his valedictory lecture
Jac Vennix receiving a ‘liber amicorum’ offered by his colleagues Hubert Korzilius, Etiënne Rouwette and Inge Bleijenbergh
Climate Change Hackathon at Delft Conference (June 17, 2016)
At the Delft Conference, the IBM Academy of Technology is hosting a hackathon to model the impact of climate changes on vulnerable populations over time. We know that climate change shut down agriculture in Syria in 2006-7 and created urban conditions of unemployment and social tension that erupted into Civil War. We want to understand the social, economic, cultural, and political ramifications of subtle and overt climate changes on societies and the way they may adapt in the future. We want to develop an international community of model developers creating re-usable model components in XMILE that can help any community in any nation to understand the long tail effects of climate change by linking SD models to Open Data resources. All models will be open source, stored online in libraries, and presented to decision-makers at an event in Washington DC in October. Please bring your computer and your ideas. XMILE-compatible modeling software will be provided for those who need it. To learn more and see the materials provided for background reading to inform the conversation, please visit the Tentative Schedule and search on “Hackathon.” Participation is open to conference attendees. To register for the conference please click here for details.
Announcing the Publication of Dynamic Performance Management by Carmine Bianchi (June 13, 2016)
Member Carmine Bianchi is the author of the recently published book Dynamic Performance Management. In his book, Carmine provides “…useful resource to help design and implement performance management systems using System Dynamics approach.” A summary of Dynamic Performance Management states “This book explores how to design and implement planning & control (P&C) systems that can help organizations to manage their growth and restructuring processes in a sustainability perspective. The book is not designed to enable the reader to become an experienced System Dynamics modeler; rather, it aims to develop the reader’s capabilities to design and implement performance management systems by using a System Dynamics approach.” Carmine Bianchi is a Professor of Business and Public Management at the University of Palermo in Italy, and director of the Master level program in Public Management.
Development Planning and Policy Design: A System Dynamics Approach, a Newly Published Book by Khalid Saeed (June 13, 2016)
Member Khalid Saeed, a Professor of Economics and System Dynamics at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, has written many articles and two books on the topic of using System Dynamics to approach economic, organizational and political subjects. Khalid’s latest publication, the Kindle edition of Development Planning and Policy Design: A System Dynamics Approach, explores the use of System Dynamics to tackle problems of poverty, environment and governance matters. In the foreword of the book, Dennis Meadows, from the University of New Hampshire, writes “In his exposition, Khalid has not proceeded to build a single complicated model subsuming all complex social and ecological relationships existing in a national organization, but has sliced the planning problem into three abstract subsystems concerning, respectively, economic growth and income distribution, management of physical resources and technology and the functioning of the political organization.”
Parallel Presentations at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (June 13, 2016)
Parallel sessions have been scheduled in the morning and afternoon on each day of the Delft conference. The Information and Knowledge Thread and the Strategy Thread are a couple of the many threads included in the schedule.
The Information and Knowledge Thread at the conference relates to the dynamics of information and knowledge including knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research and development, invention, and innovation. There will be three parallel presentations in the Information and Knowledge Thread. The iSIG Annual Meeting has also been scheduled in this thread.
Another thread at the conference is the Strategy Thread. There are three parallel presentations in this thread involve the development, communication and implementation of strategy, including strategic thinking, goal definition, and outcome measures for public and private organizations.
Leading Sustainable Transformation Workshop, June 21-23, 2016, Ashland, MA (June 13, 2016)
The Society for Organizational Learning’s workshop “Leading Sustainable Transformation,” facilitated by Peter Senge and Darcy Winslow, will be held June 21-23, 2016, at the Warren Center in Ashland, Massachusetts. This highly interactive workshop is a synthesis of core organizational learning disciplines — systems thinking, mental models and collaborative inquiry, personal mastery and building shared vision — and the practical know-how captured in the book, The Necessary Revolution by Peter Senge, et al. This workshop will focus on how these core learning disciplines can build capabilities for Sustainability Leadership — seeing systems, collaborating across boundaries with ease, and shifting from reactive problem solving to creating new futures. Learn more about the Leading Sustainable Transformation and other workshops by visiting the Society for Organizational Learning website.
Cooper Human Systems (CHS) Announces Commercial Availability of Discovery2 (June 9, 2016)
A second generation modeling service, Discovery2, designed by CHS engineers, System Dynamics Modelers, and immunologists “demonstrates and predicts the human efficacy of drug combinations and protocols aimed at curing complex diseases related to the human immune system,” according to a press release on Business Wire.
By simulating the effects of various drug combinations on diseases such as HIV and some cancers and neurological disorders, Discovery2 “helps pharma partners predict winners, but just as importantly, assists in identifying losers: those compounds which will not succeed in human trials,” the press release continues.
“The ability to foresee eventual trial results and abandon (lose early) and re-architect portions of pharma’s development pipeline should save the pharma industry decades of time and billions of dollars currently spent in failed clinical trial pipelines of complex immune system disorders,” said John Stafford, CEO at Cooper. “We believe the Cooper Discovery2 service provides a truly breakout series of value-added benefits to pharma partners, including enormous cost savings, improved pipeline confidence, accelerated time to market, longer duration revenue streams, and scientific and competitive advantage.”
Ken Cooper, Chairman of Cooper Human Systems, is a member and VP Professional Practice of the System Dynamics Society.
Education Innovation from a System Thinking Perspective and an Indigenous Worldview (June 8, 2016)
The Walking with the Sun project has the objective of promoting an Educative Innovation from a system thinking (ST) perspective and an indigenous worldview. The core of the project is the elaboration of a trilingual book (Odhame, Rarámuri and Spanish) about intercultural education, complementary to the formal plan of the Mexican Education Ministry. The book is composed of didactic exercises created using a ST methodology called TRIZ (Theory of inventive problem solving). This project has two overall goals: 1) making contribution for rethinking and performing school activities in a more creative way from a learning and cultural reassessment perspective and 2) becoming a tool replicable in other communities in Mexico or Latin America.
In the following days the research team will be piloting the didactic material with kids from the Tarahumara mountain range, Chihuahua, Mexico. Playing, singing and imagining are considered key pedagogic assets, by doing so kids are able to incorporate their own way of being in their daily school activities. Accordingly, this project acknowledges their laughs and jokes as part of the kids learning process, potentiating their intelligence and curiosity, but more important, allowing a cognitive channel where their environment knowledge, themselves and their community realization take a fundamental place in their education.
For more information, including how to support the project, or to get in touch with the research team, please visit our webpage or write an email to us.
This project is opening a new working area for the research team, which explores the links between system thinking and indigenous worldviews for a sustainability education. Research centers, professors or similar projects references or suggestions are sought within our community to explore further collaborations.
There are three presentations within the parallel session titled “Human Behavior: The Challenge of Performance,” and seven poster presentations in the session titled “Emotions, Learning, and Decision Making.” Titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, as well as some papers and supporting material, are available in the Draft Program Overview by Thread. The Psychology SIG Annual Meeting has been scheduled in the Human Behavior thread.
Exhibitor Showcase at #ISDC16 (June 7, 2016)
Don’t forget we offer exhibitor demonstrations and software users’ group meetings at our annual conference. Discover the latest products and services in System Dynamics when you visit the exhibitor hall this year at the Delft Conference, July 17-21, 2016.
Health Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (June 6, 2016)
Issues related to health and health care, including health policy, health services research, population health and physiology, will be discussed in the presentations within the Health thread at the #ISDC16 conference. Over twenty presentations in the Health thread are divided into parallel and poster sessions titled: Epidemiology, Population Health, Health Care Delivery, Health Risk Management, Health Systems, Humanitarian Response, and Health Ecology. The following meetings are also on schedule: Biomedical SIG Annual Meeting and the pre-conference Health Policy Special Interest Group Business Meeting.
Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread to see the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, some papers and supporting materials.
Member David Keith Appointed to the Mitsui Career Development Professorship at MIT Sloan (June 6, 2016)
Member David Keith has been appointed to the Mitsui Career Development Professorship at MIT Sloan, starting July 1, 2016. David is an assistant professor in the System Dynamics group at MIT Sloan, where he researches topics including alternative fuel vehicle diffusion and transportation policy, and teaches masters and doctoral classes in system dynamics modeling. Appointment to career development chairs, quoting deputy dean, Prof. Ezra Zuckerman, recognize David’s “accomplishments and future promise as an outstanding scholar and educator.” David completed his PhD in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT in 2012, and is a previous recipient of the Dana Meadows Award from the System Dynamics Society. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to David!
Announcing the Publication of Member Khalid Saeed’s book Towards Sustainable Development (June 3, 2016)
The Kindle edition of Towards Sustainable Development 3rd Edition: Essays on System Analysis of National Policy by Khalid Saeed is now available. The book’s summary describes the work as “a collection of essays on economic development using System Dynamics modeling and computer simulation.” Khalid, a professor of economics and System Dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, would like to acknowledge Raafat Zaini and Raid Zaini for spearheading this project.
Climate Interactive’s Elizabeth Sawin Gives Keynote Honoring Her Mentor, Donella Meadows (June 3, 2016)
On May 19, 2016, at the Leadership Upper Valley Heroes & Leaders event, Elizabeth Sawin gave a keynote speech about her mentor Donella Meadows. Sawin, Co-Director of the Climate Interactive, spoke about learning the process of mentoring from Donella (Dana) Meadows, who was her mentor from 1995-2001.
A blog post by Shanna Edberg on the Climate Interactive’s website features the list of the six traits of mentorship highlighted in Elizabeth Sawin’s speech. “Donella Meadows influenced so much about my life, especially where I live and the work that I do. In reflecting on how it is that she had such a significant impact, I realized that there were six habits and attitudes that she cultivated that made her a powerful influence not just on me, but on hundreds of other people.” The full post can be viewed on the Climate Interactive website.
Ventity Beta (June 3, 2016)
At the System Dynamics conference this summer, we’ll be showing and teaching Vensim’s companion, Ventity.
What’s new and different about Ventity? The really big change from most simulation languages is that we’ve replaced arrays with lists of entities, identified by attributes. This makes for a more natural and data-friendly problem description. Detail becomes a property of entities, not equations, which makes it a lot easier to coordinate and change.
Entities are modular, so they’re easier to reuse and share among teams. Entities can be created and deleted dynamically, so there’s no need to simulate a lot of zeroes for things that haven’t happened yet. Similarly, a list of entity relationships can represent a sparse matrix, so there’s no need to clutter your model with zeroes for project phases that aren’t prerequisites or relationships that don’t exist among people. All this happens in a development environment with modern, interactive charts and windowing.
A consumer products firm would like to model a portfolio of products across many regional markets, distribution channels, brands and package sizes. Not all of the brands are present in each market, and package options differ for each brand. In traditional SD, it takes a lot of data work to standardize things to work with arrays. With entities, it’s easy – we create a Product entity identified by an SKU, with Market, Channel, Brand and Package attributes, and we simply don’t bother to create combinations that don’t exist. Later, when new products launch, we can add them to the model on the fly.
A health care provider would like to understand the diffusion of information about treatments through the social network of doctors. Doctors don’t know every other doctor, but they’re sparsely related through common practices, specialties and patient referrals. We can explore this as a full agent model, or a semi-aggregate model, in which information is well-mixed within organizations.
We’re already working with these models Ventity, and its entity lists are much easier to work with than arrays. We’re now testing time series data input and optimization for model calibration. We expect the next major beta release to include these capabilities, at which point we’ll be able to tackle a wide variety of industrial-strength work. This is exciting, yet we think we’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible.
That said, there are still some things that Vensim is really good at, like extreme speed, advanced algorithms and data connectivity, so we’re continuing its development in parallel. We expect it to continue to be the premiere platform for dynamics for a long time.
Vensim 6.4 Released (June 2, 2016)
Vensim 6.4 is available for download or purchase in the Vensim store.
Upgrades are easy – just visit Vensim’s website, hit the Download Licensed Software button, and enter your license key information.
If your maintenance is current, you can download immediately.
If you don’t have a current license, you can extend your maintenance easily – just follow the Upgrade link that will be generated.
Can’t find your license? Need other options? No problem – contact sales for help, volume quotes and other information.
PLE is always free for educational use, and the Model Reader is free for redistribution of any model. Click here for the free downloads.
6.4 has a number of upgrades including optimization and sensitivity simulation improvements and data import/export new functionality. It includes some new features, including improved dialogs and new data formats for both import and export. We’ve also made internal changes to support faster simulation, cross-platform compatibility and 64-bit operation.
Systems Planning: The ‘Art of Efficiency’, featuring a New Genre of Scholarly Journals (June 2, 2016)
The initiative: Systems Planning– Systems Planning stems from well-known methodological developments in various fields of knowledge, including System Dynamics and Systems Thinking, Project Management, and Strategic Planning. The initiative can be thought of as a ‘holistic conduct platform’ dedicated to ‘the art of efficiency’. Systems Planning is curated by Anastassios (Tasso) Perdicoulis with the help of a select team of scholars from various fields of knowledge.
Particularity and Links to SD/ST– Systems Planning develops and maintains its own planning methodology (SPM) and modelling language (SPML), both of which focus on three related ‘planning objects’: systems (e.g. city, state, enterprise), processes (e.g. operations, projects), and plans (or policies, or strategies) — i.e. a wider scope than System Dynamics or Systems Thinking. Systems Planning models and simulations are qualitative or ‘manual’, but include mark-up (e.g. elements of the planning problem). A common type of diagrams between SD/ ST and Systems planning are their causal diagrams: causal loop diagrams on one side, and reverse blueprints on the other, with the latter featuring semantic mark-up.
Publication and a new genre of scholarly journals– The exploration, refinement, and dissemination of ideas in Systems Planning are secured by an independent editorial venture, which defends open reviews, exceptional quality (e.g. argument, text, diagrams, typesetting), and steering clear of ‘exploitation’ or ‘underground’ publication models. The publications initiative introduces a new genre of scholarly journals designated as ‘lab journals’ that are workspaces for critical thinking, learning, and creative contribution. All publications are open to authors in the spirit, style, scope, and subject matter of Systems Planning, and also open to bona fide and well-intended contributions and feedback such as peer reviews.
The Energy Transition Game (June 2, 2016)
The Energy Transition Game is a role-playing simulation that allows practicing social and technological transformation challenges from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. In this micro-world where energy is essential to ensure the wellbeing of citizens, you can shape the future of the energy sector. Become an energy producer, energy provider, technology start-up, one of the government departments or civil society organizations and create new solutions for the energy system! Energy prices, cost of change, energy demand, harsh competition and consumer satisfaction – they can all affect the outcomes of your decisions.
Can you navigate through the energy transition to arrive at a better, cleaner, and more equitable future?
Each player takes a different role within a complex energy system. Each role is linked with different decisions and responsibilities leaving a space for players to create their own strategies. In an open game world, all players can freely interact with each other, make agreements, put new policies in place, and come up with creative solutions. This way the game simulates the real-life complexity of the energy transition and also creates an environment where innovations are born.
