Jill Kuhlberg Successfully Defended Her PhD Dissertation (September 27, 2017)

On September 22, former Student Chapter representative Jill Kuhlberg successfully defended her PhD thesis, “Increasing Community Participation in Group Model Building,” at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. Jill would like to thank her committee, co-chaired by Peter Hovmand (pictured with Jill) and Francois Trani. She would also like to express her gratitude to “the many folks in the Society that supported the work and me in the process of doing it.” On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Dr. Kuhlberg!

Chapter News from South Korea (September 26, 2017)

The Korean System Dynamics Society held its annual summer conference on August 26, 2017, after a one-day workshop dealing with the Beer Game and the World Climate Simulation. The conference featured a keynote speech by Prof. Nam-Sung Ahn, past president of Korean System Dynamics Society and the former Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning. The program also included eleven parallel presentations with two sections and a poster presentation by high school students. Over sixty members enjoyed the gathering and celebrated the 60th anniversary of System Dynamics with presentations of the history of Jay W. Forrester and System Dynamics Infographic provided by System Dynamics Society. Although all conference presentations were in Korean, those with English abstracts have been provided for interested SDS members. Photos of the conference can be seen in the Korean Chapter’s Google photo album.

The System Dynamics Colloquium (formerly the PhD Colloquium) (September 26, 2017)

The Student Chapter announced that the event name PhD Colloquium has been changed to System Dynamics Colloquium. The System Dynamics Colloquium is a one-day event devoted to developing and mentoring early stage system dynamicists (junior system dynamicists). The format of the colloquium supports participation from varying fields, varying levels of training, students at different points of their studies and professionals and academics new to System Dynamics. Please visit their website for further information.

New Job Posting on SDS Career Link (September 25, 2017)

The Radboudumc (university medical center) has listed a job opening for a Project Researcher in the area of network time series analysis to study resilience of older persons. The candidate selected will be a post-doc candidate, well able to apply state of the art computational dynamic network modeling techniques, as evidenced by his/her PhD research. For additional details on this position, as well as other opportunities currently available, please visit the Career Link page on the Society's website.

ESB Business School Students Take Part in Climate Exercise (September 25, 2017)

A group of students from ESB Business School of Reutlingen University took part in a World Climate Simulation program taught by Society member, Professor Florian Kapmeier. The students are from the BSc International Business, MSc International Business Development, and the MSc International Accounting, Controlling and Taxation degree programs. The simulation, developed by the Climate Interactive, in collaboration with System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan School and UMass Lowell, allowed the students to test various climate affecting factors using En-ROADS simulation. The article talks about a new spin on the game, stating “In contrast to the simulation-based role play World Climate performed at ESB Business School up to now, this time we adopted the roles of representatives of various sectors: producers of fossil fuels, producers of renewable energies, representatives of major economies as well as climate activists. Our common goal was to compile proposals on how to stabilise global warming at below 2°C plus compared with the pre-industrial level. Moreover, each sector was in charge of controlling certain parameters, for example the scale of investment in renewable energies or the global cost of carbon emissions.” Read the full article on the ESB Business School website.

International Beirut Energy Forum for Sustainable Development, September 18-20 (September 15, 2017)

The International Beirut Energy Forum for Sustainable Development took place September 18-20, 2017, at Le Royal Hotel in Dbayeh, Lebanon. The International Beirut Energy Forum (IBEF) is dedicated to sustainable energy issues and projects and is considered one of the most reputable and professional energy events in the Middle East. On the first day of the forum, Society member Dr. Samir Traboulsi presented “Formulating Models Using System Dynamics Technique.” Samir’s presentation is a part of the session titled “Robust Engineering Approach Towards Smart Energy Systems.” Sessions were open to the public. Please see the IBEF website for additional program details and a complete list of the presenters.

New System Dynamics Apps Mini-Lessons (September 13, 2017)

The Fall issue of the Creative Learning Exchange’s newsletter announced the development of mini-lessons using their new apps. These new System Dynamics apps, based on models created by John Heinbokel and Society member Jeff Potash, were developed in a collaboration with BTN, the Center for Interdisciplinary Excellence in System Dynamics, and the Creative Learning Exchange. You can download “RETIRE RICH” and “POPULATION PLANNER” App Mini-Lessons for free on the Google Play or iTunes Store. Learn more about the apps in The Exchange newsletter.

