Chapter News

Our Chapters are growing! The Society currently has eleven chapters: Australasia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Hellenic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Student, and the United Kingdom. To find the list of Chapters, Chapter reports, contact information and their representatives, please visit the Society website at http://www.systemdynamics.org/society_activities.htm and scroll down to Chapters.

There are currently three Special Interest Groups: Education, Environmental Dynamics and Health Policy. Contact information for these groups is listed on the website under Society Activities.

For information on how to start a chapter or special interest group, please contact Ginny Wiley, VP Members and Chapters, at ginnyw@pegasuscom.com.

The Student Chapter gathered at the New York conference

Australasia

The Australasian chapter meeting took place at the 21st International System Dynamics Society Conference in New York on the 21st of July, 2003. It was attended by about 10 members of the chapter. The outcomes from this meeting can be summarized in the following key points:

1)     Dr. Gabriele Bammer of the Australian National University and Harvard University is coordinating a bid for the ARC Network Grant on Integration and Implementation Sciences. This will bring together researchers developing theory and methods to deal with complexity, uncertainty, change and imperfection in order to integrate across disciplines, 'knowledges,' cultures and organizations. It will also seek to bridge the gap between research and its implementation in policy, services and practice. These approaches will build on systems thinking, participatory methods, complexity science, diverse epistemologies, inter- and trans- disciplinarity, and a host of undocumented methods.

2)     The Australia and New Zealand Systems (ANZSYS) conference is set to take place in Melbourne, Australia on 18-20 November 2003. This conference brings together delegates from a diverse range of backgrounds who span the systems fields. System dynamics will be strongly represented as a discipline at this conference with Tim Haslett, Monash University and Rod Sarah, Organisational Development Officer, Monyx Pty Ltd, co-chairing the conference. All are welcome to attend. The web site is:  http://www.monash.edu.au/oce/anzsys2003.

3)     The chapter positions for the region were reviewed in light of the appointments of Bob Cavana as Vice President (At Large) and Tim Haslett to the SDS Policy Council for the term 2004-2006. Candidates suggested for the chapter positions in the near future are as follows:

President:  John Barton (carrying on another term)

Secretary/Communications:  Daniel Jarosch (replacing Peter Galbraith)

Chapter Representative to Policy Council:  Rohita Singh (replacing Bob Cavana)

The above positions hope to be finalised at the chapter meeting in November at the ANZSYS conference in Melbourne.

4)     Rohita Singh is coordinating monthly/bi-monthly Geniusys learning labs. These are 1-2 hour meetings to bring together system dynamics researchers, practitioners and clients from across Australia and New Zealand to network, share knowledge and build skills in the system dynamics community. The content of these sessions will alternate between research projects and commercial training/applications of system dynamics in the field.

5)     Alan McLucas, a Senior Lecturer in the Australian Defence Force Academy at the University of New South Wales in Canberra, plans to coordinate a bid for the 2006 International System Dynamics Conference. This bid will draw strongly from the skills and knowledge built from running the conference in Wellington, New Zealand in 1999.

All the best from down under!

John Barton, Bob Cavana and Rohita Singh

Brazil

A brief report from the Society's newest chapter:

From September to November 2002:

 *  First discussions about system dynamics with an average of 10 participants

 *  Prof. Pierre Ehrlich contacts the Systems Dynamics Society and learns of other people and previous efforts of Prof. Romeu Telma of UFPR to create the SBDS

 *  Creation of discussion list (dinamicadesistemas@grupos.com.br)

From December 2002 to February 2003:

 *  Group expands to 25 members (or soon to become members) of the SDS and 25 other people interested in the field

 *  10 members support the creation of the Brazilian Chapter

 *  Chapter enters the agenda of the Winter Policy Council Meeting

 *  First meeting to organize the administration of the Sociedade Brasileira de Dinâmica de Sistemas (SBDS) and create its statutes

From April to July 2003:

