>> Benelux Chapter

The Benelux Chapter of the System Dynamics Society convened at the 2016 ISDC in Delft under the chairmanship of Martijn Eskinasi of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Agenda items included an update on its members’ activities and projects, the election of Chapter Representatives, and planning of future activities.

The meeting was well attended and the review of activities and projects revealed that the Chapter is still a hot spot of System Dynamics activity. There is a wide diversity of ongoing projects e.g. in water supply, gender issues, housing and land use planning, regional development, health care, physical modeling and many more.

Jill Slinger of TU Delft was elected as the new president of the Benelux Chapter. Thereafter plans were made to host another Benelux Chapter conference in early 2017, following the success of the last conference on 29 January 2016. The 2016 conference was held at the office of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency in The Hague and was attended by over 50 participants. There were approximately 20 presentations covering topics of health, gendered urban issues, economics and industry management (Table 1). Furthermore, an introduction to System Dynamics was given to nearly 40 government researchers and policymakers.

Schedule of the Benelux Chapter Conference, 29 January 2016, The Hague.
plenary Housing Economists (Eskinasi)
plenary HEW Project (Zimmerman)
Urban Transition
(Korzilius et al)
Stakeholders / Gender inquality
(Bleijenberg et al)
(Schwarts & Fakkert)
Land use mining
(Galvan & Nava Guerrero)
Getting Clarity
(Lansu & Bleijenberg)
(Figal & Parigico)
demand transport
(Bastiani & Poppeliers)
Organ transplants
(Schoof & Santegoeds)
plenary Closure in GMB (Rouwette) Logtens
Inventories & disruptions (Groessler) Energy Subsidization (Eker & V Daalen) Ebola (Auping)
Cognitive workload (v Beurden et al) Economic Growth (v Latum et al) Diabetes (Wietsmarschen et al)
Component Modeling (Schanda)
plenary Ebola (Pruyt) Logtens

Submitted by Benelux Chapter Representative Martijn Eskinasi Back to Top

>> Brazil Chapter

In 2016 Brazil will host the XIV Latin American Conference on System Dynamics (CLADS 2016), from October 19-21, at the University Center FEI, São Paulo. CLADS is a joint effort between the Latin America and Brazil Chapters of the System Dynamics Society. The conference will feature plenary sessions from invited national and international speakers, parallel sessions, poster presentations, and workshops. Speakers include: Kim Warren, Strategy Dynamics and WPI, UK; Hazhir Rahmandad, MIT, EUA; Etiënne Rouwette, Radboud University, Netherland; Karim Chichakly, Isee systems and WPI, EUA. CLADS 2016 is intended to:

  1. Encourage professional, scientific, and training activities;
  2. Highlight relevant applications;
  3. Foster training and learning in System Dynamics;
  4. Promote the interchange of ideas and knowledge;
  5. Encourage the use System Dynamics in education; and
  6. Enrich and strengthen our social network.

At the 2016 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society the Brazilian Chapter members elected Ricardo Henrique Scheidemantel as Secretary, who will join Paulo Nakamura (President) and Rudolf Rosas Flunger (Liaison).

Submitted by Rudolf Rosas Flunger on behalf of the Brazil Chapter. Back to Top

>> China Chapter

The China Chapter conducted its 2015 System Dynamics Annual Academic Conference and the Council Election Meeting at the Beijing Jiaotong University on November 14-15, 2015. Nearly 100 attendees from 40 Chinese universities attended this conference.

Around ten persons from China, most of whom have an academic background, participated in this year’s conference in Delft. Some presented their research work in parallel sessions, and some did a poster session. We also participated in the Model Expo session and workshops on Thursday.

The China Chapter meeting was held on July 20th, at 10:30 AM. Seven persons from China attended the meeting. We talked about our research work and how SD could be better promoted in China in the future. One key focus of discussion was the publication of SD research work in peer reviewed journals.

Dr. David Lounsbury also came to the China Chapter meeting as he was coming to China just after the conference for a research project using SD on health care. He showed us his collaboration project.

