The Latin American Chapter of the System Dynamics Society
About the chapter
The Chapter was founded in 2002. Its purpose is to promote the (mainly English-language) system dynamics in the (mainly Spanish-language) population of Latin America and Spain.
Its members come from a wide group of Latin-American countries but include Spain, too. 23 of us are formally members of the System Dynamics Society. Currently, the Chapter is represented in the Policy Council by Gloria Pérez from “Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey” ( Mexico) and presided by Martin Schaffernicht from the “Universidad de Talca” ( Chile).
Regular chapter activities
Its first line of activities was to start a Latinamerican meeting, from 2003 on - held in Monterrey ( Mexico), Talca ( Chile), Cartagena ( Colombia) and Cancun ( Mexico). The 2007 meeting will take place at the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from November 7th – 10th (http://www.itba.edu.ar/dinamicadesistemas).
The annual meetings have been the main gathering and continue to be the only moment when most of the community members can talk to each other directly.
Since 2004, the chapter has a quarterly on-line newsletter called sisTEMAS .
This is a collaborative work, where we share information about events and publication; we also present members’ profiles and systemic reflections.
In 2005, appeared the “Revista de Dinámica de Sistemas” which publishes 2 numbers per year.
We publish work in Spanish, Portuguese and English language and have five issues with between three and four articles up to now - the 6th issue is about to appear.
Evolución: the modeling software
The SIMON group at the University Santander in Colombia is developing a Spanish language system dynamics modelling software that can be used free of charge.
Currently version 3 is available at:
Rodamaps in Spanish language.
The colleagues from the Monterrey Institute of technology have made the effort to translate the roadmaps self-study material into Spanish language.
Textbook “Indagación de situaciones complejas
con Dinámica de sistemas”.
This book provides students with a detailed introduction into causal loop diagramming, stock-and-flow diagramming and the basic structures behind exponential growth, goal-seeking, S-shaped growth, oscillation and overshoot-and-collapse.
To be published by the “Editorial Universidad de Talca” as an e-book.
Since the Cancun annual meeting in 2006, a collaborative initiative is under way. Its goal is to elaborate a collective volume on system dynamics. This activity is coordinated by Luisa Fernanda Rodríguez Valbuena (email@example.com) from the Universidad Autónoma de Colombia
The Colombian community of system dynamicist has run their own annual meeting where about 50 papers have been presented and discussed this year.
2007 Chapter Meeting during the annual conference in Boston
1. Attendees For the first time in these meetings, we could welcome a substantial number of Spanish speakers living in other countries, specifically the USA. Thanks to the proactive attitude of the friends from the Brazilian chapter, we also had of colleague from Brazil. The complete list is included below.
Besides informing about the essential points from the Policy Council meeting and introducing newcomers to this Chapter’s activities (the annual meetings, the review, the newsletter, the mail list, the web sites), a number of new topics were proposed and discussed.
2. Sponsorship Inspired by the prize awarded by ISEE Systems, it was proposed to search companies willing to support outstanding student work. This is to be done on a localized base, since we are spread over many different countries.
3. K-12 The importance of K-12 work was stressed by several attendees, as a call to make more efforts. There is excellent material (and experience) in English language which could be translated, if there were a sizeable market to be perceived. There is also Spanish language material, fruit of practical work in schools in Colombia; these experiences have been gradually presented during Latin-American and Colombian meetings and shall be gathered.
It is then vital to train school teachers and enable them to bring this to their classes. While there is some work under way in Colombia and Mexico, the subject would merit more projects.
4. The next 50 years The “next 50 years” initiative started by the Policy Council should be contributed to by members of the Chapter. The Spanish language mail list will be used for this. We will start a thread of discussion, inviting all members to take part in this dialogue.
5. Web presence The society’s website will be the starting point of the Chapter’s web presence; however, material already offered in the current official site and various local sites, will remain there. The web-sites will be linked amongst each other.
6. Joint activities There is strong interest to run a joint annual meeting between the Brazilian and the Latin-American Chapters; this shall be done in the next year possible (May 2009). The delicate issue is timing: the Brazilian meeting is during the month of May, whereas the Latin-American meeting is in November; it does not seem advisable to have too many meetings per year, in order to avoid a “quantity-over-quality” attitude. However, the benefits of joining the meetings once outweigh the opportunity cost.
7. Latin-American chapter annual meetings Our annual meeting has taken place in Mexico, Chile, and Colombia and will be in Argentina this year (November 7-10, www.itba.edu.ar/dinamicadesistemas). Since these meetings are one of the most powerful tools for promoting our field, we wish to continue holding them in different countries each time. For 2010, we are looking forward to be in the Dominican Republic, and for 2011 it may be Venezuela.
Contact information The official web-site is dinamica-sistemas.mty.itesm.mx.
President of the chapter
Universidad de Talca
Avenida Lircay s/n
Talca – Chile
Past president of the chapter
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey
Monterrey , Mexico
Universidad de los Andes