 *  Voted the board of directors for the Brazilian society composed of

      1 - Presidência: Pierre J. Ehrlich - ehrlich@fgvsp.br

      2 - Vice Presidência: Romeu R. Telma - rtelma@ceppad.ufpr.br

      3 - Vice Presidência: John Edwin Mein - john@aennova.com

      4 - Conselheiro: José Augusto Corrêa - jacorrea@fgvsp.br

      5 - Conselheiro: Niraldo José do Nascimento - niraldoj@aiec.br

      6 - Conselheiro: Hélder Leal da Costa - helderlc@uol.com.br

      7 - Conselheiro: Edmilson Alves de Moraes - edmilson@fgvsp.br

      8 - Conselheiro: Júlio Figueiredo - jbastos@espm.br

      9 - Conselheiro: Idaci de Souza Mendes - idaci@sinergia.etc.br

      10 - Conselheiro: Leonardo M. Reis - leonardo@aennova.com

 *  The party obtained 30 votes in its favor

July 2003 and beyond:

 *  Next steps include the creation of regional groups and organizing the first SBDS conference.

Paulo Gonçalves

China

The Eighth Chinese National System Dynamics Conference in 2002

The 2002 Conference of System Dynamics was held at Zheijang University on October 10-25, 2002. The conference organizers were Professor Qingrui Xu and Professor Jin Chen, Research Center for Innovation & Development, Zhejiang University.

More than 40 participants focused on solemn and impassioned academic communication. They came from everywhere this country. They were teachers from universities, members of research institutes and managers of enterprises. Especially, more than 50% of the representatives are young people from the whole country.

The conference chair was Professor Qifan Wang of Fudan University, President of the Chinese System Dynamics Research Committee, and of the Chinese academic committee of Systems Engineering. The participants also included the following council members:  Professor Qingrui Xu, Zhejiang University; Professor Ren'an Jia, Nanchang University; Professor Guangle Yan, Shanghai University of Science & Technology; Professor Jin Chen, Zhejiang University; Associate Professor Xiandong Zhang, Fudan University; Associate Professor Hong Liu, Shanghai Maritime University; and Dr. Jianguo Jia, Shanghai Bell Company Ltd. Dr. Feng Lee Lin of National Sun Yat-Sen University from Taiwan also attended the conference.

The conference theme was "Changing Managing and Organization Dynamics in the 21st Century". The conference papers covered systems thinking, system dynamics modeling, business management, technological innovation, high-tech industry development, urban housing, regional logistics planning, project management, and more.

The participants suggested that the future development of system dynamics should focus on two aspects. On the one hand, studying system dynamics theory should be strengthened further, especially combining system dynamics with complexity theory. On the other hand, cooperative research should be enhanced, especially the collaboration between the Mainland and Taiwan.

Chapter Priorities

Setting up a structurally reasonable team is the priority task facing the Chapter. System dynamics materials-writing and promotion of new software-is the other urgent need. System dynamics materials are supposed to be re-edited based on the original ones; Vensim and the other new software are worthy of being promoted in China. Developing a bigger research project can earn system dynamics and the Chapter a wider reputation. In addition, more flexible kinds of communication activities should be encouraged. A nationwide System Dynamics Committee Interactive Meeting can be held twice a year to encourage regional communication and enroll more researchers.

In January 2001, Tongji Development Institute was established as a research base for system dynamics at Tongji University in Shanghai. It is open to widely attract scholars and experts from the international system dynamics field and is involved in many projects, such as the economic long wave in China.

Studying system dynamics theory should be strengthened further, especially combining system dynamics with complexity theory. We believe that system dynamics will continue to be one of the main tools in solving complicated work in theoretical research. The common tools are not enough to solve a non-linear, multi-feedback situation. System dynamics should be applied with other methods (complexity theory, economic control theory, game theory and other systems approaches) to avoid the limitation brought by using one method alone. Application development should still be the focus of system dynamics with the most important topics covering industrial adjustment and development, macro-economic adjustment, regional planning, enterprise strategy, environment protection and sustainable development.

