NEWS

Send us your news at news@systemdynamics.org. The SD Career Link page has several recently posted job listings.

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

Splash! is a new mobile app being developed through a collaboration between BTN and the Creative Learning Exchange. Designed with beginners in mind, the new software will make 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 on Monday, June 26. Learn more about investing in Splash! on their fundraising page.


Presentations at the Cambridge System Dynamics Conference (June 27, 2017)

Plenary, parallel and poster presentations at the Cambridge Conference are divided into threads by topics. Two of the threads featured this year are the Human Behavior thread and the Information and Knowledge thread. The dynamics of human behavior in the social environments of families, communities, organizations, culture, and society, including individual and social psychology, are covered in the Human Behavior thread. The Human Behavior thread features four poster presentations. The annual meeting for the Psychology and Human Behavior SIG as well as the workshop titled Modeling Psychological and Sociological Dynamics, are also scheduled in this thread.

Information and Knowledge thread presentations relate to the dynamics of information and knowledge including knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research and development, invention, and innovation. Under the topic of Security, Information, and Knowledge Dynamics, there will be three parallel presentations. The thread also includes five poster presentations and the workshop Feedback Rich Model Construction with Powersim Studio.
For a complete list of the presentations and authors, including abstracts, please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule.


Society Members Contribute Chapter to The Handbook of Behavioral Operations (June 23, 2017)

Society members Rogelio Oliva and Brad Morrison have contributed a chapter to The Handbook of Behavioral Operations. The book, edited by K. Donohue, E. Katok, and S. Leider, is set to be published in the Spring of 2018. In the chapter titled “Integration of behavioral and operational elements through System Dynamics,” Rogelio and Brad explain the use of System Dynamics to integrate operations management and behavioral sciences. The authors state, “At its core, system dynamics develops process-based theories that explicitly examine the interactions between the physical and institutional structures of operational systems and the behavioral decision rules of the agents in those systems. We first describe the system dynamics perspective on decision-making in dynamic environments. We then present a set of guiding principles to formulate behavioral decision making and describe the methods used by system dynamists to gather data to formulate those decision rules.” The full text of their chapter can be accessed on the ResearchGate website.


New Additions to 2017 Cambridge Conference Sponsor List (June 23, 2017)

As the conference date approaches, we continue to add new organizations to our list of generous Conference Sponsors. Late in March we acknowledged quite a large list of sponsors, and now we are pleased to report that we have gained the support of eleven more organizations! Thank you to Credit Human for their Supporting level sponsorship, and to Sandia National Laboratories, Wiley and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for their sponsorship at the Exhibitor level. We would also like to express our gratitude to Widyatama University, for their participation as a Welcome Reception Co-Host at the Cambridge Conference. Thank you to PwC for sponsoring the System Dynamics Summer School. A special thank you goes out to Uncommon Catalyst (and the BSIG), our Video Production Sponsor. Many thanks to Brothers All Natural, EVER Bar, and Primal Kitchen, our new Snack Sponsors. Thank you to all of our sponsors for paving the way to a successful 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society! Please visit the Society’s website to see a complete list of Conference Sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring the Conference, contact the Society’s office at 518-442-3865.


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 has been 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 is “A System Dynamics Approach to Modeling Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Receipt” in which he will explain the SD methodology and its applications in health systems. His work is under review by the Journal of Vaccine, and he will present a poster of that in 2017 System Dynamics Conference. If you are interested in learning more about Nasser’s work, please plan on attending the Monday evening poster session at the conference. See the Tentative Schedule for dates and times of all conference presentations.


Interview with Society Member Nelson Repenning Published in Inc. (June 21, 2017)

An interview with Society member Nelson Repenning was featured in the article “There’s One Question You Must Ask Before Solving Any Problem (It’s Also the Most Underrated Management Skill)” by Theodore Kinni, on the website of Inc. The interview focuses on a recent article in the Sloan Management Review, written by Nelson Repenning, along with fellow Society member Todd Astor and colleague Don Kieffer, titled “The Most Underrated Skill in Management.” Nelson, an MIT Sloan School of Management Distinguished Professor of Systems Dynamics and Organizational Studies and chief social scientist at ShiftGear Work Design, explains this underrated skill of formulating problem statements through the course of the interview. He discusses the importance of problem statements, key elements of a problem statement, and common mistakes seen in these statements. In responding to the question of why problem statements are underused, Nelson states, “The short answer is they do not come naturally. If you’ve done a job for a long time and you are confronted with a problem, your automatic processor will almost immediately supply a potential solution. Whereas formulating a problem statement and thinking it through is a lot of work. So, your brain actively resists it and it takes a little discipline to make yourself do it.” The full interview is available on the website of Inc. You can also read the article, “The Most Underrated Skill in Management,” in the Sloan Management Review.


System Dynamics Summer School Reaches Full Capacity! (June 20, 2017)

As of this morning, all available seats for the 4th System Dynamics Summer School have been filled. Thank you to all who have registered! If you have missed out on Summer School, please consider joining us at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, July 16-20. Today is the last day for reduced registrations rates, please see the conference registration page for details. Don’t forget to reserve your room at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge—discounted room rates at the conference venue end on Thursday, June 22!