The Asia Pacific Chapters Meeting was conducted on Monday afternoon. At that meeting, we had a moment of silence for Professor Qifan Wang. Dr. Ying shared a biography of Professor Qifan Wang. The regional conference that is to be held in Singapore in 2017 was discussed during Asia Pacific Chapter Meeting. There is great hope that more people from China could participate in the conference. Dr. Ying took the responsibility of sharing the information to researchers in China. We also talked more about the details of how to facilitate the participation of Chinese researchers to the SD regional conference after the meeting.

China Chapter regular meetings have been scheduled two or three times per year. The China Chapter is going to host a parallel session during the annual conference of China’s System Engineering Society in late October, 2016. The 2016 annual conference of SD in China will also be conducted in October, 2016 which will focus on model validation, the combination of SD with other methodologies and the object of study. To develop SD course in the MOOC platform in China and explore the possibility of cooperation with SD organization to develop Micro class are also on this year’s agenda.

Submitted by: Haiyan Yan, China Chapter Representative. Back to Top

>> Iran Chapter

On July 17th, the annual meeting of the Iran Chapter was held at the 34th ISDC in Delft. There were 18 researchers in attendance. The meeting opened at 3:00 p.m. with an introduction and welcome by Babak Bahaddin, the past president of the Iran Chapter. He gave a brief background about the committee and covered a couple of agenda items including the process of electing new committee officers. Dr. Ali N Mashayekhi was elected as the new president of the Iran Chapter and the new officers are:

Dr. Mashayekhi opened the floor for general questions and suggestions and the meeting ended at 3:40 p.m.

The second meeting of the Iran Chapter committee was held in Iran on August 14th. Dr. Mashayekhi welcomed the incoming officers and chapter members. In this meeting, an updated committee organizational chart was presented. In addition, an overview of the responsibilities of each position and the relationships between the committee members was defined. Finally, establishing a website, providing researchers and professionals with the suitable information and publications utilizing System Dynamics, highlighting members’ activities, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge among them were introduced as the main objectives of the Iran Chapter.

The Iran Chapter will celebrate its first anniversary next month. Since their start in October, 2015, they have seen tremendous growth. This active chapter has built an incredible network of over 100 members. For more information about the Iran Chapter and becoming a member, please visit their web page.

Submitted by Hamid Abdolabadi, Iran Chapter Representative. Back to Top

>> German Chapter

The German Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, Deutsche Gesellschaft für System Dynamics e.V. (DGSD) held its annual meeting at Stuttgart University on October 6-7, 2016. This meeting was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the DGSD. International guest speakers included: Dr. David Lane, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading, UK and Dr. Brad Morrison, Brandeis International Business School, Waltham, USA. The conference program featured the presentation of the Gert von Kortzfleisch Prize for outstanding SD work in Germany, a PhD Colloquium, a Company Colloquium, the presentation of the first DGSD scholar enrolled in the European Master in System Dynamics program, Miriam Spano, and a dialogue on the DGSD core values. Conference attendees had the opportunity to participate in the climate change strategy game “World Climate Simulation.” Additional details can be found on the meeting website.

Submitted by Florian Kapmeier, German Chapter Representative. Back to Top

>> Latin-American Chapter

The Latin-American Chapter has the mission to help the SD community grow in the Spanish speaking countries. Founded in 2003, it has Latin-American members from Mexico to Chile, as well from Spain and a growing number of Spanish speakers living in other countries.

We had the opportunity to gather around during the past 34th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, in Delft. The topics we covered during our meeting were related to our XIV SD Latin American conference, which will take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, October 19-21, 2016. The program of the conference includes keynote speakers, as well as workshops and parallel sessions with the relevant work from our chapter colleagues.

We are right now working to have relevant information from academics, students, and practitioners and their research topics, looking forward to foster research networks and collaboration. This list will also give us actual information to re-launch our distribution list as well as our webpage. You can follow the news here.

If you like to join us please contact Gloria Pérez (gloria.perez@itesm.mx).

Submitted by Gloria Pérez, Latin American Chapter Representative. Back to Top

>> Russian Chapter

The Russian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society was created in 2006 with participation of leading Russian universities. It has taken part in SDS Conferences since 2008.

