Session Report: Special Chapter / SIG Poster Sessions
This article reports on the busy Chapter and SIG poster session that took place on the Monday morning of the conference. The reporter visited and chatted to a number of the Chapters during the session. The Chapter posters and members used a number of different methods to attract the attention of participants. For example, models of their work, bright red T-shirts, national flags and even a few koala bears! What remained constant to each of the Chapters was the enthusiasm that they all had for promoting SD in their particular regions. The posters revealed many innovative activities and reflected the great amount of effort being put in by members. With current activities and all the future activities planned by the Chapters, SD looks set to be increasingly promoted around the world. These activities are sure to lead to increased numbers of practitioners and academics being exposed to and benefiting from SD.
This article reports on the busy Chapter and SIG poster session that took place on the Monday morning of the conference. With numerous posters attracting much interest from conference participants (or was it the hot coffee placed right in the middle of the session that brought the crowds?!) it would be difficult to visit all the posters in the time available. Therefore, this report focuses on those posters relating to Chapters. This focus was taken to gain an insight into how different regions of the world were promoting SD. The session reporter attempted to visit as many Chapters as possible during the hour, however apologises to those that were missed. The report below summarises those posters that the reporter was able to elbow her way through the crowds to get to:
A busy poster session!
Hellenic Chapter: With such a busy crowd congregating around many of the posters in the middle of the room, the reporter decided to start at the far end of the room which took her to the Hellenic Chapter. This Chapter began in 2002 and has around 40 members. Each year it promotes work done in SD by its members by organising streams in the Greek OR Society Conference and the Hellenic Systems Studies Society. An exciting part of its work is that there is a forthcoming book “System Dynamics Applications: A Greek Perspective”.
Swiss Chapter: Moving on from the Hellenic Chapter, the reporter was drawn to lively discussion taking place at the poster for the Swiss Chapter. The Swiss Chapter members were ensuring participants did not miss their poster by wearing vibrant red T-shirts. This seemed to work as many people were being drawn into lively discussions. This Chapter connects together 4 main universities and has approximately 80 members. It holds 4 meetings a year where speakers are invited to talk about best practice in SD. They also hold 3 PhD roundtables each year.
Swiss Chapter Poster and 2 members: Birgit and Stefan
Russian Chapter : Moving round the room, there was an informative poster by the Russian Chapter poster. The Chapter were also giving out leaflets about their activities. The Chapter was established in 2005 and has 47 members. It’s aim is to promote SD in Russia. The Chapter does not normally meet face-to-face, but it puts a lot of effort into developing their website and wishes to make it more interactive. However the Chapter does regularly participate in workshops and seminars. This includes participation in a 1-day workshop in June 2007 with the aim was to get Russian students, particularly mathematics students, to learn about SD.
Student Chapter: A slight diversion from the regional Chapters took participants to the Student Chapter. This started in 1999 and now has approximately 150 members. It is mainly used for networking purposes and its membership is spread all over the world. It holds one face-to-face meeting each year at the ISDC. It has a website and produces a newsletter 4 times a years providing information about new or graduating members and new publications. It also runs a student listserve. A further big event each year is the PhD colloquium held at the ISDC.
Australasian Chapter : Looking round the room, participants’ eyes were drawn to a poster showing great photographs of Australia and a number of toy koala bears waving the Australian flags. The Australasian Chapter has 56 members. It has held annual meetings for the last few years. Its last event was a workshop in Sydney which attracted 13 participants. 6 members presented their work during this meeting. They have just developed a new website. Their main aims are to increase their membership, embed SD into K-12 education in the region and to raise awareness of SD through, for example, newspaper articles, seminars, newsletters and connecting with other associations.
Australasian Chapter Poster and 2 members: David and Shayne
Latin American Chapter : This Chapter was founded in 2002 and has approximately 150 members. It has held a conference every November since 2005. The conference attracts a large number of participants. It also maintains a discussion list, a webpage, and has produced newsletters since 2005. One of their current projects is preparing a virtual book.
Pakistan Chapter : This Chapter took a different approach to gaining peoples attention by getting them engaged in a model. The poster presented an interesting model on educational leadership which illustrated some of the work that Chapter members are involved in. The Chapter has approximately 30 members, the majority of whom are academics. Many work in the same university which aids frequent meetings, with the Chapter meeting every 3 or 4 months.
Having moved right round the room, the last Chapter poster returned the reporter to the centre of the room and back to the hot coffee just in time for a refill!
UK Chapter : This Chapter was formed in 1998 and currently has 360 members on its database. It has held an annual Gathering every year since its inception. The Gathering normally attracts between 40 and 60 participants. Invited speakers are used to introduce ideas, then group sessions and an evening dinner are used to continue discussions. The Chapter also presents a student prize each year and are introducing a new prize which will be awarded to the best piece of work addressing a topic in the public interest. In addition to these activities, the Chapter has recently updated its website. It has also held a few networking meetings where members get together for a drink after work to catch up with each other, providing a relaxing atmosphere in which to talk about SD!
UK Chapter Poster with 3 members: Mike, Susan and Brian
After visiting a number of Chapter posters the reporter was struck by the mass of enthusiasm that all the Chapters had for promoting SD in their particular regions. It was a great opportunity to discover the different activities that were taking place. The posters reported on many innovative ideas and reflected the great amount of effort being put in by members. With current activities and all the future activities planned by the Chapters, SD looks set to be increasingly promoted around the world. These activities are sure to lead to increased numbers of practitioners and academics being exposed to and benefiting from SD.