Are you ready to take on the challenges of the energy system transition?
Learn how to navigate through the challenges of energy transition
Explore transition strategies to new energy sources
Experience and understand the complexity of the system-wide change
Develop skills for effective communication and collaboration
Learn how to foster and integrate both technological and social energy innovations
The workshop is appropriate for professionals in any discipline, but is aimed more directly at those who are in an instructional/academic setting. For full details on this and all SD Workshops, to be held in Delft, please visit the Thursday Workshop Schedule.
Environment Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (May 31, 2016)
There are about 25 presentations grouped under a variety of sessions in the Environment thread at this year’s conference. The session titles are:
Facilitating Model-based Learning about Human-Environment Interactions
The Environment thread is one of the fourteen threads which will be included in the schedule for the #ISDC16 conference. Presentations under the Environment thread deal with the dynamics of and policy for the environment, including climate change, pollution, environmental regulation, and ecology.
In Memoriam (May 31, 2016)
Professor Qifan Wang passed away on May 31, 2016, in Shanghai. Professor Wang attended Tsinghua University in Beijing and taught there for many years. He was a visiting scholar at Sloan School of Management at MIT. Most recently he was a Professor at Fudan University, Shanghai. Qifan played an influential role in the field of System Dynamics in China. He had a long history of service to the System Dynamics Society. Qifan was a Program Co-chair for the 1987 International System Dynamics Conference held in Shanghai and editor of the conference proceedings. He was a Policy Council Member from 1985-1988. Qifan served as President-Elect, President, and Past President of the System Dynamics Society from 2006-2008. In his Presidential Address, Qifan spoke of his memories of meeting Jay Forrester at MIT and how Jay inspired him to devote his career to the development of System Dynamics in China. He was also a founding member and longtime representative of the China Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. We send our deepest sympathy to the family, friends and worldwide colleagues of Qifan Wang. We will remember him fondly. Prof. Qifan’s memorial service will begin at 2:30pm on June 4.
Roommates for the Delft Conference/Summer School Program (May 27, 2016)
Have you made plans to attend the System Dynamics Summer School and/or the annual Conference #ISDC16 this summer in Delft, the Netherlands? The 3rd System Dynamics Summer School runs from Wednesday, July 13th through Friday the 15th with an optional social event on the 16th. The PhD Colloquium will be held on Sunday, July 17th. The conference schedule starts on Monday morning, July 18th and concludes on Thursday afternoon, July 22nd.
Looking for a roommate? We have created a Conference Roommate Board on an unlisted LinkedIn page. Only Summer School or Conference participants who request a roommate will be invited to join this LinkedIn conversation where you can connect others who are also looking for a roommate. Please contact the Society office at email@example.com. You can find a list of accommodations on the Conference website. Most of the hotels are in the center of Delft, walking distance from the TU Delft campus conference venue. Sharing a room with another participant is a great way to reduce hotel costs. All arrangements and reservations must be done directly with your hotel of choice. Act now to take advantage of special conference discount rates!
Economics Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (May 25, 2016)
The Economics thread is one of the fourteen threads of the plenary presentations at the #ISDC16 conference. Parallel and poster presentations under the Economics thread deal with the understanding of economic dynamics including macroeconomics, microeconomics, trade, business regulation, economic development, economic policy, insurance and risk management.
There are nine parallel presentations grouped under three topics, including: Regional Economics, Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics. The ten poster presentations are divided into the topics of Economics, and Banking and Finance. The Economics Chapter Annual Meeting has also been scheduled. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread to see the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, some papers and supporting materials.
As we Plan for the Delft Conference …
we are pleased to share with you the formula for Delft’s success as an ISDC venue. People, location, layout, technology, and sponsors … all very important.
(May 23, 2016)
Business Thread at the Delft System Dynamics Conference (May 23, 2016)
One of the fourteen threads of the plenary presentations at the #ISDC16 conference is the Business thread. Plenary, parallel and poster presentations under the Business thread deal with System Dynamics applications in businesses and organizations including profitability, marketing, competitive dynamics, product launches, project dynamics, and accounting.
There are eighteen parallel presentations grouped under six topics, including: Utilities and Energy, Start-Up Firms, Business Organizational, Business Diffusion, Business of Technology and General Business. There are also eighteen poster presentations grouped within the following topics: Competition, Marketing and Brands; Business Investment and Projects; and Technology and Innovation. Please visit the Draft Program Overview by Thread to see the titles of all presentations, authors, and links to abstracts, some papers and supporting materials.
Two meetings are scheduled in the Business thread: The Business SIG Annual Meeting and the Planning meeting for new ‘Asset Dynamics’ SIG.
NATCOR Holds System Dynamics Seminar for PhD Students in UK (May 23, 2016)
NATCOR, a National Taught Course Centre in Operational Research, held its first SD national course for PhD students in the UK on May 9-11, 2016. The two and a half day seminar introduced System Dynamics and its use in operational research and strategic end of operations with a variety of lectures, workshops and discussions of applied research. The seminar was instructed by John Morecroft from London Business School, Brian Dangerfield from Bristol University, and Martin Kunc from Warwick Business School. There were eighteen students from different universities and departments in the UK who attended the course. The principal topics of study were categorized into three parts: Introduction to System Dynamics, System Dynamics and Differential Equations, and Research Application of System Dynamics. The object was for “students to learn enough about System Dynamics to appreciate how it might apply to their own research interests.” Speaking about their experience, one student remarked “I liked the practical sessions which enabled me to understand more of how the method works,” and another student exclaimed “NATCOR is a brilliant idea!”
Teaching Students to Create Original Models in a Ten-Week Course (May 23, 2016)
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
present their models to the class
this workshop could get you started.
The workshop will include information about:
SD concepts included in the course
the sequencing of the SD concepts
suggestions for assessments
that have been successfully used for a number of years in environmental modeling classes that are 10-weeks in duration.
The workshop is appropriate for professionals in any discipline, but is aimed more directly at those who are in an instructional/academic setting. For full details on this and all SD Workshops, to be held in Delft, please visit the Thursday Workshop Schedule.
Stay In The Loop With Summer School News! (May 20, 2016)
The registered students are anxiously awaiting the System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University. The Summer School, titled “Black Swans & Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play,” will take place at the same site as the ISDC, in the Netherlands. The program begins on the morning of Wednesday, July 13 and runs through the evening of Friday, July 15, and includes an optional half-day social activity on Saturday, July 16. We hope you will take advantage of this great opportunity to further explore System Dynamics. Expand your Summer School social network and spread the news—there are lots of outlets!
Member Ali Masoudi Takes On New Position as Environmental Specialist at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) (May 19, 2016)
Member Ali Masoudi is now employed as an Environmental Specialist at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), starting May 2016. At the US BCSD, he will be working on waste, materials and resource efficiency. More specifically, he will be involved in “the US Materials Marketplace” project, a cloud-based platform designed to facilitate cross-industry materials reuse, in different states including Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee and also in Turkey. This is an international project in collaboration with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) under “The Near Zero Waste Program” which aims to mainstream the concept of waste minimization within a circular economy framework. Ali is currently a master’s student in Environmental Science at Yale University and as a research assistant at the Yale Center for Industrial Ecology. He applies System Dynamics to his research on “Low Carbon Cities in the US, China and India.” Ali holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Iran and South Korea, respectively. He is a Certified ISSP Sustainability Associate and a committee chair of Environmental Management and Sustainability at Energy and Environment Division (EED) at American Society for Quality (ASQ). On behalf of the Society, congratulations and good luck to Ali!
Tentative Workshop Schedule for the 2016 ISDC Now Available (May 18, 2016)
Participants of the #ISDC16 can choose from a sequence of related workshops or build their own study plan. Workshops will be offered at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. The schedule for Thursday, now available on our website, features twenty workshops grouped into different threads. The workshops will run in parallel from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and the workshop threads include: Stakeholder Engagement, Learning and Teaching, Methodology, and Business.
The Tentative Workshop Schedule provides links to the abstract of each course, as well as requirements for participants listing what to bring to the workshop, advanced reading suggestions and the level of the workshop. The following workshops are available on Thursday:
“Getting Started with” workshops include: Vensim, Sysdea, Stella Professional, and Stella Designer.
Creating Interactive Simulations Online with Forio Epicenter
Experiential Learning Environments as a Means for Transformation
Exploring and Managing the Dynamic Behavior of Technical Systems during their Life Cycle
Feedback Rich Model Construction
Going further with the Sysdea software
Hands-on Entity Based System Dynamics with Ventity 1 and Ventity 2.
Hybrid Modelling and Simulation in Anysim and Python
Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling for Math and Science Instruction: Online Professional Development Opportunity
Managing Complexity with Stella Professional
Masterclass: Agile modeling for fast, effective solutions
Multi method modeling and simulation with AnyLogic 7
Optimization & Calibration in Vensim
Pattern-oriented model testing and validation with Behavior Analysis and Testing Software (BATS)
System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc)
System Dynamics Modeling with R
Teaching Students to Create Original Models in a Ten-Week Course
Climate Change Awareness Across Africa (May 18, 2016)
Climate Interactive is launching a new effort to expand climate change awareness across Africa. With tools that have helped decision-makers and citizens worldwide, Climate Interactive will be supporting people in leading the World Climate Simulation. At these events, people become “climate negotiators” tasked with agreeing on a global climate agreement to limit climate change. In the last year almost 15,000 people have participated in similar simulations worldwide, and for many it has been transformative in increasing their awareness and understanding of the challenge we face.
This effort is launched in partnership with the new Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) in Morocco and relies on the ongoing partnership Climate Interactive has with MIT Sloan School of Management, UML Climate Change Initiative, and others.
Member Travis Franck, Program Director of Climate Interactive states, “The System Dynamics chapters and community have been involved from the beginning, and their efforts are important because they are fundamental to organizing these initial events in Africa. Climate Interactive gives special thanks to the two System Dynamics Chapters, Africa Regional and South Africa, for helping launch this Africa-focused project. The meetings in Nairobi and Cape Town could not be done without the support of fellow system dynamicists and their networks.”
Announcing the Publication of Healthy Bytes by Tarek K. A. Hamid (May 16, 2016)
Member Tarek K. A. Hamid’s recently published book, Healthy Bytes, offers a fresh perspective to the management of personal health. It is described on the book’s website as “a novel approach to weight management–wielding the twin innovations of Systems Thinking and information technology in a form that’s accessible to the general reader–with the hope that it would have a profound influence on how ordinary people think about and manage their health and wellbeing.” Additional information is available at www.bookhealthybytes.com. Tarek, a Professor of Systems and Information Sciences at the Naval Postgraduate School, had received the 1994 Forrester Award for his first book.
Dr. Navid Ghaffarzadegan Receives Virginia Tech’s 2016 College of Engineering Dean’s Awards for Excellence (May 16, 2016)
At 19th Annual Dean’s Awards Reception on May 3, 2016, Assistant Professor Dr. Navid Ghaffarzadegan received the 2016 College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Professor. “The prestigious award was given to those at Assistant Faculty rank with an aptitude for teaching innovation, research, service, and outreach.” After serving as a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT, Navid joined the Industrial Systems Engineering department in 2013 as an assistant professor. Working in the management of systems, Navid specializes in organizational and behavior modeling in complex settings with focus on System Dynamics modeling. The System Dynamics Review journal has featured five of Navid’s fifteen published works. His 2014 paper concerning PhD graduates in science was published in Systems Research and Behavioral Science journal, has been featured in the magazines Discover and Cosmos. He is also recognized for his efforts in securing grants, which total almost $10 million. The full announcement of the award can be seen here. We would also like to note that Navid had previously worked as a graduate assistant for the System Dynamics Society! Congratulations, Navid! The Society wishes you continued success in all you do!
Over 300 submitted papers have been reviewed and bundled into parallel, poster and plenary presentations within fourteen threads. The conference theme is “Black Swans and Black Lies.” The “black swans” part of the conference theme explores how system dynamics modeling can be used to build resilience to shocks and to deal with uncertainty. The “black lies” part, in turn, looks at how appropriate organizational and institutional set-up of modeling projects can support the implementation of policies after the modeling project has ended. Plenary speakers will directly explore the theme from a variety of different angles. Presentations range in topic from the more methodological and technical aspects of dealing with uncertainty, to discussions such as the role of Climate Interactive in the climate policy process, issues within the real estate market, management of supply chain, and investigating ways of ensuring the implementation of policy recommendations from System Dynamics modeling projects.
Parallel and poster sessions include presentations on all threads: Business, Economics, Environment, Health, Human Behavior, Information and Knowledge, Learning and Teaching, Methodology, Operations, Public Policy, Resources, Security, Stakeholder Engagement, and Strategy. Hundreds of students, academics, consultants and professionals from around the world will present their work. Parallel sessions will be scheduled in the morning and afternoon on each day of the conference. Poster presentations will be organized by thread and scheduled at the Monday night Poster Symposium and Light Buffet. Leading up to the conference, for an early preview of what will be scheduled, please visit the System Dynamics Society’s website’s preliminary list of the presentations organized by thread. Please also note that many meetings and other events are also listed; for Chapter meetings, please see the section “Other Sessions.” New this year there will be some workshops scheduled on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in addition to the Thursday Workshop Day. Please check the Delft conference site frequently for updates.
Chapter and SIG activities at #ISDC16 (May 10, 2016)
There will be many opportunities to connect with Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGS) at the Delft Conference. Attendee badge ribbons will enable Chapter and SIG members to recognize and connect with one another throughout the conference. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Chapters and SIGs will hold meetings and roundtable events. Specific dates and times will be publicized in the Tentative Schedule in early June. Leading up to the conference watch for E-posters published by Chapters and SIGs, providing information about planned conference activities. Do not miss this chance to broaden your network and get involved with other conference-goers who hail from your geographic area or share your interests.
John Sterman Awarded 2016 Samuel E. Seegal Faculty Prize (May 10, 2016)
At the MIT Sloan Excellence in Teaching luncheon on May 9, 2016, member John Sterman was awarded the 2016 Samuel E. Seegal Faculty Prize. The prize is awarded every other year at MIT Sloan School of Management to a professor who “inspires students in pursuing and achieving excellence.” The Samuel M. Seegal Prize Fund was established in 1992 by Mrs. Paula Seegal-Thompson and her family in honor of their father, a member of the Class of 1922. The endowment funds a cash award prize that rotates between the Sloan School and Civil Engineering. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we would like to congratulate John on this prestigious award!
Register now for the 3rd System Dynamics Summer School, July 13 – 15, 2016 (May 9, 2016)
Take advantage of this great opportunity to further explore System Dynamics! There will be a three-day System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University, the same site as the ISDC, in the Netherlands. The Summer School program takes place Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening), plus an optional half-day social activity on Saturday (July 16).
