Summary of System Dynamics Review Articles Published for 2016 (April 12, 2017)

System Dynamics Review is now available on the Wiley Online Library. The following articles were published for 2016:

Volume 32, Issue 1: Volume 32, Issue 2: Volume 32, Issue 3-4:

System Dynamics Review Features Jay W. Forrester Memorial Issue (May 30, 2017)

A special double issue of the System Dynamics Review is available online. The issue, dedicated as the Jay W. Forrester memorial issue, features seven articles, including Jay's most recent article as an archive piece, an editorial and obituary for Jay. In the editorial article, Meeting Jay W. Forrester, Yaman Barlas shares his own personal experience with Jay over the past 40 years. Additional articles in this issue include: Challenging learning goals improve performance in dynamically complex microworld simulations, by Miles M. Yang, Hong Jiang, and Michael Shayne Gary; Winner-take-all or long tail? A behavior model of markets with increasing returns, by P.J. Lamberson; Determining intervention thresholds that change output behavior patterns, by Bob Walrave; The cobweb theorem and delays in adjusting supply in metals' markets, by Simon Glöser-Chahoud, Johannes Hartwig, I. David Wheat, and Martin Faulstich; The dual-process theory and understanding of stocks and flows, by Arash Baghaei Lakeh and Navid Ghaffarzadegan; and Sensitivity analysis for models with multiple behavior modes: a method based on behavior pattern measures, by Mustafa Hekimoğlu and Yaman Barlas. Access the full issue on the Wiley Online Library.

Society Member’s Paper Published in Ecological Economics (May 24, 2017)

The article “Using inclusive wealth for policy evaluation: Application to electricity infrastructure planning in oil-exporting countries,” by Society member Ross Collins and his colleagues Noelle Selin, Olivier deWeck, and William Clark, was recently published in the journal Ecological Economics. In summarizing the work, Ross states “The paper uses a System Dynamics model to prospectively evaluate policies in terms of their forecast impact to the sustainable development trajectory of the countries analyzed. In the paper we use the inclusive wealth framework from welfare economics to define and bound sustainable development, where development is considered sustainable if the social value of a country’s capital stocks are non-declining over time.” The full article can be accessed on the Science Direct website.

Society Members Contribute Chapters to New Publications (May 15, 2017)

Society members Nuno Videira, Paula Antunes, and Rui Santos have contributed a chapter to the new publication titled Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics: Nature and Society. Their chapter, “Participatory Modelling in Ecological Economics: Lessons from Practice,” is one of fifty contributions by various international researchers. A description of the book edited by Clive L. Splash states, “This handbook, edited by a leading figure in the field, demonstrates the dynamism of ecological economics in a wide-ranging collection of state-of-the-art essays. Containing contributions from an array of international researchers who are pushing the boundaries of the field, the Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics showcases the diversity of the field and points the way forward.” Additional information can be accessed on the Routledge website.

Earlier this year Nuno, Paula, and Rui also collaborated on a chapter titled “Engaging Stakeholders in Environmental and Sustainability Decisions with Participatory System Dynamics Modeling” included in the book Environmental Modelling with Stakeholders: Theory Methods and Applications. Edited by Gray, S., Paolisso, M., Jordan, R., Gray, S, “This book presents the current state of knowledge regarding the theory and practice of engaging stakeholders in environmental modeling for decision-making, and includes basic theoretical considerations, an overview of methods and tools available, and case study examples of these principles and methods in practice.” Environmental Modelling with Stakeholders is available on the Springer website.

