President's Newsletter 
Volume 12 - Number 2 - September 1999
Message from the President

Dear Members:
 
As this has been a year of growth and news, I am pleased to send you a second President's Newsletter. Two newsletters per year may become the standard.

I am delighted to report that our chapters and interest groups are growing. During 1999 we formally welcomed two new chapters. In addition to those located in China, India, Italy, and Japan, we now have chapters in the United Kingdom and in Australia/New Zealand. We have also seen growth in special interest groups: Canada is home to the National Capital System Dynamics Group, and a Sustainability Interest Group for people with a System Dynamics focus has formed. Although there is nothing arranged yet, a group of Spanish-speaking System Dynamicists is discussing forming a chapter.

Much of the credit for this growth is due to Ms. Nan Lux, Vice President -  Members/Chapters. For more information on all our chapters, special interest groups, and listserves, please refer to our webpage at http://www.albany.edu/cpr/sds/

The Society had an interesting conference in New Zealand, an unusual location (at least for me). Even though it was a great distance from home for most of us, over one third of the conference attendees were current members. Other attendees included people interested in learning about system dynamics and systems thinking, as well as the attendees from the Australia New Zealand Systems Group, who were also sponsors of this conference. The total attendance was 307, a credit to our hosts, Bob Cavana and the Victoria University of Wellington.

Our millennium conference in Norway is already shaping up nicely. The theme of the conference is Sustainability in the Third Millennium and the Society office has already received many requests for information. Save the dates, August 6 - 10, 2000, for Bergen, Norway. For more information on the conference, please visit the Society website.

The discussion about Society priorities is forging ahead. My presidential address at the summer conference covered this. You will find some lively discussion on this topic in this newsletter, and as always,
your comments are welcome.

This newsletter will inform you of what happened at the conference, report progress on the Society's priorities, and give you some news of the Society. One decision that all members will discover soon is that the Policy Council raised annual dues to US$90 to cover increased journal publication costs. Our journal is larger and Wiley has been doing a commendable job of publishing it.

Thanks for an exciting year. I look forward to the final quarter with much enthusiasm.

Jack Pugh
Lincoln, Massachusetts

System Dynamics Society, Milne 300 – Rockefeller College
University at Albany, Albany, New York  12222  USA
Phone: (518) 442-3865  Fax: (518) 442-3398  Email: system.dynamics@albany.edu
http://www.albany.edu/cpr/sds/
 


Presidential Address at the International System Dynamics Conference 1999

I would like to express the Society’s appreciation to Bob Cavana, Margaret Stevenson-Wright, Joy Candlish, and Roberta Spencer and Bob’s team for putting on the 17th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Wellington. Also, I would like to thank Jac Vennix for organizing this program. Having been centrally involved in four previous conferences I know the magnitude of their effort.

This past year the System Dynamics Society has been looking at its goals and priorities. As this audience includes many who are not members of the System Dynamics Society, I will review the background and avoid details so that all may understand. The Society was formed 13 years ago to address two problems that a professional society is expected to manage: supporting a refereed journal and sponsoring an annual conference. Before the Society was formed, conferences were organized on a catch-as-catch-can basis with no one to maintain mailing lists or to designate a good host. Further, young faculty members were having difficulty publishing in journals to achieve promotions. Many journals did not recognize systems as something that might be the basis of a solid professional article. While we also identified other goals that most professional societies embrace, these were our top priorities.

Today those goals have been met and the Society’s financial position is strong enough to allow us to review and revise our priorities including adopting priorities that may cost some money. Society members read in my first President’s Newsletter an invitation to participate in this discussion. The call for ideas was repeated on the System Dynamics Listserve, from which I received 22 responses. I shall review these responses in more detail in the members’ meeting at the end of the conference. Here, I will discuss the idea receiving the most discussion and, I think, the most important.

Broadly, the issue is education. I cannot speak for Europe or Asia, but college education in System Dynamics has had an uneven history in the United States. Dartmouth no longer teaches it, but WPI has added an undergraduate degree in System Dynamics. Even MIT has had its ups and downs.

Laying out a System Dynamics curriculum would not only help educational institutions evaluate what is necessary to add System Dynamics to their catalogue, but also define better what we mean by System Dynamics. Some business school professors give the impression that two or three lectures on SD covers all that one needs to know about the subject.

