New eBook on Systems Thinking

A new eBook, Systems Thinking: An Enabler for Innovation by Dr. Thomas Gannon and Dr. Jamie Monat of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is available for download from WPI’s website. The book focuses on how systems thinking can be used in the development of innovative products and services that fuel business growth. In a global economy as technology increases complexity, companies must compete while doing more with less. This eBook will provide companies with a strategic competitive advantage by using systems thinking.

What Students Are Up To

See what System Dynamics students are doing! A new webpage on the conference site highlights student papers scheduled for presentation at the upcoming System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to be held July 19 – 23, 2015. Please take a moment to read through the important works of these hard-working students. (If you are a student with an accepted paper that does not appear in this list please contact the Society). To learn more about System Dynamics Society student events, please visit the Student Chapter Website and LinkedIn Group. To help support students to attend the conference, please consider donating today to our Conference Scholarship Fund.

Member Hazhir Rahmandad’s Course ‘Research Seminar in System Dynamics’ Now Online

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is now offering the course Research Seminar in System Dynamics as part of its OpenCourseWare. This doctoral level seminar in System Dynamics modeling provides background on classic works in dynamic modeling as well as current research problems and papers. With a focus on social, economic and technical systems, participants will learn to critique theories and models. The course was originally taught in the spring of 2014 by Professor Hazhir Rahmandad. MIT OpenCourseWare, founded in 1999, provides free and open materials online from the MIT curriculum.

Forrester Seminar Series Screenings Began June 8th in Albany

The Albany System Dynamics Group is screening the Forrester Seminar Series over the summer break. On Monday, June 8th, we began with the first half of Session A–“What is System Dynamics.” Join us on the UAlbany Uptown Campus, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222, Room BB 368 (that is the new School of Business building). We will watch together and have an informal discussion afterwards. The suggested readings will be made available for attendees. For more information, please contact Eliot Rich at

Forrester Seminar Series on System Dynamics

Professor Jay W. Forrester, the founder of the field
Jay Forrester is Professor of Management at the Sloan School of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is founder of the field of System Dynamics. Beginning in 1946, Forrester directed the MIT Digital Computer Laboratory, which built whirlwind, the first digital computer, at MIT. He invented random-access, coincident-current, magnetic memory which launched the era of reliable digital computers. Later, at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, he directed development and installation of the SAGE system for North American air defense. Forrester has pioneered the use of System Dynamics in management education, applications to social systems, and more recently, System Dynamics as a foundation for a more relevant pre-college education from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Seminar Information
Professor Jay Forrester, in the fall of 1999, conducted a seminar series for Ph.D. students in System Dynamics. Each of the eleven three-hour sessions is devoted to a different stand-alone topic, which should be of benefit to any student or practitioner in the field. The series is not a progressive tutorial for learning System Dynamics, but covers related concepts and philosophy.

In an educational setting, these sessions can be used as assignments, to be viewed in preparation for a follow-up class discussion. Those who are applying System Dynamics in business and social situations should find these sessions useful in broadening their understanding of the field.

Session Descriptions:

Session A: What is System Dynamics?
Professor Jay W. Forrester discusses how System Dynamics started with a history beginning just before World War II. The students ask about mental models, kinds of feedback, and the relationship between System Dynamics and cybernetics.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Education as a Complex System

Guest editors Navid Ghaffarzadegan (Virginia Tech), Joshua Hawley (The Ohio State University), and Richard Larson (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have issued a call for original research articles/papers on the topic of Education as a Complex System for a special issue of Systems Research and Behavioral Science. Some examples of potential topics are: education as a socio-technical system; massive open online courses (MOOCs); guided learning pathways (GLP); customized education; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education; performance in Kindergarden-12 education; higher education; education enterprises; research in higher education; government and education; research funding and higher education; and the research and education workforce including teachers, postdoctoral associates, and professors. The deadline for manuscript submission is November 30, 2015. Additional details may be found here.

The Creative Learning Exchange Spring 2015 Newsletter is Available Online

The Exchange newsletter is available on The Creative Learning Exchange’s website. This issue contains the Fish Banks Simulation Guide, an online multi-user simulation that explores the management of a marine fishery. In the new issue you’ll also find an article about “Engineering Mission to Mars,” a course currently taking place at the Worcester Think Tank. Using the scientific method, the engineering design process, and concepts in System Dynamics, students ages 9-12 are learning to provide solutions to problems associated with a successful human mission to Mars. This issue also contains information about the upcoming DynamiQueST, an exciting showcase of student projects that utilize critical thinking skills to analyze complex dynamic systems in a relaxed environment, free from “winner/loser” constraints.