The main goal of the Chapter is spreading System Dynamics in the Russian-speaking academic and practical environment by disseminating the information in both the Russian and English languages, through an exchange of experience between members of the Society, and through establishment of business and research contacts that support the activity of System Dynamics Society in Russia.

Activities of the Russian Chapter include:

  1. providing the information for experts, researchers;
  2. organization of regular meetings, roundtable discussions and conferences on System Dynamics and application of simulation modeling;
  3. promotion of initiatives on the organization of educational programs in System Dynamics;
  4. publications of scientific, popular-scientific, and methodical papers.
Natalia Lychkina, the Chairman of Russian Chapter

Recent System Dynamics-related events in Russia

Every two years the National Simulation Modeling Society organizes a theoretical and practical conference “IMMOD: Simulation Modeling: Theory and Practice.” This conference provides comprehensive analysis of the current state and development perspectives of the simulation modeling theory and simulation tools in various business industries and administrative governance. There is a section on SD and simulation modeling of socio-economic systems conducted by the Chairman of Russian Chapter, Natalia Lychkina, where Russian Chapter members regularly present their reports. The latest conference was held in November 2015 in Moscow. It was spotlighted by AnyLogic which is developing a simulation-modeling tool for creating models with the help of multimethod technology. The company’s CEO, Andrey Borshchev, presented a plenary report, which provided an overview of the simulation modeling market and consulting services in this sphere.

Theoretical and practical conference IMMOD: Simulation Modeling: Theory and Practice. The head of Anylogic company Andrey Borshchev and the Secretary of The Russian Chapter Yulia Morozova

The annual international scientific conference: “Modernization of the Economy and Society,” with section Y entitled, “Instrumental methods in the analysis of social and economic processes” was held at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in April 2016 in Moscow. The session was devoted to the application of simulation modeling in social and economic systems.

There is also an international scientific and practical conference “System analysis in economics” that is annually held by Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation in Moscow (chairman–Professor G.B. Kleiner).

On May 31, 2016, the International Center of Logistics and the School of Logistics of Faculty of Business and Management in National Research University Higher School of Economics, together with partners, held a roundtable discussion on simulation and optimization in supply chain management. The International Center of Logistics invited a well-known specialist in the field of simulation of logistics production systems and digital manufacturing, PhD. Yuri Toluev, Professor of Fraunhofer IFF (Magdeburg, Germany). He demonstrated how to solve practical issues in logistics with the help of a new simulation modeling tool for supply chains–anyLogistix, developed by AnyLogic. Natalia Lychkina, the Chairman of the Russian Chapter, was the meeting’s moderator and organizer.

Round table "Simulation and optimization in supply chain management". Professor Ph. D. Yuri Toluev.

The latest conference of the Institute for Informatics and Mathematical Modeling of Technological Processes of the Kola Science Center of Russian Academy of Science was held in March 2015. “Theory and practice of System Dynamics” took place in the city of Apatitys. The Institute regularly organizes the All-Russia scientific and practical conference with international participation:

Participation in the 34th International System Dynamics Conference

During the few last years, the Russian Chapter of the Society regularly presented posters at the International Conference of System Dynamics, where the key activities, large scientific schools, and its main personas were presented. Members of the Russian Chapter also regularly present the results of their scientific works. At the recent International System Dynamics Conference in July in Delft (Netherlands), the Chairman of the Russian Chapter of System Dynamics Society, Natalia Lychkina, presented e-Poster of Russian Chapter and organized an Annual Meeting of the Russian Chapter of System Dynamics Society.

This meeting was intended as a forum for exchanging opinions and building partnerships. Members of the SD group, created in the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russia, Moscow), shared their experience of using System Dynamics in education, research, and consulting projects in corporate and government administration.

The AnyLogic company, partner of the Russian Chapter for the International SD Conference, provided informational and financial support. The Russian Chapter and AnyLogic organize AnyLogic trainings for the members of educational society and offer a range of refresher courses. In addition, several Master programs in the Higher School of Economics include AnyLogic simulation modeling courses.