The 2004 National System Dynamics Conference will be held in Shanghai.

The 2005 Pacific-Asia International Conference of System Dynamics is suggested to be held in South-East China (in Mainland or Taiwan or Hong Kong) in Fall.

Qifan Wang

Japan

We have a monthly research meeting, where principally five study groups report one by one. They are: 

Model Validation Study Group, focusing on validating system dynamics models built by Professor Shimada during the seventies;

ST/SD Educational Database Project, focusing on developing the educational material database of systems thinking/system dynamics as well as developing materials and sample system dynamics models for systems thinking/system dynamics education in school and university classes;

Business Process Dynamics Study Group, focusing on the study of business process dynamics and business process modeling;

Environment Study Project, focusing on the study of environmental issues using system dynamics models; and finally

Decision Making Study Group, focusing on the study of the dynamics of decision making.

The Business Process Dynamics Study Group, whose leader is Professor Michiya Morita, had a seminar on March 19th, 2003 at Chuo University, Tokyo, which led to the special topics of the Japanese Journal of System Dynamics (chief editor: Professor Yasuo Matsumoto) published as the third volume in May, 2003.

We had also the Third Management Forum for the New Century, "Collaboration of Government, Citizen and Company toward a Circulative Society," on January 15th, 2003 at Chuo University, Tokyo. Professor Hidenori Kobayashi, JSD President, gave a keynote speech, "System Dynamics as a Tool for Collaboration." He published a new book, Dynamic Perspectives for General Policy Studies: Excel System Dynamics, in 2002.

At the ISDC 2003 in New York Professor Morita and Mr. Toru Suetake, JSD Director, hosted the Japanese Chapter Meeting Session, where two Japanese MIT students joined also.

Hironori Kurono

Korea

The Korean System Dynamics Society Chapter was established in 1999. Since then, a system dynamics academic conference has been held twice every year, during the spring and fall season.

The Korean System Dynamics Review was first published in 2000 and since then, the journal has been published twice every year. We are currently preparing to publish this year's volume (Volume 4, No.1).

The chapter's current membership has reached some 141 people as of 2003. The members are professors at the university, researchers at the research institute, graduate students, and field practitioners such as nurses, in the order of majority. Active members are some 30 scholars scattered all over the country. Major research areas of these members are public administration, business administration, transportation, urban and regional policy, and energy study. Some teachers in the middle schools are also joining the chapter even though the numbers are few.

The current president of the KSDS is Taehoon Moon, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Chung Ang University, PhD from the University at Albany. The president of the KSDS for 2004-2005 will be Dr. Ahn Namsung (senior researcher at the Korean Electric Power Research Institute). He was elected as the next president at the general meeting of the spring academic conference of 2003.

Only a small number of people attended the International Conference this year. But the KSDS is expecting more Korean system dynamicists will attend the Oxford conference in 2004.

Taehoon Moon

Latin America

The Latin American Chapter (LAC) of the System Dynamics Society has been very active during the year 2002-2003. Gloria Perez and her team at the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico, organized the first Latin American Conference, where over 40 papers were presented, and four plenary sessions took place. Almost 150 people from Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador Brazil, the USA and the UK attended the conference. The social program included a Mexican evening with delicious food from the region and some tequila on board. The next LAC conference will be held in Santiago, Chile, in November 2004. All members of the System Dynamics Society are welcome to try the LA touch to system dynamics.

The presence of the LAC at the New York conference was very prolific. About 20 representatives from Latin America (Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Uruguay and Ecuador) attended.

The LA chapter, with the support of the Vice Rector Enrique Zepeda and Gloria Perez of the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, is preparing a proposal to hold the 2006 ISDC at one of its campuses near Mexico City. For those who remember the Cancun conference, this will beat it!