New Article by Society Members on the Role of Stakeholders in Operational Research (May 11, 2017)

The research article, “Reviewing the role of stakeholders in operational research, a stakeholder theory perspective”, by Society members Vincent de Gooyert and Etiënne Rouwette, along with Hans van Kranenburg and R. Edward Freeman, was recently published in the European Journal of Operational Research. The authors state in the abstract, “In the founding years of stakeholder theory there was a close connection and interchange of ideas between stakeholder theorists and operational researchers. Yet in recent years, the stream of papers that includes both fields has dwindled to a trickle. This lack of theoretical integration is surprising, as Operational Research is in nature a collaborative discipline. In this paper, we discuss three topics in stakeholder theory that can inform and improve studies involving working with stakeholders in Operational Research”. The full paper can be accessed on the Science Direct website.

Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems: a Newly Published Book by Kambiz Maani (May 2, 2017)

Professor Kambiz Maani’s new book, Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems — A Systems Thinking Approach with Cases, was published by Word Scientific earlier this year. The book aims to change the way important policy and business decisions are made by addressing complex challenges with a systems thinking approach. “This entails synthesis of diverse knowledge and perspectives in a transparent and unifying decision-making process, engaging stakeholders with competing interests, perspectives, and agendas under uncertain and often adversarial conditions.” The book, as described in the publisher’s summary, “introduces the systems approach in a non-technical language for multi-issue, multi-stakeholder decision making, supplemented by numerous case studies including business, economics, healthcare, agriculture, energy, sustainability, policy and planning. The book provides a fresh and timely approach with practical tools for dealing with complex challenges facing the evolving global business and society today.” Kambiz’s academic and consulting career in systems thinking and modeling spans over 25 years. He held the AgResearch Founding Chair in Systems Thinking and Practice at the University of Queensland in Australia. Currently, he is Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for the College of Business at Massey University in New Zealand. Kambiz will be presenting at the Workshop Day of the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Cambridge on July 20th. Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems — A Systems Thinking Approach with Cases is available now on the World Scientific website.

Addition of New Chapter Completes Creative Learning Exchange’s Model Mysteries (April 27, 2017)

The Creative Learning Exchange has announced the completion of the book Model Mysteries: An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies, and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place, by Anne LaVigne and Society member Lees Stuntz. Model Mysteries is intended for students, ages 10 and up, who are interested in creating and using models to solve real problems. The book can be used by students practicing on their own, or by teachers to complete a guided or independent study. Model Mysteries can be downloaded from the Creative Learning Exchange website.

Society Member Krystyna Stave Co-Editor of New Book (April 26, 2017)

The newly released book Social and Ecological System Dynamics, edited by Society member Krystyna Stave, and her colleagues Goraw Goshu Yemer and Shimelis Aynalem, is the first title in the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series. As described on the Springer website, “This book is a social—ecological system description and feedback analysis of the Lake Tana Basin, the headwater catchment of the Upper Blue Nile River.” For details, please visit the Springer website.

Society Member Contributes Chapters to New Book (April 21, 2017)

Society member Mihir Mathur has contributed to two chapters in the newly published book Drawdown—The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken. Joining the project through a fellowship program, Mihir’s chapters include the climate impacting topics of reducing food waste and family planning. The book analyses and simulates climate impacts (reduction in atmospheric CO2 eq ppm) of 100 climate solutions which if implemented at scale could reverse global warming. Visit the website to learn more about the book Drawdown, the fellowship program and their global coalition of more than 200 researchers, business leaders, and scholars.

Publication of Society Member’s Paper on Strategy Development (March 27, 2017)

The European Journal of Operational Research has published the article, “Supporting strategy using system dynamics,” by Society members Martin Kunc and Juan Pablo Torres, along with their colleague Frances O’Brien. In the abstract, the authors state, “This paper presents a protocol for supporting strategy development via system dynamics (SD) modeling in consultation with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of small organizations; it also reports on the effectiveness of this protocol one year after an initial study was conducted.” The full paper can be accessed on the Science Direct website.

