Volume 23 – Number 4 October 2010
Chapter and Special Interest Group News
Gianluca Colombo has prepared a video report of the Chapter & SIG Poster sessions!
The Australasia Chapter of the System Dynamics Society had its annual meeting at the 2010 International System Dynamics Conference in Seoul, Korea. Progress made during the last year and future directions were discussed as follows:
Professors Tim Haslett, John Barton, and Kambiz Maani from Business Strategy Dynamics, Monash University and the University of Queensland (UQ) are working together to establish a permanent home for the ANZSYS chapter and annual conferences, which may potentially accommodate some SD chapter activities. They are also working together to establish a business stream in UQ's Master of Sustainable Systems program. This will be a strong platform for growing a critical mass of practitioners in SD and related disciplines.
In relation to SD education, courses offered in tertiary institutions are continuing to grow. These include (but not limited to) a number of multidisciplinary courses offered and taught at the Monash University by Dr. Rod Sarah; public health courses taught by Dr. Yang Miang Goh at the Curtin University; sustainability/complex systems courses taught by Professor Kambiz Maani at the School of Integrative Systems at UQ (enrollment in the first year exceeded 150 post-graduate students); and the recently reintroduced system dynamics course at the Business School of the University of Auckland taught by Dr. Anson Li (originally developed and taught by Professor Kambiz Maani).
Another major development of note in the Chapter's activities is the "Learning Laboratories for Sustainability in Biosphere Reserves". This is carried out by the School of Integrative Systems at UQ, led by Professor Kambiz Maani in conjunction with UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme. Currently, learning labs involving hundreds of government, private sector and NGO stakeholders are operating in Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia and Viet Nam as part of a Global network of UQ-UNESCO LLabs.
Major future developments include the Australasia Chapter's contribution to the prospective Asian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. This is actively supported by Professor Bob Cavana of the Victoria University of Wellington. Updates to the progress are expected by the time of the Winter SDS Policy Council Meeting.
An important event planned for this year is the 4th International Conference on Systems Science, Management Science & System Dynamics (SSMSSD10), which will be held in Shanghai from December 10 to 11, 2010. Further information on the conference can be found at this link. Starting with this year's conference, we will change from a biennial conference schedule to an annual conference, so that more opportunity of communication and presentation can be provided, and more fresh academic work can be demonstrated. In mainland China, system dynamics is closely related with Systems Science and Management Science. SD belongs to the field of Management Science. The SS-MS-SD conference promotes the common development of the three. The conference has received great participation with 600–700 submitted papers by professors, researchers, and PhD candidates. Normally, the acceptance rate is around 60–70%.
Many members from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Australia and America attended the China Chapter meeting that took place at the 28th International Conference in Seoul. We had the opportunity to communicate and interact with each other. The main theme of the meeting was how to help establish close relationships among the Chinese members of the Society. Prof. Ren'an Jia from Nanchang University gave suggestions to young scholars on how to conduct academic research in the field of system dynamics. In all, more than fifty Chinese participants attended the Seoul conference including a delegation of almost twenty people from Nanjing Metropolis.
By the end of August 2010, the fourth round of election was completed and the new Professional Committee for System Dynamics was formed. The Professional Committee for System Dynamics is a sub–committee of the Systems Engineering Society of China. There is no membership fee for the Professional Committee for System Dynamics. The membership of this committee has reached almost a thousand since the 1980s.
Five training programs of Vensim and SD modeling workshops were held from November 2009 to June 2010. More than forty people participated in the training course. The participants were mostly from universities and research institutes. These programs and workshops will continue, and try to attract participants from industries. We believe that the spread of SD in industries will accelerate the development of SD in academics.
The China Chapter currently has thirty five members, and the majority of them are academics. Business practitioners and government officials are in the minority. We look forward to increasing the number of members for the China Chapter.
This year, several topics have been suggested and discussed by the attendees:
Brian Dangerfield handed over the presidency to Martin Schaffernicht (email@example.com). It was suggested that Bob Cavana may become President Elect, but an election did not take place during the meeting. The election will have to be organized via the Internet. A suggestion was made to appoint Oleg Pavlov as Webmaster.
The chapter maintains a webpage and a discussion forum. The webpage is at
The webpage will be updated and the forum used to discuss the proposed chapter activities.
Last year, an initiative to build a model repository was started. This shall be continued. There may be two kinds of models: those aimed at didactical purposes and those stemming from research. Referring to models for didactical purposes, a fair deal of synergy amongst chapter members can be achieved by "translating" textbook models and sharing them.
All members are encouraged to respond to the call made by the (now) Past President on April 9th, 2010.
It has been suggested that the chapter may organize a thread for the 2011 international conference. There are usually a fair amount of papers dealing with economic issues, so the chapter can contribute to a successful conference in ways such as submitting, reviewing and helping as thread chair.
