News Archives 2016
For several years Kim Warren has run online Strategy Dynamics courses, which explain the frameworks of their powerful approach to strategy and implementation. In response to many people wanting to go further and actually build models for their plans and challenges, Strategy Dynamics has launched a new course on Dynamic Business Modeling. The Dynamic Business Modeling course instructs on how to actually build and use quantified simulation models that match those frameworks, using the amazingly easy Sysdea browser-based software. The Strategy Dynamics courses are described at updated courses page. Three immediate options are offered:
- take a self-taught core course on Dynamic Business Modeling
- enroll in the next scheduled instructor-led course on Strategy Dynamics and Business Modeling, running over 8 weeks from March 24th
- and the self-taught course on Strategy Dynamics is still available
These beneficial courses offer management a rigorous and reliable approach to making sustained improvements in performance, whether by tackling one-off challenges, or by providing the foundation for confident, continuing plans. As a thank you, Strategy Dynamics would like to offer a 10% off coupon on any of their courses. To use this discount, select your course then select “View Basket” and add Coupon “SDSocFriend” in the discount box. All these courses are available to teachers at no charge, and the course content to teach will also be provided. Visit Strategy Dynamics’ website to get started!
This year the PhD Colloquium has a new registration form. The Student Chapter website will no longer be used for registration. Please click here to sign up to attend the PhD Colloquium. For information about the PhD Colloquium and to get in touch with the organizers, please visit the PhD Colloquium Facebook page. See you in Cambridge!
Wednesday, March 22nd is the deadline for submitting your work to the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. This year’s conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 16-20, 2017, marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. We will celebrate the accomplishments of the past six decades and explore future directions by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. Take this opportunity to share your innovative work in System Dynamics—submit your paper today!
On March 6th, the CFA Institute announced that Dr. Mila Getmansky Sherman was the winner of the Top Award in the Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence competition. The Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence is a prestigious award given by the CFA Institute’s Financial Analysts Journal in recognition of excellence in research and financial writing. The article, titled “Interconnectedness in the CDS Market,” was the work of Mila Getmansky Sherman, Giulio Girardi and Craig Lewis. In the abstract the authors state, “Concentrated risks in the market for credit default swaps (CDSs) are widely considered to have contributed significantly to the 2007–08 financial crisis. We examine the structure of the CDS market using a network-based approach that allows us to capture the interconnectedness between dealers and nondealers of CDS contracts.” Mila received her undergraduate and doctoral training at MIT, where she concentrated on System Dynamics and finance. She is currently Associate Professor at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Additional information about the award is available on the CFA website. To read the full paper visit the SSRN website. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulation to Mila!
World Climate Simulation
March 17, 9 A.M. -3 P.M.
(March 13, 2017)
SIMULATIONS FOR REAL–WORLD CHALLENGES
DynamiQueST is a showcase of the power of simulations and creative student projects that utilize critical thinking skills to analyze complex dynamic systems.
JOIN US to play the World Climate Simulation created at MIT and used internationally to facilitate current world climate negotiations.
SEE HOW systems thinking and System Dynamics (ST/SD) can elucidate both global issues and curricular content.
What Are The Goals Of DynamiQueST?
- Experience the World Climate Simulation, based on systems thinking, and used around the world to understand the issues surrounding climate change.
- Apply practical critical thinking tools to a real-world problem.
- See student projects that embody critical thinking using systems thinking and System Dynamics (ST/SD).
- Showcase student work for the wider community.
- Meet students from other communities
- Have some fun and celebrate with kids!
Who Will Be There?
Students (ages 12-18), teachers and parents will participate in the simulation and learn to utilize some of the tools of System Dynamics and systems thinking to analyze and clearly communicate critical thinking. Coaches will be there to facilitate both the simulation and the presentation of student projects.
This week, Society member Karim Chichakly, Co-President of isee systems, taught a week-long course in Systems Thinking at ENAP (Brazilian Public Administration School). The morning classes were held for 92 high-level civil servants. In the afternoons, the Brazil Chapter accompanied Karim in a series of thematic meetings with federal and state government agencies regarding forests/climate, accountability, water resources, and taxation issues. Brazil Chapter member Aldo Zagonal describes the second day of events, reporting “The class was well attended on day 2, when activities and exercises helped hone-in key System Thinking concepts. Our meeting at Brazil’s Tribunal de Contas da União (the equivalent of the U.S. GAO) sparked a lively discussion about a number of issues that could become the subject of an interesting and useful System Dynamics project. The paradigm and the method are causing excitement, which we hope will continue throughout the week.”
Information about the Brazil Chapter, including contact information for Brazil Chapter Representative Paulo Nakamura, can be found on the Society’s website.
The Policy Council recently approved the 2017 Standing Committee appointments of the following members: John Morecroft (Administrative Committee), Jac Vennix and Elke Husemann (Awards Committee), David Lane (Nominating Committee), Brad Morrison (Organization and Bylaws Committee), Allyson Beall King and Stefano Armenia (Society Program Oversight Committee), and Sarah Metcalf (Publications Committee). Elke Husemann will also serve on the Strategy Committee. To see a complete list of Standing Committee members and the duties of each committee, please visit the Society website. We welcome the newly appointed members and thank all committee members for their willingness to serve.