At business meetings in Monterrey and NY, the LAC decided to focus on promoting the diffusion of the field in the sub-continent. In this direction several actions are being undertaken:  conferences, implementing a website, re-installing an electronic list and promoting publications in Spanish. Among other activities:  a) in November 29, 2002 the first Colombian mini-conference was held in Medellin, Colombia, where almost 20 papers where presented; and b) the system dynamics electronic list in Spanish is back on line with some interesting discussions taking place.

Isaac Dyner

UK

Summer 2002 Event

Held at London Business School. John Morecroft and Kim Warren gave separate talks at an event themed as "Embedding Dynamic Thinking within Business." Successful and well-attended.

Harrogate Event (February 2003)

Attended by 61 persons. David Andersen facilitated a session on developing future chapter activities in addition to presenting a talk on "Using Group Model Building to Support Public Policy Development." Brian C. Dangerfield held an induction/problem solving session for those new to system dynamics; about 10 people attended.

Other Activities

Apart from the usual February event at Harrogate, a session in conjunction with the SD+ group of the UK Operational Research Society on defence applications took place in late summer 2003. Possible collaboration at an autumn event with the International Council on Systems Engineering.

Current Membership

This is presently 67.

Meetings of U.K. Chapter Policy Council

Including the meeting at the New York conference, we have met five times in 2003.

Brian Dangerfield

Education SIG

The Education Special Interest Group is very enthusiastic about advancing the theory and practice of system dynamics in our particular domain. We are pleased to be part of this new thrust of the Society to broaden the understanding and application of system dynamics through the formation and support of Special Interest Groups.

In response to requests from our K-12 colleagues, the Higher Education SIG moved immediately to become the Education SIG, or E-SIG, spanning all levels of education, in recognition of our inter-connections and shared interests. The Society also encourages us to seek out people who are not members of the Society but who share our education interests to invite them to join our efforts.

Michael Kennedy, of Southbank University in the UK, and Programme Co-Chair of the 2004 International System Dynamics Conference, has begun the development of an E-SIG website which will serve as a point of contact for all who are seeking information about system dynamics applications to education, or who want to join the E-SIG. The new website is located at http://www.uksds.org/esig/index.htm

The main concern of the E-SIG is to encourage the development of system dynamics theory and applications useful in the education domain. We are working toward applications relating to enrollment demand; teaching practice; teaching quality; human resource management; planning, budgeting and management; governance; endowment spending policy; and the external forces shaping the outlook for education. We have a particular interest in developing systems approaches to the creation of the infrastructure which is an essential prerequisite to any privatization of educational institutions.

As it develops, the E-SIG website will become a place to locate information and identify resource people.

Please let us know about any work you have done in the education domain or work done in other domains that could be applied or adapted for use in the education domain that can be referenced on our website.

Most exciting, we are planning our Second International Workshop on System Dynamics Applications to Education, to be held on July 30, 2004, the day after the annual SDS Conference at Keble College, Oxford, England, next year.

If you have current or prospective interests in the education domain, please become a member of the E-SIG simply by visiting the website. Above all, plan to join us at the workshop on July 30, 2004.

Carol Frances and Michael Kennedy

Environmental Dynamics SIG

The Environmental Dynamics Special Interest Group (ED SIG) was constituted in November 2002. The group is concerned with sustainable development and focuses on systems that feature both human activities and natural environment-also known as "environmental systems." The objective of the group is to investigate the dynamics of the systems of interest, and optimize the study and control methods in such systems. The group aims to become an internationally networked leader in sustainable development, featuring a distinct tradition of scientific research and conduct inherited from system dynamics-which will probably evolve as the "environmental dynamics paradigm."

In its inaugural year, the group counted 57 members from many different countries and professional orientations. International networking has also started positively, counting a strategic partnership with the Sustainability Institute (http://www.sustainabilityinstitute.org), indexing by the Sustainability Web Ring (Sustainable Development Communications Network), and several links in relevant professional databases and institutions. The membership and partnership campaign shall continue strongly in the near future.