Additionally, offering System Dynamics over the internet would make it available to those who cannot or do not wish to undertake a System Dynamics education at one of the few colleges offering it.

Actually, System Dynamics is already available on the internet. As many of you know, Jay Forrester has been providing this in two forms for K-12 teachers for several years: the Guided Study Program in System Dynamics and the Road Maps. The Guided Study Program has a fairly stiff fee of $5,000 ($500 for school teachers and administrators) plus 15 hours of study per week, but does provide individual tutors. The Road Maps can be downloaded free and include questions and answers, but there is no additional help. Both of these are aimed at K-12 teachers, which means the examples are targeted at children’s interests. The response that Jay reports is excellent. Jay has also organized the Creative Learning Exchange to support and promote this effort at the K-12 level. Its regular newsletter and occasional conferences help teachers exchange ideas and confirm their efforts to master the field.

Similar programs directed at industry and government would be more attractive to such an audience. The Society could prepare similar materials with different examples and perhaps support it with a staff of undergraduates also studying SD at some college (as Jay does). But such an endeavor would require the effort and devotion that Jay, Nan Lux, and Lees Stuntz are putting into the K-12 program.

One controversy also emerged from this discussion of new priorities. I started it by suggesting eight activities that the Society might undertake. This list was intended to clarify members’ understanding of what I expected. Mentioned were:

· promoting all forms of systems thinking broadly, and
· defending SD against the onslaught of incompetent consultants.

Jay Forrester replied, “These two are inconsistent with one another.  Systems thinking, without a solid basis in system dynamics and simulation, can lead to self-appointed experts who may degrade the image of the System Dynamics Society.  I believe that the Society should focus on a solid, fundamental understanding of systems and not try to increase the numbers of members faster than that understanding can be achieved.   We should leave systems thinking and learning environments to those who are satisfied with a softer understanding of systems, and try to keep a clear separation of the Society from activities that do not reach, or even aspire to, the standards that the Society should be promoting.   Of course, there may be many different definitions and intents when people refer to ‘systems thinking’ in this discussion; my rather negative comments refer to what I see in many activities where systems thinking means thinking about systems, talking about systems, and believing that systems are important, but without any deep understanding of systems; such a treatment of systems will often lead to the wrong conclusions.  Indeed, systems thinking should be a result of a system dynamics understanding. However, when taken alone, systems thinking amounts to trying to solve high-order nonlinear feedback systems by intuition; that can not be done, but people will believe they can, if the intuitive solutions are not tested against actual modeling.”

Several other members disagreed with Jay’s position both supporting the use of learning environments and being more open to systems thinking.

My own position is that, while the dangers that Jay identifies are real, we should be open to new tools and
people that promote systems understanding. Standing aloof or even damning their efforts might leave us in the dust. Alternatively, showing them the value of good model construction, testing, and exploration should help both groups.

I don’t expect that this controversy will ever go away, but I do not feel that will be bad. The only risk I see is allowing sloppy, non-model work to be labeled as System Dynamics.

Jack Pugh


Society’s Priorities

Last year the Society looked at its financial books and realized that it had more than adequate funds and that the funds were growing. Members of the Society started to assemble a list of ways that the Society might use its newly discovered wealth. I differed with this approach. I recalled the original process of setting goals for the Society. (Actually the Society was formed to meet some recognized needs and added other goals as seemed appropriate for a professional society.) These goals have not been reviewed formally since the Society was formed. I felt that we needed to review our goals and priorities and out of this process would come some new tasks, some of which would require funding, but some other important ones would not. In my last newsletter and on the System Dynamics Listserve I asked the members to consider new priorities for the Society.