Member’s SD Paper Wins the Best Student Paper Award of the Energy Economics Conference (September 8, 2017)

At the European conference of the International Association of Energy Economics (IAEE), held in Vienna in September, Society member Merla Kubli was presented the award for the best student paper for her work “Squaring the sunny circle? On balancing distributive justice of power grid costs and incentives for solar prosumers.” Merla is a research associate at ZHAW, Zurich University of Applied Sciences and PhD candidate at the University of St. Gallen, both in Switzerland. In a statement sent to the Society, she explained “The awarded paper presents a System Dynamics model designed to analyze the impact of solar prosumers on the financing of power distribution grids under variants of grid tariff designs. A particular focus is shed on quantifying the occurring distribution effect among consumers with and without self-consumption. With my analysis, I find that the distribution effect is very moderate in scope under European Power Market regulations. I therefore recommend to focus political and regulatory discussions on the incentives arising from grid tariffs for investments into developing an efficient and sustainable grid as well as achieving energy political targets. I also presented the paper at ISDC2017 in Cambridge.” The study is part of the research project TREES (transition of regional energy systems) at ZHAW, led by Dr. Silvia Ulli-Beer. The TREES project is part of the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research – Competence Center for Energy, Society and Transition (SCCER CREST), which is founded by the Swiss Commission for Technology and Innovation. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Merla!

Iran Chapter Presents the First National Convention on "The Challenges of Higher Education in Iran" (September 8, 2017)

On September 13, the Iran Chapter of the System Dynamics Society held the First National Convention titled The Challenges of Higher Education in Iran, at Sharif University of Technology. Dr. Ali Naghi Mashayekhi, President of Iran Chapter and Dr. Abdol Rahim Nave Ebrahim, gave presentations. Dr. Mashayekhi discussed the dynamics of higher education and its future. Also, Dr. Nave Ebrahim discussed the dynamics of introducing new disciplines in knowledge production system.

Previously, the Iran Chapter held a seminar titled System Dynamics Modeling for Complex Sociotechnical Problems, also at Sharif University of Technology. Society member Dr. Mohammad Jalali, research faculty member at MIT Sloan School of Management, presented. Dr. Jalali discussed challenges and opportunities in research, from data collection to publishing the results, and the best practices for increasing the replicability of research and dissemination of findings. The seminars are a part of a series organized by the Iran Chapter. Additional information is available on the Iran Chapter web page.


You Fix It: Can You Stay Within the World‘s Carbon Budget?” Climate Simulator featured in Opinion Piece on New York Times Website (September 6, 2017)

A climate simulator, based on a model developed by Climate Interactive and the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, lets you explore more than 8,100 scenarios for addressing climate change. The article and interactive tool are featured in an opinion piece on the Wednesday, September 6, 2017 homepage of the New York Times.

In addition an article, by Society member and Climate Interactive co-founder, Drew Jones, gave background information about the creation of the model, the scenarios behind the tool, and in a table explained the calculation of the carbon budget value. “You Fix the Climate” – Behind the New York Times Opinion Piece also gave credit to Drew’s co-authors Stuart A. Thompson and Jessia Ma, and the Climate Interactive team for “ the model, framing, and data behind the NY Times article.”

isee systems Announces the Release of Stella Architect Update to 1.4.1 (September 1, 2017)

The latest version of Stella Architect released by isee systems features a few new and exciting features. Using Stella Architect 1.4.1, you can now create multiplayer games allowing multiple users to interact, make decisions for different roles, and learn from players’ decisions while running the simulation. Sophisticated animations can also be created based on SVG graphic files, moving objects all over the window, and a new data collection option assigns different levels of data collection to your published simulations so you can learn more about how users are interacting with their models. To learn more about Stella Architect, please visit isee systems’ website.

