At Ventana Systems, we’ve been hard at work on new and improved tools that complement our consulting projects and enhance your capabilities.

Continuing a tradition of industrial strength, the imminent Vensim 6.3 release will contain several major upgrades of particular interest to advanced users:

We’re putting some of these improvements to the test in our own work on project management, requiring calibration in large parameter spaces, and in exploration of large health care datasets with discrete individual behavior.

This summer, we will be announcing new tools for building better models of complex systems. Key benefits are: Please stop by and visit us at the Ventana/Greenwood table during the conference in Delft. Or, come to the Vensim user’s group meeting and our Thursday workshops on Vensim and building entity-based System Dynamics models.


Jantz Management LLC celebrates its 12th anniversary using System Dynamics for Stock SelectionTM to deliver exceptional portfolio performance in 2014.

An emerging investment management company, Jantz Management LLC offers responsible portfolios designed for individuals and institutions that not only believe a System Dynamics based approach has the potential for long-term out-performance, but also would like their investments to reflect higher levels of environmental, social, and corporate values.

With the introduction of a new product, the JM ESG Fossil Free portfolio, Jantz Management seeks to provide high return to investors that wish to divest their portfolios from fossil fuel companies. The JM ESG FFF portfolio invests in a broad capitalization range of U.S. equities that JM’s proprietary models determine to be undervalued—while excluding all of the fossil fuel stocks in the S&P Energy and Utility sectors and which meet broad environmental, social, and governance criteria.

For more information, please contact Christine Jantz. And feel free to visit our company web site (www.jantzmgmt.com).


Lane Press of Albany is a commercial offset printer selected by many organizations to design and print quality work. We have a full range of services and equipment available to produce 1/color to 5/color work. Above and beyond full prepress, printing and bindery capabilities, we also specialize in design services and die-cutting. Lane Press has over 250 dies available for many pocket folder and die-cutting designs. Feel free to contact Sylvia Daigle at (518) 438-7834 for more information, or visit our website at www.lanepressofalbany.com.


PA Consulting Group's strategy and modeling experts work with major organizations to help solve some of their most important challenges. We combine world-class analysis expertise with in-depth industry knowledge to develop practical and enduring solutions, with a particular focus on energy, healthcare, and government problems. We help clients with a range of issues such as:

  • Corporate strategy and market analysis –
    Analyzing company and market behavior under different scenarios to identify actions and strategies that deliver superior, sustained performance.
  • Government policy, planning and assessment –
    Addressing complex government challenges for issues such as regional stability, major program acquisition, smart cost reduction, healthcare, transportation, and energy policy.
  • Improving performance on major projects –
    Understanding strategic risks and finding leverage points to improve performance on large, complex programs, and project portfolios.
  • Negotiation support and dispute resolution –
    Analyzing business dynamics to help quantify and explain issues in dispute, working with stakeholders to help reach agreement in negotiations, mediations, and legal disputes including serving as expert witnesses.
PA Consulting Group is a leading management, IT and technology consulting firm, using a wide range of services to help clients around the globe from our headquarters in London and our offices in Europe, the US, the Gulf, and the Asia/Pacific region.

Our System Dynamics Work is Growing
We are interested in sharp, well-rounded, analytical people committed to making a difference by solving complex problems in close cooperation with clients and colleagues. While we are hiring outstanding people with a range of capability across PA Consulting, we have a special interest in candidates with strong System Dynamics expertise for our Boston and New York offices in the US. To learn more about our team please contact Sharon Els at sharon.els@paconsulting.com or 1 (617) 225-2700. We look forward to seeing our many alumni and the rest of the SD community in July if not before!


European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD)

The European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) is a joint higher-education project of four European universities: University of Bergen, University of Palermo, New University Lisbon, and Radboud University Nijmegen. Together we offer a two-year educational programme exclusively devoted to System Dynamics which was granted the prestigious Erasmus Mundus award by the European Union. Based on the strengths of the four institutions involved, we strive to combine analytical (model-building) with social skills (group facilitation and communication) for our graduates. Another important characteristic of the programme is its inherent diversity: regularly, in classes of 25–30 students we encounter about 15 to 20 different nationalities; students have to study in different educational cultures and are taught by highly diverse faculty.

Cohorts 1 and 2 of the programme have graduated already; all of the students found challenging jobs without problems. Cohorts 3 and 4 are currently studying at the end of their fourth or second semester respectively. In August 2015, a new group of students will start their studies in Bergen; for their second semester they will continue either in Palermo or Lisbon; in their third semester they will all join again in Nijmegen. They will write their master thesis at one of the four universities or at an international, associate partner of the programme (in the USA, Colombia, Egypt, or Brazil). Deadline for applying for the cohort starting in 2015 will be in the beginning of December 2014.