New issue of System Dynamics Review Available

The latest issue of System Dynamics Review is available on Wiley Online Library. This issue of System Dynamics Review includes research articles “Jay Forrester’s operational approach to economics (pages 233–261)” by Khalid Saeed, and “A realistic leverage point for one-planet living: more compulsory vacation in the rich world (pages 264–282)” by Jorgen Randers. Also included in this issue are two “notes and insights” articles “Model teaching II: Examples for the early stages (pages 283–290)” and “Model teaching III: Examples for the later stages (pages 291–299)” by George P. Richardson, and one entitled Citation Lifetime Achievement Award (pages 262–263) by Jack Homer.

Berlin WINS Announces PhD Course – “Systems Thinking and Practice in PhD Research: Cybersystemic Possibilities for Governing the Anthropocene

Berlin Workshop in Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems (WINS), together with ISSS and Humboldt University, announces the PhD course, “Systems Thinking and Practice in PhD Research: Cybersystemic Possibilities for governing the Anthropocene.” The course will be held in connection to the 2015 ISSS Conference in Berlin (July 30–August 7, 2015), “Governing the Anthropocene.” The objective is to work strategically to negotiate boundaries for research in a meaningful way in the areas of contemporary concern, such as sustainability, development, health, farming, food, rural areas and environment/biodiversity, to name a few. The purpose of the course is to help the PhD student develop skills in contextualizing their research, to make connections among issues using systems, cybernetic and complexity thinking and to so improve their ability to work together strategically and purposefully. Nominations are open to any current PhD students studying anywhere in the world. Click here for a pdf with complete details.

Springtime in Switzerland

The Bibliography has been Updated!

The most recent version of the Bibliography (2015a) includes references that have been sent in by authors. In addition, this update features references from the bibliographies of the three Virtual Issues of the System Dynamics Review that were not previously in the bibliography. If you are looking for journal articles, papers, or books relating to health and healthcare, structural dominance, or project management the System Dynamics Bibliography now contains a more complete set of references. We are always appreciative of references sent in by our authors. Please send us your publications (journal articles, books, papers, thesis, etc.) with key words included. Submissions may be sent to The Updates page always includes a current list of recent additions to the Bibliography.

New issue of The New Systems Thinker is Available

Leverage Networks’ latest issue of The New Systems Thinker (TNST) is available on their website. In this issue you will find articles about celebrating the use of systemic thinking in a legislative setting; exploring the interpersonal dynamics of introverts and extroverts; revisiting the dynamics of terrorism; and examining important patterns in project management for large projects. The issue also contains their regular monthly columns, Success Stories, Off the Shelf, From the Headlines, and Systems Thinker. Subscription information can be found here. Leverage Networks is also very excited to announce their new website with easier navigation, better organization, new membership opportunities, and content-rich Learning Pathways.

First Mediterranean Conference to be held July 6-7, 2015 – “Food Supply and Distribution Systems in Urban Environments”

The System Dynamics Italian Chapter (SYDIC) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with “Sapienza” University of Rome, the System Dynamics Society (SDS), and with the organizational support of OWS Srl, is proud to announce the First Mediterranean Conference on Food Supply and Distribution Systems in Urban Environments, to be held in Rome on July 6-7, 2015. The Conference will be held at “Dipartimento di Scienze Odontostomatologiche e Maxillo Facciali,” and will deal with the topic of food supply and distribution dynamics in urban environments, with a specific focus across the Mediterranean basin. The FAO and SYDIC have recently been working on the Call for Papers of the FAO Project “Meeting Urban Food Needs (MUFN).” Some of the best selected papers of this activity will be presented at the conference. The conference will bring together outstanding scholars in the field of Complex Systems and System Dynamics who apply their research to the food and sustainability arenas, but also high level political and social stakeholders in the field. The SYDIC Conference brochure can be viewed here.

Request for News

Our plan to publish up to four issues of the System Dynamics Newsletter every year continues with this, the second issue of this year. Please send us your news, photographs, and ideas to be included in one of the newsletters! Additionally, if you would like to contribute an article of interest to our community, please send your suggestion to the Society office.

All newsletters since 1988 are available on the Society website under Publications.

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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