I received the following suggestions (roughly in the order received but with similar ideas gathered together; authors are shown in italics):
· Study thinking in other fields for existing, implicit SD understanding, and formalize these insights to reach out to everyone in those fields: Kim Warren
· Promote the use of SD in the public sector, starting at the federal government level: Bill Bell
· Elaborate the core ‘body of knowledge’ and the core competencies (at the individual and team level) desirable for professional work: Keith Linard
· Create a social sciences university that applies SD across board for teaching and research: Khalid Saeed
· Create a certification process for practitioners as a natural operational counterpart of formal training in a university: Khalid Saeed
· DON’T attempt to certify individuals: Jim Hines, Jay Forrester & Purnendu Mandal
· Create an annual scholarship for work experience/study in system dynamics: Jodi-Anne Smith & Bruce Campbell but Jay Forrester felt that this would be a poor use of our limited funds.
· Continue the other original priorities that were quoted: William Steinhurst
· to cooperate with other organizations interested in the advancement of the practice of system dynamics;
· to stimulate research;
· to promote high professional standards;
· to promote the growth of system dynamics and
· to improve its practice throughout the world.
· Publish more success stories from industry and
· Publish more failure stories from industry, together with analysis of why they failed: Bruce Campbell
· Develop a set of courses that should be included in a certified SD program: Jim Hines, Jay Forrester & Christine Overtoom
· Make SD more accessible. Any such program should have a strong distance learning component: Stephen  Wehrenberg & Jay Forrester
· Concentrate on educational development: Purnendu Mandal
· Focus on distance education - or an internship or mentoring opportunity: Christine Overtoom
· Jay Forrester described his Guided Study Program
· Create some way for us to communicate what we are working on/with ... particularly practitioners and dilettantes: Stephen Wehrenberg.
· The current Notes and Insights section of the journal could be used this way for announcements that contain some substance about the ongoing activity--dynamics of the program, scope of the modeling effort, emerging insights and so on. For straight announcements of ongoing work the Announcements and Reviews section of the Review should be perfect: George P. Richardson
 
· Develop a general systems thinking course at the first year level that can serve almost all the faculties: Slobodan P. Simonovic
· Pursue an international effort in offering a formal degree in SD: Purnendu Mandal
· Jay Forrester pointed out the inconsistency between “promoting all forms of systems thinking broadly,” and also “defending SD against the onslaught of incompetent consultants,” which was discussed in the president’s speech.
· I want to take issue with Jay Forrester's inclusion of learning environments in approaches limited to providing only “a softer understanding of systems.”  I agree with Jay's main contention that the Society should strive to distinguish between system dynamics and “...activities where systems thinking means thinking about systems, talking about systems, and believing that systems are important, but without any deep understanding of systems.”  However, a well-designed learning environment based on a rigorous system dynamics model can make system dynamics insights accessible to a larger audience of people who do not have the skills to develop models themselves.  Simulations with the model give people rapid feedback about how systems work and can help them build real understanding.  Positive experiences with learning environments may lead people into more extensive study of system dynamics. To be effective, these learning environments must make model structure transparent and emphasize the relationship between structure and behavior.  Learning environments should also include curricula that lead people through experiences with a model such as alternative policy tests and sensitivity analyses that teach rather than just entertain: Gary Hirsch
· We have gotten as far as we have in K-12 because we did not isolate system dynamics from systems thinking: Lees Stuntz
· I am troubled by the concept of System Dynamics and the System Dynamics Society defining itself in a way which isolates it from the broader (and less rigorous) community of “systems thinking”: Jay Forrest
· The challenge for the Society is to increase the flow of people from the first stage into the next and higher stages of skill and knowledge in system dynamics: Ali Mashayekhi
· Promote/support “good” modeling--methodologically and in practical problem solving: Yaman Barlas
· Promote publishing in SDR and other journals: Yaman Barlas
· Work on improving our communication links between different groups within Society and between our Society and other disciplines: Yaman Barlas
 
I will appoint a committee with the Policy Council approval to review these and any other suggestions and to prepare a report to the Society. This report should be distributed to the whole Society, perhaps in the next President’s Newsletter, and approved by the Policy Council. Its purpose is to guide our future actions until it is time to repeat the process.


Minutes of Summer Policy Council Meetings on July 20, 21, and 22, 1999

The following is an abridged version of the minutes of the three meetings in New Zealand.

Report of the Vice President - Finance. Jack summarized the report submitted by the treasurer, David Andersen. This year the Society will probably have a small loss. At mid year our loss was $16,600. Neither Jack (the former treasurer) nor David is alarmed by this. One item to note is that the sale of the Beer Game has passed its peak. Future conferences will be an important source of income in addition to dues to pay for operations.