The AnyLogic company is a leading provider of dynamic simulation tools, technologies, and consulting services for business applications. The company designs, develops, and markets AnyLogic—the tool that brings together System Dynamics, process-centric (discrete event), and agent-based methods within one modeling language and one model development environment.

Published books on System Dynamics

  1. N. N. Lychkina, Simulation modeling of economic processes. Textbook. INFRA-M. 2014.
  2. A. S. Akopov, Simulation Modeling. Textbook.
  3. URAIT. 2015.
  4. D. Yu. Katalevsky, Fundamentals of Management Simulation Modeling and System Analysis, Moscow, University Press. 2011.

System Dynamics related educational programs

Several universities in Russia continue to host the following educational programs:

  1. National Research University Higher School of Economics: System Dynamics courses are offered in curriculum of the Faculty of Business and Management (N. B. Filinov, A. S. Akopov, N. N. Lychkina, G. V. Zakhodiakin, Y. A. Morozova, Z. Avdeeva)
  2. Lomonosov Moscow State University, School of Public Administration: Courses in System Dynamics are offered in the curriculums of the Economic Faculty (V. N. Sidorenko) and Faculty of State Management (D. N. Kavtaradze). A simulation laboratory, under the direction of D. N. Kavtaradze, is engaged in the development of educational games on the basis of System Dynamics models.
  3. Perm National Research University (former Perm State University): The Information Systems and Mathematical Methods in the Economics Department offers a Master’s degree program, “Business Intelligence Systems in Forecasting and Management of Socio-Economic Development Processes in Countries and Territories,” where students study a course of System Dynamics.

The Russian Chapter of System Dynamics Society and the AnyLogic company regularly conduct seminars and training courses for professionals on simulation modeling of economic processes. A recent training course for professionals on simulation modeling in Anylogic took place at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in April 2016.

Seminar “Agent-based modeling and its business applications” organized by National Research University Higher School of Economics and Anylogic company

Further development and international cooperation

The chapter plans to carry out cooperative programs, seminars, workshops, and master degree programs on simulation modeling and System Dynamics; write monographs; organize a roundtable discussion on “Strategies of Socio-Economic Development of Russia up to 2020 (Strategy-2020),” and participate in some activities within the recently established National Simulation Modeling Society. Joint educational projects at leading Russian universities, as well as international projects, are also planned.

We welcome the members of System Dynamics Society to strengthen cooperation with the Russian Chapter and are ready to provide support from the Higher School of Economics, the Moscow State University, and others.

Today there is certain interest in System Dynamics and simulation modeling from both business and government organizations. We are ready to respond to these challenges in cooperation with our international colleagues.

Submitted by Natalia Lychkina, Russian Chapter Representative. Back to Top

>> South Africa Chapter

The South Africa System Dynamics (SASD) Chapter announced its democratically elected Policy Council members in November 2015, with Prof Alan Brent and Ms Nalini Sooknanan elected and appointed as President and Vice-President of the Chapter respectively.

Prof Alan Brent (President, South Africa Chapter) and Ms Nalini Sooknanan (Vice President, South Africa Chapter)

The Chapter also held its 3rd Annual System Dynamics Conference in collaboration with Eskom SOC, at the Eskom Research, Testing and Development Centre in Johannesburg on 16th November 2015. The Chapter is currently preparing for its 4th Annual System Dynamics Conference, which will be held on 17 and 18 November 2016 in Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is a 40 minute drive from Cape Town International Airport (click here and here to learn more about these breath-taking cities in South Africa). Registration for attendance is open and can be completed at this link. The Conference presentations will be followed by a pleasing evening of wine-tasting, and the interactive Climate change workshop the day after.

Regular Chapter meetings have been held so far, including two Policy Council meetings held on 9 March 2016 and 7 September 2016 respectively; and the Chapter Roundtable held in Delft on 20 July 2016, attended by nine participants.

Participants attending the South Africa Chapter Roundtable Meeting held in Delft.

The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 16th November 2016. All Chapter members are invited to participate when the new Policy Council members will be elected for 2017.