New Article by Society Members on Education Policy (March 22, 2017)

The research article, “Work-education mismatch: An endogenous theory of professionalization,” by Society members Navid Ghaffarzadegan and Richard Larson, along with their colleague Yi Xue, was recently published in the European Journal of Operational Research. The authors state in the abstract, “We model the education-workforce pipeline and offer an endogenous theory of professionalization and ever-higher degree attainment. We introduce two mechanisms that act on the education enterprise, causing the number of educated people to increase dramatically with relatively short-term changes in the job market. Using our illustrative dynamic model, we argue that the system is susceptible to small changes and the introduced self-driving growth engines are adequate to over-incentivize degree attainment.” The full paper can be accessed on the Science Direct website.

Member John Sterman Quoted in CNN Website Article (March 3, 2017)

On February 22nd, CNN’s website featured the article “The Paris Agreement is bigger than Trump… isn’t it?” by John D. Sutter. The article explores the outcome if the United States were to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. The author of the article quotes Society member John Sterman as he explains the challenges of limiting warming. In the article, John states “[A] cascade of defections from Paris, would be a fatal blow to the prospects to liming warming to no more than 2 degrees, and there would be climate catastrophes that come with that.” Sutter reports “Current pledges made as part of the Paris Agreement, including US commitments, put the world at about 3.4 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100, according to Sterman and Climate Interactive. If the entire agreement fell apart and global emissions continued at their current clip, the planet could expect 4.2 degrees of warming.” The full article can be viewed on the CNN website.

Members Article Published in the International Journal for Agricultural Sustainability (March 1, 2017)

The International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability has published the article, “A systems approach to forecast agricultural land transformation and soil environmental risk from economic, policy, and cultural scenarios in the north central United States (2012–2062),” by Society members Ben Turner, Melissa Wuellner, Tim Nichols, Roger Gates, Luis O. Tedeschi, and Barry H. Dunn. In the article, the authors discuss the socio-economic and environmental threats associated with converting grasslands to row crops in the north central United States. They state in the abstract, “We used a system dynamics model of the region to forecast agriculturally driven land transformation through mid-twenty-first century. The base-case scenario projection showed that farmland area continued to increase, from under 200,000 km2 to over 230,000 km2. Unmitigated, the soil environmental risk (SER) of such changes reached conservative estimates of Dust Bowl-era externalities.” The full article is available on the website Taylor & Francis Online

New Release: 2nd Edition of Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works (February 28, 2017)

The second edition of Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works, by Society member Asish Ghosh, is now available on the website of the publisher Springer International. The description on the website states “This book will enable readers to not only better interact with the systems in their professional and daily lives, but also allow them to develop and evaluate them for their effectiveness in achieving their designed purpose.” More information about Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works can be found on the Springer website.

Society’s VP Chapter Activities Appointed Co-Editor of Kybernetes Journal (February 10, 2017)

Dr. Eng. Stefano Armenia, the System Dynamics Society’s VP Chapter Activities, has been recently appointed as Co-Editor of Kybernetes: The international journal of cybernetics, systems and management sciences, published by Emerald-Insight. The role of Editor in Chief has been taken up by Prof. Gandolfo Dominici, Scientific Director of the BSLab. Kybernetes has a new Editorial Board and a richly updated scopes, which are now focusing more on the social, organizational and managerial applications of cybernetics and systems thinking. For more information, please visit the journal's website.

Research Article Explores Modeling and Simulation in the Classroom (February 9, 2017)

The article “Learning and Education Experience in System Dynamics of Management Students: Case Studies,” by Society members Miroljub Kljajić, Andrej Škraba and their colleague Mirjana Kljajić Borštnar, was published in the International Journal of Decision Support System Technology. In the article, the authors discuss their research, stating “This paper describes experiences in the teaching of a Modelling and simulation course for students of management sciences at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor [Slovenia]. Our course consists of continuous simulation based on systems dynamics and discrete event simulation DES. The course is in the 3rd year, and students have already taken courses from mathematics, statistics, theory of systems, as well as organizational and economic courses. The final grade for the course is derived from the student’s project and written exam. In this paper, we will discuss methods of teaching SD and its impact on the students’ performance (final grade).” The full article is available on the IGI Global website.