In its fourth year the German Chapter (Deutsche Gesellschaft für System Dynamics e.V.) is still growing; however, it seems we are reaching the limits to growth as the growth rate decreases somewhat. There is nearly an equal split between academics and business practitioners of the current 109 personal members; membership is completed by four institutional members: PA Consulting Group Deutschland GmbH, Schramm Unternehmensberatung GmbH, SIMCON GmbH Managementsimulation & Consulting, transientis management consulting GmbH & Co. KG. These organizations contribute significantly to the Chapter's financial health. Approximately 290 interested people receive the Chapter's newsletter.
Within the last twelve months the Chapter has hosted five events; one large national and four regional meetings. The regional meetings took place in Frankfurt and Munich and provided system dynamicists the opportunity to informally meet with other system dynamicists. The meetings were characterized by one participant giving a brief presentation on a specific dynamic modeling issue or project.
The Chapter's large national event, the year's annual conference, was held on 24–25 June, 2010 in Leipzig. It was jointly organized with the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZ and supported by the FOM University of Applied Science. The conference took place at the Leipziger KUBUS for 1½ days–this format has been successfully established in the German SD environment. The event combined a set of talks, a modeling session, and enough time for discussing with and meeting other system dynamicists. Professor Erling Moxnes from the University of Bergen (pictured right) gave the keynote speech. Also, the 3rd Gert-von-Kortzfleisch-Award was presented to Birgitte Snabe-Hagemann for her system dynamics based analysis on the usage of system dynamics in organizational interventions. During the conference, Florian Kapmeier and Kai Neumann kicked off the "Initiative of Systems Thinking in Schools and Kindergardens" on behalf of the German Chapter. The initiative builds on Jay Forrester's objective to develop Systems Citizens in K-12 education that use systems thinking and system dynamics to meet the interconnected challenges that face them at personal, community, and global levels.
The annual administrative meeting of the German Chapter was held in the afternoon of the second day of the workshop. As one of the more important topics, a new board was elected. Starting June 25th 2010, the constitution of the board is as follows:
The Board thanks our Past President, Switbert Miczka, for his vision and dedication for being one of the main drivers for initiating the German Chapter and moving it forward.
Further information on the Chapter's activities and events can be found at this link, or contact Jürgen Strohhecker at Strohhecker@systemdynamics.de.
Mark Paich, Corey Peck, and Jason Valant won the 2010 Jay Wright Forrester Award for their book Pharmaceutical Product Branding Strategies: Simulating Patient Flow and Portfolio Dynamics. Erik Pruyt and Caner Hamarat won the Lupina Award as well as the best poster award with their paper The Influenza A(H1N1)v Pandemic: An Exploratory System Dynamics Approach.
Upcoming Events: A System Dynamics and Health Care Conference will be organized on Thursday 2 December 2010 at Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands). HP SIG members are cordially invited to this joint activity of the Benelux Chapter of the System Dynamics Society and the Health Policy Special Interest Group. The afternoon programme will consist of two parallel sessions. The first parallel session will include a presentation by Bobby Milstein and Jack Homer. After their presentation, they will facilitate a simulation game on national health care systems. The preliminary program of the second parallel session consists of presentations on 'System Dynamics and Health Care' by guest speakers from academia and consultancy from the Benelux. More information is available at this link.
A quick search on Google Trends shows that India has one of the highest trends in system dynamics related search volume. Until now the academic and professional communities in the region have not been successful in promoting the use of system dynamics modeling. The SDS India Chapter aims to create change by conducting consulting, teaching and training activities across the countries for issues related to civil society, process management and national strategy.
The India Chapter of the System Dynamics Society was formed in May of 2010 and the current council members consist of:
At the SDS meeting in Korea, the India Chapter hosted a poster session on possible future prospects and partnerships; there was significant interest from the community for collaborations for future training programs.
With regard to local activities, EarthSafe Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., based in New Delhi, will hold all future workshops and training sessions on systems modeling under the SDS India Chapter umbrella. Furthermore, it will coordinate future activities for the Chapter. As for recent activities, a number of short workshops on systems modeling have been held at universities in New Delhi.
The India Chapter proposes to hold a 3-4 week systems modeling workshop in early 2011. We are currently working on logistics; suggestions for trainers, potential clients and content are welcome!
Inter- and Intranational Conflict SIG
The SMITe (Security/Military/Insurgency/Terrorism) Roundtable brought together researchers from Asia, Europe, and the US. We discussed ways to improve our communications, collaboration and presence at future conferences. We set two goals for the next year: the creation of a mailing and distribution list mechanism for modelers interested in these areas, and selecting a list of relevant and particularly insightful publications using SD.
We anticipate a robust presence at the Washington DC meetings, and volunteer paper reviewers will be needed. We are looking forward to seeing you then.
Jose Mari Sanniegi and Jose Gonzalez
The Korean System Dynamics Society was honored by the presence of about 350 conference participants from forty-one countries at the 28th International Conference of System Dynamics Society. All of the Korean members hope the Seoul Conference remains as a memorable event, enriching experience, both personal and professional.