The Summer School will be taught at three different levels: there will be a 3-day “Introduction to System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation,” a 3-day “Intermediate System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation” track, and there will be one or more hands-on streams with advanced topics related to the conference theme about “Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play”
Participants of the introductory stream will be introduced to the System Dynamics approach and will learn to make and use System Dynamics simulation models. Participants of the intermediate stream will acquire skills beyond the introductory level (facilitating GMB sessions, optimization and calibration, formal model analysis, agile SD, etc.) and will be supervised while making and using their own models. In this year’s advanced stream(s), participants will learn the latest computational and group model building methods and techniques for dealing with (big) data and (black) swans, (multiple) actors and (political) power-play, and will learn how to develop and use SD and hybrid simulation models in python.
Classes are instructed by an international group of excellent System Dynamics professors and practitioners. All participants will receive a participation certificate and have the option of taking an exam to receive ECTS Credits.
Announcing the Publication of Limits Revisited, a Review of the Limits to Growth Debate (May 9, 2016)
A new review of Club of Rome’s landmark publication Limits to Growth was published to coincide with the April 19, 2016 launch of the UK government’s newly established All Party Parliamentary Group on the Limits to Growth. The report Limits Revisited, commissioned by the APPG, was written by the University of Surrey’s Professor Tim Jackson and Robin Webster, a freelance environmental science writer. As stated in the press release, “Limits Revisited traces the history of the Club of Rome’s report and dispels some of the myths surrounding it. It assesses the historical accuracy of the report’s projections and unravels the debates it inspired over the intervening decades. No imminent exhaustion of physical resources is in sight; but production peaks for several key resources are likely within a few decades. Beyond that point, resources will be harder to extract and society will have to divert resources away from productive activities. Limits Revisited also draws attention to certain limits which were all but unforeseen in the 1972 report. It highlights in particular the enormous challenge of meeting the 1.50C climate change target established in the Paris Agreement. It also explores the economic and financial challenges of a ‘secular stagnation’.”
The System Dynamics Society has a wonderful list of resources available on the E-Communities page, found in the Activities and Resources section of our website. This web page gives you access to the Society and our community through popular social media links – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. (Follow us on our recently created LinkedIn page!) The E-Communities page also connects you to information within our website, including an introduction to Systems Dynamics and the history of the Society, the SDForum, and links to other websites relevant to System Dynamics and systems thinking. These websites offer a great supplement of knowledge through discussion forums, tutorials, and access to publications, videos, models and simulations. Don’t miss this terrific resource, visit E-Communities today!
Access Hundreds of Free Insightful Articles and More with The Systems Thinker (May 5, 2016)
Announcing the launch of The Systems Thinker a website containing a completely free library of 800+ System Thinker articles, guides and webinars. The Systems Thinker works to catalyze effective change by expanding the use of systems approaches. This user-friendly site allows you to search articles in the collection or browse through the various categories, topics or sectors. You can also set up a free account to share and save your favorite articles. Visit thesystemsthinker.com to explore this incredible resource.
Oluwasegun Aluko Awarded the 2016 Student Prize at the UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference (April 29, 2016)
At the UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference, held on April 14, 2014, Oluwasegun Aluko from the University of Leeds was announced as the winner of the 2016 Student Prize for his paper “A Model for the Evaluation of Transport Safety Policies in Commercial Motorcycle Operation in Nigeria.” The five full paper entries for the student prize were accessed by four criteria: dynamics problem formulation, justified use of system dynamic methodology, model results and implementation and contribution to knowledge. The award announcement notes “Three features of Oluwasegun’s work stood out. Firstly, the range of policy changes that gave insight into how the driver behaviour could be improved. Secondly, the data extraction methods used. Semi-structured interviews with drivers were used in model construction and calibration. Thirdly, the potential transferability of the model to other forms of commercial taxi services across many developing countries where the operational issues are similar.” A copy of his presentation is available on the UK Chapter website.
Chris Spencer awarded the 2016 Geoff Coyle Medal (April 29, 2016)
On April 14, 2016, Chris Spencer was awarded the 2016 Geoff Coyle Medal at the 18th UK System Dynamics Chapter Annual Conference, for his work in developing the Sysdea System Dynamics software. The two outstanding features of the browser-based Sysdea software are the speed with which models can be created and the ease of sharing the models, either finished for review or in co-creation. These features are beneficial not only for teaching, but also practical business applications and even scientific use. The award announcement states “Chris Spencer is highly deserving of the prize and the policy council have no doubt that Geoff Coyle, once recovered from the shock of how easy Sysdea makes System Dynamics, would agree wholeheartedly.”
The Sysdea software that Chris developed can be found at www.sysdea.com. A copy of the presentation Chris gave at the conference is available on the UK Chapter website.
Immerse Yourself in System Dynamics This Summer! (April 29, 2016)
With courses taught at three levels, the 3rd System Dynamics Summer School offers something for everyone. Registration is now for open for the three-day System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University, the same site as the annual conference, the ISDC, in the Netherlands. Whether you are a newcomer to the field or an experienced practitioner, this Summer School program provides the opportunity to explore System Dynamics while building professional networks.
The Summer School program takes place Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening). On Saturday, July 16 there is an optional half-day social activity. Although summer school participants are not required to attend the conference, it is highly recommended that you also register for the ISDC, participate in the PhD Colloquium and the post-conference workshop day. Taking part in all offered events provides an exceptional experience with superior results.
Washington Post article: Systems thinking as a key psychological driver for concern for environment (April 29, 2016)
“Scientists now know the psychology behind your worries about the environment,” an article recently published in The Washington Post, focuses on a study authored by Oberlin College psychologist Paul Thibodeau and his colleague Stephen Lezak. The study that was just published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology finds that those with a tendency to engage in systems thinking – embracing complex, multifaceted causal explanations for phenomena and recognizing the unpredictability of how nature works – tend to value the environment more and to be more concerned about climate change. Thibodeau is quoted in the article, “the idea is that it’s encouraging people to think about longer chains of causality, nuanced aspects of a complex system, and how any behavior in that system can have both intended and unintended consequences, and those can be hard to predict.” The full article can be read here.
Tentative Workshop Schedule Now Available at ISDC16 (April 29, 2016)
We are happy to announce that the tentative Workshop Schedule is now available for the 2016 System Dynamics Conference in Delft, the Netherlands. 40+ hours of all levels of workshops will be offered to enhance your skill set! The date is Thursday, July 21. Customize your Schedule! Begin with three days of pre-conference Summer School; join the PhD Colloquium and other special events on Sunday; attend the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday invited and contributed sessions; then wrap up with the Thursday Workshop day. Optimize your conference experience with a balance of learning and sharing! The Program by Thread will be available on May 13 and the full conference schedule will be available in early June. Please check the conference website for updates as July approaches.
The conference stopwatch is ticking for #ISDC2016! Registration is now open. We hope to see you in Delft, the Netherlands; the dates of the conference are July 17 – 21, 2016.
Professional Development Opportunities at #ISDC16 (April 29, 2016)
What’s on your conference agenda?
Do you know about the considerable list of professional development opportunities available in Delft? In addition to paper presentations, there are many ways to optimize your conference experience. Create a customized schedule to include any or all of the following:
Pre-conference Summer School — Immediately preceding the conference, three days of small-group, intensive instruction sessions at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, taught by an international and exemplary team of System Dynamics professors.
Modeling Assistance Workshop — This popular workshop includes two sessions of one-on-one modeling coaching to address your specific modeling questions. Workshop slots are first come, first served. Reserve your spot today by contacting Rod MacDonald.
Publishing Assistance Workshop — Seeking guidance for navigating the world of publishing? Expert mentors are available to meet with you to discuss your next steps to publication. Contact George P. Richardson in advance to schedule your session.
Continuing Professional Education for Certified Public Accountants — The System Dynamics Society is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. .CPA participants can earn up to 24 credits in Specialized Knowledge and Applications, Economics, Business Management & Organization, Computer Science and Mathematics.
Climate Interactive Encourages “Multisolving” – the search for systemic solutions (April 29, 2016)
Multisolving is the implementation of strategies that improve health, well-being, social justice and resilience which, in turn, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate. Walkable neighborhoods, for example, can reduce pollution from cars, improve people’s health, and revitalize and connect communities. Climate Interactive encourages the use of FLOWER (the Framework for Long-term, Whole-system, Equity Based Reflection), a visual framework for multisolving that provides users a diagram of the six common types of co-benefits of actions to protect the climate: benefits to health, well-being, and safety; energy industry and mobility; food and water; jobs and assets; resilience to extreme events; and connection to the environment and human communities. Learn more about FLOWER and multisolving here.
32nd SD colloquium at WPI (April 29, 2016)
On Friday, April 22nd, System Dynamics graduate students and faculties gathered at the beautiful campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) to present their SD-related research and receive feedback from the experts in the field. This System Dynamics Colloquium, which was the 32nd of the series, provided an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with faculty members, students, and practitioners of the field. Attendees enjoyed eleven presentations from WPI, MIT, Binghamton University, Harvard, Purdue University, and UAlbany. Topics ranged from competitive dynamics to the latest developments in leveraging XMILE standard. Working models presented had boundaries as expansive as a national economy or national water resource management to as focused a boundary as optimizing urban mobility and understanding the Lyme disease outbreak in the New England.
In his remarks, Professor Khalid Saeed reflected on the origins of the Colloquium as a “brown bag lunch discussion” at MIT on Fridays and how Professor David Andersen helped shape and guide those events to their current form of a Colloquium over time. He spoke of the benefit of informal, non-evaluated, collaboration such as the Colloquium. He encouraged students to organize their own informal learning meetings, citing the WPI SD Club’s weekly Collective Learning Meeting, often recorded and broadcasted live, as just one possible example.
The event concluded with a great dinner reception at a local restaurant where the guests enjoyed socializing with their friends and colleagues, not to mention a delicious meal as well!
The next System Dynamics Colloquium will be scheduled by students of University at Albany in the fall of 2016.
On Friday, Etienne Rouwette will give his inaugural speech as the newly appointed Chair, Research and Intervention Methodology, at Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University. His lecture will talk about when there is an issue that is more important, the more likely it is that a group of people is responsible for decision making. It’s surprising then to realize that discussing issues in groups has not fundamentally changed over the last centuries. Nowadays we have access to a huge amount of information, more and more stakeholders want to have a voice and complex challenges are all around us. And yet a meeting is still a group of people who talk to one another. It is time to bring the meeting into the 21st century and this lecture tells you how. In particular for complex, messy problems issues it is difficult to obtain an overview and to find a solution that is supported by all stakeholders. Some stakeholders are already in the solution mode: if only everyone would implement the plan that we have come up with, the problem would be solved. Approaches such as these are likely to lead to a deadlock and increased frustration. What works better is to ask each stakeholder for their opinions and to combine these in a coherent view of the issue at hand. For this we need an approach to structure information, so that we increase insight into the relationships between ideas and arrive at a shared understanding. Solutions that are based on this approach do work and will be implemented. This lecture deals with methods that create progress in messy problems.
Etiënne Rouwette is Professor of Research and Intervention Methodology at the Nijmegen School of Management. He focuses on supporting group decision making, using methods such as System Dynamics and group model building, scenario analysis and electronic meeting systems. He is particularly interested in the effect of these methods on communication, attitudes and the behaviour of participants.
Register Now for CC Modeling Systems’ Summer Online Modeling Courses for Pre-College Educators (April 27, 2016)
CC Modeling Systems is offering summer online modeling courses, starting June 13, 2016, for math and science teachers who would like to incorporate System Dynamics modeling in their curriculum. The three sequential ten week courses will provide participants with model-building activities that they can use, or modify, for their students (ages 15 to 20 or older). Registration is currently being accepted for Course 1 and Course 2. The cost of the course is $570 without credit and $750 with 3 graduate credits awarded by the Curriculum and Instruction Department at Portland State University. For more information contact Diana Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CC Modeling Systems website.
Member Gautam N. Yadama’s Study Published in International Journal for Equality in Health (April 27, 2016)
On April 26, 2016, International Journal for Equity in Health published the study “Dynamics of sustained use and abandonment of clean cooking systems: study protocol for community-based system dynamics modeling,” the work of member Gautam N. Yadama, along with colleagues Praveen Kumar and Nishesh Chalise. As stated in the abstract, “More than 3 billion of the world’s population are affected by household air pollution from relying on unprocessed solid fuels for heating and cooking. Household air pollution is harmful to human health, climate, and environment. Sustained uptake and use of cleaner cooking technologies and fuels are proposed as solutions to this problem. In this paper, we present our study protocol aimed at understanding multiple interacting feedback mechanisms involved in the dynamic behavior between social, ecological, and technological systems driving sustained use or abandonment of cleaner cooking technologies among the rural poor in India.” Read more about this study in the International Journal for Equity in Health.
Discover a wealth of information right at your fingertips! (April 26, 2016)
Past Conference Proceedings give you access to all the papers, workshops and other materials presented at previous System Dynamics Conferences. You can find the link to Past Conference Proceedings in the Activities and Resources section of the website. With conferences spanning from 2015 to 1983, and including early System Dynamics Research Conferences from 1981 and 1976, the information available is unsurpassed.
Here’s what one of our members has to say about this valuable resource: “I recommend the past Society conference proceedings to my students to have a first look at what was modelled and simulated before by others. It is a great source to figure out who has been working on what, why, when and how.” -Erik Pruyt, Assistant Professor of System Dynamics and Policy Analysis at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology, currently serving the System Dynamics Society as VP of Meetings.
BSIG Webinar with Jim Rogers, Thursday April 28 (April 26, 2016)
On Thursday, April 28 from noon to 1 PM EDT, the Business Special Interest Group of the System Dynamics Society will host their latest webinar “Dynamic Healthcare Models- accelerating diffusion and adoption” with guest presenter Jim Rogers of Advance Management Group. Jim, who has been consulting with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota since 1997, will discuss the use of System Dynamics models to improve patients’ quality of life while lowering the cost of care, using SD models for current research and insights for action, and drafting a framework towards model-informed, personalized care.
Please visit the webinar website for details. Information about the Business SIG and the other Special Interest Groups of System Dynamics Society is available on our website.
Register Now for the Creative Learning Exchange System Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference, June 25-27, 2016. (April 26, 2016)
The Creative Learning Exchange invites you to attend their 12th Biennial Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 Education in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The event will be held at the Babson Executive Conference Center from June 25-27, 2016, with an Introductory Workshop on Friday, June 24.
The CLE Conference will offer sessions that focus on skill refinement and development and other sessions will be held that give the opportunity to view how technology has been integrated using a Systems Approach, and how educators have used Systems Thinking in their curriculum. Keynotes will be given by: John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at MIT; Peter Hovmand with Megan Odenthal from the Brown School of Social Work and the Ritnour School System; and Brad Morrison, Associate Professor of Management at Brandeis University, with Tracy Benson, President of the Systems Thinking in Schools Group from the Waters Foundation.
Don’t miss this excellent opportunity, visit the CLE website to register today!