Beer Game Used by UK’s Top Wine Retailer (August 28, 2017)

An article appeared on the website of SHD Logisitics reporting that UK wine retailer Majestic Wine has been training their staff using the Beer Game. The Beer Game, developed by Jay Forrester in the 1960’s, allows participants to simulate coordination of the supply chain. The game was presented to Majestic Wine staff by Supply Chain Academy in Essex. The article quoted Neil Firth, Majestic Wine’s Supply Chain Director, “I wanted training that was different yet educational, to get my team to think and be prepared for any supply chain scenario. We worked with the Supply Chain Academy to develop a bespoke version of the beer game to help them understand what happens across the supply chain. It was a well-run event that the team learnt a lot from.” Alex Mortimer, Director at the Supply Chain Academy, describes how the Beer Game helps many different areas of a company. He says staff in these different areas “…acquire a common understanding of how much the supply chain and business costs can be affected by such things as lead times, customer demand fluctuations, out of stocks, supplier behaviour and supply fluctuations.”

The Beer Game is used by many corporate and academic institutions to introduce concepts of System Dynamics. For more information about the Beer Game, or to place an order, please see the Products page of the Society’s website.

OECD Report: Systems Approaches to Public Sector Challenges (August 23, 2017)

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published a new report titled Systems Approaches to Public Sector Challenges: Working with Change. According to the OECD website, “This report, produced by the OECD Observatory of Public Sector Innovation, explored how systems approaches can be used in the public sector to solve complex or “wicked” problems. Consisting of three parts, the report discussed the need for systems thinking in the public sector; identified tactics that can be employed by government agencies to work towards systems change; and provided an in-depth examination of how systems approaches have been applied in practice.” For more information or to purchase Systems Approaches to Public Sector Challenges: Working with Change, please visit the OEDC iLibrary.

Free Stella Architect Webinar Scheduled for Tuesday, August 22 (August 21, 2017)

The free webinar, Designing Interfaces with Stella Architect, took place on August 22. Participants joined isee systems as they demonstrated introductory interface development techniques of Stella Architect. Those who were new to Stella Architect learned how to start building professional interfaces. A question and answer session was featured at the end of the webinar.

Transportation SIG Gaining Momentum (August 21, 2017)

Following an initial interest meeting at last year’s conference in Delft, a Transportation SIG was set up last November and already has an impressive 131 members. The SIG organized a well-attended special session at this year’s conference, presenting three excellent papers on the use of SD in transport studies (see Session 229, Tuesday 14:40). The group also had a SIG meeting to discuss how to move the group forward. Among their plans for the next year are to hold a workshop where papers will be filtered for a special issue of a journal, and to target other conferences for special sessions, such as transport conferences and the OR Society.

The Transportation SIG has set up a LinkedIn group and Google group mailing list and encourage all society members with an interest in transportation to join these discussions. See their webpage for more information and set-up details.

Investment Advisor Applies System Dynamics Concepts (August 18, 2017)

In an article featured on the Seeking Alpha website, CFA Arturo Neto wrote about his introduction to System Dynamics during his MBA studies at University of Virginia. Neto recalled the course work based on Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline and described how the course greatly impacted him. The article began with a brief overview of the concepts of System Dynamics exemplified with basic diagrams. Neto then made the connection of how System Dynamics can be applied to corporate investment strategies, allowing for “targeted growth without taking on undue risks.” The full article can be read on the Seeking Alpha website.

News from Benjamin Chung, Korea Chapter Representative (August 16, 2017)

The Catholic Education Foundation, which is in charge of Catholic University, oversees three campuses, one elementary school, three middle schools, one high school, and eight hospitals. Recently, the Foundation found that communication was a critical issue while building a new hospital, their largest project in ten years. After using the Beer Game, the participants (who are key staff members for this project) better understood the impact of structure rather than simply blaming others. At a systems thinking workshop after the Beer Game, participants tried to grasp the feature of structure and make their own structural analysis with a causal loop diagram and Iceberg model. The photographs (courtesy of professional photographer Tae Hyun Cho) from their Facebook page show an enthusiastic group who had fun while learning important concepts.

System Dynamics Summer School in Como, Italy (August 14, 2017)

The 2017 Summer School “Scenario Analysis and sustainable policy modelling with computer simulation,” was held at Lake Como School of Advanced Studies, September 11-15, 2017, under the patronage of the Italian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society (SYDIC). The five day program featured lectures and classes on System Dynamics theory, as well as classes that offered hands on opportunities for attendees to explore modeling and simulation. Summer School presenters included: Stefano Armenia, Pål Davidsen, Luigi Geppert, Francesco Giannino, Douglas McKelvie, and Edoardo Mollona. Visit the Summer School website for details on the program.