Once again, we will be offering the popular Modeling Assistance Workshop (MAW) at the annual International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge. Rod MacDonald and Gary Hirsch will be organizing the MAW activities, which include two workshops and the opportunity to obtain modeling assistance at any time during the conference. All levels of modeling background are welcome! If you think you may be interested in receiving assistance on a modeling question at the conference, please notify us in advance of the conference by writing to Rod MacDonald. If you are interested in coaching, please write to Gary Hirsch.
The proposal of a new ASEAN* Chapter was announced at the 2nd Annual Asia Pacific Conference last month in Singapore. The ASEAN Chapter membership will be open to any person living or working in the ASEAN, and will not be restricted to members of the Society. The objectives of the Chapter are to promote the development of the field of System Dynamics and the free interchange of learning and research in all related fields, and to encourage and develop educational programs in systems thinking and System Dynamics modeling. There will be a motion to approve the proposal of the ASEAN Chapter at the upcoming Policy Council meeting.
* The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an organization of countries in southeast Asia set up to promote cultural, economic and political development in the region.
It was an exciting moment when nearly 100 delegates to the 2nd Asia Pacific Conference of the System Dynamics Society endorsed the creation of the Asia Pacific Coordinating Council (APCC). The APCC will be established as a Standing Committee of the System Dynamics Society. Lakshminarayanan Samavedham (Laksh) has been appointed to serve as the Founding Chair of the APCC. A motion is set to be drafted to ensure that all members of the APCC will be invited to participate fully in all business of the Society so that they are best positioned to take actions to promote System Dynamics in the Asia Pacific Region.
2nd Annual Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference (March 6, 2017)
The Asia Pacific System Dynamics Conference, held at National University of Singapore, February 19-22, was a huge success, attracting nearly 200 participants from 15 countries. The conference began with a Student Research Colloquium opened by Professor John Richardson and Professor Lakshminarayanan Samavedham. The student colloquium featured eight oral presentations and nine poster presentations.
The main conference opened with an address by guest of honor, Provost of NUS, Professor Tan Eng Chye. Plenary presentations included the following titles:
- “Toward a Sustainable Society – Learning from Japan’s Edo Period and Contributing from Asia to the World” by Junko Edahiro
- “The Asia Pacific Region is the Growing Edge of the System Dynamics Society” by David Anderson, Robert Eberlein & Ignacio Martinez-Moyano
- “Large Scale Systems of Singapore” by Lui Pao Chuen
- “Is Humanity Becoming More or Less Reasonable?” by Kishore Mahbubani, Dean LKYSPP
During the course of the two main conference days, there were also thirty-three oral presentations and thirteen poster presentations. On the last day of the conference, these seven workshops were held:
- Agile modeling with Sysdea by Kim Warren
- Introduction to Stella by Bob Eberline
- Lessons That Move Pre-College Mathematics and Science Students Toward Complex System Analysis; and Modeling Dynamics Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course, both by Diana Fisher
- Multistakeholder Decision Making for Wicked Problems-A System Thinking Lab by Kambiz Maani
- Introduction to Business Strategy Using Management Games and System Modeling: Fishbanks®
To view additional photos from the conference, please visit the Facebook page of the Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference.
On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we would like to congratulate the winners of the Award for Best Paper submitted to the Student Research Colloquium at the 2nd Annual Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference! The first place award was presented by to student author Kan Jun Gregory Tham and research supervisor Naviyn Prabhu Balakrishnan for the paper “Understanding Income Inequality in Singapore from System Dynamics Perspective.” The second place award was presented to student author Kian Ming Phua and research supervisor Naviyn Prabhu Balakrishnan for the paper “Singapore Public Housing Dynamics: Exploring Plausible Future of Public Housing.” Shown in the photos below, are the student winners along with Provost of NUS, Professor Tan Eng Chye.
On February 22nd, CNN’s website featured the article “The Paris Agreement is bigger than Trump… isn’t it?” by John D. Sutter. The article explores the outcome if the United States were to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. The author of the article quotes Society member John Sterman as he explains the challenges of limiting warming. In the article, John states “[A] cascade of defections from Paris, would be a fatal blow to the prospects to liming warming to no more than 2 degrees, and there would be climate catastrophes that come with that.” Sutter reports “Current pledges made as part of the Paris Agreement, including US commitments, put the world at about 3.4 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100, according to Sterman and Climate Interactive. If the entire agreement fell apart and global emissions continued at their current clip, the planet could expect 4.2 degrees of warming.” The full article can be viewed on the CNN website.
This may be of interest to any System Dynamics researchers looking to promote thinking, learning, and research with mathematicians: The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical and Sciences has announced that applications are now being solicited for new thematic and focus programs beginning in 2019. Please visit their website for details.