The group's presence on the web, marked now by a simplified website, http://home.utad.pt/ed/, offers international visibility to the group, and serves as a repository of useful references and material (new articles, modified versions of previously published material, or reprints of older publications) for those who are working on sustainable development. Two major efforts toward controlling the quality of the information handled by the group are (a) an Editorial Board by peer reviewers and (b) an archiving system for keeping order in the group's documents.

The plan of activities for the group starts with building a knowledge base on the dynamics of the systems of interest from case studies-we are exactly at this phase right now. When conditions permit, the group shall draw relevant generalizations-e.g. in the form of articles-on the nature of the systems studied as well as on the methodology used. With adequate maturity in its record, the group should be able to issue recommendations for best practice in sustainable development, functioning thus as a type of an Expert Group. Finally, the group shall always-starting right now-stimulate and direct methodological and technological advances in sustainable development through R&D projects.

The group communicates principally through electronic mail, discussions at sdsustain (http://pobox.une.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/sdsustain), and through the all-important annual meetings at the SDS conference. The first ED SIG administrative meeting (July 2003, NYC) resolved the group's major issues regarding governance, while the following Open House session helped warm up the ambience for this coming year's work. Finally, the group communicates with the Society through the Policy Council meetings, the Annual Report to the Society (see the first report at http://home.utad.pt/ed/housekeeping/reports/rp0001_annual_2003.pdf ), and the Business meetings, as well as through electronic mail when formality is not required.

Anastássios Perdicoúlis

Health Policy SIG

Following a roundtable meeting at ISDC 2003 in New York, a Health Policy Special Interest Group (HP SIG) has been formed and approved by the Policy Council. This group will provide a means for the exchange and collection of information related to the modeling of healthcare issues and public health policy, and will develop the Health Thread for ISDC 2004 in Oxford. We also anticipate the group will become a vehicle for active collaboration on health system dynamics projects of international significance and for promoting the system dynamics approach to the wider health community.

The HP SIG is open to all Society members and others who would like to be included in our e-mail distribution list and a planned web-based discussion/information board. To join, or for more information or suggestions, please contact Jack Homer (jhomer@comcast.net) or Geoff McDonnell (gmcdonne@bigpond.net.au), interim co-chairs of the group.

Jack Homer and Geoff McDonnell

Policy Council Holds Summer Meeting in New York City

Minutes of the 20 July, 2003, Meeting of the Policy Council and the 23 July, 2003, General Business Meeting can be found in their entirety by clicking the "Governance" button on the System Dynamics Society website. Please visit the website to learn about the business discussed and to view the complete reports and information presented.

Motions approved at the Policy Council Meeting:

Motions approved electronically since the Summer Policy Council:

Health Policy Special Interest Group of the System Dynamics Society

Announcements and Calls for Papers

2004 International System Dynamics Conference, Oxford, England

The 22nd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society will be held July 25 - 29, 2004, at Keble College in the University of Oxford, England.

Staying at Keble College in the University of Oxford will provide a unique opportunity to experience the heritage and academic excellence of Oxford and the college. With everything on one site and in close proximity, there will be an unprecedented opportunity to network with international friends, colleagues and clients.

Programme

The conference theme of Collegiality is predicated on the notion that as system dynamics is based on what are observed, deduced or presumed to be true causal interrelationships, and not on any particular management, economic or social theory, it is thus intrinsically neutral between these theories. In many applications it therefore offers the opportunity to support open debate and serve as an 'honest broker' of ideas.

The conference will particularly welcome papers that consider the role and potential of systems dynamics in consensus building, conflict resolution, knowledge surfacing and sharing, and theory testing. In addition, submissions are welcomed for work on all topics germane to system dynamics.

Deadlines and Key Dates

January 2, 2004    Opening date for paper submissions and workshop proposals.

April 2, 2004        Paper submission deadline. Workshop proposals due.

May 14, 2004       Notification of acceptance.

May 16, 2004       Session proposals due.

May 21, 2004       Final abstracts due for Printed Abstract Proceedings.

May 21, 2004       Early conference registration deadline.

June 18, 2004       Conference registration deadline.