The Chapter contributed a review paper, titled: Utilization of System Dynamics in Southern Africa: A Systematic Review, which is published in Systems Research and Behavioural Science. The paper provides the state of System Dynamics for each individual country within Southern Africa, and identifies opportunities for further collaboration and development in System Dynamics in the region. The book of Short Papers for the 4th Annual System Dynamics conference will also be published. The text book: System Dynamics Models for Africa’s Developmental Planning, which is another contribution for the Chapter, is now scheduled for publication in 2017.

Courses have been held in various institutions across South Africa. At Stellenbosch University, 15 students were enrolled for a dedicated postgraduate module in System Dynamics modelling. Several Master's students have based their theses on the modelling approach, which can be accessed via the Stellenbosch University library:

A System Dynamics Approach to the Ostrich Industry...
Agriculture Sector Implications of a Green Economy...
Biofuel Implications of a Green Economy Transition...
Infrastructure Implications of a Green Economy Transition...
Water Resource Infrastructure Implications...
Investigating the Effects of a Green Economy...

The University of Witwatersrand continues to teach the concepts of System Dynamics to undergraduate students at the Medical school. In the corporate environment, the Eskom Academy of Learning offered its 2-day applied introduction to Systems Dynamics course, three times this year, training forty participants.

Submitted by Josephine Musango on behalf of the South Africa Chapter. Back to Top

>> Student Chapter

The Student Chapter cordially invites all to join the new Facebook group. This is a place to post questions on System Dynamics, interact with fellow students, or find resources.

We are also organizing peer-mentoring groups. These will meet regularly to share works-in-progress, give and receive feedback, and gain System Dynamic modeling skills. The plan is for each peer-mentoring group to present a poster at the 2017 conference held in Boston. The Student Chapter page of the SDS web site will be updated shortly with information on joining mentoring groups.

Submitted by Larry Gottschamer, Student Chapter Representative. Back to Top

>> Energy Special Interest Group

The Energy SIG held its annual meeting at the ISDC in Delft, to update attendees of the present outlook of the group. Presentation of the statistics of the development of the Energy SIG along with the achievements of the last year and our plans for the upcoming year along with issues we are facing was discussed. During the discussion, we received precious feedback from the attendees which has inspired some newly established features. Thank you for this!

The following are existing and newly established features of the System Dynamics Energy SIG.

Mailing list: A mailing list was established so that relevant information can be exchanged easily and quickly. If you would like to inform us about a newly published paper, job offers or if you’re looking for some support: send an e-mail to energysig_systemdynamics@googlegroups.com. Your message will be sent automatically to all persons subscribed to the mailing list. Please use this option wisely, to avoid overfilling our inboxes. For longer discussions we would like to encourage the use of our LinkedIn group. To subscribe or unsubscribe for the mailing list, please send a message to energy@sigs.systemdynamics.org. Additionally, please feel free to inform your colleagues about this mailing list to enlarge our community!

Listing of SD-energy interested researchers and practitioners: To help you find other SD-energy researchers or practitioners we started an overview list. For this we need your help: please fill in your name, affiliation, areas of interest and a link to your research group/company here. Alternatively, you can send this information to this email energy@sigs.systemdynamics.org or you can find the google document on the Energy SIG Webpage.

Energy SIG Webpage: The Energy SIG Webpage was updated and is now available online. You can find some general information about the Energy SIG but also very handy resources such as a listing of journals suitable for Energy-SD publications. This might be a great starting point for our members to decide where to publish their research.

We hope these features are useful and hope that they will be used frequently!

With these tools we hope to support a close exchange among researchers and practitioners interested in the application of System Dynamics in the energy field. At the end of the annual meeting, George and Merla confirmed their willingness to continue as SIG co-representatives for the upcoming year. Max has decided to depart and we now have the assistance of a new member to support us: Please welcome Rhythima Shinde, a Master’s student at the TU Delft and say a heartfelt thanks to Maximillian Happach for his services to the Energy SIG over the past two years.

If you have further comments or ideas for additional activities of the Energy SIG don’t hesitate to contact us and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Please send an e-mail to energy@sigs.systemdynamics.org indicating your name, organization/company, address, country and e-mail address as well as any comments or specific information request.

