President's Newsletter 
Volume 14 - Number 1 - April 2001

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News from the Centers Around the World
edited by Patricia Quinn

CUSA-System Dynamics Group (University of Palermo) is starting a research project, financed by the European Union, involving the use of system dynamics to model internationalization strategies in Small-Medium Enterprises. Other research projects include those involving the application of system dynamics to small business planning in the engineering and winery industries. A conference on "Modeling Small Business Growth Processes in the Winery Industry" will be organized in Palermo in June. Two upcoming workshops are planned for September 2001 in Palermo. The first is "Globalizing European Small-Medium Enterprises in the World-Trade System." The second is a three-day workshop on "Exploring Business Growth through Scenario Planning: A System Dynamics Simulation and Accounting Perspective." Last -- but not the least -- CUSA-University of Palermo is working with SYDIC and Bocconi University to organize the 20th International System Dynamics Conference in Palermo, Italy in 2002. You will be warmly welcomed! Web page:

Chuo University System Dynamics Group is one of the biggest organizations for system dynamics and systems thinking in Japan. It was established as a research unit at the Research and Development Initiative of the University in the 2000. We provide two education courses, one for graduate students and the other for civil servants. Our research theme is modeling and simulation for business administration and public policy making in the Japanese context. We are also interested in providing more suitable software for system dynamics applications for Japanese speaking students and businesspersons.

The M.Phil. / PhD programs in System Dynamics at the University of Bergen host 32 graduate students including four PhD students. Last year eleven students successfully completed their M.Phil. In 2000 we were fortunate to have many distinguished people involved in our program. Associate Professor Sigmund Nævdal, a Senior Scientist, joined the group. In his 9 months as Visiting Professor, Dr. Yaman Barlas contributed significantly to the program both before and after Dr. David Ford left for Texas. Dr. Erling Moxnes played a significant role here in the fall. Both Dr. Ali Kerem Saysel and Dr. Erling Moxnes are expected to join the group on a permanent basis in the spring of 2001. With the help of Professors Barlas and Moxnes, the System Dynamics Group in Bergen has turned a difficult situation around and successfully recruited a new and competent staff, expecting to be fully operational in the fall of 2001.

The Mathematics Department of the University of Klagenfurt (Austria/EU) hosts the Fifth International Conference on Teaching in Mathematics Technology (ICTMT 5, Aug 6-9, 2001, ) Within the conference, a working group will deal with System Dynamics / Systems Thinking, and its relation to mathematics education. For a tentative program see or contact directly the chair Guenther Ossimitz at <>. Any SDer/STer who is interested in getting in contact with math educators is welcome!

SD Group Austria has been formed! At the 2000 International System Dynamics Conference a group of young Austrian SDers from different scientific institutions met for the first time. Stefan Berchtold and Stephan Gueldenburg (WU Vienna), Guenter Emberger (TU Vienna), Ernst Gebetsroither (ARC Seibersdorf) and Guenther Ossimitz (University of Klagenfurt) decided to cooperate in SD-related work. The first highlight was a jointly organized beer game, played by students of four different Universities in the Winter 2000 term at the Economic University of Vienna (see The members of the group can be reached at <netzwerk@systemdenken>. We are planning a common website and closer cooperation in the dissemination of system dynamics and systems thinking ideas in Austria. Any SDer/STer in Austria is welcome to join the group! For further information please contact Guenther Ossimitz at <>.

Things are moving rapidly. First, the Nijmegen School of Management has decided to become a sponsor of the System Dynamics Society. Next, the School has firmly established two compulsory courses in System Dynamics. Both are taught by the methodology section to second-year business students (150 to 200 annually), one under the name 'Diagnosing Methodology' (including quantitative modeling and simulation), and one on group model building. (In the past these courses were electives, attracting 20 to 25 students annually.) This may well lead to an opening for a new assistant professorship in system dynamics/group model building. Finally, system dynamicists in our methodology section have also taken up the initiative to start forming a platform on system dynamics in the Netherlands, possibly leading to a system dynamics chapter in the future. A first meeting is planned for May 18 of this year. More information can be found on the website:

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Roberta L. Spencer, Executive Director
System Dynamics Society
Milne 300 - Rockefeller College
University at Albany – SUNY
Albany, New York 12222 USA
Phone: (518) 442-3865     Fax: (518) 442-3398

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