New on the SDS Website: Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories (February 8, 2017)

On the Society’s website under the category of “What is SD?” you’ll find a new section called “Award Winning Applications of System Dynamics.” These award winning applications of SD are linked to our Case Repository pages and the new Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories page. This new page will feature a collection of short videos in which senior modelers narrate the story of high impact commercial applications of System Dynamics, providing a compliment to written material available in the Case Repository.

In the fall and winter of 2016, Ken Cooper visited the System Dynamics Society home office to film a series of videos narrating several high impact and more interesting commercial applications from his distinguished career. We are pleased to announce the following videos of Ken are available now on our website: the Litton Industries, Hughes Aircraft, Northrop Grumman, and MasterCard. Additional videos will be released in following weeks, so check back soon to hear more interesting stories about award winning SD applications!

Member Hazhir Rahmandad Featured in Huffington Post Article (February 8, 2017)

The article “Hazhir Rahmandad: Applying System Dynamics to Social Challenges” was published on February 6, 2017, on The Huffington Post website. The article is part of a series of interviews by the Iranian Americans’ Contribution Project featuring distinguished Iranian-Americans who have made major impacts in their professional fields. The article covers Hazhir’s biographical information before delving into specific questions about his start in engineering, his current research work, and concluding with Hazhir’s thoughts on being Iranian-American. Hazhir, an associate professor of System Dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management, was the 2015 Jay W. Forrester Award winner and currently serves the Society as a Workshop Chair for the 2017 ISDC. Please see the full article on the Huffington Post website.

Member Jack Homer uses ReThink Health model to assess potential adverse impacts of Trump policies (February 6, 2017)

The ReThink Health website, sponsored by the Rippel Foundation, features the editorial, “Beware unintended consequences: what the ReThink Health model tells us about the impact of President Trump’s policies,” by the foundation’s President and CEO, Laura Landy. The editorial is based on a white paper by Jack Homer, which analyzes potential impacts on US health of four areas where policy reversal under Trump seems possible: health insurance, job growth, environmental regulation, and community-minded law enforcement. The SD model is used to estimate impacts on morbidity, mortality, worker productivity, and health care costs from 2017 to 2029, assuming that the policy reversals remain in place for that long. When all four of the reversals are combined, the first three outcomes are worsened by 3 to 4 percentage points over the 12 years. Health care costs are somewhat reduced—but only because access to needed care has been curtailed. On a more optimistic note, the ReThink Health model was also used to analyze constructive policies for regional health systems, in an article published in Health Affairs, a leading health policy journal, earlier in 2016.

Special Issue of Journal of Cleaner Production Features Collection of SD Articles (February 3, 2017)

Research work involving System Dynamics at service of sustainability, has recently been published in Journal for Cleaner Production. In a description of the journal’s thirty-five articles, Karl-Henrik Robèrt, author and co-editor of this special issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production, writes “The focus of the special volume is on science at service of systematic leadership towards sustainability. The knowledge captured in this special volume helps leaders understand what sustainability is, i.e., how to define it, and to operationalize it in a systematic and strategic way in any arena or organization and across disciplines and sectors.” One of the thirty-five articles, “Boundary matters: the potential of system dynamics to support sustainability?” by Ehsan Nabavi, Katherine Daniell, and Husain Najafi, discusses how the use of System Dynamics improves understanding and supports sustainability. In the abstract the authors conclude, “The paper also discusses how and why System Dynamics needs to be used by analysts in a more complete manner (i.e. engaging qualitative, quantitative, and participatory approaches) to ensure that in any given applied case, the models, and the judgements underpinning their development, are effectively embedded in societal and political contexts that allow their use for supporting sustainability.” This article and the full journal are accessible on the Science Direct website.