Health Thread at the Cambridge Conference (June 20, 2017)

There will be three plenary presentations within the Health thread: An In Silico Exploration of HIV, by Keith Eubanks, Hua Yang, John Kapson, and Kenneth Cooper; Using integrated modeling to support the global eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases, by Radboud Duintjer Tebbens and Kimberly Thompson; and An Individualized ESA Dosing Regimen for Hemodialysis Patients To Stabilize Hemoglobin Levels in a Target Range, by Jim Rogers, Edward Gallaher and Craig Hocum. Twelve parallel presentations are also featured within the Health thread. These parallels are divided into four topics: Healthcare Innovations and Utilization, Treatment Trajectories and Health Outcomes, Cancer Prevention and Treatment Dynamics, and Population Health Intervention Modeling. The Health thread also includes ten poster presentations, and business meetings are scheduled for Biophysical System Dynamics SIG and Health Policy SIG. For a complete list of the presentations and authors, including abstracts, please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule.


Systems Thinking Workshop Features 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.


Family-Guest Lounge activities planned! (June 19, 2017)

Are you bringing a guest or family member to #ISDC17? The Family-Guest Lounge will offer a place for spouses, significant others, travel companions, and family members to meet, gather and make plans to do fun things in and around the conference site. Enjoyable, entertaining, and educational activities have been planned by volunteer, Linda Hirsch. Guests will have the opportunity to tour the Harbor Islands, attend a demonstration and talk at the MIT Media Lab, and much more. If you act quickly, there is even a chance to order tickets for a Red Sox game! A schedule with links to each activity can be found on the Family-Guest Lounge web page. All guests accompanying conference attendees are welcome to join the Family-Guest Lounge activities. An informational meeting will be held on Sunday, July 16, at 3:00 PM in the Crow’s Nest. Linda may be contacted at: LJVHirsch@gmail.com.


Early Conference Registration Rates Available Until Tuesday, June 20 (June 18, 2017)

The International Conference of the System Dynamics Society is less than a month away. Register now to take advantage of the discounted rates! The ISDC17 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field—an event that you will not want to miss! After you register for the conference, be sure to reserve your room at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge to guarantee the special room rate. Special conference room rates are available until June 22. For more information, see the accommodations web page. We’ll see you next month in Cambridge!


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 recently 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 explains, “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. We wish you all the best as you continue your studies!


Environment Thread at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society (June 15, 2017)

The dynamics of and policy for the environment, including climate change, pollution, environmental regulation, and ecology, are explored in the Environment thread. There will be five parallel presentations in the Environment thread at the ISDC. The presentations fall under two topics, Modeling for learning about the climate, and Socio-ecological dynamics. Eighteen poster presentations will also be featured in the Environment thread, as well as the two part workshop World Energy and En-ROADS Training.


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.


Economics Thread at the Cambridge Conference (June 13, 2017)

The Economics thread at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society relates to the understanding of economic dynamics including macroeconomics, microeconomics, trade, business regulation, economic development, economic policy, insurance and risk management. The plenary presentation in the Economics thread is Applying a Multi-Player Game Theoretic Framework to Modeling the Global Capital Markets, by Stephan Cucchiaro. There will also be three parallels and ten poster presentations in this thread. The Economics Chapter Annual Meeting has been scheduled on Wednesday. Please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule for a complete list of the presentations, authors, and abstracts.


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 now employed as a Sustainable Materials Manager at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), starting this month. 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!


Business Thread at the Cambridge Conference (June 9, 2017)

One of the fourteen threads of presentations at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society is the Business thread. This thread relates to System Dynamics applications in businesses and organizations including profitability, marketing, competitive dynamics, product launches, project dynamics, and accounting. The Business thread this year will feature nine parallel presentations divided among the topics of Business Service Management, Technology and Energy, and Strategy. There are also eight poster sessions and three workshops within the thread. In addition, the Business thread schedule includes “A Fireside Chat with Ken Cooper,” taking place during the Wednesday morning break. For a complete list of the presentations and authors, including abstracts, please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule.


Tentative Schedule for the Cambridge Conference is Now Available! (June 9, 2017)

The International Conference of the System Dynamics Society is just around the corner! Take a look at the Tentative Schedule on the conference website to see the line-up of all the presentations, meetings, workshops, and special events. We hope you can join us in for this special 60th anniversary year conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts! Register by June 20th to take advantage of reduced rates.


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.


Volunteers Needed at the PhD Colloquium of the Cambridge Conference (June 7, 2017)

The PhD Colloquium organizers are currently seeking additional senior system dynamics practitioners to interact with students participating in the PhD Colloquium on Sunday in two innovative-format conversations:

  • The Open Space conversation (about 11 a.m. Sunday)
  • The World Cafe conversation (about 2 p.m. Sunday)

And if you would like to join PhD Colloquium participants for lunch, please do!