On September 30, 2010, the Korean System Dynamics kicked off a monthly System Dynamics Seminar at Samsung Economic Research Institute. Professor Dong-Hwan Kim, the new president of the Korean System Dynamics Society, presided over this academic meeting.
The Latin-America Chapter meeting that took place at the 28th International Conference in Seoul was a fascinating experience. We had the opportunity to interact and be actively involved with different colleagues from the Society.
The main topic of discussion was the Chapter's Spanish language online journal "Revista de Dinámica de Sistemas."
This Journal had published two volumes per year from 2005 through 2008, but an insufficient number of submissions lead to an interruption during 2009. It has been decided that there will be several editors, initially Santiago Arango and Camilo Olaya. We will strive to produce special editions of the journal in order to enhance attractiveness. Our main goal for the next three years is it to be indexed in the SCIELO database, which is the main database from Latin-America.
The meeting also dealt with the 8th Latin-American System Dynamics Conference which will take place in Medellin, Colombia, November 17 through 19, 2010. More information can be found at this link.
If you would like to be added to our distribution list please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Gloria Pérez Salazar
The student chapter of the System Dynamics Society is gearing up for a great 2010-2011 academic year. During the past year, the group organized and hosted the 11th annual PhD Colloquium at the International Conference on System Dynamics. The details of the conference including all the keynote and student presentations can be found here.
In addition, a few other initiatives were begun including a student chapter e-mail list (contact us at email@example.com if you would like to join) as well as updates to the website and the creation of a new online store that caters to the SDS community with event paraphernalia and SWAG. All proceeds from store sales will benefit the student chapter colloquium and other large scale events. Find the store here.
Finally, we have a new leadership team for the SDS student chapter:
The new team is very motivated towards improving SDS student activity and events. If you are interested in supporting any aspect of our efforts, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
The activities of the Swiss Chapter of the International System Dynamics Society are currently focused on regular chapter meetings, a PhD colloquium, and an annual seminar. The PhD colloquium is the sole opportunity in Switzerland for many PhD students using system dynamics in their research to share their work with other students and with peers. It thus contributes to creating a network between students and universities in Switzerland. Currently the colloquium is organized by Cécile Emery from the University of Lugano. The annual seminar is aimed at deepening various aspects of systems thinking and system dynamics that are primarily of interest to practitioners. The seminar offers a platform for learning and exchange in the Swiss chapter and has become an important event in the annual agenda.
New initiatives are related to system dynamics in education. It turned out that system dynamics and systems thinking are being taught increasingly at various universities in Switzerland. Moreover, a Swiss association called sysdyn is promoting system dynamics as a method for teaching and problem solving in high schools and universities. For these reasons the exchange in system dynamics in education is expected to become a focal point in the activities of the Swiss chapter.
Furthermore, in 2012 we look forward to hosting the international conference in Switzerland. There will be many fruitful opportunities for exchange and mutual learning–in a beautiful environment!Justus Gallati, Lukas Schmid
President: Edoardo Mollona
During the past year there was a strong interest in the Italian Chapter by both academics and professionals. Presently, the formal number of members is almost 50.
At this time, the universities in Italy where the System Dynamics Methodology is taught and/or research activity related to SD is practiced are:
The annual conference of the EURopean Academy of Management (EURAM 2010) in which SYDIC covered an important role was organized in May 2010 at the second University of Rome, "Tor Vergata" (www.euram2010.org). A workshop and two tracks dealing with System Dynamics applications and Dynamic Simulation Modeling were organised (and sponsored) by SYDIC).
The overall presence (mainly in the universities) of SYDIC members spread out in Italy, has been synthetically depicted in a Poster (hereby attached: A4 and Letter format) and presented during the Chapter's Poster Session at the Seoul SD Conference.
In conclusion, the Italian Chapter continues to have a fundamental role in the Italian system dynamics community with members' involvement in spreading SD methodology through academic and scientific domain, management consultancy and in different industry sectors.
The UK Chapter has regular meetings in the UK and annually at the international conference (link).
In February we held the 2010 Annual Gathering. The theme was 'Environmental Challenges,' the Copenhagen summit having been held only two months previously. We had three speakers: Nick Mabey (E3G), Professor David Fisk (Imperial College) and Dennis Sherwood (Silver Bullet Company). Over 50 delegates attended and the general opinion was very favourable. Networking and a buffet dinner followed. The following morning Kim Warren facilitated the Copenhagen Climate Change exercise and John Morecroft then took us through an analysis of a fisheries problem.
We also held our 3rd PhD Colloquium. Congratulations to Sangeeta Sardiwal who won the UK Chapter Student prize for her work on health and social care and to Tommy Ngai who was judged the best student presenter and collected the Wiley-Blackwell book token prize.
If you are based in the UK and not already on our membership list (membership is free) then please do join us and see what we have to offer. There are between 80 and 100 members active in SD in the UK.
The System Dynamics Newsletter is published four times a year by the System Dynamics Society.