SDS Business Special Interest Group Call for Co-Leader Nominations (August 14, 2017)

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In August, individuals were nominated to serve as Business SIG Co-Leaders for 2017/2018 term. Multiple submissions are encouraged if you know of more than one individual. Real-time results were viewed here. Nominated individuals were contacted to see if they are willing to serve, then a ballot was circulated with candidates for the two Co-Lead positions. The top two by popular vote will be the new SIG Leaders.


News from the Korea Chapter of the System Dynamics Society (August 14, 2017)

Dr. Chang-Kwon Chung, the president of Korean System Dynamics Society, led a group of volunteers from the Korean System Dynamics Society in a research project and seminar titled “PM (Particulate Matter) From Within”. Particulate matter in the atmosphere is a social and environmental issue for which people blame factors outside the system, especially China in the case of Korea, instead of controllable factors inside the system. After completion of their model, the group collaborated with the Sejong Climate Change Research Center, a prestigious institute led by Prof. Eui Chan Jeon, a co-author of the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Both the Korean System Dynamics Society and the Research Center agree this collaboration was an excellent launching pad for further research.
Korea Chapter volunteers with (bottom row starting 4th person from left) Dr. Dong-Hwan Kim, former president of Korean System Dynamics Society and professor of Jooang University; Dr. Eui Chan Jeon, professor of Sejong University; and Dr. Chang Kwon Chung, president of Korean System Dynamics Society and president of System Leadership Institute

New Content Sharing Service Announced on Wiley Online Library (Aug 9, 2017)

Wiley recently announced a new content sharing service, following a successful pilot that was run on Wiley Online Library for the first half of this year. The new service is available to researchers, authors, and the media. According to the press release, “The new initiative, delivered via ReadCube, facilitates research collaboration by providing authors and subscribers with a simple tool for sharing free-to-read full-text articles easily with others [non-subscribers].” Wiley is pleased to be able to offer this service to all journals – including the System Dynamics Review.

There will be a sharing link (on an article page) for users with full-text access to articles via Wiley Online Library. It will allow them to view an online PDF (ReadCube) version of the article. According to the press release, “If this sharing link is shared with an individual in an institution buying content from us they will see an unrestricted view of the ePDF and we will include the full-text view in the institution's usage reports. If the sharing link is accessed by an individual who does NOT have access to the content, they will see a restricted full text view of the article. They will not be able to print or download it.”

The Society’s long time publishing partner, Wiley, hopes to make “sharing easier for all” and to “support you in your mission to achieve the widest possible impact for your research.”

A press release from February includes more details about the program as well as information about ReadCube.

Society Member Teaches System Dynamics at Tata Institute of Social Science (Aug 8, 2017)

Mihir Mathur taught a week long System Dynamics course at Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Hyderabad, India. The course included introduction to systems thinking and System Dynamics; causal loop diagrams, ice berg modeling, introduction to stocks and flows modeling, and making small computer models. The two credit course was attended by over 50 students from the institute’s school of Public Policy and Governance and Natural Resources and Governance. Students worked in groups to practice cases on causal loops, ice berg models, stock flow models, mental simulations, and storytelling. This workshop was part of the Basics and Advanced System Dynamics course introduced at TISS, a leading institute in social sciences. The course was introduced early in 2016 and has since gained popularity attracting more students every year. It was taught in collaboration with Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), a thriving civil society organization working on ecological conservation and livelihoods. Basics and Advanced System Dynamics remains a pioneering effort in field of social sciences academia in India.

“Model Based Public Planning, Policy Design and Management” to be offered by CED4 System Dynamics Group (Aug 2, 2017)

Member Carmine Bianchi coordinated the Doctoral Program in “Model Based Public Planning, Policy Design and Management” which is focused on applying System Dynamics modeling to foster a learning-oriented approach in public sector performance management, for the design and implementation of sustainable policies.

The program is focused on applying Dynamic Performance Management through an outcome-based perspective. According to the program information, “By attending the program, students will learn how System Dynamics modeling and simulation can support collaborative governance, to manage ‘wicked’ social issues and to pursue sustainable community outcomes.”

A program flyer stated the doctoral program consists of three academic years, during which students will attend seminars, lectures, focused modeling and simulation sessions, class discussion sessions, computer based training sessions. The program will be taught in English.