  • Lunch (about 12:30 Sunday) Note: The Cambridge Hyatt charges $25 per person for lunch, and you will need to pay for your meal, as the Student Chapter cannot afford to host non-students.

If you would like to participate in the Open Space or World Café conversations or eat lunch with students on Sunday, please contact the PhD Colloquium organizers.


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 recently 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 highlights the growing awareness and importance of System Dynamics as a part of executive decision making. The report states:

“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:

In addition, the 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 16 through July 20, 2017. Plenary topics include: world health policy recommendations (vaccines, chronic disease); improving aviation security; building energy-efficiency standards (from the US-China Clean Energy Research Center); and understanding the behavior of today’s global capital markets. The final day of the conference (Thursday, July 20) will be dedicated to interactive learning. Workshops on System Dynamics software and techniques will be offered throughout the day.

(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 is pleased to announce 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. Last month, 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 is pleased to announce its first conference on System Dynamics to be held on September 13, 2017 at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran. The conference organizers invite you to send your papers to the conference chairs by July 6, 2017: Ali Mashayekhi (mashayek@sharif.edu) and Mohammadreza Hamidizadeh (m-hamidizadeh@sbu.ac.ir). More details on submission formatting guidelines, program aims, key dates, and the organizing committee will be available on the conference website soon.


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.


New Book Features the Work of Society Members (June 2, 2017)

The book Innovative Healthcare Systems for the 21st Century, edited by Society member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah and his colleague Peter Tsasis, was recently published by Springer International. The book offers comprehensive frameworks, models, and integrative solutions for healthcare management presented by experts from around the world. Among the contributing authors are Society members Markus Schwaninger, John P. Ansah and Enzo Bivona. The publisher’s book summary states, “This volume offers researchers and policy makers an insightful and critical review of the state of the art in healthcare modeling, with a particular focus on system dynamics, agent-based models, and modern empirical studies. It will be of interest to those in the fields of health, business management, and information systems.” Innovative Healthcare Systems for the 21st Century is now available on the Springer website.


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 has been 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 this morning, “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, further explores the impact of US participation in the Paris climate agreement. In the article, Climate Interactive responds 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 features 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 states “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)

Yesterday The New York Times published the article “World Awaits Trump Decision on U.S. Future in Paris Accord,” featuring data and scenarios that were built by Climate Interactive and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The data from the C-ROADS simulation model is 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,” posted earlier today. The BBC article uses 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 are working 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 are so lucky to have the help of 376 people filling all 537 volunteer positions. These dedicated individuals generously donate countless hours of their time to support the Society and the conference. Cheers to our incredible team of conference volunteers; the conference would not be 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.


News from the Policy Council (May 31, 2017)

The Policy Council recently approved and is pleased to announce that the 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, hosted by the Iceland System Dynamics Center, will be held at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. Bob Eberlein, Allyson Beall, and Jürgen Strohhecker were approved as Program Chairs for the conference to be held August 5-9, 2018. A pre-conference summer school is also being planned.


System Dynamics Review Early View (May 31, 2017)

The research article “Graphical features of flow behavior and the stock and flow failure,” by Society members Cleotilde Gonzalez and Liang Qi, along with their colleagues Nalyn Sriwattanakomen and Jeffery Chrabaszcz, is featured in the Early View of the System Dynamics Review. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.


Society Member Presents at Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany (May 30, 2017)

Society member Carmine Bianchi, Professor of Business and Public Management, University of Palermo, giving a talk at the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany. Prof. Bianchi spent a week in residence as a Visiting Scholar at the Center, working on research proposals to link System Dynamics and systems thinking with public management outcome measures.


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

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


2015 ISDC, Cambridge Massachusetts

Plenary Presentations at the 2017 ISDC (May 30, 2017)

The 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 16-20. The program will feature twelve plenary presentations that showcase important work in the field. These plenaries are divided by topics and categorized into eight threads. On behalf of the Society, we are pleased to highlight the plenary presentations of the 2017 ISDC:

The Economics thread at the Cambridge Conference will feature the plenary presentation Applying a Multi-Player Game Theoretic Framework to Modeling the Global Capital Markets, by Stephen Cucchiaro. As stated in the Abstract, “Conventional finance theory is based on the idea that market prices incorporate all known market information, therefore changes in market prices are considered to move randomly. However, System Dynamics approaches have demonstrated that complex systems of interrelated variables (such as the global capital markets) often produce behavior that may appear to be random, but in fact results from the causal relationships, nonlinearities, feedback loops and time delays inherent in complex systems.”