Leverage Networks is a community of resources, people, and organizations dedicated to sharing systemic tools, resources and information. Leverage Networks is reinventing Pegasus Communications, and re-energizing the systemic thinking communities by creating a centralized location for everything systems on the web. We are starting with the complete line of Pegasus books, e-books, articles and learning packages available on our website, and are adding new products from the broader systems communities.

Our mission is to expand the use and awareness of System Dynamics, Systems Thinking, and Organizational Learning on a global scale. We are working with partners to share stories, materials, service providers and events in a whole new way. The Knowledge Base is an integral part of what we can offer to users, a place for others in the field to share their success stories, business cases and books/texts with people and practitioners across the country and around the world.

Our curation and organization of materials allow it to be easily searched, fully indexed and relevant to the work being done today. By centralizing information, resources and networks, Leverage Networks will allow anyone interested in systemic thinking to locate and access the right information in a thoughtfully curated format. Finding live and virtual events is simplified through the Calendar feature, while locating qualified service providers like coaches, modelers, and facilitators is made easier by sorting and filtering by experience, location, and availability. We are also developing Learning Communities to allow members to share best practices and better approaches to be brought to the forefront, while providing a virtual space to work together with new and familiar people from within organizations to collaboration around the world. Together, with our partners and members, we have the leverage to tackle the difficult challenges that organizations and societies face.

Anyone can contribute to, shop at, and explore within our current site (www.leveragenetworks.com), as well as learn more about the launch of our new site, with expanded functionality. To contribute a resource or learn more, visit our website or email info@leveragenetworks.com.


The Whole Systems Partnership (WSP) is delighted to be sending a small team to the Delft Conference for the first time. We will be demonstrating a new technology platform for supporting the collaborative use of System Dynamics models. The platform has been developed through its collaboration with isee systems and an academic partnership with Brunel University. This collaboration has produced a technology platform that allows for the capture of simulation runs from different local versions of the same generic model, which can then be displayed in a benchmarking environment.

This development has been driven by client needs, and particularly by the WSP Workforce Modelling Collaborative, which now includes all the regional planning organisations in England responsible for commissioning medical and nurse training. The first ‘outing’ for the tool was at the UK System Dynamics Chapter meeting in early April, which provided a test bed for the tool. Our clients are now actively using the tool and contributing to on-going enhancements. We hope to welcome a representative from Brunel University and our new Technology Partner to the conference this year as day visitors.

We were also very pleased to provide input to a recent symposium, “Using Modeling to Prepare for Changing Health Care Needs”, at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. Peter Lacey provided a contribution focused on strategic workforce modelling for healthcare and answered questions from an audience of about 120 people.

WSP’s wider work continues to focus on the modelling of population health needs and service reconfiguration. Collaboration in model building and in encouraging the wider adoption of simulation and modelling in healthcare in the UK is now being championed by the Cumberland Initiative, a network of academics, clinicians and industry partners in the UK, of which WSP is an active member.

Finally, we are putting our belief in the importance of the ‘human side’ of strategy implementation and service improvement into practice in the context of System Dynamics modelling by recruiting to a new academic partnership, this time with Leeds University School of Healthcare Studies. Our work on Relational Capital in systems, and the potential to provide an evidence base for the contribution that this makes to sustainable system change, will, we hope, make a significant contribution to the balance of quantitative and qualitative components in our conceptualization and modelling of complex systems.


Gary Hirsch,
Consultant, Creator of Learning Environments


Gary Hirsch continues to be involved in some very interesting modeling projects. His latest one is developing models for planning and governance for HIV-AIDS in Vietnam. Working with Management Sciences for Health, a firm based in the Boston area, he is creating a prototype model for planning HIV-AIDS services in one province that can then be rolled out to a number of other provinces. This model has an interface that also enables it to be used in workshops that bring together stakeholders concerned with HIV-AIDS to develop strategies that have broad community support. Other new projects that are starting up include emergency preparedness modeling in Puerto Rico, and health workforce modeling for the Association of American Medical Colleges, with a prototype effort in Cleveland. Gary’s work on the ReThink Health project continues with applications of the model in new communities, writing about the model and its policy implications, and helping to design a student competition using the model. Other ongoing work includes a financial modeling project for the Office of the Actuary in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Gary is also part of a team that has an article on the impact of various risk–reducing interventions on the consequence costs of and mortality from cardiovascular disease that is in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health. Gary has very much enjoyed working with Erik Pruyt as health thread co-chairs for the ISDC and looks forward to seeing all of you in Delft.