The research article “Challenging learning goals improve performance in dynamically complex microworld simulations,” by Society members Michael Shayne Gary and Miles M. Yang, along with their colleague Hong Jiang, is featured in the Early View of the System Dynamics Review. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.
Warren Farr was recently approved (by the Policy Council) as the Vice President Marketing and Communications of the System Dynamics Society. Warren is the President of Informed Dynamic Systems and the CEO of Refrigeration Sales Corporation (RSC). He states in his bio that “throughout his life, he has been fascinated by designing and operating complex systems” and “that System Dynamics provides a useful and satisfying way of describing and analyzing these systems.” Congratulations Warren!
The International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability has published the article, “A systems approach to forecast agricultural land transformation and soil environmental risk from economic, policy, and cultural scenarios in the north central United States (2012–2062),” by Society members Ben Turner, Melissa Wuellner, Tim Nichols, Roger Gates, Luis O. Tedeschi, and Barry H. Dunn. In the article, the authors discuss the socio-economic and environmental threats associated with converting grasslands to row crops in the north central United States. They state in the abstract, “We used a system dynamics model of the region to forecast agriculturally driven land transformation through mid-twenty-first century. The base-case scenario projection showed that farmland area continued to increase, from under 200,000 km2 to over 230,000 km2. Unmitigated, the soil environmental risk (SER) of such changes reached conservative estimates of Dust Bowl-era externalities.” The full article is available on the website Taylor & Francis Online
The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce that Chang-Kwon (Benjamin) Chung is the new president of the Korea Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in International Business Strategy and is a research fellow at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. He was elected president on February 25, 2017, at the annual winter Korean System Dynamics Conference and general assembly. Almost 40 of the chapter’s 300 members attended this conference, including nine high school students for post presentation. The Korean Chapter holds monthly seminars (from March to June and from September to November), two annual conferences (summer and winter), and four publications of their own System Dynamics journal every year. Benjamin states “My mission is to vitalize this bequest, make the membership and finance stronger, boom up K-12 SD, and bridge Korean System Dynamics Society with SDS including no doubt Asia-Pacific Society.”
The second edition of Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works, by Society member Asish Ghosh, is now available on the website of the publisher Springer International. The description on the website states “This book will enable readers to not only better interact with the systems in their professional and daily lives, but also allow them to develop and evaluate them for their effectiveness in achieving their designed purpose.” More information about Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works can be found on the Springer website.
(February 28, 2017)
DynamiQueST: World Climate Simulation is scheduled for March 17, 2017, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. The event, open to students (ages 12-18), teachers and parents, will teach participants to use the tools of System Dynamics to analyze real world challenges. The World Climate Simulation begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by lunch and an opportunity to talk with students who are using System Dynamics and system thinking in their work. The program concludes with a debriefing of the climate simulation using system thinking tools. To learn more about DynamiQueST or to register, please visit the Creative Learning Exchange website.
Scholarship money is available to support student attendance at the International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge this summer. Members of the Society and individuals who are presenting during the conference will be given scholarship preference. Additional details about scholarships are available on the conference website. When applying, please enter the Web Portal and use the “Award and Scholarship Information” button on your User Menu. The deadline for scholarship applications is May 11th.
Your donation can create more scholarships! We have awarded 125 scholarships over the past twelve years as donations enabled us to grow our annual scholarship budget. Help us increase the number of scholarships awarded this year by donating to the Conference Scholarship campaign! Your support of this program will create a meaningful opportunity for a deserving student. These determined, bright students are the next generation of distinguished system dynamicists, let us welcome them by supporting their participation in the 2017 International System Dynamics Conference. To make a donation, simply include your contribution with your conference registration, or contact the Society office.
For three decades, David was president of Wheat Resources Inc, a management consulting firm serving business and government clients. He received his PhD in System Dynamics at the University of Bergen, his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, and his bachelor’s degree in political science at Texas Tech University. During the 1970s, he served at the White House as staff assistant to the President of the United States. David teaches the modeling process course and the policy design course and supervises student research in the international master’s degree program in System Dynamics. His research focuses on demographic and economic issues, plus policy design research aimed at improving the methodology of System Dynamics modeling. Current research projects involve building dynamic economic modeling capacity at the National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine, creating an SD-based macroeconomic model for Lithuania, and developing a macroeconomic forecasting model in collaboration with economists at the Bank of Lithuania. He also collaborates with researchers at the University of North Dakota on public health. David is also visiting professor of economics at ISM University of Management and Economics in Lithuania and adjunct professor of economics at Virginia Western College in the United States. He is past-president of the Economics Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, and has conducted guest lectures in Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Congratulations to David! On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we wish you the best of luck in your new position.
ONE MONTH remains to submit your System Dynamics work to the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, to be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA – July 16 – 20, 2017. The submission deadline is MARCH 22. Please review the submission guidelines and instructions. Become a part of this engaging and diverse event by submitting your work today!