Member Article in the Journal Mathematics Enthusiast (January 31, 2017)

The research article “Reorganizing Algebraic Thinking: An Introduction to Dynamic System Modeling,” by Society member Diana Fisher, has been published in the journal Mathematics Enthusiast. The article presents the idea of introducing System Dynamics modeling into the middle school or high school level algebra class. In the abstract Diana explains, “In the body of the paper, a nested sequence of simple bank account examples, increasing in complexity, is used to demonstrate a comparison between using a closed form approach and using Stella to mathematize each situation. The comparison, showing equivalent recursive equations, closed form equations, and Stella modeling diagrams, is designed to give the reader (algebra teacher, mathematics education decision-maker, researcher, or whomever) an accessible introduction to understanding Stella model diagrams and the mathematical engine operating under the ‘hood’ of the software.” Diana concludes by discussing the advantages of students utilizing modeling software and the limitations of traditional math curriculum. The full article is available through the Scholar Works University of Montana website.

Article Uses System Dynamics to Analyze the Cycle of Fake News (January 23, 2017)

The article “Do you think fake news can be killed with the truth? Think again,” by Sharon Pian Chan and Andre Alfred, which appeared on the website of ART + marketing, used System Dynamics to analyze data regarding fake news. Chan and Alfred note “We decided to combine our engineering and journalism backgrounds to do a deeper dive on how fake news feeds on itself using systems thinking, a tool we have been studying at MIT the past year.” The authors give credit to Society members and MIT System Dynamics Professors, John Sterman and Nelson Repenning for their feedback. The systems map was created using Vensim software. The authors describe this data, reporting “When we add the causal loop diagrams to the stock flow, we can see the relationship between the demand for partisan news sources, Facebook filtering, confirmation bias and how the system feeds on itself to drive the creation of fake news.” The authors seek to explore solutions in their next post and request feedback. Please see the full article for details about the data and for the authors’ contact information.

SD Article on Mental Health Intervention (January 04, 2017)

The research article titled “Community based system dynamic as an approach for understanding and acting on messy problems: a case study for global mental health intervention in Afghanistan,” by Society members Ellis Ballard and Peter Hovmand, along with their colleagues Parul Bakhshi and Jean-Francois Trani, was published by BioMed Central in a recent issue of the Conflict and Health journal. The article explores the factors that prevent persons with mental illness from using available health care services. Describing the methods used, the authors stated “We employed community based system dynamics to examine interactions between multiple factors and actors to examine the problem of persistently low service utilization for people with mental illness. Group model building sessions, designed based on a series of scripts and led by three facilitators, took place with NGO staff members in Mazar-I-Sharif in July 2014 and in Kabul in February 2015.” The full article is available on the BioMed Central website.

New System Dynamics Book in Springer Texts in Business and Economics (December 22, 2016)

System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation, by Bilash Kanti Bala, Fatimah Mohamed Arshad and Kusairi Mohamed, is now available on the Springer website. The book, featuring the essentials of System Dynamics and systems engineering, is useful as a textbook for undergraduate and graduate courses, and is an excellent reference guide for practitioners and researchers. The summary on the publisher's website states, "This book covers the broad spectrum of system dynamics methodologies for the modelling and simulation of complex systems: systems thinking, causal diagrams, systems structure of stock and flow diagrams, parameter estimation and tests for confidence building in system dynamics models. It includes a comprehensive review of model validation and policy design and provides a practical presentation of system dynamics modelling. It also offers numerous worked-out examples and case studies in diverse fields using STELLA and VENSIM. The system dynamics methodologies presented here can be applied to nearly all areas of research and planning, and the simulations provided make the complicated issues more easily understandable." System Dynamics Modelling and Simulation is available in hardcover or as an eBook on the Springer website.