Society Sponsors Featured on Website (April 26, 2016)
You may have noticed the new look to the System Dynamics Society’s website. The headers that appear on the homepage feature the logos and identities of some of our generous Society sponsors. You can visit the website and watch the distinctive headers scroll by, or view all of them—they are conveniently located below the full list of sponsors that appears on our website, click here and then scroll down to see the image! It is our great pleasure to share sponsor information.
Society Members Gary Hirsch and Krys Stave Presenting at Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference (April 26, 2016)
Model Expo – Share your model? Definitely! (April 25, 2016)
Again this year a Model Expo will be held at the Aula Conference Center at Delft University. Authors who are presenting model-based work will have an opportunity to show their model to others and let them interact with it. Participants have the opportunity to showcase their model-based work at this fun and perennially popular event. The open atmosphere of this exhibition allows for demonstration and feedback.
Presentations will be on a laptop, tablet computer, or smartphone with the model loaded, or cellular connectivity (wireless will be available). Please see the conference website for further details.
Unique Courses Customized To Your Level: SD Summer School (April 25, 2016)
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity! The 3rdSystem Dynamics Summer School, titled “Black Swans & Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play,” is a three-day international Summer School hosted at the same venue as the annual conference, the ISDC, Delft University in the Netherlands.
Where do you fit in? The summer school will offer three levels for different target audiences:
Relative newcomers to the System Dynamics field who want to quickly acquire the necessary basic/intermediate System Dynamics modeling skills to get started and/or need good advice/supervision to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. After this basic course, participants will be able to make and use their own System Dynamics models and will know which common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.
Those in need of project supervision and additional supervision (e.g. regarding their PhD research) will be supervised by experienced supervisors.
System dynamicists or students in System Dynamics who want to take advanced topics (exploratory SD modeling and analysis, deep uncertainty, data rich simulation, collaborative modeling) and/or are in need of supervision regarding their SD research (PhD or otherwise).
The program takes place from Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening), with the option of a half-day social activity on Saturday, July 16.
New Analysis Released by Members John Sterman and Andrew Jones Discussed in Online Publication (April 25, 2016)
The article “Paris Agreement Pledges Must Be Strengthened in Next Few Years to Limit Warming to 2°C,” released on April 20, 2016, details the new analysis of the Climate Scoreboard, a project lead by John Sterman of MIT Sloan and Andrew Jones and Ellie Johnston of Climate Interactive. In the article, Dr. John Sterman stated “Paris is a major step. But the current pledges defer the emissions reductions needed to keep warming below 2°C until after 2030. By then, substantial additional fossil fuel infrastructure would be built, only to become stranded assets after 2030 at great cost to the companies that built them and the citizens of the nations who financed them.” Information on the computer simulation used by the Climate Scoreboard is available for public use at www.climateinteractive.org/tools/scoreboard/.
New PhD: Member Chris Browne Passes the Examination of His PhD Dissertation (April 25, 2016)
We are happy to share the news that member Chris Browne has recently passed the examination of his PhD dissertation! Chris is Lecturer and Tuckwell Fellow at the Research School of Engineering, Australian National University. Chris gratefully acknowledges those individuals and organizations in the System Dynamics community who contributed to and supported him in the development of his PhD thesis, titled “A Double-Loop Learning Approach to Construct Understanding of Accumulation Principles.” Congratulations and best wishes on a successful future, Dr. Browne!
System Dynamics Research Published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change: An International Journal (April 21, 2016)
The highlights of this research include: “simulation model to analyze the trends in the EU passenger road transport sector, analysis of technology transition in the EU passenger road transport, understanding of the market dynamics of the future EU road transport sector, modelling and analysis of interactions between agents in the EU road transport, and scenarios to explore how alternative power-trains may replace conventional vehicles.”
Editorial changes at the System Dynamics Review (April 20, 2016)
Many thanks to Rogelio Oliva, the outgoing Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Since the first issue in 1985, Rogelio was the fifth Executive Editor. The other four previous editors were Eric F. Wolstenholme, George P. Richardson, Graham W. Winch, and Brian Dangerfield. Their expertise and service has been greatly appreciated.
The Society would like to welcome Yaman Barlas as the new Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Yaman’s editorship began in January 2016, with Volume 32, issue number 1. Yaman invites members of the Society to submit their best research and application papers to the Review.
Now in the 32nd year of publication, topics of peer-reviewed articles have ranged from “Aggregation in System Dynamics” (R. Joel Rahn. System Dynamics Review 1, no. 1 (1985)) to “‘The potential of learning from erroneous models” (Frances M. Wijnen, Yvonne G. Mulder, Stephen M. Alessi and Lars Bollen. System Dynamics Review 31, no. 3-4 (2015)).
An all-inclusive list of articles published in the System Dynamics Review and a complete list of all members of the editorial board may be found on the Society website.
Congratulations and welcome to Yaman!
Agriculture & Food SIG, the Society’s Newest Special Interest Group (April 20, 2016)
The newly created Agriculture and Food (A&F) SIG will serve as a focal point for food systems researchers in the System Dynamics community. Albreto Stanislao Atzori and Stefano Armenia, leaders of the A&F SIG and representatives to the Society, envision this SIG to attract interest not only from those in the field of agricultural sciences, but also in a broad range of disciplines, including such areas as food science, rural sociology, veterinary sciences, plant pathology, environmental engineering, public policy, biology and urban planning.
Their proposal states “The dynamics of food systems often have important impacts on the well-being of agriculture producers and consumers, the environment and nutritional outcomes. Given their importance, food systems have been the focus of many policy initiatives, including farm-level support policies, environmental regulations, food safety requirements and price interventions…The proposed SIG will focus on food systems as integrated dynamic systems in which economic, social and biophysical are important elements to enhance our understanding and management.”
Information on joining the Agriculture and Food Special Interest Group will be available on our website shortly.
Motion to Establish a VP K-12 Education (April 20, 2016)
The System Dynamics Society Policy Council has approved a motion to add a new office in 2017, Vice President K-12 Education. The Vice President K-12 Education will be responsible for matters related to the use of System Dynamics in pre-college education, working to promote and support the use of System Dynamics. The Vice President K-12 Education will also assist pre-college educators with the adoption and development of programs based systems, encourage activities and events to assist pre-college educators, and foster effective communication and cooperation with other organizations contributing to the development of System Dynamics in pre-college education. For information on Policy Council and other governance matters, please visit the Society’s Governance page.
System Dynamics Featured in “Of Wolves And Sheep” Post on Online Publishing Insider (April 20, 2016)
The April 14, 2016 post on Online Publishing Insider, “Of Wolves And Sheep,” by Paolo Gaudiano, discusses the well-known predator-prey Systems Dynamics model. The population dynamics model simulates the relationship between wolves and sheep being the only two animals in existence. The article states “One troubling aspect of predator-prey models is that, in many cases, they are unstable: Under most conditions the populations exhibit feast-to-famine swings, until at some point either the last wolf dies, leading to an explosion in the sheep population, or the wolves eat all the sheep and then they too become extinct, having annihilated their food supply.” Gaudiano talks about the current situation of the growing population and “careless” consumption of resources. The author relates the predator-prey model to another situation, “the Internet was like an immense field. Internet users, like our peaceful sheep, grazed on information: the digital equivalent of nutritious grass…” In conclusion, he writes “Unless greed is put in check, oscillations will continue until eventually one or more of these populations will drive themselves to extinction.”
Student Presentations at Lee Kuan Yew School, National University of Singapore (April 19, 2016)
On May 3, 2016, students from the Lee Kuan Yew School and other NUS (National University of Singapore) programs will present their original model-based public policy oriented projects. The event recognizes the students’ achievements in the challenging class titled “Dynamic Modeling of Public Policy Systems” instructed by John Richardson. The presentations will take place from 1-3 p.m. in Lecture Hall 3-1, in the Manasseh Meyer Building, on the Bukit Timah campus. All are welcome to attend.
Eleven presentations will be given in four subject-matter areas; Health Care Dynamics, Economic Dynamics, Population Dynamics and Political Dynamics. Final projects, oral and written, provide class members with the opportunity to demonstrate the level of mastery they have attained. They are expected to define a policy relevant problem and craft a dynamic computer simulation model of that problem using the Vensim graphical user interface software. After rigorous validity and robustness testing, the model is used to diagnose the problem and point to accessible and compelling policy recommendations.
New Issue of System Dynamics Review Available (April 18, 2016)
Member John Richardson Conducts Public Lecture, Singapore, April 22, 2016 (April 14, 2016)
Member John Richardson will be giving a public lecture to the Graduate Seminar in Defense Technology and Systems of the National University of Singapore’s Temasek Defense Systems Institute. The seminar, titled “Messages from ‘Global Models’ About Interdependence, Sustainable Development and the Future of Our Human Species,” will be held on April 22, 2016.
John is a Visiting Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Residential College 4, and an Honorary Fellow at Temasek Defence Systems Institute at National University of Singapore. In this seminar he will discuss the models that target exponential growth in population, economic output, consumption of natural resources and pollution as global-scale threats.
Have You Reserved Your Spot for SD Summer School? (April 14, 2016)
The three-day pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School is scheduled for July 13-15th at the Delft University of Technology; there is a spot for you:
MA, MSc, PhD students interested in, but new to, the SD method who want to learn basic/intermediate modeling skills;
PhD students in SD at the start of their PhD process who need to learn basic/intermediate modeling skills and need advice;
Policy analysts and Systems Thinkers who want to add System Dynamics to their methodological toolbox;
Managers and policymakers who want to learn System Dynamics in order to be able to deal with dynamically complex issues;
Professors/teachers who want to start teaching System Dynamics and need inspiration and coaching.
In combination with the PhD Colloquium, the three-day International System Dynamics Conference, and post-conference workshops, there are unparalleled opportunities available in Delft for networking, learning and skills-building.
This is also an exceptional opportunity for instruction and professional development at the intermediate to advanced level:
MA, MSc and Self-study students in System Dynamics who want to take advanced topics in System Dynamics;
PhD students in System Dynamics who are about halfway through their PhD process, want to take advanced topics, and/or need advanced supervision;
SD Practitioners who would like to learn new/advanced System Dynamics skills and discuss their work with experienced supervisors.
Instruction will be delivered at all levels by an international team of distinguished System Dynamics professors and practitioners. Make this opportunity happen!
What’s happening within the Society’s Chapters? (April 13, 2016)
The full paper, documenting the project was presented in July 2015 at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. It is available with a video abstract and a link to a simple simulator of the capability trap.
Member J. Chris White Named President of pmBLOX, Inc. (April 12, 2016)
Member J. Chris White has been named the President of pmBLOX, Inc. pmBLOX is a commercially available project planning and management tool that has System Dynamics modeling and simulation as its foundation. A book has recently been published by Chris and fellow member Robert Sholtes on the Dynamic Progress Method (DPM), the underlying approach used in pmBLOX. DPM offers a major innovation over the current Critical Path Method used in other project management tools. Chris is also President of ViaSim Solutions, the company that originally created pmBLOX through the Department of Defense Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program with DARPA. pmBLOX, Inc. is now the commercial retailer of pmBLOX. pmBLOX, Inc. has also been accepted into the 2016 class of Tech Wildcatters, the #5 technology/business incubator in the U.S. based in Dallas, TX. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Chris! We wish you the best of luck in your new position.
Spring 2016 Issue of The Exchange is Now Available Online (April 8, 2016)
The Spring 2016 issue of The Exchange features various articles about educators engaging young students in System Dynamics modeling, including “Building the Behind Closed Gates Model,” an activity created by Anne LaVigne. This model building activity explores the situations of power and control based on an experiment about prison environment that was conducted at Stanford University. Also featured is “Among the Hidden,” Gail Falewicz’s summary of her 5th grade Critical Thinking and Reading class, and a reflection of the successful DynamiQueST 2016, which was held this past March at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Read more on these topics by visiting the Creative Learning Exchange website.
Meet the 2017 Policy Council Candidates (April 8, 2016)
There are nine Policy Council seats to be filled for 2017. Get to know the candidates – learn their names, see their photographs and read their bio-sketches. Ignacio Martínez-Moyano will become President Elect in 2017. He is a member of the Society Program Oversight Committee, has served on the Policy Council of the Society and as the Program Co-Chair for the 31st International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. Stefano Armenia, currently the President of System Dynamics Italian Chapter, is the candidate for VP Chapter Activities. David Andersen, VP Finance and Bradley Morrison, Secretary are both currently serving and are on the slate as reappointed candidates. The four candidates for Policy Council Members are Nancy Hayden, Florian Kapmeier, John Pastor Ansah, and Nuno Videira. In addition, it is proposed that existing PC Member Elke Husemann (2014-2016) be appointed for an additional, partial one-year term for 2017 to fill opening created by appointment of VP Chapter Activities: Stefano Armenia whose original Policy Council Member term was 2015-2017.
The Nominating Committee and Policy Council are pleased to present these leaders who share the vision for a prosperous System Dynamics Society.
Bibliography News (April 8, 2016)
The ‘2016a’ version of the System Dynamics Bibliography has been uploaded. There are four different formats to choose from for download.
The items most recently added to the Bibliography appear on the Bibliographic Updates page. New references are added to the Updates page and remain there for easy access to ‘what is new’ in the Bibliography. Items are listed with the most recent addition at the top of the list. For references other than journal articles take a look at the ‘Updated Information’ at the bottom of the page.
The 2016a version of the Bibliography contains 11,353 items. References include 2,540 journal articles, 6,711 conference papers, 424 books, 464 book sections, 123 edited books, and 4 e-books. As you can see, there are a many resources in the Bibliography.
If you have a System Dynamics or systems thinking article, book, discussion paper, or other reference item for our Bibliography, please send it to email@example.com.
Basic, Intermediate, and Advance Courses at System Dynamics Summer School–Earn ECTS Credits (April 8, 2016)
All participants at the three-day System Dynamics Summer School will receive a certificate of participation and will have the option to earn ECTS credits. Participants are required to choose a level (basic, intermediate or advanced) and supply a “learning objective” statement to be appropriately assigned to groups and professors. The basic course will cover modeling skills to get started and how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. The intermediate course will offer supervision regarding research and further modeling skills.
The proposed ingredients for the advanced course include:
pySD with a focus on data handling and extending SD models with more advanced functions/structures/etc.
Modeling and Simulation under Deep Uncertainty (exploratory SD including the use of machine learning algorithms to make sense of large ensembles of outcomes).
Hybrid SD-AB modeling with the necessary scripting to make that happen.
Advanced Group Model Building
System Dynamics Summer School 2016 will focus specifically on approaches for dealing with uncertainty (grey and black swans) and for dealing with actors in participatory and political processes. An international group of System Dynamics professors will instruct classes grouped into the three different levels.