Detailed information on the program including course schedules, reading lists, sessions, and materials can be found here. The deadline to apply was August 21st.

Think Tank Award Presented to Climate Interactive (July 21, 2017)

Congratulations to the Climate Interactive, winner of Prospect Magazine’s 17th Annual Think Tank Award in the Energy and Environment category! The judges acknowledged Climate Interactive’s “top notch” work, stating that it “showed clear evidence of both convening power and media impact. The innovative interactive tools make it easier than ever before to show where the climate may be headed, so it naturally proved to be influential to policymakers who have ears to listen and eyes to see.” Please visit the Climate Interactive website for additional details.

New Videos on SDS YouTube Channel! (July 19, 2017)

Check out the 18 video clips filmed at the 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Cambridge! Please visit the Society's YouTube channel to hear what conference participants had to say about their System Dynamics work, the Society, the Conference, Summer School and more!

Member Jeroen Struben Promoted to Associate Professor (July 13, 2017)

Jeroen Struben was promoted to associate Professor at emlyon Business School (Lyon, France). Jeroen is part of the Strategy and Organisation Department where he teaches among others a new master level course “systems thinking and sustainability”. Jeroen studies dynamics of market formation and transformation, addressing questions such as “How do alternative products and practices penetrate in the marketplace - or society at large, rather than falter?”. Jeroen analyses market formation processes, focusing on the over-time interactions across stakeholders working through both social and material adoption challenges. He conceptualizes and studies these efforts as market formation processes because significant uptake of such products involves the joint development of consumer familiarization, complementary infrastructure, and technology improvement for example. Jeroen tackles these problems using simulation and empirical analysis of large spatiotemporal datasets. His current research program consists of three projects: (I) Market formation for alternative fuel vehicles, (II) Market formation for nutritious food, and (III) Market formation theory. Jeroen’s research produces insights for both scholars and practitioners about coordination and collective action across organizations, industries and governments.

Greenwood Strategic Advisors' Simulator Used By Greater London Authority (July 6, 2017)

According to PublicTechnology.net, “The Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking input from computer-simulation experts to help it better understand how the city operates “as a system of interconnected systems”.” The GLA “has determined…. that system dynamics can improve its understanding of London in this high-level, strategic way, and assist with investment appraisal and evaluation, and strategy and policy development.” Conference sponsor, Greenwood Strategic Advisors, developed a simulator that was used in the initial part of the project and “will be invited to respond to the notice,” to further develop the original simulation “to complement – not replace – the GLA's other existing models.”

Andreas Harbig, CEO of Greenwood Strategic Advisors, explained, “This is a watershed event in a 2-year co-creation process by Greenwood, the Greater London Authority, and the city of Boston. We’ve collaborated in developing and implementing a generic dynamic simulation platform that’s quickly adaptable to any city’s particular circumstances and issues. There will be more and bigger news to come regarding investments in sustainable growth in Greater London and other cities.” In describing the evidence of the power and value of System Dynamics in relation to this milestone project, Craig Stephens, Deputy CEO at Greenwood Strategic Advisors, listed three key elements, “1) Tackling a large systemic societal problem, as Jay Forrester urged us to do; in this instance the sustainability of cities and their financing; 2) SD-based products that are accessible to decision makers, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders, and scalable for repeat application; and 3) Substantial ongoing investment in developing underlying technology, SD-based products, and the city and investment markets.” More details can be found at PublicTechnology.net.

News from the Creative Learning Exchange and BTN (June 27, 2017)

Splash! is a new mobile app developed through a collaboration between BTN and the Creative Learning Exchange. Designed with beginners in mind, the new software makes the important critical thinking skills of systems thinking and System Dynamics more accessible to both students and teachers. The CLE website features an introductory video demonstration as well as examples of the modeling software in use. A Crowd Fundraiser for the first version of Splash! started in June. Learn more about investing in Splash! on their fundraising page.

Recipient of System Science Scholarship to Present Poster at ISDC17 (June 23, 2017)

AcademyHealth is the leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this important work. Society member Nasser Sharareh was selected by AcademyHealth to receive a Systems Science Scholarship, with generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The scholarship provides a unique opportunity to introduce systems science methods to the health services research (HSR) community and to foster collaboration and engagement between scholars and stakeholders in HSR. He was selected from a very competitive pool of his peers because he demonstrated expertise in systems science methods, understanding of how systems science might be used to advance population health, and interest in collaborating with the HSR community.