Submissions are arriving through the Web Portal daily! All conference paper and workshop submissions require that each author has an author ID. Please ask your co-authors to register directly at the Society’s Web Portal this week to ensure correct author information. It is free to register and only takes a moment. It is the contact author’s responsibility to confirm all submission information is complete. To learn more about the conference, please visit the conference website.
Andrew Jones, Society member and co-director of Climate Interactive, will give a presentation on global climate change followed by an open question-and-answer session at University of North Carolina Asheville on February 23rd. Drew’s discussion, “Top 10 Reasons for Hope for Our Climate,” will run from 6-7:30 p.m. at UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union, in the Swannanoa River Room 104. This event is sponsored by the Student Environmental Center, a student organization at UNC Asheville, and is free and open to everyone. For additional details, see the UNC Asheville website.
The System Dynamics Student Chapter invites you to send us your funniest stock and flow diagram (SFD) or causal loop diagram (CLD) designs in a high resolution image. The competition is open to everyone, both students and senior system dynamicists alike. The only requirement for the contest is that the design needs to fit on a t-shirt. Please send your design to phdcolloquium-at systemdynamics.org or submit through the PhD Colloquium Facebook page as a post or private message. The winner will receive a sampling of free SDC merchandise with their winning design, as well as all the glory and attention that the Student Chapter can bestow, which will guarantee a celebrity status throughout the conference week…and beyond!
We have created a Conference Roommate Board on an unlisted LinkedIn page to help participants find roommates. This group is only open to 2017 ISDC Conference or Summer School participants who are seeking a roommate. Please contact our office to request an invitation to join this group. The conference website has a link to the Hyatt Reservation Form with a list of room and cost details. The Hyatt Regency Cambridge has offered a special student rate-get the most affordable option by sharing the student rate with a roommate! The deadline for hotel room reservations is June 22, 2017.
Tips on Writing a Good Research Paper (February 15, 2017)
If you are planning to submit a paper for the 2017 ISDC, check out these helpful articles from long-time reviewer, Tom Fiddaman, with tips on writing good System Dynamics Conference papers. “Writing an SD Conference Paper” and “Writing a good system dynamics paper II” are available on the “Submissions” page of the Society’s conference website. Papers should be submitted through the web portal by the March 22 deadline. Acceptance notices will be sent by May 11, 2017.
Call for 2017 Lupina Young Researchers Award Nominations (February 13, 2017)
FYI Student and Recent Graduate (5 years) Presenters! The Health Policy Special Interest Group (HPSIG) of the System Dynamics Society is pleased to present the Lupina Young Researchers Award for work that focuses on dynamic phenomena in health systems and problems. This self-nominated award is sponsored by the Lupina Foundation of Ontario, Canada. The Lupina Award will be given to people at early stages of their careers to encourage them to do further work in Health System Dynamics. The self-nomination procedure should be followed when submitting your paper. The deadline for submissions is March 22nd. Details of the award can be found on the Society’s website.
Ventana Systems Announces the Release of Ventity 1.0 (February 10, 2017)
Ventana Systems has recently released Ventity 1.0. Ventity makes is easier to represent systems with irregular, changing structure and data, providing clean separation of the model from the data. Some of the software’s features include: modularity and object orientation, strong data-model separation, dynamic creation and deletion of model components and relationships, support for team collaboration and advanced charting. Ventity’s capabilities work to complement Vensim software. The two programs are developed in parallel and are available as a bundle. To learn more about Ventity visit Ventana Systems’ website.
Society’s VP Chapter Activities Appointed Co-Editor of Kybernetes Journal (February 10, 2017)
Dr. Eng. Stefano Armenia, the System Dynamics Society’s VP Chapter Activities, has been recently appointed as Co-Editor of Kybernetes: The international journal of cybernetics, systems and management sciences, published by Emerald-Insight. The role of Editor in Chief has been taken up by Prof. Gandolfo Dominici, Scientific Director of the BSLab. Kybernetes has a new Editorial Board and a richly updated scopes, which are now focusing more on the social, organizational and managerial applications of cybernetics and systems thinking. For more information, please visit the journal’s website.
Research Article Explores Modeling and Simulation in the Classroom (February 9, 2017)
The article “Learning and Education Experience in System Dynamics of Management Students: Case Studies,” by Society members Miroljub Kljajić , Andrej Škraba and their colleague Mirjana Kljajić Borštnar, was published in the International Journal of Decision Support System Technology. In the article, the authors discuss their research, stating “This paper describes experiences in the teaching of a Modelling and simulation course for students of management sciences at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor [Slovenia]. Our course consists of continuous simulation based on systems dynamics and discrete event simulation DES. The course is in the 3rd year, and students have already taken courses from mathematics, statistics, theory of systems, as well as organizational and economic courses. The final grade for the course is derived from the student’s project and written exam. In this paper, we will discuss methods of teaching SD and its impact on the students’ performance (final grade).” The full article is available on the IGI Global website.