SACU is committed to embedding the System Dynamics viewpoint in its culture. To weave System Dynamics into the managerial fabric, SACU promotes wide participation in System Dynamics via projects and seminars and scaffolds its managers with outside System Dynamics professionals. Recent projects have focused on creating policies to control liquidity and interest rate risks and on understanding the success/failure of new initiatives and the tradeoff between spending effort on performance vs. the capability to perform. An internal seminar on credit cycles was recently concluded and an upcoming seminar will focus on service quality erosion.


Strategy Dynamics

We are looking forward to the Delft conference where we will be able to show significant upgrades to our Sysdea online modelling platform as well as our new online games service.

Users of Sysdea have been delighted with how easy and powerful it is–new users can be building models in minutes, so it is a brilliant teaching tool. They also find Sysdea cuts the time to build larger models by more than half. Three features make this possible. First, models are ‘always-run’ so you don’t have to hit ‘Run’ to see what is happening. Second, every object carries two time-series–the values you enter and the calculated values, so you always see how your model compares with reality. Last, every item carries a time-chart showing both of these lines, so there is no need to create separate charts to see what is going on. All this means that you can develop models in real time with the people you are helping.

The new version of Sysdea will make modelling faster still. Predictive text allows you to pick items for a formula with a few key-strokes, rather than having to link objects and select them. Live causal tracing in the model itself shows instantly what-cases-what and what-is-caused-by-what, anywhere in the model. And hyperlinks allow truly huge models to be navigated with ease.

“Management Flight Simulators” remain a core of teaching for many and our new online games platform enhances the ease of access and reduces technical administration. Our first online Microworld, the White Label Restaurants game will be released this summer. This will run in the latest browsers on PC or Mac as well as being usable on tablets making in-class use easier than ever.

We hope to see you in Delft–if not, please visit us online at www.strategydynamics.com or www.sysdea.com. You can also contact us directly–email Christina Spencer at christina@strategydynamics.com.


HTxA - High Tech x Agency

Introduction: HTxA is a new way to communicate and provide complementary value to physical events on a global scale. Using the power of social media HTxA enables the flow of information and knowledge to expand in real-time across and beyond the venue boundaries. Selected information and knowledge is globally spread through various target channels using unique hashtags increasing the level of awareness about the event, its topics, and relevant stakeholders.

Workshops: We organize on-demand workshops to clarify the powerful role of social media as a business tool to obtain the best from conferences, and to provide insights to clients on how to bring it to use.

New contracts awarded: HTxA will be a Social Media Partner for the upcoming IoT Summit in Washington D.C. (exact times to be announced).

Additional info to the System Dynamics community: HTxA provides a new and immediate media channel to let information (about new knowledge or new products/services) flow towards new market and research opportunities during the conference and directly at the conference venue.

Contact
Twitter www.twitter.com/HTxA
Facebook www.facebook.com/HighTechxAgency
Blog www.HTxA.blogspot.com
Email HTxA@mail.com


AnyLogic Europe: AnyLogic is a cross-platform general-purpose simulation modeling software. The unique feature of the product is its ability to build simulations with three modeling methods, including System Dynamics, agent-based modeling, and discrete event modeling. This allows the users to build models using several methods at once and choose abstraction levels. Models’ functionalities can be unlimitedly broadened with Java code, which allows for simulation of systems of any complexity and scale. AnyLogic 7 is the most significant product update in 6 years.

AnyLogic 7, the newest version of the most definitive simulation and modeling software available, was released in January 2014. Features include enhanced support for multi-method modeling, decreased need for coding, renewed libraries, and other usability improvements.

Visit our website www.anylogic.com, e-mail europe@anylogic.com, or call +33 (0) 1 60 71 60 58 to learn more about how AnyLogic can work for you.


Research Methodology and System Dynamics Group at Radboud University Nijmegen

From 4 to 8 August 2014, the first Radboud Summer School, on Dynamics of Resilient Socio-Economic Systems, will be held. The principal teachers of this one-week course will be Etiënne Rouwette and Andreas Größler.

In the summer school, students will be introduced to System Dynamics as a modelling and simulation method and they will learn to apply this method to a hot topic in the organisational and political debate: How can we build resilient systems that can cope with complexity, uncertainty and change? This practical course with a theoretical foundation will give students the opportunity to practice hands-on model building and simulation. They will also evaluate structures and policies to improve the level of organisational resilience.

For information about requirements and conditions please visit Radboud Summer School. Further information about course content can be found here.