Where: Delft University in the Netherlands (same site as the ISDC)
When: July 13-15 (immediately before the conference)
For more information on earning ECTS credits please visit our website. Detailed information about the Summer School and registration is available on the Summer School website. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
(April 5, 2016) Networking in the Spotlight at #ISDC16
Are you seeking employment? Or maybe you are looking to add a terrific person to your team? The International System Dynamics Conference is a great place to network with other system dynamicists and explore employment opportunities. The Red Ribbon Event is specially designed to facilitate conversation between attendees seeking career advice and mentors equipped to advise.
The Career Link Bulletin Board, another networking resource, posts active job openings and will be on display during the conference week.
Special Interest Groups (SIGs) bring together system dynamicists with a shared interest in a particular topic. Most SIGs have their own webpage, LinkedIn group and an SD Forum where members can make virtual connections, pose questions, and join discussions on the special interest topic. The conference schedule will include many topic-related events organized by the SIGs. There are currently ten groups:
If you would like to join a SIG or if you would like information on forming a new SIG, please visit the Special Interest Group website directly, or through the Activities and Resources section of the Society’s website.
(April 5, 2016) Spouses’ Lounge News
Are you arriving before the start of the conference? If so you may want to visit the Museum Prinsenhof Delft by July 17th, before the end of the exhibition “Vermeer is coming home | The Little Street returns to Delft.” This exhibition describes the long search to identify the place that inspired Vermeer to paint his masterpiece. For more information please check the Museum website. See the Spouses’ Lounge page for more details about this and other Spouses’ Lounge activities.
(April 5, 2016) Get involved with a Chapter of the System Dynamics Society
Did you know that there are 19 Chapters of the System Dynamics Society? Join a Chapter and make professional and academic networking easier for you by connecting with system dynamicists in your area. Most Chapters are formed around a geographic region, while others unite members based on activity or application domain. These Chapters create publications, host conferences and meetings worldwide, and are represented on the Policy Council. Chapters hold annually meetings at the conference, this year in Delft. The Systems Dynamics Society actively supports Chapters with its Strengthening the Field Fund. Our Chapters promote the development of the field of System Dynamics. The Society Chapters webpage can be found through the Activities and Resources section of our website (which is brimming with useful information!).
How to belong to a Chapter? Visit our website for a complete list of Society Chapters; the website also provides links to Chapter websites, representative contact information and details on how to join. To form your own Chapter, see the guidelines on Formation of a Chapter.
(April 5, 2016) How to write good System Dynamics Conference papers
(April 4, 2016) Learn to facilitate World Climate–join an introductory webinar to learn about this mock-UN World Climate Simulation webinar!
The World Climate Simulation is a role-playing exercise of the UN climate change negotiations for groups. It is unique in that it uses an interactive computer model to rapidly analyze the results of the mock negotiations during the event. All the materials and tools for World Climate are available on-line for free and many are available in multiple languages. You can use the World Climate Simulation to help people build awareness of this critical challenge and experience some of the dynamics that emerge in the UN climate negotiations. The exercise is framed by current climate change science, through the interactive C-ROADS computer simulation, enabling participants to find out how their decisions impact the global climate system in real-time.
The World Climate Project was launched in August 2015 at the White House, as an effort to engage tens of thousands of people worldwide around climate change. The World Climate Project provides resources that let you confidently lead people in this thought-provoking game, which simulates the United Nations climate talks. Join a webinar on Wednesday, April 6 at 4:00 PM EDT, to learn more about how to lead World Climate. On this webinar you will begin learning to facilitate the exercise, have the opportunity to ask questions, and learn from others who have been successful in leading their own World Climate events.
(April 4, 2016) New Book: The Dynamic Progress Method: Using Advanced Simulation to Improve Project Planning and Management
This new book by members J. Chris White and Robert M. Sholtes brings the power of advanced simulation techniques into the world of project management. The book summary states “Recent computer-based tools for project planning and management focus on user-friendliness and interconnectivity. However, these programs function on the Critical Path Method, or CPM, which was created in the 1950s. These programs, which involve simplistic models and methods, ignore the fact that the underlying computations on which they function have become woefully inadequate for the complex projects of today.
The product of nearly a decade of work, The Dynamic Progress Method: Using Advanced Simulation to Improve Project Planning and Management provides an overview of the research conducted while illustrating some of the issues with current approaches. It presents the Dynamic Progress Method (DPM), an innovative simulation-based approach to project management. It also includes instructions on how to use the accompanying DPM-based simulation tool pmBLOX to plan, manage, and analyze projects.” To learn more about the book and how to order visit the publisher’s page.
(April 1, 2016) Register now for the 3rd System Dynamics Summer School, July 13 – 15, 2016
Take advantage of this great opportunity to further explore System Dynamics! There will be a three-day System Dynamics Summer School hosted at Delft University, the same site as the ISDC, in the Netherlands. The Summer School program, titled “Black Swans & Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Deep Uncertainty, Big Data, Multiple Actors & Political Power-play,” takes place Wednesday, July 13 (early morning) until Friday, July 15 (evening), plus an optional half-day social activity on Saturday (July 16).
The Summer School will be taught at three different levels: there will be basic classes, intermediate classes, and advanced classes for System Dynamics students and practitioners interested in modeling and simulation under deep uncertainty and with real-time data. Classes are instructed by an international group of excellent System Dynamics professors. All participants will receive a participation certificate and have the option of taking an exam to receive ECTS Credits.
Mark your calendar from July 13 to July 22! Attend the three-day pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School, the one-day pre-conference PhD Colloquium, the three-day International System Dynamics Conference, and the one-day post-conference workshops! As a newcomer you will be introduced to the field, as a practitioner you will be kept aware of current advanced developments. These days provide unparalleled opportunities to build and expand your professional networks.
(March 31, 2016) New Video-based Guides for System Dynamics Online Software
Strategy Dynamics announces the release of two video-based guides to the Sysdea System Dynamics online software.
The videos in the full-length user-guide demonstrate all of Sysdea’s current features, used in developing a simple model. These full-length videos are intended for people new to system dynamics.
The short user-guide videos show each feature with minimum explanation, for quick reference by experienced users.
Sysdea runs in most browsers (there is nothing to install) and requires an online account, free and fully functioning for a one month trial, from www.sysdea.com. All features are available to all users – there is no restricted “Professional” feature-set. These videos will soon be supplemented by a book-format guide and feedback is welcome, send to email@example.com.
(March 30, 2016) Is this your first or return visit to Delft?
Visiting the picturesque city of Delft in the summer is a treat. Long a center of science and art, Delft is also charming and beautiful. The city is well-known for its historic town center—with canals and ancient churches, for Delft Blue pottery, and as the home city of famous painter Johannes Vermeer. There is always something new to see and somewhere new to visit.
Conference events will take place at the Delft University of Technology, the oldest and largest engineering university in the Netherlands. Founded in 1842 by the Dutch king as the “Royal Academy for the education of civilian engineers,” its long legacy is vibrant today at this acclaimed academic institution. Travel information is available on our website, as well as information about local accommodations. See you in Delft!
(March 28, 2016) “Boletín de Dinámica de Sistemas” celebrates 15 years of publication!
This June, the “Boletín de Dinámica de Sistemas” (“Bulletin of System Dynamics”) will celebrate 15 years of publication. “Boletín de Dinámica de Sistemas” is a quarterly online publication in Spanish that includes the individual final work of students as a way to motivate them. The published papers are the works of students living in Latin American countries including Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. Although the bulletin features a wide range of topics, the papers primarily address issues of environment and sustainability, such as the management of natural resources within fisheries. There are also many works on pollution, new energy sources and waste management. Another important group of published works deals with the topics of business, including sales and production management. Congratulations “Boletín de Dinámica de Sistemas” on this significant milestone!
(March 28, 2016) 2nd Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference, Singapore, Feb. 19-22, 2017
The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce the 2nd Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference which will be held at the National University of Singapore. Academics, consultants, students, managers and policy makers are invited to attend the three day conference, the theme of which is “Charting a path to a humane and sustainable future: Asia’s Leadership Role.”
The conference, featuring local and international speakers, will begin on Sunday, February 19, 2017 with a graduate research colloquium. The opening ceremony on Monday will kick off the first of two full conference days and will be followed by a half-day workshop that concludes the conference on Wednesday, February 22.
The program committee seeks to popularize and extend systems thinking and system dynamics modeling in the Asia Pacific region by facilitating interactions between practitioners from the region and around the world, introducing newcomers to the field and keeping practitioners aware of current developments. The conference will emphasize the public policy issues relating to sustainability, resilience and human well-being of particular relevance to the region. Because of the Residential College 4’s sponsorship role, emphasis will also be given to the effective teaching of system thinking and system dynamics modeling as a part of general education curricula for upper level secondary school and for first and second year undergraduate students.
(March 24, 2016) New Article in BMC Geriatrics by Society Members John P. Ansah, David B. Matchar, and Chang Liu
Members John Ansah, David Matchar and Chang Liu along with coauthors Rahul Malhotra, Sean R. Love and Young Do have published the article “Projecting the effects of long-term care policy on the labor market participation of primary informal family caregivers of elderly with disability: insights from a dynamic simulation model” in the journal BMC Geriatrics. The background of this paper states “Using Singapore as a case study, this paper aims to understand the effects of the current long-term care policy and various alternative policy options on the labor market participation of primary informal family caregivers of elderly with disability.” A model of the long-term care system in Singapore was developed using System Dynamics methodology. The results show “Under the current long-term care policy, by 2030, 6.9 percent of primary informal family caregivers (0.34 percent of the domestic labor supply) are expected to withdraw from the labor market. Alternative policy options reduce primary informal family caregiver labor market withdrawal; however, the number of workers required to scale up long-term care services is greater than the number of caregivers who can be expected to return to the labor market.”
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It is not too late for you to join this impressive community of conference sponsors. Sponsorship Packages can be individualized to match your specific needs and interests. There are many specific benefits for your firm but also sponsorship support keeps the conference affordable for all. We hope you will join us in building this extraordinary event. Contact us and sign up today!
(March 23, 2016) Company Profiles updated on Career Link
Check out the newly updated list of company profiles on the SD Career Link page! These companies value System Dynamics and their updated information includes the company’s background, type of System Dynamics work involved, how SD fits into the organization, and typical career paths. This is one of the many great resources found on the System Dynamics Society’s website.
Would you like to join the list? Companies may be listed on the website regardless of whether they have a current job opening. It is free and easy, click here to fill out the Company/University Profile Information form. Let System Dynamics professionals and students know you are out there! And, if you do have a job opening, please use the Job Profile Information form.
(March 23, 2016) Follow-up: Participants of NASPAA Annual Student Competition Share Their Experiences
This past February, the National Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) conducted the 2nd Annual Student Competition which was held in seven regional sites in the United States and in Maastricht, the Netherlands. This event has made quite an impact on those who participated! As students reflect back on their experience, here’s what they are saying:
Lize Duminy posted on the System Dynamics Discussion Forum web page: “The primary expertise I depended on during policy negotiations was the ability to communicate the dynamic structure and causal links of the En-ROADS model to non-technical experts in my team, especially those who came from a non-quantitative background.”
Hugo Herrera posted on the SDForum web page, “… beside the tangible outcome, the experience reminded me about two important facts of System Dynamics: the power of simulations to help decision makers to think systemically and the political dimension of the decision-making process.”
Deepal Doshi gave a detailed account of her experience in a recent blog post. “Having participated in Model United Nations simulations before, I thought I knew what this would be like. However, this was completely different. The preparatory material for the competition was given 48 hours prior to the day of the competition This included the main case, a sector briefing, worksheets and charts for the simulator.… Working under time pressure made the task at hand more difficult.” (See earlier news below titled “NASPAA Announces the 2016 Student Simulation Competition Winners.”)
(March 23, 2016) 4th Annual System Dynamics Conference, 17-18 November 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa, Call for Extended Abstracts
The South African System Dynamics Chapter (SASD) is hosting their 4th Annual System Dynamics Conference, Facilitating Just Transitions, November 17-18, in Stellenbosch. SASD invites the submission of extended abstracts that entail a diversity of domains, disciplines and stakeholders.
The conference overview states “South Africa has experienced a difficult socio-political-economic transition, and still does, in the face of the many challenges that are characteristic of a developing society. The extreme poor live, ironically, in one of the most carbon-intensive economies, which is based on a “mineral complex.” Thus, one finds the fundamental socio-economic problems of inequality, unemployment, chronic diseases, drug addiction, crime and resource exploitation that remain intact in a democratic space that has made possible countless innovations and changes across multiple other spectrums.”
View the full brochure for important conference details and dates. Follow the link to learn more about submission guidelines. For information on registration please contact the organizing team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(March 23, 2016) XMILE Technical Committee
XMILE is a standard for representing System Dynamics models using XML and in 2015 version 1.0 was adopted by OASIS (the international standards body). This is an important achievement, but as with any standard, it will benefit from ongoing scrutiny and development by members of the System Dynamics community. The original XMILE Technical Committee chaired by Karim Chichakly and Steve Adler would like to continue work with that broad based input to make that happen. At the 2016 Winter Policy Council meeting President Etiënne Rouwette asked Vice President E-Presence Bob Eberlein and President Elect Leonard Malczynski to find a structure for the Society to support that ongoing development.
(March 22, 2016) Systems thinking article on child protection now available for free download
The article by David Lane, Eileen Munro and Elke Husemann appears in the European Journal of Operational Research. It describes a high profile examination of child protection in England, conducted for the UK Department for Education, which has had a profound impact on practice in the field. The article goes behind the scenes to explain the consequences of historic policies and shows how a systemically coherent set of policy recommendations was developed. The work received the 2014 President’s Medal of the Operational Research Society. The article is downloadable for free here.
(March 22, 2016) The System Dynamics Discussion Forum
Have you visited the SD Forum lately? The System Dynamics Discussion Forum features Open Discussion topics, Announcements, and posts regarding Chapters and Special Interest Groups. Do you have a question to ask in the Open Discussion Forum? Some of the latest questions that are open for discussion include:
“While trying to set up the Kalman filter, how to can I specify the noise variance?”
“Can a causal loop diagram reflect multiple dynamic hypotheses?”
“What is/are the parameter(s) that control the speed of looping in feedback loop?”
“What minimum of understanding is necessary at each level of model progression…?”
Can you lend your expertise with an answer? See what has been posting and join the conversation today! Instructions on how to join the SD Forum can be found on the “Finding Your Way in SD” page.
(March 22, 2016) Call for Papers: XIV Latin American Conference on Systems Dynamics (CLADS)
The Latin American and Brazil Chapters of the System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce the XIV Latin American Conference on Systems Dynamics (CLADS 2016), held from October 19-21, 2016 at the University Center FEI, São Paulo, Brazil. This three day conference includes national and international speakers, parallel sessions, poster presentations, and workshops.
Economic crises, environmental changes, and epidemics … how can we use the methodology of System Dynamics to interpret these situations and propose solutions that lead to a better world? The CLADS 2016 is an opportunity to exchange ideas, explore current applications and enrich social networks. Please see the Call for Papers with more information on submission formatting guidelines, program aims, key dates, and the organizing committee.