Software Updates for Stella Architect (February 9, 2017)
Earlier this month, isee systems announced the release of new updates in Stella Architect 1.2. The improved features of the software include: improved data manager, better functionality of importing external runs, parameter control windows updates, model view improvements and animation, the addition of divide 0 operator, preserving graphs and tables and circularity checking. To learn more about the new features visit isee systems’ website.
Member Hazir Rahmandad Featured in Huffington Post Article (February 8, 2017)
The article “Hazhir Rahmandad: Applying System Dynamics to Social Challenges” was published on February 6, 2017, on The Huffington Post website. The article is part of a series of interviews by the Iranian Americans’ Contribution Project featuring distinguished Iranian-Americans who have made major impacts in their professional fields. The article covers Hazir’s biographical information before delving into specific questions about his start in engineering, his current research work, and concluding with Hazir’s thoughts on being Iranian-American. Hazir, an associate professor of System Dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management, was the 2015 Jay W. Forrester Award winner and currently serves the Society as a Workshop Chair for the 2017 ISDC. Please see the full article on the Huffington Post website.
New on the SDS Website: Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories (February 8, 2017)
On the Society’s website under the category of “What is SD?” you’ll find a new section called “Award Winning Applications of System Dynamics.” These award winning applications of SD are linked to our Case Repository pages and the new Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories page. This new page will feature a collection of short videos in which senior modelers narrate the story of high impact commercial applications of System Dynamics, providing a compliment to written material available in the Case Repository.
In the fall and winter of 2016, Ken Cooper visited the System Dynamics Society home office to film a series of videos narrating several high impact and more interesting commercial applications from his distinguished career. We are pleased to announce Ken’s first video, the Litton Industries Case, is available now on our website. Additional videos will be released in following weeks, so check back soon to hear more interesting stories about award winning SD applications!
On January 31st, following the celebration of the Lunar New Year’s Day, a special open lecture for System Dynamics was held in Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. Attendance exceeded expectations, as more than fifty participants including high school students and executives of companies participated in this event. Professor Dong-Hwan Kim, the former president of Korean System Dynamics Society (2010-2012), gave a two hour high energy lecture. The Korea Chapter has also announced that the 2017 winter conference of Korean System Dynamics will be held in the same place, Ewha Womans University, on February 25th. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we wish the Korea Chapter continued success!
Member Jack Homer uses ReThink Health model to assess potential adverse impacts of Trump policies (February 6, 2017)
The ReThink Health website, sponsored by the Rippel Foundation, features the editorial, “Beware unintended consequences: what the ReThink Health model tells us about the impact of President Trump’s policies,” by the foundation’s President and CEO, Laura Landy. The editorial is based on a white paper by Jack Homer, which analyzes potential impacts on US health of four areas where policy reversal under Trump seems possible: health insurance, job growth, environmental regulation, and community-minded law enforcement. The SD model is used to estimate impacts on morbidity, mortality, worker productivity, and health care costs from 2017 to 2029, assuming that the policy reversals remain in place for that long. When all four of the reversals are combined, the first three outcomes are worsened by 3 to 4 percentage points over the 12 years. Health care costs are somewhat reduced—but only because access to needed care has been curtailed. On a more optimistic note, the ReThink Health model was also used to analyze constructive policies for regional health systems, in an article published in Health Affairs, a leading health policy journal, earlier in 2016.
Society Member is Partner in SURE-Farm, an SD Research Project (February 3, 2017)
The University of Bergen website news page features the article “EU funding for climate dynamics project,” written by Sverre Ole Drønen. The article highlights the latest research project of Birgit Kopainsky, a System Dynamics researcher from the Department of Geography at the University of Bergen and Society member. The project focuses on the “sustainability and resilience” in European agriculture systems and is coordinated by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The project, named SURE-Farm (Towards SUstainable and REsilient EU FARMing systems), has received 4.8 million Euros from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. In the article, Birgit explains, “The SURE-Farm project will assess management tools to improve the economic, environmental and social resilience of European farms. The idea is to find opportunities to create a more sustainable agricultural industry.” The full article is available on the University of Bergen’s website.
Special Issue of Journal of Cleaner Production Features Collection of SD Articles (February 3, 2017)
Research work involving System Dynamics at service of sustainability, has recently been published in Journal for Cleaner Production. In a description of the journal’s thirty-five articles, Karl-Henrik Robèrt, author and co-editor of this special issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production, writes “The focus of the special volume is on science at service of systematic leadership towards sustainability. The knowledge captured in this special volume helps leaders understand what sustainability is, i.e., how to define it, and to operationalize it in a systematic and strategic way in any arena or organization and across disciplines and sectors.” One of the thirty-five articles, “Boundary matters: the potential of system dynamics to support sustainability?” by Ehsan Nabavi, Katherine Daniell, and Husain Najafi, discusses how the use of System Dynamics improves understanding and supports sustainability. In the abstract the authors conclude, “The paper also discusses how and why System Dynamics needs to be used by analysts in a more complete manner (i.e. engaging qualitative, quantitative, and participatory approaches) to ensure that in any given applied case, the models, and the judgements underpinning their development, are effectively embedded in societal and political contexts that allow their use for supporting sustainability.” This article and the full journal are accessible on the Science Direct website.