Research Article Explores Inferences of Insider Threat Risk (December 21, 2016)

The journal article "Using dynamic models to support inferences of insider threat risk," by Elise Axelrad and Paul Sticha, was published in a recent issue of Computational and Mathematical Organizational Theory. In the abstract, the authors explain "Two modeling approaches were integrated to address the problem of predicting the risk of an attack by a particular insider. We present a system dynamics model that incorporates psychological factors including personality, attitude and counterproductive behaviors to simulate the pathway to insider attack. Multiple runs of the model that sampled the population of possible personalities under different conditions resulted in simulated cases representing a wide range of employees of an organization. We then structured a Bayesian belief network to predict attack risk, incorporating important variables from the system dynamics model and learning the conditional probabilities from the simulated cases." The full article can be accessed on the Springer Link website.

Climate Interactive Provides Data for The New York Times Digital Story (December 9, 2016)

Society member and co-director of the Climate Interactive, Andrew Jones, has posted a blog article that discusses the data used in The New York Times digital story "How Trump Can Influence Climate Change." The article, written by Jasmine C. Lee and Adam Pearce, uses models and analysis obtained from the Climate Interactive to illustrate how potential policy changes by a Trump administration would affect the goals of the Paris agreement. Jones' post explains the analysis and provides references for the data that the Climate Interactive provided for the story. He states, "The data we provided for this story pulls together several analyses from others (particularly LBNL) and some from ourselves (the C-ROADS simulation and Climate Scoreboard analysis)." Read more about the climate related data and the models used in the full blog post.

Members' Article Published in Resources (December 5, 2016)

An open-access review article regarding SD applications in agriculture and natural resource problems was recently published in the journal Resources. The paper, "System Dynamics Modeling for Agricultural and Natural Resource Management Issues: Review of Some Past Cases and Forecasting Future Roles," was written by Society members Ben Turner, Hector Menendez, Roger Gates, Luis Tedeschi and Alberto Atzori. The article also cites many other Society members work and introduces System Dynamics to the natural resource disciplines. Read the full article on the MDPI website.

Member John Sterman Quoted in Live Science Article on Climate Change

In the article "How to Avoid Stephen Hawking's Dark Prediction for Humanity" published by Live Science, John Sterman responded to a statement made by Stephen Hawking regarding the extinction of humans and the need to colonize other planets. John states "While I respect Stephen Hawking enormously, speculating on how long Homo sapiens will survive before extinction is foolish. Whether we survive and thrive or descend into chaos is not something to predict or lay odds on, but a choice to be made." John concludes by saying "Anyone who thinks we can solve these problems by colonizing other worlds has been watching too much 'Star Trek.' We must learn to live sustainably here, on the one planet we have, and there is no time to lose." Read more in the full article.

Special Editorial by Yaman Barlas Featured in the System Dynamics Review (November 16, 2016)

Yaman Barlas, Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review, delivered an important message in his editorial in the last issue of the SDR. Yaman discusses the challenges involved in increasing the number of papers submitted to the journal. He states "My concern is that there is currently a narrow, almost parochial perception of SDR, due to the confusion of philosophy and principles of System Dynamics with tools and software. My suggestion is simple: System Dynamics belongs to the larger field of "sciences of dynamic systems" and SDR is a natural platform to publish good systemic-dynamic research and applications, regardless of what tools or software they use." Yaman argues System Dynamics Review will reach its full potential by SD Society members, as well as other dynamical system scientists submitting their best work to SDR. The full editorial is freely accessible through the Wiley Online Library.

An Article on Finding the Optimal Model Complexity (November 4, 2016)

Professor Daniel Peter Loucks explores the topic of simplifying models to meet changing information needs in his November 3rd blog post, "Model complexity - What is the right amount?" In the article, Loucks writes "Modelers of real systems addressing real problems have the job of providing the information needed by those making recommendations or decisions. But those individuals themselves often don't know what they will need or want until they get what our models give them." He discusses the relationship between the modeler and the stakeholder, stating "One way to build that level of trust and at the same time help guide modelers in determining just what level of complexity may be most appropriate is to start simple and only add complexity when it is called for." Loucks supports this point by reviewing two case studies. Read the full article on the Integration and Implementation Insights blog.