(March 22, 2016) A Virtual Way to Experience the Habits of a Systems Thinker
The Waters Foundation is selling a new Android app “Habits of a Systems Thinker.” The ST Habits app describes ways of thinking about how systems work and how actions taken can impact results seen over time. They encompass a spectrum of thinking strategies that foster problem-solving and encourage questioning. The Habits also encourage flexible thinking and appreciation of new, emerging insights and multiple perspectives. A video with a quick tour of the app is online. Visit the website for purchasing information. (Coming soon for iOS devices.)
(March 22, 2016) “Der Meister der Simulation”
On February 22, the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,” a leading newspaper in Germany, published an article titled “Der Meister der Simulation” (The Master of Simulation) featuring Jay W. Forrester. It is the second in a series on “computer world creators,” the first article was about Robert M. Metcalfe, “The Master of the Ethernet.”
In this article, after some introductory remarks about the fascination of SimCity and like simulators, it starts with Jay´s life on the farm. As a nine-year-old boy he drove the family´s Model T and very soon was also repairing it, he invented mechanisms for a mowing machine, built an electric fly trap, and electrified the house with a 12 Volt wind mill.
After earning his bachelor degree, Forrester went to MIT, where he met Gordon S. Brown who introduced him to the concepts of servomechanisms and feedback. In 1944 he became the leader of the “Whirlwind” project and turned it from an analogue into a digital machine — a giant step forward. Ken Olson, the later founder of DEC, worked as Jay’s student. Jay then went on to manage the SAGE project with even far greater computer dimensions and huge energy consumption. Great inventions like the core storage device were results of these activities.
In 1956 Jay Forrester turned away from engineering and focused on management; the fluctuations he observed in management systems were a challenge to him. Industrial Dynamics (1961) was the key publication of this time. Later, while at MIT, he became close to the former mayor of Boston, John F. Collins, and their discussions lead him to writing Urban Dynamics (1969.) In 1971 Forrester’s World Dynamics followed, which he originally thought would be of interest to perhaps only 200 researchers in total, but with the Club of Rome and its Limits to Growth (Die Grenzen des Wachstums), it was discussed worldwide. Limits to Growth started the sustainability debate of our days.
The articles concludes with “One has to listen to the nearly one hundred-year-old and still ascetic Forrester, and how he analyzes the hopelessly overcome equilibrium models of economists, to understand the enormous potential of his ideas.” (Apologies for translation inaccuracies.)
(March 22, 2016) Member Sibel Eker Appointed Research Associate
Member Sibel Eker has been appointed as Research Associate at University College London, starting February 2016. Sibel will work on a project that applies systems thinking to the housing sector and links housing, energy, and wellbeing aspects. Sibel studied at Delft University of Technology and graduated in March 2016 with a PhD thesis that investigated robust policy options for the Dutch gas sector by using a System Dynamics simulation model. Last year Sibel provided extraordinary service to the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society as the co-organizer of the PhD Students’ Colloquium at the Cambridge, Massachusetts conference. On behalf of the Society, congratulations and good luck to Sibel!
(March 21, 2016) International Conference of the System Dynamics Society – Submission Deadline
MARCH 23rd: The ISDC “Call for Papers” submission deadline is just around the corner! Other important dates to remember are listed below:
May 12, 2016 Notification of acceptance; Scholarship applications due May 31, 2016 Presenter registration deadline June 7, 2016 Tentative program schedule available ~ June 15, 2016 Reserved hotel room availability reduced June 21, 2016 Early registration deadline; conference registration fee increase July 13 – July 15, 2016 3rdSystem Dynamics Summer School July 17, 2016PhD Colloquium; Policy Council Meeting July 18, 2016Delft Conference Opening! August 19, 2016 Deadline for final version paper submission for the web proceedings
Remember to submit your paper, workshop, and session proposals by March 23rd. Present your work in the primary forum for sharing foundational and ground-breaking work in System Dynamics.
(March 21, 2016) Conference Scholarship Campaign
Make a contribution with a significant impact. Support the campaign to double the amount of Conference Scholarships offered annually! Your donation will be used to increase the number of people coming in contact with System Dynamics practitioners and researchers for meaningful conversations.
Since 2005, the System Dynamics Society has offered about ten conference scholarships per year that cover registration fees and accommodation subsidies. In 2015, through individual gifts that ranged from $5 to $300, the Society raised $1,875 for scholarships. Our goal for 2016 is to raise $7,000, allowing us to provide a total of 20 scholarships in 2016. Scholarships are given to individuals who can make a significant contribution to the conference, but need some help financially.
Without these funds, the opportunity to participate in this year’s conference will be missed by those young, enthusiastic persons who are determined to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. Empowering these individuals is an investment in the future of System Dynamics. Please make a donation – any amount is the right amount and your generosity is much appreciated!
(March 16, 2016) Member Andrei Borshchev Leading Seminars in Tel Aviv
Member Andrei Borshchev of AnyLogic, along with many simulation modeling professionals, will lead multiple seminars over a two-day period in Tel Aviv, March 15th, and 16th, 2016. The seminars are hosted by Techenware. Seminar topics include supply chain management, a healthcare systems seminar and a meeting regarding systems engineering. For more information about the curriculum and registration information please visit the website.
(March 11, 2016) The Society’s newest chapter has website in Farsi
The website for the Iran Chapter of the System Dynamics Society is in Farsi and English. The Chapter was established in 2015 after preliminary discussions at the Cambridge Conference. Please visit the website to learn about the history of the formation of the Chapter. Information is also included about how to become a member of the Chapter and the Society. Additionally, the site includes information for Chapter members interested in obtaining a visa for attending the international annual research conference. For more information, please contact the Chapter by email at email@example.com.
(March 11, 2016) Thanks to our Volunteer Delft Conference Team!
With 2016 Delft Conference preparations well underway, we send kudos to our team of conference organizers , including Program Chairs Birgit Kopainsky from the University of Bergen and Andreas Größler from the University of Stuttgart; Organizing Chairs Erik Pruyt, Cornelia Els van Daalen and Monique van der Toorn-Fennema at the Delft University of Technology; and Workshop Chairs Jack Homer from Homer Consulting and Hazhir Rahmandad from MIT Sloan. Thanks to our dedicated conference volunteers! For more information about the Delft Conference and its theme, Black Swans and Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Randomness and Political Power-play, please visit the website.
The Creative Learning Exchange announces their upcoming Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference to be held at the Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, MA from June 25-27, 2016. Keynote speakers John Sterman, Peter Hovmand, Megan Odenthal, Brad Morrison and Tracy Benson will address global, national and local challenges through systems thinking and System Dynamics. Session topics such as “From Connection Circles to Feedback Loops,” “Changing the Game: The Integration of Systems Thinking in a School System” and “Using STELLA Software to Gain Insight into Systems” will offer participants skill refinement and development opportunities. Available workshops include sessions with isee systems on their new offerings, John Sterman on Climate Interactive simulation, and Rebecca Niles with ReThink Health.
DynamiQueST offers students ages 8-18 the opportunity to showcase projects that utilize systems thinking and System Dynamics in a relaxed environment, free from “winner/loser” constraints. To be held on March 11 at WPI. To learn more or register for this conference, visit the Creative Learning Exchange webpage.
(March 8, 2016) Member Khalid Saeed to Explore the Economic Initiatives of China in a Pardee Center Seminar
The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future at Boston University will host a seminar on Monday, March 21 from 12-2pm to explore the implications of the “one belt, one road” economic initiative to connect China with central and Southeast Asia, India, Africa and Europe. Professor Deborah Bräutigam of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will join Professors Min Ye and Julie Klinger, both of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, and System Dynamics Society member Khalid Saeed of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in discussing the question: “The New Silk Roads: Will China’s Investments Enrich the World?” Learn more about this seminar on the Boston University webpage.
(March 8, 2016) SDS Business SIG Webinar Episode 1: Dynamics Business Models
Much has been written about the importance of business models. Business Schools teach whole courses on the topic and consultants urge clients to innovate by changing those business models. But current definitions are ambiguous and qualitative. More seriously, those business model frameworks make?? no attempt to quantify anything or show how and why the business actually performs as it does – they are descriptive “statues”, rather than true models. The webinar by Kim Warren, of Strategy Dynamics, that was streamed live on Feb 25, 2016 is available now on YouTube. Kim demonstrates that it is possible to develop working, quantified business models that replicate how a real business (or a part of it) performs over time. This makes many important things possible: new ventures can be bench-tested before real money or people’s livelihoods are put at risk; market competition can be managed to the firm’s advantage; integrated business plans cutting across functional silos can be tested and shared by everyone; big challenges or initiatives can be rehearsed before they happen; and detailed, time-phased action-plans assembled and continually updated. You may view the one-hour Business Special Interest Group webinar Episode 1 at Dynamic Business Models.
(March 1, 2016) The PhD Colloquium at ISDC, Delft
The 17th Annual PhD Colloquium, facilitated by the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, is a one-day event devoted to mentoring students using System Dynamics in their doctoral dissertations/theses. The format of the Colloquium supports participation from varying fields, varying levels of SD training and students at different points of their studies.
Doctoral students are warmly invited to submit their work, which can be at any stage of the research process (proposal, middle stages or nearly complete) to share and receive feedback from experts and peers at the PhD Colloquium.
The National Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) conducted the 2nd Annual Student Simulation Competition in Washington DC on February 27th. This year, the simulation challenge was to create an implementable plan to limit global warming. Using the sophisticated Climate Interactive simulation, built using the System Dynamics method called En-Roads, students from 135 universities across the globe formed regional teams and competed off site. The winning team of 18 students met the morning of the competition at the United Nations University, Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. Congratulations to the Maastricht Team:
Mohammad Alrefai, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
Shreya Bhattacharya, Central European University
Marion Charpentier, Maastricht University
Deepal Doshi, University of Bonn
Lize Duminy, University of Bergen
Mahmoud El-Refai, American University in Cairo
Manuel Friedlein, Maastricht University
Teodora Monica Fulga, Bucharest University of Economic Studies
Nick Germanacos, Maastricht University
Hugo Herrera, University of Palermo
Audrey Hobbelen, Maastricht University
Brendan Johannsen, Sciences Po
Paul Langer, University of Speyer
Jill LaPlante, Maastricht University
Sarah Neehus, Maastricht University
Hanh Nguyen, Central European University
Ennio Valentino Picucci, Maastricht University
Zhan Yi Debby Roxanne Wong, Sciences Po
NASPAA Conference and Operations Director Emily Reineke brought the competition into existence. Rebecca Niles, Krys Wiles and Rod MacDonald are recognized for their technical support of the event. Also, thanks to judges David Andersen, Steve Cohen, Steve Kaagan for their enthusiastic involvement. To review the policy proposals of the Maastricht team and learn more about NASPAA and the Student Simulation Competition, visit the following press release.
(February 27, 2016) Proceedings Now Available – Latin American Chapter Conference
The Latin American Chapter reports another successful conference—XIII CLADS—occurred in October 2015. 171 participants from Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, USA, Italy, and Mexico attended the meeting in the beautiful port city of Cartagena, Colombia. Parallel and poster presentations as well as plenary lectures were instructive. Proceedings for this conference are now available in a PDF file.
Plan now for XIV CLADS in Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 19-21, 2016. Papers in Spanish, Portuguese or English may be submitted.
(February 27, 2016) Registration Open – NECSI Summer School
Early registration is open for the NECSI Summer School, to be held June 6-17, 2016 at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Register by April 1st to take advantage of early registration discounts! Briefly, the schedule includes:
June 6-10: Complex Physical, Biological & Social Systems
June 12: Computer Programming and Complex Systems
June 13-17: Complex Systems Modeling, Networks, and Data Analytics
These courses welcome registration by faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, professionals and others who would like to gain an understanding of the fundamentals of complex systems for application to research in their respective fields, or as a basis for pursuing complex systems research.
The NECSI Summer School offers two intensive week-long courses which can be taken together or separately, one is not a prerequisite for the other. The second week has been updated this year to include an introduction to data analytics, in addition to complex systems modeling and networks. The courses consist of lectures, discussions, and supervised group projects. If desired, arrangements for credit at a home institution may be made in advance. See the course descriptions.
(February 27, 2016) Secondary School Students Use System Dynamics to Understand the Chagas Disease in Latin America
The Shelburne News reports that three Vermont Commons School students, with guidance from their science instructor and a University of Vermont engineering professor, developed a System Dynamics model to analyze the impact of the Chagas disease in Latin American countries. With grant support from the National Science Foundation for their research, these students traveled to San Francisco to present model findings at the American Geophysical Union conference in December. NSF grant support was received by the VCS Science Chair, Peter Goff in partnership with the University of Vermont, Loyola University and La Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. Read more about this exciting application of System Dynamics in secondary school education here.
(February 18, 2016) Extend the Learning of Economics with Dynamic Modeling
At the University of Bergen in Norway, David Wheat and his colleagues at two Ukrainian institutions–the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and the Ivan Franko Lviv National University–are collaborating on a project called “Extend the Learning of Economics with Dynamic Modeling.” Funded by the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, the project’s primary educational purpose is building dynamic modeling capacity at the Ukrainian universities. The project leaders’ strategy is three-fold: train the Ukrainian trainers in Bergen, train on-site in Ukraine, and provide online training to sustain the collaboration in the years ahead. During the four-year project, 40 students and 4 early-career professors from Ukraine will develop System Dynamics modeling skills in Bergen, and gain additional skills to train their colleagues when they return to Ukraine. Traditional on-site classroom courses in System Dynamics will also be developed and will be supplemented by two online courses in economic dynamics. Collaboration between these universities began three years ago, and the new grant provides an opportunity to continue that work and extend it into new areas. For example, Wheat and his Ukrainian colleagues have plans to extend their reach beyond the university classrooms, with workshops planned for economists at the National Bank of Ukraine and with secondary school teachers and students in Kyiv and Lviv. Reviewers called the Norwegian-Ukrainian grant application “very well written” and “of high relevance to the Eurasia program. It is based on a former collaboration and the proposal identifies a great need for the introduction of dynamic modeling tools in education programs of economic analysis.”
(February 18, 2016) System Dynamics Review Early View
(February 17, 2016) The New Publication: Factors Influencing the Adoption of Systems Thinking in Primary and Secondary Schools in Switzerland
Authors Patrick Kunz, Ursula Frischknecht-Tobler, Brigitte Bollmann-Zuberbuehler and member Stefan N. Groesser have published a new article in the journal Systems Research and Behavioral Science. The abstract states “Systems thinking is well suited to complement widespread linear thinking in schools. However, previous studies showed that computer modelling can act as a barrier. Therefore, this study focuses on qualitative systems thinking and thus excludes computers as potential barriers. We analyzed factors influencing the implementation of systems thinking in K-9 schools in Switzerland. In our design-based research teachers participated in a standardized training followed by several months of implementation in the classroom….” Please read the early view online version of this research article to see what the results showed.