Nasser’s presentation “A System Dynamics Approach to Modeling Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Receipt” explained the SD methodology and its applications in health systems. His work is under review by the Journal of Vaccine. Nasser presented a poster of of this topic in the 2017 System Dynamics Conference.

Systems Thinking Workshop Featured the Beer Game (June 19, 2017)

On April 25, a team of systems thinking experts from Virginia Tech (Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering) moderated the product distribution game (also known as the Beer Game) for a group of supply chain experts from the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in Washington D.C. Society members Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Maryam Andalib and Arash Baghaei Lakeh ran a board-based simulation game where the participants competed as supply chain teams to provide efficiency in managing their inventories of “pills.” To read more about this interesting adaptation of the Beer Game, please see the article posted on the website of Virginia Tech.

Society Member Paul Holmström Passes Licentiate Examination (June 16, 2017)

Society member Paul Holmström, an industrial doctoral student at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, has passed his licentiate examinate. (In Sweden that is the half-way point between a masters and a doctorate.) Paul’s first Society conference, Oxford 2004, led to his research interest in bringing System Dynamics into a process consultation/action research context, rather than bringing participative methods into model building. Paul explained, “The aim of this thesis is to study how System Dynamics can be a useful tool for healthcare practitioners in action research settings, building more on the needs and issues of a group.” The full paper can be accessed here. Read more about Paul Holmström and his research in the press release on Chalmers' website. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Paul!

Society Member Joins Project to Benefit Rural Village Communities (June 13, 2017)

Mihir Mathur has joined the SEAL project implemented by Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) as System Dynamics consultant to help in developing simulation models of social ecological systems in rural India. The project aims to use System Dynamics modeling to operationalize the Socio-Ecological Approaches to Livelihoods (SEAL) framework for enhancing the resilience of village communities. The SEAL project is in collaboration with Social System Design Lab, Washington University at St. Louis, Boston College, and Shiv Nadar University. The project specifically aims to use Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) and Simulation to explore the social, ecological, and economic interactions and connections for designing interventions to build resilience of village communities.

Member Ali Masoudi Takes On New Position as Sustainable Materials Manager at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) (June 12, 2017)

Member Ali Masoudi is employed as a Sustainable Materials Manager at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD). At the US BSCD, Ali is managing national and statewide Materials Marketplace projects including US Materials Marketplace, Turkey Materials Marketplace, Ohio Materials Marketplace, Tennessee Materials Marketplace and others. Through the Materials Marketplace projects, a cloud-based platform designed to facilitate cross-industry materials reuse, the US BCSD develops system-wide solutions to transition of our linear economy to a circular economy.

Ali is a Certified ISSP Sustainability Associate and a committee chair of Environmental Management and Sustainability at Energy and Environmental Division (EED) of American Society for Quality (ASQ). He is an official member of U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO/TC 207 Environmental management as a representative of the EED-ASQ. Ali holds a MSc degree in Environmental Science from Yale University (2017), and a MSc and a BSc degree in Industrial Engineering from South Korea (2013) and Iran (2008) with a focus on sustainability and manufacturing systems, respectively. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Ali!

News from the 8th European System Dynamics Workshop (June 8, 2017)

The 8th European System Dynamics Workshop took place last week, May 31 - June 2, in Lisbon, Portugal. The workshop was hosted by CENSE - Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research at the NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal, and was organized by Nuno Videira and colleagues Paula Antunes and Rui Santos. The European System Dynamics Workshop (EuSDW) is a series of biannual gatherings taking place each second year since 2003 in different European countries, with the aim to draw together researchers interested in System Dynamics and to provide an opportunity to discuss work-in-progress in a constructive and friendly setting. The main theme of the 8th EuSDW, “Modelling sustainability pathways: bridging science, policy and society,” was aimed at advancing on-going debates and strengthen the role of System Dynamics in promoting a holistic understanding of sustainability issues, as well as in supporting collaborative policy design and analysis. Paper presenters and discussants included Andreas Größler, Bent Bakken, Birgit Kopainsky, Carmine Bianchi, David Collste, David Lane, Enzo Bivona, Gabor Kiraly, José Luís Casanova, Jürgen Strohhecker, Krystyna Stave, Meike Tilebein, Paulo Gonçalves, Silvia Ulli-Beer, Steven Lade, Therese Bennich, Vincent de Gooyert, as well as a special World Café session with students from the EMSD - European Master in System Dynamics.