The plenary presented in the Environment thread is Impact Model for US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency, by Robert Nachtrieb, David Fridley, Wei Feng, Nihan Karali, Nina Khanna, Nan Zhou, Carolyn Szum, and Jimmy Tran. The authors develop a system dynamics model integrating new construction, retrofits, technological developments and policies to promote energy efficiency in the building sector in China. The model is being used by senior policymakers in support of the US-China bilateral agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both nations. Abstract

There will be three plenary presentations within the Health thread. In the plenary An In Silico Exploration of HIV, Keith Eubanks, Hua Yang, John Kapson, and Kenneth Cooper, discuss the simulation of human biological systems to explore physiological dynamics, disease progression and the impact of potential therapies, with a focus on immune response. The model was used to design a novel therapy for HIV, which was then tested in a real-world clinical trial. Abstract

Also in the Health thread, Radboud Duintjer Tebbens and Kimberly Thompson will present Using integrated modeling to support the global eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases. They discuss the central role of System Dynamics in disease eradication programs, with a focus on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Abstract

The third paper in Health thread is An Individualized ESA Dosing Regimen for Hemodialysis Patients To Stabilize Hemoglobin Levels in a Target Range, by Jim Rogers, Edward Gallaher and Craig Hocum. Dialysis patients are at high risk of anemia, but the treatment, injections of Erthyropoeitin Simulating Agent (ESA) commonly leads to endogenous and potentially harmful cycles in Hemoglobin levels. Working with clinicians at the Mayo Clinic, the authors developed a system dynamics model that led to a novel treatment protocol that improves patient outcomes and lowers treatment costs. The authors describe the model behavior, its replication of the clinical issue at hand, and show how the model was used to develop superior policies. We then discuss how the new policies were implemented in the host organization, and present results over time.” Abstract

A plenary presentation from the Human Behavior thread is Chinese students’ mathematical knowledge beats their domain experience and global cognitive styles in stock-and-flow problems, by Liang Qi and Cleotilde Gonzalez. The authors present an experiment intended to test whether mathematical knowledge, global/local processing style or domain experience affected SF failure or the use of the correlation heuristic. Abstract

A related paper, The Attempt to Boost Stock Flow Performance by Using a General Problem Solving Strategy and a Reappearing Gender Effect, by Vivien Roeder, will be presented within the Learning and Teaching thread. The author tested male and female participants with stock flow tasks used in prior research, relating understanding of accumulation to the different problem solving strategies used by the participants. Abstract

In the Methodology thread, Thomas Fiddaman and Larry Yeager will present their paper titled Dynamic cohorts: a new approach to managing detail. The authors propose a new method for accurate simulation of aging chains and populations that provides exact tracking of cohorts with a low computational burden. “The approach simplifies the representation of distinct age, period and cohort effects and representation of dynamics other than the aging process, like migration and attribute coflows.” Abstract

Also within the Methodology thread, PJ Lamberson will present Approximating Network Dynamics in Compartmental System Dynamics Models. Prof. Lamberson describes a framework to model contagion in networks (such as disease spread or innovation adoption) developed primarily in theoretical biology, known as a pair approximation or correlation model, that relaxes the perfect mixing assumption of standard compartment models used in epidemiology and marketing yet can be readily implemented using compartment model tools. Two examples are presented to illustrate the approach and its effectiveness. Abstract

The final paper in the Methodology thread, Simulating Across Multiple Time Zones: Lessons from Policy Simulations in the Electric Power Industry, will be presented by Andrew Ford. Accurate modeling of electric power systems is difficult due to the need to relate different time scales, from hourly, daily, and seasonal variations in generation and load to investment delays and capital lifetimes measured in years or decades. Methods to simulate long-term and short-term dynamics emerging from three studies of the power industry are presented. These methods will prove useful for those who wish to include different time dynamics in their simulations. Abstract

The Security thread will feature a presentation by Ignacio Martinez-Moyano on his plenary paper, Modeling Aviation Security. Dr. Martinez-Moyano explains the development and impact of the Checkpoint Strategy Simulator, a System Dynamics model that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses to understand and effectively manage the challenges associated with providing security at the nation’s airports. Abstract

Marleen McCardle-Keurentjes, Etiënne Rouwette, and Jac Vennix will present their paper, Potential benefits of using a causal loop diagram in group model building: Evidence from a systematic investigation, in the Stakeholder Engagement thread. The authors present a classroom experiment that tests the value of using causal loop diagrams in group model building. Abstract

Please see the Draft Program Overview by Thread, available now on the Society’s website, for a list of the plenary, parallel and poster sessions to be presented at the conference, links to the abstracts and supporting material submitted by the authors. Additional details , including registration information, can be found on the conference website.


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

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


System Thinking Practice from isee systems (May 16, 2017)

isee systems is now offering an online training course led by leading experts in the field, David Peter Stroh and Society member Michael Goodman. Systems Thinking Practice is a six class training course that builds on the Systems Thinking Concepts course that was offered last fall. The course will enable you to apply Systems Thinking principles and tools in real time to a chronic, complex problem in your own organization or community. In this training session, you will learn to build a foundation for organizational or community change, conduct a systems analysis with the support of a diverse group of stakeholders, enable stakeholders to make an explicit choice between the case for change and the case for the status quo, and identify high-leverage interventions. For additional details including a full course overview, please visit isee systems’ website.