Information and Knowledge Thread at the Cambridge System Dynamics Conference (February 3, 2017)
Papers submitted to the 2017 ISDC are classified into one of fourteen threads. Among the threads at the conference this year is the Information and Knowledge Thread. This thread relates to the dynamics of information and knowledge including knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research and development, invention, and innovation. The chairs for the Information and Knowledge Thread are members Christian Kampmann, Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School, and Gönenç Yucel, Associate Professor at the Bogaziçi University and the 2014 Dana Meadows Award winner.
Call for Papers: 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society(February 2, 2017)
The Web Portal is now open to accept paper submissions as well as proposals for workshops and tutorials to be presented at the International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 16-20, 2017. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. System Dynamics is used around the world, from K-12 classrooms through doctoral programs, in scholarly research across many disciplines, and in applications from organizational change to climate change, from medicine to management. The conference will celebrate the accomplishments of the past six decades and explore future directions by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. For a detailed list and descriptions of conference session topics, visit “Threads for 2017” website. The submission deadline is March 22nd. For more information, please visit “Call for Papers” website.
Member Article in the Journal Mathematics Enthusiast(January 31, 2017)
The research article “Reorganizing Algebraic Thinking: An Introduction to Dynamic System Modeling,” by Society member Diana Fisher, has been published in the journal Mathematics Enthusiast. The article presents the idea of introducing System Dynamics modeling into the middle school or high school level algebra class. In the abstract Diana explains, “In the body of the paper, a nested sequence of simple bank account examples, increasing in complexity, is used to demonstrate a comparison between using a closed form approach and using Stella to mathematize each situation. The comparison, showing equivalent recursive equations, closed form equations, and Stella modeling diagrams, is designed to give the reader (algebra teacher, mathematics education decision-maker, researcher, or whomever) an accessible introduction to understanding Stella model diagrams and the mathematical engine operating under the ‘hood’ of the software.” Diana concludes by discussing the advantages of students utilizing modeling software and the limitations of traditional math curriculum. The full article is available through the Scholar Works University of Montana website.
Call for 2017 Dana Meadows Award Nominations(January 26, 2017)
Attention Student Presenters: The Society’s Dana Meadows Award (DMA) symbolizes the Society’s commitment to students by recognizing the very best student work. It also honors, in an enduring way, the life and work of Dana Meadows. The Dana Meadow Award is a self-nominated award given to outstanding papers authored by students that are presenting at the conference. The self-nomination procedure should be followed when submitting your conference paper. The Web Portal will open for submissions on February 2nd and are due by the March 22nd deadline. More information about Dana Meadows, the Dana Meadow Award, and detailed submission guidelines can be found on our website.
Winter Policy Council Meeting: March 16 in Cambridge, Massachusetts(January 26, 2017)
The Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society will meet for the Winter Meeting on March 16 at 11:00 AM. President Len Malczynski 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 at the annual international conference and once during the first fiscal quarter of the year. We welcome the new and returning PC officers and members and thank those who have fulfilled their terms. 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. All past Policy Council Meeting minutes are archived on the Society website, and can be found using “Governance” menu item.
Member Ellis Ballard Appointed Associate Director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab (January 23, 2017)
Society member Ellis Ballard has accepted a new position as the Associate Director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. Ellis, who received his Masters of Public Health and Masters of Social Work from the Brown School, has taught Community Based System Dynamics and has designed and led group model building workshops. He has also applied these SD approaches in his research and practice involving health equity and human rights issues in low and middle income countries. Founding Director of the Social System Design Lab, Peter Hovmand notes “During his time in the Social System Design Lab, Ellis has made significant contributions to the lab and overall direction, and developed a management style that students, faculty, staff, and community partners have all come to value and enjoy. Ellis brings with him a terrific spirit of positive energy, passion for advancing group model building practice and system dynamics, exceptional management skills, and commitment to social justice.” On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Ellis!
Article Uses System Dynamics to Analyze the Cycle of Fake News (January 23, 2017)
The article “Do you think fake news can be killed with the truth? Think again,” by Sharon Pian Chan and Andre Alfred, which appeared on the website of ART + marketing, used System Dynamics to analyze data regarding fake news. Chan and Alfred note “We decided to combine our engineering and journalism backgrounds to do a deeper dive on how fake news feeds on itself using systems thinking, a tool we have been studying at MIT the past year.” The authors give credit to Society members and MIT System Dynamics Professors, John Sterman and Nelson Repenning for their feedback. The systems map was created using Vensim software. The authors describe this data, reporting “When we add the causal loop diagrams to the stock flow, we can see the relationship between the demand for partisan news sources, Facebook filtering, confirmation bias and how the system feeds on itself to drive the creation of fake news.” The authors seek to explore solutions in their next post and request feedback. Please see the full article for details about the data and for the authors’ contact information.