Submitted by your Co-representatives for the System Dynamics Energy SIG: George Matthew, Rhythima Shinde and Merla Kubli. Back to Top

>> Psychology Special Interest Group

David Lounsbury chaired the Psychology SIG’s annual meeting at the 34th International System Dynamics Conference, on July 19th at Delft TU. The meeting was well attended, with approximately 12 participants. Introductions were made and the major foci of the SIG were reviewed and discussed, mainly that our SIG seeks to foster better integration of psychological and sociological constructs into System Dynamics models through networking, education, collaborative modeling projects, and manuscript/modeling consultation and review.

As in past years, the annual meeting featured a guest speaker. This year, Dana Ilmari Polojärvi, Professor of Humanities and Communications at Maine Maritime Academy, accepted our invitation. Dr. Polojärvi’s presentation was titled "Developing a System Dynamics approach to history and the historical soft sciences: a structured approach to transforming paradigms." He covered his experience in developing a System Dynamics approach to teaching history and sociology, as part of a humanities requirement, at the Academy. He described a body of work that has used System Dynamics to explain long-term human change processes. This included classroom exercises and activities that employed systems thinking and modeling, as a means to help students study and better understand the past, with an eye on finding ways to promote more sustainable futures for human communities. There was such enthusiasm about his efforts that the SIG organized a “System Dynamics and History” working group to further explore and support his efforts to teach humanities courses with systems thinking and modeling. Current members of this working group include Dana Polojarvi, John Hayward, Sophie Rich, David Lounsbury, and Pascal Gambardella. If you would like to learn more about this topic or would like to join the working group, please feel free to contact Pascal or David.

We are going through the approval process of changing our SIG name from "Psychology SIG" to "Psychology and Human Behavior SIG.” As an initial step we sent the reasons behind this change to all our SIG members and elicited their feedback. Briefly, our request to change the name comes from members’ observations that psychology, as a primary domain focus, describes only a fraction of what we actually discuss, critique, and support (e.g., our System Dynamics and History working group mentioned earlier). Moreover, we have observed that, through Pascal Gambardella’s work as the Human Behavior Thread Co-Chair (along with Camilo Olaya), papers submitted to the Society’s current “Human Behavior” thread largely overlap with work in the domain of psychology or other social sciences, yet there is no clear home for Society members who are producing this work. We think the logical setting for such members would be our current SIG and, in fact, we see authors of these works among our current membership.

The Psychology SIG continues to work closely with the Health Policy SIG. Once again, David served as Co-Chair for the Health Policy Thread (along with Ozge Karanfil and Gary Hirsch), and as Co-Chair of the Lupina Young Researchers Award (with Gary Hirsch), which is given for the best paper presented on a health topic by a student or recent graduate. Its sponsor, Lupina Foundation of Toronto, Canada provides cash award of CAN$5000. This year the award was shared by two Masters of Science students here at the Delft University of Technology: Bramka Jafino and Pedram Soltani, for their paper entitled “Saving Lives and Time: Tackling Transportation Induced Air Pollution in Jakarta.” Their System Dynamics model explored a variety of strategies to deal with air pollution and showed that the most important policy domain involved understanding how trends in migration, which are responsible for rapidly increasing population density in Jakarta, would make more traditional approaches to air pollution management ineffective. Instead, polices that helped to slow or reverse migration to major urban areas were found to be the most robust. On behalf of the Psych SIG, congratulations to both of these students, and to their faculty mentor, Dr. Erik Pruyt.

As we shift focus to planning for next year, we would like to remind you that we intend to offer a revised version of our workshop on Modeling Psychological and Sociological Dynamics at the 2017 conference in Cambridge, MA. Our earlier presentation, associated simulation models, and our current bibliography of papers are available at our Psychology SIG website. Again, please let us know about any paper or resource, as we will happily add to the bibliography.

We look forward to hearing from you in the coming weeks and months.

Submitted by Psychology SIG Representatives David Lounsbury (email) and Pascal Gambardella (email). Back to Top

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The System Dynamics Newsletter is published by the System Dynamics Society.
Editors: Babak Bahaddin, Carrie Stickan, Erin Sheehan, LouAnne Lundgren, Roberta L. Spencer, and Robin Langer.