Society Member Saras Chung Takes New Position as Foundation Director of Strategy and Innovation
(May 16, 2017)

Society member Dr. Saras Chung has accepted a new position as Foundation Director of Strategy and Innovation at a start-up think tank focused on informing funding decisions for investments in education in St. Louis and nationally. In her new role, she will be identifying and developing strategies to ensure young people in low-income communities attain the educational opportunities they deserve to learn and prosper. Saras is an alumnus of the Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School of Social Work’s MSW program and PhD program and has worked with a number of research projects and centers, including the Center for Social Development. Most recently, she worked as a Computational Research Scientist at the Social System Design Lab and was an instructor and teacher for several courses, in addition to leading youth development and K-12 activities including Changing Systems Youth Initiative. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Saras!


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

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

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


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

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


Free Webinar from Strategy Dynamics on May 18th (May 10, 2017)

Strategy Dynamics presents “Living Business Models with Kim Warren,” a free webinar on Thursday, May 18th. Kim will share some of the many cases where Living Business Models solved major challenges, or provided rock-solid, adaptable plans for all kinds of enterprise, from start-ups to corporate turn-rounds. He will also show that building these models is easier, faster, and more reliable than spreadsheet-based alternatives that can only produce less-useful results. To accommodate a global audience, two sessions will be offered on May 18th. Additional details, including session choices listed in your local time zone, can be found on the registration page.


Non-Degree System Dynamics Courses (May 4, 2017)

The System Dynamics Society’s website features a growing list of non-degree courses and workshops in System Dynamics offered by various companies and universities. A free, self-paced course from GoldSim was recently added to the list. Find “Non-Degree Courses and Workshops” listed under “Activities and Resources” in the menu bar on the Society’s website. Expand your knowledge—check out the website to learn more about all the courses offered!


Register for the 34th MIT/WPI/Albany PhD Colloquium (May 4, 2017)

The 34th PhD Colloquium will be held Friday, May 19, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The colloquium is an opportunity for students from New England universities to present their research involving System Dynamics, and to receive feedback from leaders in the System Dynamics community. Presenting work, in any stage of completion, has proved to be a valuable experience for many participants. For additional details and registration information, please see the event web page. Visit the UAlbany-MIT-WPI SD Colloquia web page to find many papers and photos from the meetings of SD students and faculty members, held twice a year since 2000.


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

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



New System Dynamics Summer School Video (April 27, 2017)

If you are thinking about attending the 4th System Dynamics Summer School in Cambridge this year, you will definitely want to see this video! Max Happach, a PhD student from University of Stuttgart, volunteered to share his System Dynamics Summer School experience in this video he created for the Society. As a participant in last year’s Summer School in Delft, Max gives a first-hand account of the program’s structure and value. Find out his top three reasons to attend Summer School—watch the video on the Society’s YouTube channel!


Society Member Rod MacDonald Featured in James Madison University News (April 27, 2017)

Society member Rod MacDonald takes the spotlight in the article “Integrating system dynamics and system thinking,” by D. Vieth and S. Roddewig, published on the website of James Madison University (JMU). Rod joined the faculty of JMU’s Department of Integrated Science and Technology in the Fall semester of 2016, bringing with him 25 years of experience in using System Dynamics to analyze public policy. From his Peace Corps work in Botswana, Africa, to earning his master’s in public policy and his PhD in public administration at the State University of New York at Albany, Rod’s experiences have fostered his passion for System Dynamics modeling. It is that passion for integrating science and technology that Rod brings with him to the classroom. This semester he is teaching two classes involving System Dynamics. Rod speaks highly of his students, the program at JMU and what it means to be an educator as a way of “giving back.” Read the full article on the James Madison University News web page. Although we miss seeing Rod around the Home Office here in Albany, we are glad things are going well for him at JMU and wish him continued success in all his adventures!


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

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


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

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


Tentative Workshop Schedule Now Available for the ISDC17 (April 25, 2017)

We are happy to announce that the tentative Workshop Schedule is now available for the 2017 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Workshop day, held on Thursday July 20, offers 40+ hours of beginner and advanced workshops to enhance your skill set!

Plan your customized conference experience! Kick off your ISDC adventure with four days of pre-conference Summer School, followed by the PhD Colloquium and other special events on Sunday. Next, attend the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday invited and contributed sessions. Then, join in on Thursday’s Workshop day—the final event in the conference line up.
Please check the conference website for updates as July approaches! Coming soon: The Program by Thread, available in May and the full conference schedule, available in early June.

The countdown is on for the #ISDC2017! Registration is now open for the conference, July 16-20, and for the summer school, July 11-14. We hope to see you in Cambridge this summer!


Systems Thinking in Education Summer Workshops (April 21, 2017)

The Waters Foundation is offering several courses in systems thinking this summer. There is something for everyone, whether you are just starting out or are well on your way to creating positive changes in your classroom, school or organization using the habits and tools of systems thinking. Courses currently offered include:

  • Systems Thinking Level 1: Developing Capacity for Thinking, Learning and Leading: June 6-9, Tucson, Arizona and August 7-9, Mequon, Wisconsin
  • Systems Thinking Level 2: June 12-15, Tucson, Arizona
  • Camp Snowball: July 10-14, Vernon, New Jersey
  • To learn more about these courses, please visit the Waters Foundation website.


