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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 ( 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.

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