Respected Report includes System Dynamics as “Living Business Models”

StratTech named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Project Portfolio Management, 2017 (June 7, 2017)


StratTech LLC and their partner Strategy Dynamics Ltd (makers of the Sysdea System Dynamics software) were named in the 2017 Cool Vendors in Project Portfolio Management report by tech-research leader, Gartner. Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading research and advisory company. This exclusive report highlighted the growing awareness and importance of System Dynamics as a part of executive decision making. The report stated:
“Because of a lack of a better way to do things, in most organizations, decisions in business, technology and operations are made on static, deterministic models. Often, the key assumptions regarding the economy, the industry and the competition that underpin the portfolio are not clearly articulated and linked to support alternative plans or the ability to make rapid decisions when facts end up differing from assumptions.” “System dynamic modeling (the basis for StratTech's offerings), when integrated with more traditional strategy planning processes, such as roadmapping, is used to help management see and follow how strategy is developed and how it evolves in real life, not just on a spreadsheet. These "living business models" allow managers to visualize, measure and gauge the impact of strategic and implementation decisions before making large investments. This represents a significant shift from static strategy frameworks that often do not provide sufficient granularity to help the organization improve.”
For those wanting to know more about System Dynamics, there are several available resources. System Dynamics is a powerful analysis tool used to explain patterns of system behavior, both good and bad. System Dynamics is a formal method of maps and modeling that focuses on causality, especially when the causal mechanism is circular creating powerful feedback. Unexpected behavior patterns are often a result of an insufficient feedback perspective. Understanding and capturing feedback structure with System Dynamics allows policy makers to intervene more effectively by making higher leverage policy decisions.

System Dynamics modeling also focuses on the accumulation of key resources. It takes time to build or deplete accumulations adding a delay. Feedback combined with delays can create unwanted outcomes such as “better before worse” or “continuous oscillations”. The System Dynamics method uses widely available software modeling tools to describe and simulate these dynamic behaviors, allowing policy makers to understand the likely short and long-term outcomes of available policy decisions.

Many important policy decisions are based on System Dynamics analysis. System Dynamics has been used successfully in many contexts, including business, economic, environmental, political, and social systems. The use of System Dynamics along with other proven problem analysis techniques creates greater confidence in policy actions. This is especially true for difficult, recurring situations.

There are many ways to learn more about System Dynamics. Publicly available descriptions of System Dynamics work include: (Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Gartner, Cool Vendors in Project Portfolio Management, 2017, 22 May 2017)

Announcing the 15th Latin American System Dynamics Conference (June 6, 2017)

The Latin American Chapter of the System Dynamics Society announced its 15th conference on System Dynamics to be held at the University of Chile, Campus Andrés Bello of Santiago of Chile, from October 18-20, 2017. The conference organizers invite you to send your papers in Spanish, Portuguese or English. The submission system is available here. For detailed information about the program, key dates and the committee, visit the conference website. (The English version website will be available soon.) Any questions can be directed to the conference chairs: Juan Pablo Torres, Martin Schaffernicht, and Gloria Pérez.

News from Thailand (June 5, 2017)

As the soon-to-be Thailand Chapter of the Society continues to go through the process of obtaining their formal Chapter status in the System Dynamics Society, their members are working to create a model to address issues in the public health sector. In May, Society members Borwornsom Leerapan, Pard Teekasap, Nipaporn Urwannachotima, Pawat Tansurat, and Arunrak Cuper Meeyai began conducting a series of workshops on group model building with the stakeholders and policymakers of Thailand's Ministry of Public Health. The goal is to build a System Dynamics model to gain a better understanding of problems around planning and managing demands and supplies of health workforce in Thailand in the next 20 years. The Chapter members strongly believe System Dynamics can be an approach of choice to tackle such complex issues. With group model building, they hope Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health will adopt the policy recommendations revealed by the models, which hopefully lead to implementing more sustainable policy interventions in Thailand’s health systems.