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

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


    Now Available: New System Dynamics Oral History Video (April 18, 2017)

    The new two-part video of the MasterCard Case, narrated by Ken Cooper, was recently added to the Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories page on the Society’s website. In this video Ken Cooper tells the story of this classic System Dynamics strategy modeling, in which the model-based analyses rapidly generated a dramatic turnaround in MasterCard’s market share. Previously released videos is this series include: Litton Industries, Hughes Aircraft, and Northrop Grumman. To learn more about the MasterCard case and other cases where System Dynamics has made a big impact, visit the System Dynamics Case Repository.


    Seminar on System Dynamics- April 20th at MIT (April 17, 2017)

    The System Thinking Club, MIT Sloan School is hosting a seminar on System Dynamics, with guest presenter Nabil Raad, Director of Enterprise Risk at Ford Motor Company. The seminar will be held Thursday, April 20th, from 12-1 PM. Nabil will present about Ford Motor Company’s Global Data, Insight, and Analytics (GDI&A) department and dynamic modeling application in his group. He will also conduct interviews with students interested in joining Ford Analytics. For an overview of the presentation or to RSVP, please visit the System Thinking Club’s website.


    System Dynamics Summer School (April 12, 2017)

    The 4th System Dynamics Summer School page has been updated. The 2017 System Dynamics Summer School will be held at MIT, July 11-14, and is followed by the International System Dynamics Conference, which begins July 16 with the annual PhD Colloquium. Visit the Summer School web page for an overview of program details, including topics, distinguished faculty, and course level information.

    This year, there will be a limited number of scholarships sponsored through the generous support of PwC. Scholarships will provide up to US$2,000 to cover the costs of tuition, economy-class travel, and lodging. To apply for a System Dynamics Summer School Scholarship, please fill out the application here. The application deadline is May 1, 2017.

    Registration for participants must be done through the Web Portal. Details regarding registration fees and the cancellation policy can also be found on the Summer School page. Although summer school participants are not required to attend the conference, they are strongly advised to register for the ISDC too, and to participate in the PhD Colloquium and post-conference workshop day.


    System Dynamics Review Early View (April 12, 2017)

    The research article “The cobweb theorem and delays in adjusting supply in metals’ markets,” by Society members Simon Glöser-Chahoud, Johannes Hartwig, I. David Wheat and Martin Faulstich, is featured in the Early View of the System Dynamics Review. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.


    Cambridge Conference Travel Information (April 11, 2017)

    If you are planning on attending the 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, check out the Society’s website for some useful information! To help you plan your visit, the conference website has details about the venue, public transportation, as well as a list of dining options. We are thrilled to be back in Cambridge this year. The Cambridge/Boston area is filled with cultural and education institutions, scenic parks, significant historical sites, and great restaurants. There is much to do while you are in town—be sure to take advantage of all this wonderful city has to offer. Guests traveling with registered attendees can enjoy organized outings and a casual meeting space in the Spouses’/Family Lounge at the conference. Conference volunteer Linda Hirsch, Coordinator of the Spouses’ Lounge and Guest Activities, has many fun-filled adventures in the works. Activities, accessible to all ages and abilities, will be announced as they are confirmed. We hope to see you this summer. Register before June 20th to take advantage of reduced fees!


    Member Mihir Mathur Becomes Visiting Faculty at the Tata Institute of Social Science, Hyderabad (April 11, 2017)

    Society member Mihir Mathur has accepted a position as a part of the Visiting Faculty at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Hyderabad, India. Mihir, who learned System Dynamics during his post-graduate studies from Sadhana Center for Management and Leadership Development, has applied System Dynamics for his research on environmental sustainability projects. Mihir presented his work at the Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference, held earlier this year in Singapore. At TISS he teaches a six credit System Dynamics modeling course to Masters students of Natural Resources and Governance. TISS is a pioneering college for social and environmental studies in India. The introduction of System Dynamics in their curriculum is a watershed moment for TISS, providing an opportunity to advance the use of System Dynamics for social and environmental studies in India. Mihir is currently working on multiple sustainability research projects using System Dynamics at the Foundation for Ecological Security and at The Energy and Resources Institute.


    Policy Council News (April 10, 2017)

    It is our great pleasure to announce that Diana Fisher will serve as the newly established Vice President Pre-College Education for the 2017-2019 term. Lees Stuntz will serve the remainder of Diana’s Policy Council term through 2018. The full list of current Officers and Policy Council Members can be seen on the Society’s website, under Govenance in the menu.

    The Policy Council and Nominating Committee of the System Dynamics Society are pleased to present the candidates nominated as Officers and Policy Council Members for 2018. Policy Council members for the 2018-2020 term include: Shayne Gary, Hilde Martinussen, Josephine Kaviti Musango, and Raafat Zaini. Candidates for Officers of the 2018-2020 term include: Krystyna Stave, Vice President of Publication; Özge Pala, Vice President Membership; Robert Eberlein, Vice President of Electronic Presence; and Martin Schaffernicht for President Elect 2018. The 2018 State of Candidates listing, found on the Governance page of the Society’s website, features a short biography and photograph for each candidate. Congratulations to all the candidates and thank you for your service to the System Dynamics Society!