Member Andrew Jones of Climate Interactive Interview on Public Radio WCQS (January 19, 2017)
On January 12, member and Climate Interactive co-director, Andrew Jones spoke with Jeremy Loeb on Western North Carolina Public Radio WCQS. In the interview, Andrew talks about climate issues in the wake of the election of Donald Trump. In regards to the public’s concerns about what direction the new administration will take on climate change, Andrew says “this could be the thing that rallies people to be much more engaged in something that has always required citizen action.” Loeb also brought up The New York Times digital story which used data provided by the Climate Interactive. The graphic designers used the climate data in an interesting, interactive way that engages people. The fact that there is a growing concern and conversation on climate gives hope. Andrew talks about getting people interested and involved in a movement, as he phrased it in the interview “I see people who are coming together to demand better by pulling together.” To listen to the full interview, please visit the website of WCQS.
Call for 2017 Award Nominations / Cambridge Conference (January 17, 2017)
The 2017 ISDC celebrates six decades of accomplishments and explores the future by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. The Awards Ceremonies of the conference are an opportunity to recognize the achievements of individuals in the field. We invite you to consider nominating a colleague or yourself for outstanding work in the field of System Dynamics. Awards information can be found on the conference website. There you will find nomination criteria, submission due dates and detailed descriptions for each of the following awards: Jay Wright Forrester Award, System Dynamics Application Award, Dana Meadows Award, Lupina Young Researchers Award, and the Barry Richmond Award. We look forward to honoring the award winners of 2017. See you this summer in Cambridge!
Registration is Now Open for the 2017 ISDC! (January 16, 2017)
The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce that registration for the 35th International System Dynamics Conference is now open. Hosted by the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan School of Management, the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 16-20, 2017. We invite you to take part in this 60th anniversary celebration as the 2017 ISDC is expected to be the largest-ever gathering of system dynamicists! Additional events include a pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School (July 12-14) and the PhD Colloquium (July 20th). Join us for an exciting lineup of presentations, workshops, learning opportunities and networking. For details and registration information, please visit the conference website. See a list of 2017 Conference Sponsors.
Blog Article Dedicated to the Memory of Jay W. Forrester (January 13, 2017)
In a recent blog article on the Supply Chain Management Review website, Larry Lapide dedicates his column, an annual update on oil and the supply chain, to the memory of Jay W. Forrester. Lapide writes, “Some managers will know who he was and what he accomplished regarding supply chain management. For others, they should think of the educational “beer game” that they have most likely played. It simulates how a lack of downstream and upstream information causes excess and volatile inventories to be held by trading partners all along a supply chain. Second, regarding oil he was the father of System Dynamics that dealt with using simulation to understand big systems, such as the impact of CO2 emissions on the global environment.” Lapide notes that Jay’s books Urban Dynamics and World Dynamics led to the models that “started the field of global modeling and led to the models we read about today simulating climate changes and supporting the need to limit CO2 emissions by reducing the use of carbon-based energy. Hence, Forrester’s relevance to this oil update.” The full article can be read on the Supply Chain Management Website.
ISDC 2017 Submission News: (January 13, 2017)
The 2017 Conference Program Co-chairs wish you a healthy and productive new year and are looking forward to seeing you at ISDC 2017 this summer, here in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. Whereas the 50th anniversary conference celebrated the achievements of our first half-century, for this 60th anniversary conference we seek to construct a program that points the way to the future by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. We will also celebrate the life of Jay W. Forrester, the founder of the field of System Dynamics, who passed away in November. Stay tuned for details.
Submissions will be accepted from February 2 to March 22. We welcome studies of dynamic phenomena based on qualitative or quantitative field study, laboratory or field experiments, and other data sources and methods. We particularly welcome work that provides new approaches to important theoretical and methodological issues, application areas, modeling practice, pedagogy, empirical methods and integration of different approaches to modeling the dynamics of complex systems. Appropriate contributions could advance methodology, develop a novel theory to explain important dynamic phenomena, test existing theories or show real-world impact. If the work addresses an important issue, takes a dynamic, endogenous perspective, captures the behavioral decision making of the actors in the system, is rigorously grounded in data, and is fully documented and replicable, we welcome it for consideration, no matter what software or modeling formalisms are used.
Whatever your focus, please ensure that your paper meets the high standards for quality we seek in our field. Be sure your paper:
– addresses an important issue,
– appropriately assesses and critically reviews the relevant literature,
– is clearly written,
– clearly presents your model, analysis, and results,
– follows the full documentation standards for the System Dynamics Review, including submittal of the actual model wherever possible,
– and meets the Preferred Model Reporting Requirements.
Finally, please make sure the title of your paper describes the key issue or contribution. IMPORTANT NOTE: please avoid a title such as “Your Title: A System Dynamics Approach” (or similar). Focus your title on the substance of your study, not the method you are using. Full title details can be found at the time of submission on the Paper Information for Submission Page in the Web Portal. For additional information, please contact the Conference Program Co-chairs, John Sterman and Nelson Repenning.