Motion to receive the 1997/1998 Auditors Report was made, seconded, and unanimously approved

Motion to accept the 2000 budget, which anticipates a loss of $8,000, was made, seconded, and unanimously approved.

Executive Director’s Report. Roberta Spencer distributed copies of the summer 1999 Executive Director’s Report and summarized its contents for the Council. The report covered the areas of membership services and recruitment, Society website, sales, Society sponsorship, Society finances, conferences and chapters. She also reported, per Yaman Barlas’ request, that membership in Turkey has grown to about 15 members. They have formed an email discussion list, and interest spans public sector, private sector, academicians, students, consultants and the military. If interest keeps growing, Yaman  will apply for a Turkish Chapter.

Report of the Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Graham Winch reported that Volume 15-3 is a special issue on health care. Volume 15-4 has enough acceptable material. Right now there is almost a year delay for acceptance. Acceptance rate is around 35 percent, not including informal submissions. Future plans include a suggestion to have a millennium theme next year. There are two proposals for special issues. Usman Ghani is proposing a practitioner/consultant issue, Carmine Bianchi is proposing a small enterprise issue.

The System Dynamics Review is on the web and accessible by libraries only. Member access is now being discussed with the publisher. In the future members will receive a password and Wiley will maintain the site initially.

Report of the Vice President - Meetings.  James Melhuish read Bob Eberlein’s report. The year 2000 conference will be in Bergen, Norway and  2001 in Atlanta, Georgia. Budgets for neither of these conferences are finalized. 2002 is not decided, but locations in Southern Europe and China are under consideration. Worcester Polytechnic in Worcester, Massachusetts might host 2003.

Motion to accept the new Australian/New Zealand Chapter of the System Dynamics Society: It was noted that acceptance of this was recommended by Nan Lux. Motion made, seconded, and unanimously accepted.

Motion to accept the new South Korean Chapter of the System Dynamics Society: Motion tabled as their proposal had not been submitted.

Chapter Reports.  Reports were heard from the Italian, Japanese, and UK chapters.

Jack summarized the Canadian Interest Group Report. The Society is pleased we are kept informed.

Society’s electronic presence. A new server has been purchased and is up and running at WPI, but will not be active until the address for the domain name has been transferred. The domain name www.systemdynamics.org has been reserved. The new site will merge the current Society site and the Policy Council web site. Additional information under consideration to be put on the new website include: the membership directory, the bibliography, full E-commerce capability, several system dynamics models that can be run via a browser, conference proceedings, model equations listings not published in the Review, and more links. Access to some areas, such as the directory, will be limited to current members. In the near term, the Policy Council will be asked to consider creating the position of the Society Webmaster.

President elect Jac Vennix has picked either the week of February 13 or the week of February 20, 2000 for the Winter Policy Council Meeting. It will be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Action items:

The minutes of the 10 February Meeting of the Policy Council were unanimously approved.

Motion to raise the Society dues to US$90, US$45 for low income members: Graham Winch informed the Policy Council that cost of publication and production is increasing. He stated that Wiley has approved a larger page count for next year and has done a good job with the Review. Motion made, seconded, and passed with one dissenting vote.

Motion to accept the Slate of Candidates taking office in 2001 was tabled as the chairman and members of the nominating committee were not present, and it could be done electronically after the conference.

Paul Langley has asked the Society to look into ways for Policy Council Members to participate when they cannot attend the meetings. Jack mentioned the February 1999 webcast at the Winter Policy Council Meeting and noted technical problems and minimal participation.

Bylaws and Policy Changes: Jack recommends forming two committees to approve the changes.

Priorities of the System Dynamics Society: Jack spoke in the Presidential address about areas that were most interesting. He will summarize all the suggestions and would like to see a committee for Priorities of the System Dynamics Society. He feels strongly about the Society setting goals rather than just spending money.

Discussion Items:

Establishing a section in INFORMS: Jack has felt that conference attendance might be affected if INFORMS’ System Dynamics section is strong. There has not been strong communication to date between the two organizations. Graham Winch concurred that there might be a danger.

Carmine Bianchi asked if the Society’s Business Meeting could have a different time other than the very last conference event as the attendance will be low.

Jac Vennix suggested that the program chair for the conference should not be linked with the President Elect position. George Richardson felt strongly that the link was beneficial to the conference as well as the President Elect. Being the program chair is an honor and the conference always benefits from someone who is capable of the project. After some discussion, this item was tabled.