    Transdisciplinarians Take an Interest in System Dynamics Archetypes (April 10, 2017)

    The journal GAIA featured System Dynamics archetypes in the 7th of its “Toolkits for Transdisciplinarity” series. The seven how-to guides, found on The System Thinker website, provide an introduction to systems thinking tools, especially for understanding dynamic systems. Please see the webpage and the attached flyer for additional details.


    Model Mysteries-Stella Online Webinar (April 7, 2017)

    Next Wednesday, April 12, isee systems is hosting a free webinar highlighting Model Mysteries, An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place. Just released, this resource is a fun, engaging entry point to modeling. Based on a philosophy that “copying” models is a stepping stone to understanding, each chapter provides a guided path to build and then modify a model, applying one generic structure to a variety of contexts. The webinar will demonstrate how these small models can easily be built using Stella Online, shared with others, and used to foster new insights about how systems work. To learn more or to register, visit isee systems’ website!


    Society Member Presents Climate Exercise to Massachusetts State Legislators (April 5, 2017)

    Last week, Society member Juliette Rooney-Varga, director of the Climate Change Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, led state legislators through an interactive briefing using C-ROADS and En-ROADS. Juliette’s presentation was featured in the article “As Trump retreats, citizens step up on climate,” published by the Boston Globe on March 30th. Juliette, on sabbatical this year at the MIT System Dynamics group, is working with Climate Interactive to educate people about climate policy. As stated in the article, “With the national administration shifting to a do-nothing policy on climate change, other actors, from towns to cities to states to companies, must pick up the slack. But to push those efforts along, this country needs more citizens who are educated about the issue and policy possibilities.” Read the full article on the website of the Boston Globe.


    Deadline Extended to April 30- Journal of Simulation Special Issue in System Dynamics (April 5, 2017)

    The Journal of Simulation, a journal of The Operational Research Society, has extended the paper submission deadline for a special issue on “Advances in System Dynamics Modelling from the Perspective of other Simulation Methods.” Society members Dr. Martin Kunc and Dr. John Morecroft, along with their colleague Dr. Sally Brailford, will be the guest editors of this special issue. The objective of the special issue is to provide readers of the Journal of Simulation with a rich overview of current developments in System Dynamics. The edited collection will help those who may not have detailed knowledge about System Dynamics to appreciate the modelling approach and its contribution. The editors are accepting papers that can help to build bridges with other simulation methods. Unpublished papers that follow the listed guidelines should be submitted by April 30, 2017. For more information contact Martin Kunc.


    New PhD: Society Member Vasanth Kamath (March 31, 2017)

    On March 25, Society member Vasanth Kamath successfully defended his PhD research work, titled “Knowledge Management & Innovation in Manufacturing using System Dynamics approach,” in the PhD program at Manipal University, India. Vasanth is grateful to his PhD committee: Prof. Dr. Gopalkrishna Prabhu (Chair), Prof. Dr. Manohara Pai (Co-Chair), and Prof. Dr. Sathish Shenoy (Directorate Research – Manipal University) for their support. He would also like to acknowledge valuable comments and feedback received on his doctoral work from Prof. Dr. L. S. Ganesh, DOMS, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. Vasanth extends his deepest gratitude to Professor Dr. Lewlyn L. Raj Rodrigues and Dr. Pradeep V. Desai for their mentorship. Currently, Vasanth is an Assistant Professor in the area of Operations Management at T.A. Pai Management Institute in Manipal, India. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Dr. Kamath!


    Climate Interactive Provides Data on the Impact of Repealing the Climate Policies (March 29, 2017)

    In a blog post on the Climate Interactive website, “What Slashing Climate Rules Means for the U.S. Pledge to Paris,” Ellie Johnston explains the impact of President Trump’s executive order to repeal the Clean Power Plan and other climate policies. The data and analysis from the Climate Interactive (C-ROADS simulation and Climate Scoreboard), along with analysis collected from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the EPA, and the NHTSA, were used in The New York Times article, “Trump’s Executive Order Pushes the U.S. Climate Pledge Further Out of Reach,” published on March 28th. Ellie notes, “We explored what policy actions were intended to deliver upon the U.S. pledge to the Paris climate agreement, and which actions are now threatened due to the new administration’s slashing of climate rules.” She also welcomes the use of this data by others; please contact the Climate Interactive for information.


    DynamiQueST: System Dynamics Event for Secondary School Students
    (March 27, 2017)

    On March 17th, students from local secondary schools visited the campus of WPI to take part in DynamiQueST. The annual event, sponsored by the Creative Learning Exchange (CLE), is designed to enrich students’ understanding of System Dynamics through simulations and discussions, as well as coaching from System Dynamics professors and professionals. Students took part in a World Climate Simulation, followed by a presentation and feedback session. After a debriefing of the earlier simulation, students discussed problem solving approaches, focusing on critical thinking skills. CLE executive director, Lees Stuntz notes, “The world needs more System Dynamics, and we’re grateful to WPI for providing their resources and expertise of faculty to help students learn.” Read more about the DynamiQueST experience in Allison Racicot’s article featured on the website of WPI.