The 2017 PhD Colloquium wants you! (January 12, 2017)
This year’s topic for the PhD Colloquium is ‘Building Capacity’. The format will be brand new this year and will turn the colloquium into a learning environment where students can fully interact with and make use of the knowledge held by the senior system dynamicists who are attending.
This year the colloquium will feature not only the traditional PhD plenaries and posters, but also two new exciting sessions in the format of Open Space and World Café. In addition, the successful Angel Advisor program will return.
Both PhD and Master students are encouraged to submit their work, and the call for student papers is already out and can be found at the colloquium’s brand new Facebook page.
Senior system dynamicists will receive an invitation to participate at this year’s colloquium in a few weeks time. For now, more information about the new events this year can be found at the link above.
See you all in Cambridge!
New Ph.D.: SDS Member Raafat Zaini (January 09, 2017)
Society member Raafat Zaini has successfully defended his dissertation titled “Modeling Manifest and Latent Structures in a University: Understanding Resource and Dissent Dynamics” in the System Dynamics Ph.D. program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Raafat would like to thank his Ph.D. program committee: K. Saeed (chair), M. Elmes, and O. Pavlov, for their support. Raafat’s research interest is in the area of organizational dynamics and innovation sustainability with a focus on R&D organizations and higher education institutions. His current work involves the analysis and dynamic modeling of universities strategies, and investigating the role of dissent in organizational innovation climate. Raafat won the Graduate Innovation Exchange Award for Ph.D. research in social science and business at WPI in 2013 and 2014, and served as the president of WPI System Dynamics club in 2016. While pursuing his Ph.D., Raafat has worked as a researcher at MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center and consulted for the Advance Management Group. Raafat served as a co-chair of the System Dynamics Society business special interest group 2013-15, and is currently a member of the Society’s Policy Council. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Dr. Zaini!
New Ph.D.: SDS Member Saeed Langarudi (January 06, 2017)
Society member Saeed Pourmasoumui Langarudi has successfully defended his dissertation titled “Political Economy of Resource Dependent Nations: A System Dynamics Approach” in the System Dynamics Ph.D. program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Saeed is grateful to his Ph.D. committee: Dr. Michael Radzicki (chair), Dr. Alexander Smith, and Dr. Rajib Mallick, for their support. He would also like to acknowledge valuable comments and feedback he received on his doctoral work from participants of the Collective Learning Meetings at WPI’s System Dynamics Club. His deepest gratitude goes to Professors Khalid Saeed and Isa Bar-On for their incredible support, encouragement, and mentorship. He is also thankful to Professors Homa Katouzian and Ali Mashayekhi for their precious comments and advice. Saeed is now a Post Doctoral Research Scientist at the New Mexico State University’s Department of Animal & Range Sciences. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Dr. Langarudi!
Call for Abstracts: Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) 2017 (January 05, 2017)
Symposium organizers of ABM 2017: Agent-Based Models in the Social, Human-Environment, and Life Sciences, have announced a call for papers. The symposium, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, will be held in San Diego, California, from April 20-22, 2017. The goal of this symposium is to transform the science, technology, and application of agent-based models in the context of social, human-environment, and life sciences. Abstracts of presentations and posters should be submitted by the January 31st deadline. Students, postdocs and assistant professors may apply for an ABM Professional Enhancement Awards to cover expenses related to attending the symposium. Additional details about ABM 2017 and submission guidelines can be found on the symposium website.
Strategy Dynamics Offers New Online Course (January 05, 2017)
Strategy Dynamics is now combining a new instructor led online course on building living business models with their existing strategy dynamics business frameworks course. The course is designed to guide the non-specialist through the process of building working, quantified business models. The course is divided into two parts: Core Structures and Models, and Extension Frameworks and Models. The core frameworks course starts on January 9th. For additional details and registration information, please visit the Strategy Dynamics website.
Journal of Simulation Announces Call for Papers (January 04, 2017)
The Journal of Simulation editors have announced a call for papers for a special issue on System Dynamics. The guest editors for the special issue are Sally Brailsford and Society members Martin Kunc and John Morecroft. In an effort to connect System Dynamic modelling to other simulation methods, the journal is interested in submissions that discuss: mode conceptualization, model development and testing, policy development, and other areas. Please read the call for papers on the Springer website for details. The deadline for submission of papers is March 31st, 2017.
SD Article on Mental Health Intervention (January 04, 2017)
The research article titled “Community based system dynamic as an approach for understanding and acting on messy problems: a case study for global mental health intervention in Afghanistan,” by Society members Ellis Ballard and Peter Hovmand, along with their colleagues Parul Bakhshi and Jean-Francois Trani, was published by BioMed Central in a recent issue of the Conflict and Health journal. The article explores the factors that prevent persons with mental illness from using available health care services. Describing the methods used, the authors stated “We employed community based system dynamics to examine interactions between multiple factors and actors to examine the problem of persistently low service utilization for people with mental illness. Group model building sessions, designed based on a series of scripts and led by three facilitators, took place with NGO staff members in Mazar-I-Sharif in July 2014 and in Kabul in February 2015.” The full article is available on the BioMed Central website.