July 23, 2004       Final deadline for late registrations accepted on a space-available basis (no on-site registration).

July 25, 2004       PhD Colloquium, Policy Council Meeting.

July 26, 2004       Oxford Conference Opening!

August 27, 2004   Deadline for final paper versions for CD-ROM Proceedings.

September 2004   CD-ROM Proceedings mailed to conference registrants.

For updated details, please visit the Society website at:  http://www.systemdynamics.org

Keble College in the University of Oxford

System Dynamics Review Special Issue:  Dynamics of Supply Chains and Networks

In recent years, it has become ever more clear that the complex dynamics of supply chains and networks are often cumbersome to investigate, leave alone manage and improve, with conventional, linear techniques. The inherently nonlinear nature of the behavior in many supply networks, especially those in innovation-driven and hence volatile and cyclical industries, lends itself especially well for the use of system dynamics modeling.

The System Dynamics Review intends to publish a special issue focusing on the dynamics of supply chains and networks. The issue will be edited by Henk Akkermans and Nico Dellaert of Eindhoven University of Technology and is tentatively scheduled for volume 21 (2005). Manuscripts may have a quantitative or qualitative orientation and will reflect the general aims of the System Dynamics Review. Papers based on methodological issues as well as case studies are welcome. A list of relevant topics includes:

- Dynamics of collaboration between customers and suppliers and links with performance;

- Influence of market volatility on supply network control policies;

- Dynamic interrelations of new product introductions, product quality, production capacity and customer demand;

- Impact of sharing of end customer demand information on upstream supply performance in volatile markets;

- Impact of market cyclicality on capacity investments;

- Impacts of relatively new SCM policies such as Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI) and collaborative planning (CP) on supply network performance;

- Intended and non-intended effects of new information systems such as ERP and APS on supply network performance;

- Managing divergent product portfolios with shared capacity resources in volatile markets.

Manuscripts will follow the journal's guidelines for main articles. We call for two-page proposals by November 1, 2003 and we will respond with the invitation to proceed by December 10, 2003. Papers are due April 1, 2004. They are subject to the normal refereeing procedure of the journal, with co-ordination by the editors. Please submit your proposals to:

Dr. Henk Akkermans, Dept. of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands (h.a.akkermans@tm.tue.nl), or to

Dr. Nico Dellaert, Dept. of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands (n.p.dellaert@tm.tue.nl)

Society Sponsors

Amber Blocks, Ltd.

The Asthma 2000 Group and Innovative Clinical Systems

BP

Frank Davidson

Decision Dynamics, Inc.

Delsys Research Group, Inc.

Jay W. Forrester

General Motors Corporation

Georgia-Pacific Corporation

Hall, Vasil & Dowd, CPA's

Hewlett-Packard Company

High Performance Systems Inc.

HVR Consulting Services Ltd.

IBM Business Consulting Services, Business Dynamics

ITP Consultores

MIT System Dynamics Group

Minase B.V.

Mohaseboon Financial and Business Consultants

Northwater Capital Management Inc.

PAR-group, Nijmegen School of Management, Nijmegen University

Patni Computer Systems Inc.

Pegasus Communications, Inc.

Powersim Solutions

Project Performance Corporation

Proyectos Comerciales de México, SA de CV, una empresa de Grupo Proyectos

Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany

Toshiro Shimada, JSD Chapter

University of Salford, Centre for Operational Research and Applied Statistics

Ventana Systems, Inc.

Ventana Systems, UK

Publication and Contact Information

The System Dynamics Newsletter is published two times a year by the System Dynamics Society.

Editors:  Pål I. Davidsen, Roberta L. Spencer, Jennifer I. Rowe

Please send letters, news, photographs, and ideas for the newsletter to: 

System Dynamics Society

Milne 300, Rockefeller College

University at Albany

Albany, New York 12222 USA

Phone:  +1 518 442 3865

Fax:  +1 518 442 3398

Email:  system.dynamics@albany.edu

http://www.systemdynamics.org

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