    Call for Book Chapter Proposals (March 27, 2017)

    Society member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah, working with the publisher Springer-US, has announced a call for book chapter proposals. The book, titled Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Supply Chains, will be edited by Hassan. Potential authors are invited to submit their work in the area of sustainable supply chains centered around the applications of various complex systems-oriented toolboxes, including System Dynamics, networks, agent-based models, large-scale optimization, evolution of supply chain, coupled supply chain and human ecology-based solutions, as well as the empirical studies (with a clear focus on innovative integrative solutions).

    The extended abstract (2-3 pages) should include: the topic, the goals of your chapter, a brief description and significance of your contribution within the book theme, and the utility/ real-world application of your work. Extended abstracts should be submitted by e-mail attachments to the editor, Hassan Qudrat-Ullah, by May 15, 2017. For additional details, including a list of suggested topics, please see the full announcement.


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

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


    System Dynamics Infographic (March 24, 2017)

    To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the field of System Dynamics, we are asking your help in creating an “SD Infographic” to be displayed at this year’s conference. The SD Infographic will highlight the most memorable System Dynamics-related event(s) in each year, starting in 1956.

    Leading up to the conference, we ask you to share any memory, photo, or fact (with the date) that might be included in the SD Infographic. Progress on the SD Infographic will be posted on social media, please participate and follow the progress! Please join us on our SD Infographics LinkedIn Showcase. You can share your items either on our Facebook page or via email (isdc@albany.edu). The final product will be printed on a large banner and be available at the 35th International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts this year.


    Highlighting 2017 Cambridge Conference Sponsors! (March 24, 2017)

    Plans for the upcoming 35th International Conference in Cambridge are gaining tremendous momentum thanks to our incredible Team of Sponsors. Thank you for your generous support!

    A sincere thank you to our Conference Partners: Greenwood Strategic Advisors AG; PA Consulting Group; Edward B. Roberts; and the System Dynamics Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Many thanks to our Champion Sponsors: Lundberg Family Farms and Ventana Systems, Inc.

    Much appreciation to our Supporting Sponsors: AnyLogic, North America; BTN; Georgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State University; isee systems; Lexidyne, LLC; Mindseye Computing, LLC; and MITRE Corporation

    We also happily acknowledge the support from the group of Exhibitor Sponsors: Argonne National Laboratory (Systems Science Center, GSS); Allen L. Boorstein; Copernicos Group; Dynamics Operations; EMSD: Erasmus Mundus European Master Programme in System Dynamics; Forio; Informed Dynamics Systems; International Society for Systems Sciences; Social System Design Lab, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis; Society for Organizational Learning, North America; Strategy Dynamics; Tecnológico de Monterrey; ViaSim Solutions; and Whole Systems Partnership

    A special thanks to our Welcome Reception Hosts: System Dynamics Group, University at Albany; System Dynamics Group, University of Bergen; and System Dynamics Group, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

    We would also like to thank our Friends and Donors: Hyatt Regency Cambridge; Krishna Pendyala Family Charitable Fund; and Lane Press of Albany

    Cheers to our Snack Sponsors: Crispy Green, Inc.; Lundberg Family Farms; and Raw Revolution

    As we recognize our conference sponsors individually on social media, please share, like and retweet.
    Join us in this special anniversary year as a Conference Sponsor! Sponsorship packages are available at several different levels with valuable benefits for your company. This sponsorship support also enables us to keep the conference affordable for all. If you are interested in becoming a part of the community of sponsors, please contact the System Dynamics Society office.


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

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


    Society Member Granted Tenure from Willamette University (March 21, 2017)

    Society member Kawika Pierson was recently granted tenure from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he teaches accounting, statistics and complex systems for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. In 2011, Kawika graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School with a PhD in management and a focus on System Dynamics and accounting. His thesis, “Profit Cycle Dynamics,” examined the existence and causes of profit cycles in the airline and insurance industries and other sectors of the economy. He has published in various high quality academic journals and presented his work at conferences including the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, the Public Management Research Association Conference, and the Production and Operations Management Society Conference. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Kawika!


    Proposal of a Thailand Chapter of System Dynamics Society (March 21, 2017)

    Last month, a group of Society members met with President Elect, Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano in Bangkok, Thailand following the Asia Pacific System Dynamics Conference in Singapore. The members discussed plans to form a new Thailand Chapter, and as a result, a motion will be forthcoming to establish the Thailand Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. The great news of this new chapter proposal was announced at last week’s Policy Council Meeting of the System Dynamics Society. A formal motion to establish the Thailand Chapter will follow in the near future.

    Pictured from left to right: Nij Tontisirin, Sutee Anantasuksomsri, Borwornsom Leerapan, Pard Teekasap, Somsak Chunharas, Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano (and his daughter Paula), Pimthipa Teekasap, Pawat Tansurat, and Piya Hanvoravongchai.


    News Archives Previously in 2017

    2016 2015 2014 2013 2009-2012


    Contact Us