In the past year the Research Methodology and System Dynamics Group at Radboud University Nijmegen has taught several in-house and MBA courses on group model building. Trainings were held at Deltares, Significant, Sioo Executive Change Management, and Loughborough MBA Creative Problem Solving.


AnyLogic North America: Making the Best Tool Even Better …Welcome to AnyLogic 7!

We are proud to announce the release of our latest software version, AnyLogic 7. The newest release has proven to be a giant leap forward in simulation and modeling software practices by incorporating new features, enhancements, functionality, and customer recommendations into our flagship product. AnyLogic 7 is the ONLY software tool that allows you to create models using agent-based, discrete event and System Dynamics modeling methods within a single model. In addition, model functionalities can be broadened extensively using simple Java code allowing for dynamic and powerful system simulation of any complexity or scale. No other software tool on the market comes close to AnyLogic 7’s modeling and simulation power.

Complex model building made easy…

Fear not loyal AnyLogic 6 customers! Our developers listened closely enabling your AnyLogic 6 models to run in AnyLogic 7 so you can expect a smooth transition. Current AnyLogic customers with an active maintenance contract can go ahead and upgrade to the full version of AnyLogic 7 at no additional cost. If you are not yet a customer, download the trial version by clicking www.anylogic.com/downloads. If you have questions, please email info@anylogic.com.

The AnyLogic Company, an international simulation and modeling Software Company based in the US and Europe, boasts a user group of over 600 companies and 1200 universities.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is the only college that offers educational programs that lead to the Baccalaureate, Graduate Certificate, Masters, and PhD degrees in System Dynamics. With 11 online graduate System Dynamics courses being offered, WPI has established a community that connects professionals and scientists to System Dynamics experts.

WPI System Dynamics LinkedIn group has almost 300 members and some very effective sharing, interesting questions, and thoughtful contributions. This is an open group and anyone interested in System Dynamics is invited. Perhaps you or your business associates would like to join!

Here is what WPI is up to:

Research:

Acknowledgements: Events: Papers Published: WPI will be exhibiting at the System Dynamics Society’s conference in Delft, the Netherlands. Many of our faculty will be attending the conference, and they invite conversations with future, current, and past students.


58th Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

The International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) will meet this summer in Washington DC at The George Washington University July 27 through August 1, 2014. This year’s theme is Learning Across Boundaries: Exploring the Variety of Systemic Theory and Practice.

ISSS was founded in 1956, as a section of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science), to “encourage the development of theoretical systems which are applicable to more than one of the traditional departments of knowledge.” There are now many thousands of systems and complexity scientists, and cyberneticians worldwide. As more and more new application areas, practices, systems methodologies, theories and philosophies are developed, the number of research communities continues to increase. Fragmentation is the inevitable result of the proliferation of new systems ideas in response to new issues and contexts. While this might, at first, appear to be a negative consequence of our success, it brings with it an enormous opportunity: mutual learning from each other to enhance systems, cybernetic and complexity theories and practices in all our diverse domains. It is this opportunity that provides the focus for our 2014 conference.

This conference will reach out to all the diverse systems communities and provide a forum for mutual learning across their boundaries.

This year we will innovate in three ways:

This conference represents a tremendously exciting learning opportunity, and we warmly welcome your participation, whether you are a long-standing member of the ISSS or have never heard of us before. We particularly welcome systems, cybernetics and complexity researchers who have knowledge of a particular domain of theory, methodology or practice, and want to expand their understanding of what else might be available. We invite abstracts and papers in all areas of systemic thinking and practice: details of possible SIG streams and Exploratory groups are listed on the ISSS website.

June 30, 2014 is the last date for abstracts to be included in the Conference Programme. Full Papers may be submitted at any point after an abstract has been submitted for review. See website for further details on publications and all conference information at www.isss.org/world or by emailing: isssoffice@dsl.pipex.com.


Semantum offers its clients software solutions for modelling and simulation. Software development at Semantum is based on the Simantics platform developed at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Simantics System Dynamics is open source modelling and simulation software. It is based on the Simantics platform and developed by VTT and Semantum. We have just released a new version of Simantics System Dynamics. It is free to use and has a rich set of features including:

You can download the latest version from www.simantics.org/simantics/download.

Semantum is developing Simupedia, an addition to the Simantics platform that enables the creation of web-interfaces for simulation models. Hosted simulations can range from small single-user models to large on-going multiplayer games. The interfaces are configured in the modelling software and hosted online at Simupedia servers. Generated pages are pure html + javascript, no plugins are required from the users! Simupedia supports all Simantics-based products.

Public Simupedia service using Simantics System Dynamics will be launched at the 32nd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society!