Magne Myrtveit announced that Powersim Corporation will offer a PAK Award of up to $5000 for an original paper in management or any of the sciences. The paper must benefit from both the system dynamics method and the full potential of the Powersim Academic Kit Constructor and Solver. The award(s) will be made to any registered student at an academic institution and is intended to fund travel and subsistence to attend and present a paper at the next System Dynamics Conference in Bergen, Norway.

View the complete meeting minutes online at http://www.tiac.net/users/sustsol/council/minutes.htm


News from Centers Around the World
 
The Japanese Chapter has 105 members including 33 Society members. We have monthly research meetings with project based research activities. Recently some of our members, crossing national boundaries, have been deeply involved with problems such as auditing of ODA projects of Japan for Asian countries and a research into developments in the Mekong Delta area. They found that there are so many opportunities in Asia for problem solving through SD modeling and simulation. The further diffusion of SD expertise is really expected for social problem solving in Asia, so we think it is meaningful to hold an International SD Conference at an early stage of the next millennium in Asia. Because of this, we support the Chinese Chapter’s proposal on the 2002 Conference in Shanghai.

Qifan Wang, President, reports the Chinese Chapter has kept running well in the past years. The Chinese Chapter has 500 members and 40 officers. Among them, half are full professors, and most are involved in both teaching and research at universities and research institutes. In 1997 a program was started to foster a team of young academics. Fourteen Chinese students have been sent to the University of Bergen to obtain their Master’s in System Dynamics. They return to China to earn their PhDs. This program will continue, resulting in a powerful academic team appearing early in the next millennium.

Geoff Coyle, President of the UK Chapter, reports that the UK Chapter is now up and running. Our first formal venture will be a meeting of the UK System Dynamics community next February with the theme of System Dynamics in Consultancy. Speakers will be from Cognitus, HVR Consulting Services and McKinsey. For more information contact david.exelby@hvr-csl.co.uk.  The Chapter is putting a lot of effort into the prize for the best student project at a UK university and hopes to present that at the meeting. The Chapter also sponsored a meeting in London on System Dynamics in Higher Education Policy. This had international speakers and was opened by Lord Ron Dearing, whose reports on the funding of UK universities have led to radical change in higher education policy.

The Australasian Chapter  was formed in July this year and they held their first meeting at the Wellington Conference.  Dr. Purnendu Mandal was elected President of the Chapter, and he agreed to organize an international systems management conference, incorporating the Australasian Chapter of the System Dynamics Society and ANZSYS, in November 2000 at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.  For further details please email purnendu@deakin.edu.au

Students from Turkey, The Netherlands, India, Norway and New Zealand met at the 1999 Conference to talk about the possibility of forming a Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. The students decided to set up an email discussion with information on Masters and PhD system dynamics courses and job and research opportunities. Proposed  activities for students at the Norway 2000 conference will include a parallel session by students on student topics and an one day seminar before or after the conference. The goal is to apply for formal status as a Society chapter. Please share this information with interested students. Suggestions and comments can be sent to o.pala@maw.kun.nl

In Canada, the National Capital System Dynamics Interest Group (NCSDIG) is entering its second year of existence after 11 successful monthly meetings. Beginning with only eight members who had recently completed the MIT/PBS Distance Learning Course led by Jim Hines, the group now has over 40 interested participants representing a wide sphere of influence including government, military, high-tech manufacturing, consulting and public education.  The group is supported by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation at http://www.ocri.ca.  Plans for this year include a number of small group projects, an introductory SD Course and the establishment of an NCSDIG Website. 