SD Research Article Explores Work-Family Conflict in the Construction Industry (November 1, 2016)

The research article "System Dynamics Model and Simulation of Employee Work-Family Conflict in the Construction Industry," by Guangdong Wu, Kaifeng Duan, Jian Zou, Jianlin Yang, and Shiping Wen, has been published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. In the article, the authors explore how work-family conflict effects not only the family life of an employee, but also how the conflict impacts the employee's job performance. The authors built a model that focuses on the construction industry in particular. In the abstract, they explain "In order to analyze the dynamic evolution of construction industry employee's work-family conflict between work and family domains, this paper constructs a bi-directional dynamic model framework of work-family conflict by referring to the relevant literature. Consequently, a System Dynamics model of employee's work-family conflict in the construction industry is established, and a simulation is conducted." The full paper is available on the MDPI website.

Member Shayne Gary's Article Published in The Accounting Review (October 25, 2016)

The September 2016 issue of the The Accounting Review, features the article "Dynamics Decision Making Using the Balanced Scorecard Framework," by Society member Shayne Gary, along with his colleagues at UNSW Australia Business School, Kerry Humphreys and Ken Trotman. The article discusses the study of managerial mental models, building on work that Shayne has published previously. As stated in the abstract, "This study examines the effects that two balanced scorecard framework (BSF) elements, causal linkages between strategic objectives ("causal linkages") and time delay information ("delays") in a strategy map, have on long-term profit performance in a dynamic decision-making environment." The full article is available on the American Accounting Association's website.

New Research Article by Members Published in Group Decision and Negotiation (October 25, 2016)

The Springer Link journal Group Decision and Negotiation recently published the article "Evaluating Facilitated Modelling Processes and Outcomes: An Experiment Comparing a Single and a Multimethod Approach in Group Model Building," by Hugo Herrera, and Society members Marleen McCardle-Keurentjes and Nuno Videira. In the abstract, the authors compare group model building and the multimethod approach, "We explored the differences between these two modelling approaches in facilitating cognitive change, consensus and commitment by building an experimental research design with real clients, working on their organization's problem." The full paper can be accessed by visiting the website of Springer Link.

Protecting the Climate: SD Model Used to Analyze Policy Changes (October 19, 2016)

In the Citizen-Times article "Climate-change models inform negotiators, engage regular folks," author Mike Cronin discusses the important role the Climate Interactive has in environmental policy. The Climate Interactive is a non-profit organization founded in 2010, with headquarters in Washington D.C. and additional offices in Asheville, North Carolina, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Hartland, Vermont. The Climate Interactive, along with Tom Fiddaman of Ventana Systems, created the System Dynamics model used to determine the effects of proposed environmental policies. The Climate Interactive plays a significant role in climate policy, in fact, during the recent Paris Climate Agreement negotiations, attendees regularly conferred with the researchers and scientists at the Climate Interactive. The models have remained as a free and open source, and are used by many. As quoted in the article, Climate Interactive co-director Elizabeth Sarwin states "We make our simulations easy to use and freely accessible to people all over the world who want to understand what it will take to protect the climate. We use our tools to open up the discourse about infrastructure investments that impact the climate to bring more people and more perspectives into decision-making." Read more in the full article on the Citizen-Times website.