For more information, contact us at contact@semantum.fi.


Applying the Principles, Tools, and Methods of Organizational Learning to Fundamental Innovation and Systems Change

SoL is a not-for-profit intentional learning community composed of organizations, individuals, and local communities around the world devoted to the interdependent development of people and their institutions in service of inspired performance and meaningful results. We offer programs and courses, consulting and coaching services, and publish Reflections: The SoL Journal. Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline and The Necessary Revolution is Founding Chair of SoL.

Join SoL as a Connections Member
As a Connections member, you will receive a one-year subscription to Reflections (including back issues), a complimentary “Welcome Package” (a 56-page compilation of the five key Reflections articles that present SoL’s theories and practices for you to start your learning), discounts on SoL programs and courses, and more.

Leadership Programs with Peter Senge

Leadership for Sustainability (June 18-20, 2014, Ashland, MA, USA, facilitated by Peter Senge and Darcy Winslow)

Build your capacity to lead systemic change. Gain the skills to develop partnerships and collaboration throughout your organization, supply chain, and community, through the lens of sustainability. The skills you gain at this workshop will be applicable to all complex problems of systemic change.

Executive Champions' Workshop (August 19-22, 2014, Stowe, VT, USA, facilitated by Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, and Arawana Hayashi)

The Executive Champions' Workshop is a special setting for nurturing new thinking and relationships among executive leaders in today's rapidly changing economic and social landscape. Offered by invitation to executives who are champions of change, the ECW is a unique opportunity to reflect, refocus, and recharge.

Foundations for Leadership (September 23-25, 2014, Bedford, MA, USA, facilitated by Peter Senge and Beth Jandernoa)

Deepen your capacity to lead effectively and explore what it takes to create an environment where leadership is a shared responsibility, naturally embedded in the fabric of an organization and community. Participants develop their personal vision as well as one they desire for their organization to form a coherent picture of the results they desire to achieve. This program is based on the leadership development process described in The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge.

For more information about SoL or our services, please contact Lisa Kim at programs@solonline.org or visit us at www.solonline.org.


Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) researchers publish results of innovative legislative education initiative Building skills and knowledge to tackle health policy challenges

In response to limited examples of opportunities for state policymakers to learn about and discuss the difficult, adaptive challenges of the United States health system, the Georgia Health Policy Center (GHPC) in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University developed an initiative that utilizes systems thinking skills to educate Georgia legislators.

GHPC researchers and partners describe the initiative and the impact on Georgia’s policymakers in this open access article that was recently published in the journal Health Systems.

In 2008, the GHPC created the Legislative Health Policy Certificate Program. The program is an in-depth, multi-session series for lawmakers and their staff, concentrating on building systems thinking competencies and health content knowledge.

Systems thinking is a way of understanding connections between the components of a system (e.g. environmental, social, or political) and how those components relate to one another.

Systems thinkers use tools to facilitate learning. The curriculum included a Six-Question Framework which provided a construct for evaluating specific health content in the policy arena, behavior over time graphs, stock and flow maps, and simulation models.

Working with a collaborative team of legislators, staff, and subject matter experts, GHPC staff developed the childhood obesity model which allowed participants to better understand the future impact of specific policy initiatives on decreasing Georgia’s childhood obesity problem.

Building the program around a systems thinking framework is a unique and successful approach to legislator education. This approach enables legislators to look at the big picture, consider multiple factors and their changing dynamics, and explore higher leverage interventions to address Georgia’s health challenges.

“We learned that participants wanted more health content but also more opportunities to meet in small groups and discuss challenging issues in a bi-partisan, bi-chamber environment. The certificate program provided them this opportunity,” said Mary Ann Phillips, associate project director at the GHPC.

To date, 130 legislators and staff have participated in the program; 93 of them are certificate holders. Nineteen legislators and staff have participated in the Advanced Health Policy Institute which was developed in 2012 to build upon the skills and knowledge of those legislators who had previously attended the program; 17 completed the entire training.

The article “Using Systems Thinking in State Health Policymaking: An Educational Initiative” is available online at: www.palgrave-journals.com/hs/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/hs201317a.html.


A hearty thank you to all our 2014 sponsors! For a full list of all sponsors, see sponsors page of this newsletter.



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Milne 300, Rockefeller College, University at Albany, Albany, New York 12222 USA
Phone: +1 518 442 3865; Fax: +1 518 442 3398; Email: office@systemdynamics.org

The System Dynamics Newsletter is published by the System Dynamics Society.
Editors: Robin Langer, LouAnne Lundgren, Weijia Ran, Rochel Rubin, Erin Sheehan, and Roberta L. Spencer