The K-12 System Dynamics Interest Group maintains a listserve. To learn about K-12 issues and subscribe to the list, send a request to subscribe to NLux@mit.edu.  The next K-12 Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference will be held June 25-27, 2000, in the Portland, Oregon area. The theme of this fourth K-12 conference is “Coming Together and Moving Forward,” emphasizing the learning gained from the last 8-10 years of work in K-12 systems education and our thoughts for incorporating more people. For more information, e-mail: stuntzln@tiac.net or visit the site: http://sysdyn.mit.edu/cle/

At this year’s New Zealand Conference, there was significant interest in the formation of a Sustainability Interest Group for people with an SD focus. At the (informal) meeting it was decided to set up a listserve to support the community. If you would like to join, send a blank message to the following address, and you will be subscribed under the default name in your email software:  sdsustain-subscribe@onelist.com.  Alternatively, go to http://www.onelist.com/subscribe/sdsustain and follow the instructions. This is a list for those with joint interests in System Dynamics and the sustainability of the world.  Its purpose is to provide a forum for discussion of various aspects of SD practice as it pertains to the sustainable development and use of the natural world.  Discussion could range from the qualitative end (e.g. soft systems methodology and similar approaches) through to a more quantitative modeling focus.  For more information, contact jwolfend@metz.une.edu.au

The Social Science and Policy Studies Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute made considerable inroads into system dynamics both in teaching and research. At the undergraduate level, both major and minor programs in system dynamics were implemented. A sequence of six courses in system dynamics and knowledge elicitation is required, in addition to supporting curricula. Our first system dynamics BSc’s are expected to graduate in 2000. At the graduate level, an inter-disciplinary doctoral program was created concentrating on the application of system dynamics to selected problem areas. At the post-graduate level, a visiting scholars program is attracting fine scholars to WPI. Scholars who have visited, or are expected to visit over the current academic year, include Alexander Ryzhenkov (Russia), Akira Uchino (Japan), Chuck Weed (United States), Ali Mashayekhi (Iran), and Lee Tan Peng (Malaysia). Current system dynamics faculty includes Khalid Saeed, Mike Radzicki, James Doyle and Kent Rissmiller. Website: http://www.wpi.edu/academics/depts/ssps/

MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts is buzzing with activity.  Nan Lux (Program Manager, System Dynamics Group) reports that two important new projects will dominate the Fall Term.  The first is headed by Professor Jay W. Forrester and students who staff the System Dynamics in Education Project.  Professor Forrester and the students have taken on the effort of adding Vensim software examples to the Road Maps series (available from http://sysdyn.mit.edu). Currently the computer examples are available in STELLA software. The second new project is a doctoral seminar in system dynamics that involves Professor Forrester and the current MIT Sloan School Ph.D. students in system dynamics. Professors Nelson Repenning and Jim Hines are also participating. They are organizing a weekly session focusing on system dynamics topics of mutual interest, especially the writings and books of Forrester.  Each week will be videotaped for future editing and distribution.

The First World Conference on Operations Management (organized by POMS and co-sponsored by EUROMA and JSPM) will be hosted and co-organized by the University of Sevilla, Spain. Theme: POM facing the new millennium: evaluating the past, dealing with the present and planning the future of Operations. The applications of the System Dynamics approach to the production/operations subsystem and its interactions with other subsystems and the environment will be welcome (a track will be organized). We want to build a new Conference product; to reach this aim a six-day Conference will mix work with time to know beautiful and unique settings (a wonderful and large social program will be partially sponsored). The leading people in the POM field will present invited papers. You can write to the General Chair: Jose A. D. Machuca, at pom2000@cica.es or, after mid-October, visit the conference website at http://gideao.us.es/pomsevilla2000

The program in System Dynamics at the University of Bergen has existed for four years. This year, a total of 14  students of eight different nationalities will graduate from the two-year MPhil program. This year, 17 new students were admitted from seven different countries. In addition, there are four PhD students in the program. Currently the program is offered jointly by two professors, Pål I. Davidsen and David N. Ford. We are looking for a person that can fill a third position as Associate or Full Professor. We are also interested in hosting visiting researchers as well as teachers. We are currently preparing for the 18th International System Dynamics Conference next year.

The System Dynamics Group at the Rockefeller College, University at Albany, State University of New York, has developed a series of strategic planning and systems thinking seminars specifically designed for the public sector. The seminars present a set of concepts and tools for thinking through complex system-wide problems that challenge government managers’ ability to design and manage cross-agency and intergovernmental policies and programs. Course offerings in system dynamics create a four-course sequence ranging from an introductory Masters level course on strategy and systems thinking to an advanced doctoral seminar on model building and analysis. Current research and PhD dissertations include work on group model building, welfare reform, regulation of the savings and loans industry, inter-governmental relations and real property services. George Richardson has been named Chair of the Public Administration and Policy Department.