(February 12, 2016) The Journal of Operations Management has published a special issue on System Dynamics
The Journal of Operations Management has published a special issue on System Dynamics in operations entitled System Dynamics: Emergence, Reinforcement, Adaptation and Traps. The articles in the special issue are available open access until 31st August. “It is our hope that the articles in this special issue motivate additional collaboration between scholars and practitioners in operations management and System Dynamics,” write Guest Editors John Sterman, Rogelio Oliva, Kevin Linderman, and Elliot Bendoly. The special issue includes the following papers:
The editors of this special issue thank editors of JOM, all those who submitted papers for consideration, and the referees for their hard work to bring this project to fruition. Thanks to Rogelio Oliva for arranging this!
(February 12, 2016) 32nd System Dynamics Colloquium at WPI
Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s System Dynamics Club (WPI SD Club) will be hosting the 32nd System Dynamics Colloquium on April 22, 2016 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Registration is open until March 31st.
Initiated in 2000 by a group of graduate students of System Dynamics at UAlbany SUNY, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, System Dynamics Colloquium is an event that takes place every fall and spring semester. Originally, the colloquium was designed to be a venue for graduate students to present their SD related research and receive feedback from the experts of the field. This semi-formal setting has provided the attendees with an amazing opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with faculty members, students, and practitioners of System Dynamics. The colloquium is a one-day event and used to be hosted by UAlbany (in Fall term) and MIT (in Spring term). WPI graduate students and faculty were frequent participants in the colloquium since its inception. Starting in spring 2014, WPI has joined the hosting loop and will continue to host the event every third semester. The colloquium became an attraction for students, faculty, and practitioners from different universities and organizations to connect and showcase their work at various stages of development. Please visit our UAlbany-MIT SD Colloquia webpage for more information about the previous colloquia.
(February 12, 2016)Partial Scholarships Available for the 2016 Conference in Delft
Scholarship money is available to support student and emerging scholar and practitioner attendance at the International System Dynamics Conference in Delft this summer.
Scholarship preference is given to members of the Society and individuals presenting during the conference. The deadline for scholarship applications is May 12th. More scholarship details are available here. When applying, please enter the Web Portal and use the “Award and Scholarship Information” button on your User Menu.
Want to Donate to the Conference Scholarship Fund? This is a chance to invest in something with a return far greater than that of any equity. Help build up the stock of agile minds applying System Dynamics, the premium skill of the future. Over the past eleven years, we have awarded 130 scholarships! The annual conference budget provides for 10 scholarships per year, but here YOU can make a difference. Young, enthusiastic and determined students are the answer to our 21st century issues of climate change, energy, food, water and social justice. To make a donation, simply include your contribution with your conference registration, or contact the Society office.
“Outcome-Based” Dynamic Performance Management in the Public Sector (February 12, 2016)
From May 23rd to 27th 2016, the System Dynamics Group of the University of Palermo will offer a Spring School and an International Symposium on “Outcome-Based” Dynamic Performance Management in the Public Sector. During the first two days participants will experience how to design and implement, through System Dynamics modeling, outcome-oriented performance management systems to support public policy makers. For the remaining three days, participants will have free access to the international symposium on “The Paradigm Shift from Output to Outcome Measures in the Public Sector” (including conference banquet, two lunches, and coffee breaks). For more information, please visit the event website.
The Behavioral Science & Policy Association (BSPA) will hold its annual conference on April 29 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. Leading behavioral scientists, policy makers, executives, and members of the media will be at the conference. BSPA is seeking proposals for short presentations highlighting issues relating to six key areas in which behavioral scientists could have significant influence on policy. Each area will be introduced by an invited keynote speaker, followed by a handful of compelling five-minute presentations. The areas are Education & Culture, Energy & Environment, Financial Decision Makin, Health, Justice & Ethics, and Management & Labor. The submission deadline is March 4; send Submissions: BSPA@BehavioralPolicy.org.
Nominations for System Dynamics Awards (February 11, 2016)
It is time to nominate good work for this year’s System Dynamics awards. On the System Dynamics Society Awards page you can see how to nominate and the deadlines for nominations. Here is an overview of the different awards:
The Jay W. Forrester Award is given annually to the best publication in System Dynamics during the previous five years. The award is presented during the annual conference. The Dana Meadows Award is given to outstanding papers authored by students that are presenting at the conference. The Lupina Young Researchers Award is given to outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics, authored by students or recent (past 5 years) graduates presenting at the conference. 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.
Social and Behavioral Track of the Winter Simulation Conference: Call for Papers (February 9, 2016)
The Winter Simulation Conference calls for you to submit your System Dynamics models of all kinds for the December 11th-14th conference in Washington, DC. Paper proposals for this premier international forum must not exceed 12 pages in length and are due on April 1, 2016. The WSC, committed to disseminating recent advances in the field of dynamic systems modeling and simulation, is especially interested in novel and exploratory work, even if the results are at a preliminary stage.
Please consider submitting a paper to this highly-visible, academically prestigious venue! Click here for more information on the Winter Simulation Conference “call for papers.”
Inaugural Edition of Newsletter (February 9, 2016)
Member Greg Hennessy, Secretary of the Work & Organizations Division of the International Positive Psychology Association, announces the release of the inaugural edition of Positive Work and Organizations: Research and Practice. To be published twice a year, the newsletter is intended to promote communication between practitioners and scholars interested in the application of positive psychology in the workplace. It will feature interviews with experts, book reviews and previews, case studies, as well as original articles and briefs by leaders in the field of positive organizational psychology.
Future issues will be available in full only to members of the International Positive Psychology Association, but everyone is welcome to enjoy this premier edition.
Available Online in The Exchange: Systems Tools to Enhance Literacy in the Classroom (February 9, 2016)
The Winter 2016 issue of The Exchange presents a selection of resources to help educators utilize systems tools in the classroom. Discover how behavior-over-time graphs can lead to a deeper understanding of literary works like Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt; see how feedback loops can illuminate stories like The Lorax by Dr. Seuss; and incorporate online model simulations that explore the dramatic events in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Systems tools are a natural support to clear thinking and communication, and guide students to higher critical thinking and better writing in the classroom. Hence, this online publication from the Creative Learning Exchange highlights resources that represent an entire library of free System Dynamics and systems thinking tools available online.
Important announcements included in this issue:
Camp Snowball, the hands-on, five-day professional development program for teachers, school administrators and students, scheduled for July 11-15 in Sacramento, California.
DynamiQueST, a showcase of student projects from ages 8-18 years, to be held March 11, 2016 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
SD Movie Night: Group Model Building video this week at UAlbany
You are invited to this semester’s SD Movie Night, showing Forrester’s Seminar Series on System Dynamics, at the University at Albany School of Business. The videos will be shown, starting on February 10th, and will continue every week (except for the spring break) until the end of April.
Professor Jay Forrester, in the fall of 1999, conducted a seminar series for PhD 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.
Sessions A through E have already been shown. This week’s showing resumes with Session F: Group Model Building. What is group model building and why do we do it? Guest speaker, Professor George Richardson, opens the session with a list of group roles that various people can play in the group model building process. 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.
We are confident every attendee will enjoy the sessions. Hope to see your there.
(February 9, 2016)iSDG Model – Tool for designing SDG strategies and roadmaps
Millennium Institute is pleased to announce the launch of the Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Planning Model (iSDG). The iSDG model simulates the fundamental trends for SDGs until 2030 under a business-as-usual scenario and supports the analysis of alternative scenarios. It covers all the 17 Goals, and facilitates a better understanding of the interconnections of the goals and targets, in order to develop synergetic strategies to achieve them. The model’s structure can also be expanded to support the analysis of other country-specific development issues beyond the SDGs.
The iSDG model is useful both in the early stages of policy design, to support scenario exploration; and in the advanced stage, when sector-specific interventions can be jointly simulated to assess their combined effect. This enhances the ability of policy makers and planners to evaluate and prioritize projects, investments, and strategies based on anticipated impacts, and to visualize how the combination of interventions lead to positive synergies.
For more information and to download the beta version of the model, visit www.isdgs.org.
(February 3, 2016)
Call for Papers: 34th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society
The Web Portal is now open to accept paper submissions as well as proposals for workshops and tutorials to be presented in Delft, the Netherlands from July 17-21, 2016. Please consider the theme for this year: “Black Swans and Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Randomness and Political Power-play.”
System Dynamics has proven useful to analyze dynamically complex economic, social, and environmental issues. It is an effective methodology for designing robust systems and policies. We hope to challenge this usefulness in two areas: first, when systems are prone to be affected by random events that we were not able to include in our models; second, when System Dynamics models are not used in a fair or transparent way.
For a detailed list and descriptions of conference session topics, visit “Threads for 2016” website. The submission deadline is March 23rd. For more information, please visit “Call for Papers” website.
(February 2, 2016)
Fires burning in Tasmania – system collapse?
“This is bigger than us. This is what climate change looks like, this is what scientists have been telling people, this is system collapse,” fire ecologist David Bowman, was quoted in the articleTasmania fires: First images of World Heritage Area devastation emerge, show signs of ‘system collapse’ on abc.net.au. The first images to emerge from within Tasmania’s fire-affected World Heritage Area (WHA) have illustrated the level of destruction caused by bushfire, as experts warn such incidents are signs of a changing climate. 11,000 hectares of WHA are incinerated by the Tasmania bushfires. Wildlife, including wallabies and wombats, are also affected and experts say parts of the Central Plateau will not recover.
(January 27, 2016)
Public Radio International interviewed member John Sterman
The Society is approved by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) to be a registered sponsor on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. Accountants attending the 2016 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Delft can earn up to 24 continuing professional education credits (CPEs) in the subject areas of Specialized Knowledge and Applications, Economics, Business Management & Organization, Computer Science, and Mathematics. System Dynamics modeling can greatly assist accountants by providing them with better insights and judgment in their estimates and measurements when working in areas beyond their current observation and available data. All of the details can be found on the Society’s website at CPE Credits for CPAs.
System Dynamics Society is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org.
(January 27, 2016)
Call for 2016 Award Nominations / Delft Conference
One exciting conference highlight is the recognition of award winners for that conference year. We invite you to consider nominating a colleague or yourself for outstanding work in the field of System Dynamics. Please note the award criteria and submission due dates for the following recognitions.
The Dana Meadows Award acknowledges high quality student work in a paper presented at the conference. Self-nomination procedure should be followed with the conference paper submission, or no later than March 23rd.
The Lupina Young Researchers Award recognizes the exemplary conference paper presented in the specialization of health system dynamics. This award is intended for candidates in the early stages of their career, either pursuing graduate studies or recently graduated within five years of the submission deadline. Self-nomination procedure should be followed with the conference paper submission, or no later than March 23rd.
The Barry Richmond Scholarship Award will be awarded to a systems thinking or System Dynamics practitioner whose work demonstrates a desire to expand the field of System Dynamics, or has distinctively applied a System Dynamics approach to current social issues. Candidates will be considered based on quality of work as well as on the basis of financial need. Applications must be submitted no later than May 14th.
The Jay Wright Forrester Award, presented as often as once annually, celebrates the best contribution to the field of System Dynamics during the preceding five year period. Books, articles, papers, consulting reports, theses, research and modeling or gaming software are all eligible for consideration. Jay Wright Forrester Award candidates are not self-nominated, so please consider nominating your personal selection for the year no later than March 31st.
We look forward to honoring the award winners of 2016. See you this summer in Delft!
(January 27, 2016)
New Publication by United States Environmental Agency
The paper “A System Dynamics Model for Integrated Decision Making: The Durham-Orange Light Rail Project” has recently been published online at the EPA Science Inventory. The purpose/objective states “The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program (SHC) has committed to developing systems approaches that enable communities to act on an enhanced understanding of these interconnections and to comprehensively account for the full costs and benefits of community decisions in the social, economic, and environmental dimensions. This report documents the development and testing of a System Dynamics (SD) model as a decision support tool for community sustainability with the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail Project (D-O LRP) in Durham and Orange Counties, North Carolina, as a case-study.” The description of the work includes “In the first phase of this modeling effort, a conceptual model for the D-O LRP was designed with a high degree of input from stakeholders, including representatives from the regional transit authority, county health department, stormwater management department, and city and regional land use and transportation planning departments, among others. This conceptual model served as a framework for the operational SD model, which was built to evaluate a number of policy scenarios, many of which were also suggested by stakeholders. The operational model was subjected to rigorous quality assurance tests, including the sensitivity of the model to assumptions and inputs, and the evaluation of outcomes – social, economic, and environmental – resulting from actions that emanate from or impinge on the D-O LRP.”
(January 22, 2016)
New Article in Early View at the System Dynamics Review
New Article in Jacobs Journal of Medicinal Chemistry(January 21, 2016)
The article “Systems Thinking for Medicinal Chemists” by Robert E. Smith, Kevin Tran, and Kristy M. Richards has been published in the Jacobs Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. The article shows an interesting view of the landscape of medicinal chemistry; and its increased use of technology and big data, and government initiatives. The abstract states: “Systems thinking has become an essential part of modern medicinal chemistry and new drug development. It is based on the concepts that complex problems almost always have multiple causes and that there are often connections that have not always been obvious. In contrast to reductionist thinking, systems thinking uses network theory and nonlinear mathematics to prevent, diagnose, treat and even cure diseases. Systems thinking is an integral part of predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory (P4) medicine.”
2016: New System Dynamics Song (January 21, 2016)
“System Dynamics Song: Close The Loop” was originally written and performed in 1976 at Geilo, Norway Conference by a group of attendees who protected their anonymity under the name of the Transient International Consortium at Geilo (TICAG). The song had an encore performance at the 2000 Bergen Conference.
Wolfram Reinhard, born on the 6th of June 1990 as Wolfram Pallaske, is a student at the Leibniz University Hannover and is focusing on regional development in his Bachelor’s thesis. In 2009, he graduated high school with music as one of the main courses, but he started learning to play several instruments when he was six. After his brother Georg wouldn’t stop bugging him, he recorded and cut the song “Looking for feedback loops”, of which Georg wrote the text himself. Wolfram Reinhard has already finished several music related projects, which he was realizing outside of the curricula of his temporary education, alongside which he produced one CD. The strong positive feedback on the song “Looking for feedback loops” surprised the artist.
Georg Pallaske, born on the 4th of October 1987, is a current student in the European Masters Programme in System Dynamics (EMSD). After his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administrations, he entered the EMSD because of the potential the he saw in the application of the method with expert-groups (group-model building). After one and a half years of studying SD, and a lot of conversations with peers and experts, he decided to write a song about SD which compiles the things that are still at odds within the field, and put them into a nice message that comes across easily. And thanks to his little brother the song is available in a version that people might even enjoy listening to. Georg Pallaske is currently in the last semester, and will soon start writing his masters’ thesis.
Thanks to Wolfram and Georg!
UK Chapter Conference Registration and Award Nominations Open (January 21, 2016)
The Chapter will accept nominations for the Geoff Coyle Medal until April 1, 2016. The medal is awarded for innovative system dynamics work in the UK for practitioners in early career (first ten years). Learn more and submit nominations here.
