Volume 23 – Number 4 October 2010
Links to many photos from the Seoul Conference are posted on the Society's conference webpage; please take a look. Each year we have volunteer photographers wandering around the conference taking photos. If you have any photos you would like to share, please send them and we will add them to the website collection. (If there is a photograph of you on the web that you prefer that we remove it, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Links to many full papers, including abstracts and supporting materials can also be accessed through the Society website. If you would like a copy of the printed proceedings, extra copies are for sale.
From the 2010 Conference Organizing Team, thanks!
Minutes of the Meeting of the Policy Council and the General Business Meeting can be found in their entirety by clicking on the "Governance" button on the System Dynamics Society website. Please visit the website to learn about the business discussed and to view the complete reports and information presented for the 2010 Summer Policy Council Meeting.
At its 2010 summer meeting, the Policy Council passed the following motions:
The Policy Council also holds electronic votes from time to time during the periods between face-to-face meetings. A brief summary of recent electronic voting is below:
E-votes approved pre-Summer 2010 PC Meeting:
E-votes approved post-Summer 2010 PC Meeting:
This list represents a cross-section of conference sessions, as reported by attendees who volunteered to share their impressions with you. If you were not able to be there in person, here you can gain some of the flavor and a sense of the varied activity that made up the Seoul conference. If you were there, perhaps you will recognize yourself in a photo or a description. More importantly, you will gain, to some extent, what is impossible to achieve while in actual attendance at the conference: the ability to go to more than one session at once. Some reports have longer detailed accounts of the sessions.
Session Reports in Chronological Order
MON 11:00 AM Parallel, Model Building–Structure and Data
WED 8:30 AM Plenary, Model Formulation Process
The trip was long, for sure, but it was a very interesting week! Martin Schaffernicht
The conference was quite well done, and the hotel/Olympic park location was great. I met a lot of first time participants, and their stories were quite interesting. Andy Ford
What one hopes for in professional meetings but rarely, if ever, encounters
The occasion of my brief Korean trip was System Dynamics Society Annual meeting. The Society meetings are what one hopes conventions and association meetings will provide-high quality papers, conversations with colleagues sharing common interests, an opportunity to make new friends and a remarkable sense of community.
The field was founded by one of the great intellects of modern times–Professor Jay W. Forrester, now emeritus at MIT's Sloan School of Management. Since the field is new–the first papers appeared in the 1950s–most of the field's leaders and founders are not only still living but attend the Annual Meetings regularly. (Tragic exceptions are MacArthur Genius grantee, Donella Meadows and creator of the first graphical user interface for system dynamics modeling (Stella), Barry Richmond). Most studied with Professor Forrester at MIT (as I did for a memorable year, but later in my professional career). In contrast to many fields, leaders and luminaries mingle freely and informally with newcomers and students. No other field, in my experience, is as friendly, welcoming and inclusive. The world's most widely read book based on a computer model The Limits to Growth (the first report to the Club of Rome) uses system dynamics theory/methodology. So do parts of other "global models."
The fact that all members share a common theoretical-methodological language (emphasizing dynamic behavior generated by feedback loops) also sets the field apart. Whether the topic of discussion is sustainability of the planet earth, urban development in Asia (my own present interest), efficiency in project management or improving product marketing in the pharmaceutical industry, all can understand the presentation and contribute. Discussions are lively, informed, respectful and collegial.
Even if you feel you have no interest in system dynamics modeling or have never even heard of it, you should check out the System Dynamics Society website and even consider attending an annual meeting (the next will be in July 2011 in Washington DC). The experience will remind you of what you may have hoped for in a professional association but had-sadly-come to accept that attaining that vision of professionalism, community and collegiality was probably not possible.
John Richardson (John's blog)
The System Dynamics Newsletter is published four times a year by the System Dynamics Society.