At the London Business School there have been some important developments.  The School’s System Dynamics Group (based within the Decision Technology Centre) has created a new website at http://www.lbs.ac.uk/sysdyn reporting on the Group’s research and teaching. Educational programs incorporating system dynamics and business simulators are growing. In particular, the Dynamics of Strategy course has become one of the School’s most popular electives. Within the faculty, Kim Warren is writing a book on “Competitive Strategy Dynamics” to accompany the Dynamics of Strategy course. John Morecroft was appointed as Associate Dean of the London Business School’s Executive MBA program for the period 99-00. Ann van Ackere has been working in collaboration with Pål Davidsen and Morton Rudd at the University of Bergen on a model of a reservoir-based hydroelectric power plant in Western Norway.

The SESDYN Research Group, located at Bogaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey, does applied and theoretical research on the dynamics of socioeconomic systems. There are two system dynamics courses offered in the Industrial Engineering department, one at senior/graduate level and one at advanced graduate level.  Research projects are funded by the Turkish National Research Council and other national and international grants; some applied research is funded by private companies. There are also an informal Turkish System Dynamics Group and preparations for a Turkish Chapter.  Contact Yaman Barlas at ybarlas@boun.edu.tr, or  FAX:  + 90 212 265 1800, or website  http://www.ie.boun.edu.tr/sesdyn/


Conference Information

The 1999 Wellington, New Zealand  Conference was a huge success with 307 attendees from 31 countries.  It was held in conjunction with the Australia and New Zealand Systems Conference (ANZSYS).  The conference theme was Systems Thinking for the Next Millennium and the conference abstracts and program are still available on the conference website at http://www.vuw.ac.nz/gsbgm/isdc99.  The conference proceedings and a CD-Rom of the papers are available from the Society office. The organizing committee would like to thank the conference sponsors and all the people who participated in this conference. 

The Jay Wright Forrester Award was presented at the New Zealand Conference to Jac A.M. Vennix for his book Group Model Building: facilitating team learning using system dynamics (John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, 1996). Our congratulations!

The 2000 Conference will be held in Bergen, Norway from August 6 - 10, 2000. The main theme for the conference is Sustainability in the Third Millennium.  A call for papers, including details on submissions for conference presentations, tutorial sessions and workshops, is available from the Society office. A one-page abstract for all presentations is due by January 1, 2000. Abstracts should be submitted electronically to the program committee address: SD2000program@ifi.uib.no

Bergen is located amid the beautiful fjords of Western Norway along the coast and has considerable appeal for tourists. The city’s surroundings will offer a wide variety of tourist and cultural events before, during and after the conference. For more information, contact either the Conference Chair, Pål Davidsen, at davidsen@ifi.uib.no or the Society office at system.dynamics@albany.edu. Please visit the conference website at http://www.albany.edu/cpr/sds/

The 2001 Conference will held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Information on this conference will be available in Bergen.

If you or your firm is interested in becoming a sponsor of the 2000 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Norway, please contact the Society office.


1999 Sponsors of the System Dynamics Society
 
A.T. Kearney Ltd., Locations Worldwide
Amber Block, Ltd., New York, New York
Arthur Andersen, Global Locations
Andrew Hall & Associates, Accountants, Waltham,     Massachusetts
Andersen Consulting, Global Locations
Frank Davidson, Concord, Massachusetts
Jay W. Forrester, Cambridge, Massachusetts
GKA, Inc., Weston, Massachusetts
High Performance Systems, Hanover, New Hampshire
Landair International Limited, Salisbury, Wiltshire, U.K.
Paradigm Business Simulators, Bergen, Norway
Pegasus Communications, Inc., Waltham, Massachusetts
Powersim, Herndon, Virginia and Knarvik, Norway
Pugh-Roberts Associates. A Division of PA Consulting, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
SDSG, LLC./The Strategic Decision Simulation Group, Austin, Texas
Successful Systems, Inc., Weston, Massachusetts
System Dynamics Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ventana Systems, Inc., Harvard, Massachusetts

If you or your firm is interested in becoming a sponsor of the System Dynamics Society for the calendar year 2000, please contact the Society office.

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
e-mail: system.dynamics@albany.edu
http://www.albany.edu/cpr/sds/


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