The UK Chapter held a networking meeting in Wales earlier this month. The event focused on mathematical modelling in the healthcare sector. The chapter also recently published a short document featuring the winners of the Steer Davies Gleave Prize, for work in the field that had a real impact. The award was given four times between 2008 and 2014. The paper summarises the winning entries, which all came from the healthcare domain.
2016 Behavioral Operational Research Summer Program (January 20, 2016)
The Systems Analysis Laboratory at Aalto University, in collaboration with the Behavioral Operational Research community, is initiating an international BOR Summer School at the Otaniemi Campus of Aalto near Helsinki, Finland from May 15-22.
Using this emerging specialization in operational research, participants will investigate behavioral issues related to model based decision making and develop models to describe human behavior in problem solving and complex settings. Pioneers of the field will present on topics such as problem structuring, multi-criteria decision making, heuristics and biases, simulation, systems thinking and forecasting. Brain researchers will demonstrate new measurement techniques, including brain imaging, and illuminate their value in understanding human emotions and behavior. Additionally, students will have opportunities to discuss their research with peers and distinguished presenters attending the summer school.
Doctoral and advanced master’s students, as well as post docs, from the behavior, social, computational and organizational sciences are invited to attend this inaugural training. Interdisciplinarity is key in BOR, therefore knowledge of OR is not a prerequisite to participation.
The application deadline for participation is February 20, 2016.
Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette, President 2016.
Winter Meeting slated for February 23 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (January 20, 2016)
The Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society will meet for the Winter Meeting on February 23 at 11:00 AM. President Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette will preside over the meeting. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. As stated in the Bylaws, the Policy Council shall meet as a separate body, electronically or in person, at least twice each year, once on the day before or after or during the annual international meeting and once during the first fiscal quarter of the year. Protocol for the meetings is available online. All past Policy Council Meeting minutes are archived on the Society website, and can be found using “Governance” menu item. Please see the e-brochure “Meet the Officers and Members of the Policy Council.” Advance reservations are required for attendees; please contact the Society office.
New System Dynamics Article in Risk Analysis (January 18, 2016)
The recently published the article “A Simplified Approach to Risk Assessment Based on System Dynamics: An Industrial Case Study” in the journal Risk Analysis is currently available electronically (ahead of print). The authors are Emmanuel Garbolino, Jean-Pierre Chery and Franck Guarnieri. The abstract states “Seveso plants are complex sociotechnical systems, which makes it appropriate to support any risk assessment with a model of the system. However, more often than not, this step is only partially addressed, simplified, or avoided in safety reports. At the same time, investigations have shown that the complexity of industrial systems is frequently a factor in accidents, due to interactions between their technical, human, and organizational dimensions. In order to handle both this complexity and changes in the system over time, this article proposes an original and simplified qualitative risk evaluation method based on the System Dynamics theory developed by Forrester in the early 1960s. The methodology supports the development of a dynamic risk assessment framework dedicated to industrial activities. It consists of 10 complementary steps grouped into two main activities: System Dynamics modeling of the sociotechnical system and risk analysis. This System Dynamics risk analysis is applied to a case study of a chemical plant and provides a way to assess the technological and organizational components of safety.”
New BLOG: Overcoming the Systemic Challenges of Inequity (January 18, 2016)
Bridgeway Partners has started a new blog post that describes several dynamics and assumptions that lead inequity to persist, and six high leverage interventions leaders can pursue to create greater equity in their communities. The announcement about the new blog post states “related problems of structural racism and economic inequality undermine the moral as well as social and economic fabrics of our country.” Many of the ideas in this post are drawn from David Peter Stroh’s book Systems Thinking for Social Change.
System Dynamics Career Link (January 18, 2016)
The SD Career Link is the gateway for connecting you with companies worldwide that use System Dynamics. The site is divided into two sections. First, employers are able to provide general descriptive information about how System Dynamics fits into the organization, typical jobs, career paths, and other aspects of employment within the company. This section allows employers to define specific System Dynamics information and opportunities within their firms and to supplement the more general information contained on their corporate or academic websites. The other section highlights a list of current job openings. Find the Career Link on the Society’s website to review the list of companies.
Is your firm is seeking candidates, specifically with System Dynamics backgrounds? Would you like to add your Company or University profile? Please use this free, exclusive networking and recruiting site. The SD Career Link provides a valuable exchange of information about positions and people in the field of System Dynamics.
Member Andreas Größler Appointed Full Professor (January 18, 2016)
Member Andreas Größler has been appointed as a Full Professor of Operations Management starting February 1, 2016. Based on a long tradition, his work at Stuttgart University will also include teaching and research in System Dynamics. Future plans include the continuation of the work in strategic operations management and dynamic decision making. Andreas received his PhD from Mannheim University in 2000. He has been teaching System Dynamics and Operations Management since 1995. Before the move to Stuttgart, he worked as Associate Professor at the Nijmegen School of Management and Academic Director of the European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) programme. Andreas has a long history of volunteering for the System Dynamics Society (e.g. Policy Council Member, Conference Host of the European SD Workshop in 2003 and 2011, Program Chair of ISDC 2006 in Nijmegen, and VP of Meetings). He is Program Chair of the 2016 ISDC Conference in Delft and a Managing Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Congratulations to Andreas and good luck on behalf of the Society!
WPI to Host Upcoming SD Colloquium (January 16, 2016)
The System Dynamics Colloquium will be meeting at WPI this spring! Cast your vote and help decide the scheduling details of this event by filling out an online survey at the WPI System Dynamics Club website. Initiated in 2000, this colloquium is a gathering of graduate students from UAlbany SUNY, MIT, and WPI and takes place bi-annually in the spring and fall semesters at one of these three campuses. This one-day event offers non-evaluative peer review and allows students to present System Dynamics related research to faculty, other students, and practitioners for feedback and informational exchange. This event is organized by the students.
System Dynamics Review Early View (January 15, 2016)
A new System Dynamics Review early view article has been released. Read Albert Munoz and Matthew Pepper’s publication “Maintaining stock and flow: a constructive alignment approach to training system dynamicists.”
Member Simon Shepherd, and Chandra Balijepalli recently published the article “A game of two cities: A toll setting game with experimental results” in the journal Transport Policy. The paper extends the idea of competition between cities by setting up a System Dynamic model of two cities which includes modes such as car, bus, train and walking and cycling. This paper innovates by integrating the simulation of land use transport interactions with a class room style experimental game and analyses the gaming strategies from a continuous repeated prisoner’s dilemma involving setting of tolls to maximize the welfare of residents. Highlights of the paper include the development of a twin city land use transport interaction model; the incorporation of gaming facility to explore competition, and analysis of toll setting gaming experiment and use of information over regulation in policy making.
3rd Annual South Africa System Dynamics Conference: A Report (January 12, 2016)
The 3rd Annual South Africa System Dynamics Conference was held at the Eskom Research, Testing and Development Centre in Johannesburg on November 16, 2015. This conference, collaboratively hosted by Eskom and the South Africa Chapter, explored a variety of topics, including: energy, gangsterism, health systems, Ponzi schemes, project prioritization, chemical usage, situational awareness, innovation process and green economy. 75 participants who were academics, researchers, government officials, consultants and students, attended the workshop.
Several awards and recognitions were given at the conference for outstanding achievement:
Andries Botha, winner of Best Presentation for his work titled “Ponzi Schemes—A System Dynamics Perspective (It’s not all about work!).”
Danie Booyens, winner of Best Contribution for his paper “System Dynamics Simulation using Non-Traditional Platforms.”
Jacobus Smit van Niekerk, Willem Jonker, Aliza Pienaar, Theodore York, Juan Oosthuizen, and Lize Duminy, all students from Stellenbosch University, winners of Best Student Paper. These six students co-authored the paper “A System Dynamics Approach to Understanding the Implications of a Green Economy Transition in the Western Cape Province of South Africa” with Prof Alan Brent, Dr Josephine Musango, and Imke de Kock.
System Dynamics Application Used in Investment Research Methods (January 12, 2016)
The FA Online edition of Financial Advisor, on January 12, posted the article “Cucchiaro Launches RIA, Hedge Fund.” Stephen J. Cucchiaro has formed 3EDGE Asset Management, a Boston-based Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) where he will serve as president, CIO and chairman of the investment committee. Parts of the article follow: Cucchiaro, who uses a scientific methodology in his investment strategy, began managing investment portfolios in 1994 and was founder, president and CIO of Windward Investment Management. … Cucchiaro uses proprietary investment research methods, including applications of engineering, System Dynamics and complexity economics concepts to analyze the relationships that drive markets. “Our approach seeks to identify asset classes and geographies that may be undervalued as a result of the macro-inefficiencies inherent in the global markets,” Cucchiaro said. “We are looking to capture the potential for material long-term price appreciation of these undervalued asset classes and geographies over different time frames.”
The firm will apply a multiplayer game theory framework to better understand how policies by actors like central banks might influence the direction of capital markets. “We may be at a critical juncture in the global markets,” Cucchiaro said. “The massive central bank intervention since 2008 has, in many instances, elevated asset prices. In the years ahead, attractive investment returns, particularly on a risk-adjusted basis, could be difficult to achieve as markets may be susceptible to diminishing returns from monetary stimulus. In such an environment, more passive buy and hold strategies could prove to be disappointing, while short-term trading strategies could also be counter-productive since investors may be whipsawed by market volatility.” …
Mr. Cucchiaro gave a plenary presentation at the 2013 Cambridge Conference titled “A System Dynamics Approach to Modeling the Global Capital Markets.”
New Book by Society Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah (January 11, 2016)
Member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah has published a new book, The Physics of Stocks and Flows of Energy Systems: Application in Energy Policy, available now online. Using System Dynamics, Hassan illustrates the physics of stocks and flows across the demand and supply sectors of energy systems. By studying the dynamics of these fundamental structures, the reader better understands stocks and flows and their role in energy policy.
Hassan’s book is useful to managers, practitioners, teachers, researchers and students interested in the design and assessment of policy for complex and dynamic energy systems.
Demonstrating the Utility of SD Modeling for Synthesizing Epidemiologic Evidence to Inform Public Policy (January 07, 2016)
Member David Lounsbury, along with Anton Palma, Nicholas Schlecht and Ilir Agalliu recently published the article “A System Dynamics Model of Serum Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for Prostate Cancer” in the prestigious American Journal of Epidemiology. The article is currently available electronically (ahead of print). Their publication adds to the on-going deliberation about the benefits and harms of regular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for adult men. Since 2012, US guidelines have recommended against PSA screening for prostate cancer, which was based mainly on the results of two large clinical trials [i.e., the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening trial and the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC)]. However, evidence of screening benefit from the PLCO and the ERSPC trials has been inconsistent, due partly to differences in participant noncompliance and contamination. In their article the authors describe how they used System Dynamics modeling to replicate the PLCO trial and to extrapolate follow-up to 20 years, correcting for effect attenuation in a three different scenarios. Two of three simulated scenarios showed a benefit of PSA screening, with relative risks of 0.62 (95% confidence interval: 0.53, 0.72) and 0.70 (95% confidence interval: 0.59, 0.83) for cancer-specific mortality after 20 years, demonstrating that after correcting for noncompliance and contamination, there is potential benefit of PSA screening in reducing prostate cancer mortality. This work underscores the utility of System Dynamics modeling for synthesizing epidemiologic evidence to inform public health policy.
Member Alexander V. Ryzhenkov has published an updated version of his paper (January 06, 2016)
Member Alexander V. Ryzhenkov has published an updated version of his paper, “Socially Efficient Stabilization Policies for Growth Cycles,” in the journal Advances in Economics and Business. Read the full text of the paper here.
ANZAM Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation of 2015 (January 06, 2016)
Rodney Scott, freshly graduated with a PhD from the University of Queensland, recently received an impressive recognition: the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Award for the Best Doctoral Dissertation of 2015. His PhD thesis title is “Group Model Building and Mental Model Change.” Rodney completed his doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr. Donald Cameron at the University of Queensland and Dr. Bob Cavana of Victoria University of Wellington. Colleagues applaud Rodney’s work helping to raise the profile and impact of Systems Thinking and System Dynamics in the Australasia region and beyond. Congratulations and best wishes on a promising future, Dr. Scott!
Recently Published Materials of Several MIT System Dynamics Courses (January 06, 2016)
MIT OpenCourseWare is a free and open publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum and used by millions of learners and educators around the world. Browse a complete listing of courses offered by the MIT Sloan School of Management OpenCourseWare program.
Six PhD Scholarships in the Centre for Systems Studies, Hull University Business School (January 06, 2016)
The Centre for Systems Studies, based in the Business School at the University of Hull (UK), has a strong international reputation for its cutting edge work on the theory, methodology and practice of systems thinking. Six scholarships for the Systems Science PhD program are available to offer to successful candidates wanting to start a PhD in September 2016. The deadline for applications is 29 February 2016. These scholarships are structured into three research areas, each of which has a pair of scholarships associated with it:
Resilient Communities for Sustainable Development: exploring the potential for harnessing ecosystem services and local sustainable development to promote the physical, social, mental and economic well-being of communities in different socio-economic settings. One PhD student will work on local “green economy” models and their impact on the socio-economic well-being of the community, and the other will work on the exploitation of ecosystem services for health and well-being.
Resilience in Cyberspace: examining the opportunities and challenges for public and private sector service providers operating in the digital economy. The focus will be on internet-based business models and their sustainability. One PhD student will focus on the way social media and pervasive technologies furnish data and networks that can be harnessed by businesses; and the other student will focus on how the digitisation and connectivity afforded by these technologies can expose service providers and consumers to ethical and security challenges.
Marginalisation and Conflict: extending the capabilities of systemic action research methodologies and complexity science to address the dynamics of conflict and marginalisation and their consequences in complex social systems. The first PhD student will focus on health/welfare settings, and the second will focus on social inclusion/exclusion, collective identities and radicalisation. Both students will work with the wider team of academics to develop a framework for understanding and explaining the systemic phenomena associated with the dynamics of marginalisation, in order to inform the design of policies and interventions to minimise the social costs of this.
Further details about these scholarships including application, fees, stipend, and more are online. On the main scholarship page, scroll down the list, and click on Resilience and Sustainability of Socio-Ecological Systems, which is the overall title for the Centre for Systems Studies cluster of scholarships. In the resulting drop-down menu click on each Systems scholarship topic to view details. To apply, please use Apply Now button and follow the instructions.
New issue of System Dynamics Review Available (January 04, 2016)
The XMILE 1.0 was voted and approved as the international technical standard by OASIS on December 14th, a significant achievement. This is the first standard implementation of System Dynamics vocabulary since it was first imagined by Jay Forrester in the 1950s.
New Book: Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works(January 04, 2016)
Member Asish Ghosh recently published the book Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works through Springer International Publishing. Congratulations, Asish!