Call for Papers: Iran Chapter's Conference on System Dynamics (June 2, 2017)

The Iran Chapter of the System Dynamics Society announced its first conference on System Dynamics held on September 13, 2017 at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran. The conference organizers invited the submission of papers to the conference chairs: Ali Mashayekhi (mashayek@sharif.edu) and Mohammadreza Hamidizadeh (m-hamidizadeh@sbu.ac.ir).

Founding members of the ASEAN Chapter gather for a photo at the 2nd Annual Asia Pacific Conference.
The Society Welcomes the New ASEAN Chapter (June 2, 2017)

On June 1st, the Society’s Policy Council voted to recognize the newly formed ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. The Chapter was initially proposed in February at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Region Conference in Singapore. The Chapter is off to a strong start with a large core of founding members and initial officers in place. Dr. Lakshminarayanan Samavedham of the National University of Singapore will serve as the Interim President of the Chapter and help the ASEAN Chapter to elect Office Bearers of the Chapter. ASEAN Chapter membership will be open to any person living or working in the ASEAN. More information on joining the ASEAN Chapter will be available soon on the System Dynamics Society Chapters’ web page.
Member Ozgur Merih Araz, PhD, earns tenure and becomes Associate Professor in the College of Business at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (June 2, 2017)

Society member Ozgur M. Araz was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in the College of Business at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL). Ozgur received his PhD from Arizona State University, MS from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, and BS from Istanbul Technical University, all in Industrial Engineering. Before joining UNL he was a faculty member in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he developed Systems Science track in Public Health curriculum and taught graduate level Complex Systems Thinking and System Dynamics Modeling courses. Ozgur currently teaches Supply Chain Planning and Control, Decision Making Models and Database Management and Organization courses in the College of Business at UNL. He has published several peer reviewed articles in various journals including Production and Operations Management, Decision Support Systems, IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, International Journal of Production Economics, Healthcare Management Science, as well as Emerging Infectious Diseases, Medical Care, Journal of Urban Health among others. Ozgur’s recent research has been in the fields of predictive modeling for healthcare applications, workforce planning, healthcare operations management and complex systems modeling for public health, specifically for childhood obesity. His research has been supported by NIH, VA Hospitals, HDR Company and Nebraska Medicine. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Ozgur!

Society Member John Sterman Quoted in The New York Times (June 1, 2017)

An article published in The New York Times, “The U.S. Is the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History. Will It Walk Away From the Paris Climate Deal?” by Justin Gillis and Nadja Popovich, explored the impact of US participation in the Paris climate agreement. In the article, Climate Interactive responded to the question of calculating “when Americans would have run out of fossil fuel if the nation’s population had somehow, at the beginning of the industrial era, been allocated a share equal to those of the rest of the world’s people,” answering “Americans would have used up their quota in 1944, the year the Allied armies stormed the beaches of Normandy.” The article also featured a quote from Society member John Sterman, MIT professor and founder of Climate Interactive. In reference to poorer countries developing their economies with new clean energy technology, John stated “Nobody really wants barrels of oil or tons of coal. They need a warm, dry, safe place to live, and access to healthy food, and lighting when it’s dark.” Read more in the full article on The New York Times website.

Climate Interactive’s Work Used in Recent Climate Agreement News Articles (June 1, 2017)

The New York Times published the article “World Awaits Trump Decision on U.S. Future in Paris Accord,” which featured data and scenarios built by Climate Interactive and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The data from the C-ROADS simulation model was presented in an interactive graphic embedded in the article. Climate Interactive also provided data used in the BBC News article “Trump urged to retain Paris climate deal by UN chief." The BBC article used a climate scoreboard thermometer created by Climate Interactive to illustrate the increase in global temperature by 2100, showing a range with and without US participation in the Paris agreement. Visit the Climate Interactive website to access to the data and simulations.

Endless Gratitude for Our Volunteers (June 1, 2017)

Thank you to the Submission Reviewers, Thread Chairs, and all of the volunteers who worked to make the 2017 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society a successful event! A great deal of work goes into planning and executing the annual conference—we were so lucky to have the help of 376 people filling all 537 volunteer positions. These dedicated individuals generously donated countless hours of their time to support the Society and the conference. Cheers to our incredible team of conference volunteers; the conference would not have been possible without you!

See a complete list of the Society’s 787 volunteer positions in the 2016 Summary of Volunteer Time document accessible through the winter Policy Council meeting minutes.


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