New Publication: System Dynamics Models Used to Analyze PTSD (October 11, 2016)

A new research article titled "A Dynamic Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for Military Personnel and Veterans," by members Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Mohammad S. Jalai and their Virginia Tech colleague Alireza Ebrahimvandi, has recently been published in PLOS ONE. In this study, the authors developed a System Dynamics simulation model of the population of military personnel and veterans affected by this mental illness and then used the model for an analysis of health policy. The full paper is available on the PLOS ONE website. Mohammad Jalai discusses the topic further in a related article published in the Conversation, "Fighting another war: How many military personnel and veterans will have PTSD in 2025?" When speaking of the results, Mohammad concludes, "...that in a post-war period there is no easy solution for overcoming the problem of PTSD, and the current screening and treatment policies used by the VA and the DOD must be revolutionized to have any noticeable effect. The VA and the DOD should work together and try to offer timely service to patients. However, we showed that they cannot do much to decrease health care costs. These are the consequences of wars." For the use of the public and policymakers, the authors have provided access to the online model.

Now Available in Print: Principles of Systems (October 10, 2016)

In Principles of Systems, author Jay W. Forrester explains the basic principles behind system behavior. The book introduces the concepts of structure and dynamic behavior on which were based the author's earlier books, Industrial Dynamics, 1961 and Urban Dynamics, 1969. Due to the general nature and wide applicability of the principles discussed, the book has been accepted as a starting point for teaching dynamic systems on many multidisciplinary courses on urban, ecological, corporate and other complex social systems. The reprinted edition of Principles of Systems can be ordered through the Society's book store on our website.

Breaking the Deadlock: How "Qualitative System Dynamics" Can Help to Overcome Emergency Department Crowding in Singapore (October 5, 2016)

The article "Emergency department crowding in Singapore: Insights from a systems thinking approach," by members Lukas Schoenenberger, John Ansah, and David Matchar, along with their colleagues from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Steffen Bayer, Rajagopal Mohanavalli, Sean Lam, and Marcus Ong, has been published in the open access journal SAGE Open Medicine. The work vividly shows how causal loop diagramming can be used for both eliciting the systemic structure of emergency department crowding and causally inferring (relative) impacts of different policies currently debated by policy-makers in Singapore. The full article can be viewed on the SAGE Open Medicine website.

System Dynamics Provides Businesses with a Path to Improvement (September 30, 2016)

The article "Absorptive capacity, technological innovation, and product life cycle: a System Dynamics model," by Bo Zou, Feng Guo and Jinyu Guo, was recently published in the web based journal Springer Plus. The article is a summary of the authors' study of using System Dynamics modeling to provide analysis for adjusting the management policies of businesses. In the abstract, the authors state "While past research has recognized the importance of the dynamic nature of absorptive capacity, there is limited knowledge on how to generate a fair and comprehensive analytical framework. Based on interviews with 24 Chinese firms, this study develops a system-dynamics model that incorporates an important feedback loop among absorptive capacity, technological innovation, and product life cycle (PLC)." The full article can be viewed on the Springer Plus website.

Working to Meet Sustainable Development Goals (September 29, 2016)

In his blog post "Business can rock the world," Bjørn Kj. Haugland, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer in the DNV GL Group, discusses the forecast of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The article features details about the DNV GL report "The Future of Spaceship Earth," a study of seventeen SDGs each paired with a leading global company with relevance to a particular goal. Haugland notes "In our quest to assess the likelihood of the SDGs being achieved by 2030 we took, as a starting point, the long-term forecast created by one of the original members of the Club of Rome, Jørgen Randers. We then surveyed over a dozen forecasting models. Of these, we found the two most suitable supplementary models were the System Dynamics-based "T21" model of Millennium Institute [System Dynamics], and the Regional Integrated model of Climate and the Economy ("RICE") led by Professor William Nordhaus of Yale University. Our team performed structural sensitivity analyses using these two supplemental models, and drew on the T21 model in particular to assess SDG issues and targets not covered by the Randers model."

The results were expressed in terms of a scorecard, which revealed progress in the areas of health, innovation and education, but shows the sustainable development goal in climate action falling short across the board in all five global regions. Read the full blog post for additional information and a video presentation. Access the full report from DNV GL to learn more about the seventeen companies involved in this project.


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