Minutes of the Policy Council Meeting

of the

System Dynamics Society

23 July 2006

Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

(Unapproved-Please send corrections to )

Supporting reports:
2006 nijmegen progress report.pdf
2006 nijmegen progress message shortreport.pdf
2007 boston report discuss.pdf
2008 athens notes.pdf
2008 europe propos summ compare1.xls
2008 europe propos summ final.pdf
2008 seoul proposal.pdf
2008 site select report discuss.pdf
2008 spain proposal.pdf
2009 albuquerque.pdf
2009 pre proposal compare.xls
2009 pre proposal review report discuss.pdf
2009 southernmaineproposal.xls
bus sig report.pdf
china chap report.pdf
draft agenda.pdf
econ chap report.pdf
execdir reportfor2005.pdf
home office report july2006.pdf
isig report.pdf
italian chap message.pdf
italian chap report.pdf
latinamerican chap report.pdf
sdr execdir message.pdf
sdr execdir report.pdf
sdr_publisher report public.pdf
security sig report.pdf
uk chap message.pdf
uk chap report.pdf
vp atlarge report discuss.pdf
vp chapters report.pdf
vp electronic report discuss.pdf
vp finance message discuss.pdf
vp finance report.pdf
vp meetings conf cost trends.pdf
vp meetings report.pdf
vp members report discuss.pdf
vp pubs report discuss.pdf

In Attendance


Mike Radzicki (President), David Packer (Secretary), Robert Eberlein (Vice President-Electronic Presence), David Andersen (Vice President--Finance), Deborah Andersen (Vice President-Publications), Ginny Wiley (Vice President-Chapter Activities), Deborah Campbell (Vice President-Member Activities), James Lyneis (Vice President--- Meetings), Brian Dangerfield (Executive Editor, System Dynamics Review).

Policy Council:

Henk Akkermans, Allen Boorstein, Tim Haslett, Scott Johnson, Brad Morrison, Krys Stave, Jim Thompson.


Ed Anderson, Yaman Barlas, Vedat Diker, Nikko Georgantzas (Hellenic Chapter), Andreas Grossler, Songman Kwak (Korean Chapter), Birgit Kopainsky (Student Chapter and Swiss Chapter), Hironori Kurono, Peter Milling,  John Morecroft, Oleg Pavlov, Graham Russel (Wiley), Martin Schaffemicht (Latin America Chapter), Roberta Spencer (Executive Director), Lees Stuntz, Yutaka Takahashi (Japan Chapter Liaison), Jeff Trailer, Aldo Zagonel.

Call to Order/Welcome and Announcements (President Mike Radzicki:

Mike called the meeting to order at 11:10pm, reviewed meeting procedures and overviewed the agenda. Those present introduced themselves.

The Policy Council then adjourned to have lunch with the PhD forum participants, reconvening at 1:00pm

Partners/Assistant VP's: Mike Radzicki announced the appointment of the first two Assistant VPs, authorized by the 2005 summer policy council.  They are Ed Anderson who will assist Secretary Dave Packer and Ado Zagonel who will assist VP Chapter Activities Ginny Wiley.

Roberta L. Spencer: Please note that digitizing and the on-line availability of Dynamica and does not have anything to do with the revision to the Wiley contract. Dynamica will be placed on the Society website - not Wiley Interscience.

VP Meetings (Jim Lyneis):

Jim noted that in considering conference sites the process would be: (1) Presentations of proposals by sponsors (2) Review of a standard spreadsheet comparing locations and (3) an Executive Session (PC members only) to make choices.  The outcome needs to be a firm decision on this conference site.  Jim noted that all proposals are available on the Policy Council website.

2008 Conference (19-23 July 2008): Proposals have been received from Athens, Greece, San Sebastian, Spain, and Seoul, South Korea.

(1) Presentations:

Athens, Greece (Brian Dangerfield):  Brian explained his involvement and the major elements of the proposal... conference would be in a central Athens Hotel, the Athenaeum Intercontinental, supported by a strong conference team in an easy to reach venue with a lot of history.

San Sebastian, Spain (Jose Mari Sarriegi):  Jose described the major elements. The conference would be in the Kursaal Conference Center with lodging distributed throughout this compact and attractive city, accessible through Bilboa and several other airports.

Seoul, S. Korea (Sangman Kwak):  Conference would be centralized at he the Hyatt Hotel, Inchon Airport.  Various activities were described and the possibility of substantial sponsorship was noted.

(2) 2008 Spreadsheet Analysis (Jim Lyneis): 

Jim reviewed the spreadsheet and the basis for numbers, which have been adjusted for consistency in some places.  A major concern was the conference registration fee of $700-800 in all cases, leading to a total cost in the $1400 range.  It was noted that in hotel based conferences, use of guest rooms normally leads to zero cost for facilities.  The impact of centralized locations where everyone is together versus university locations where lodging is scattered was discussed, with a bias toward more central locations.  Also, it was noted that over-emphasis on costs biases against Asia conferences, which may not be best for the field.  In a closing comment, David Anderson noted that all of the proposal were excellent and in the acceptable range, and thanked the proposers.

(3) The Policy Council then went into Executive Session for the selection process.

Two motions resulted from the Executive Session:

--Moved (Brad Morrison, Bob Eberlein seconding) that the Policy Council approve the Greece proposal for the 2008 conference.  Passed.

--Moved (David Anderson, Dave Packer seconding) that the Policy Council commit to a conference in the Pacific Rim by 2011, earlier if possible.  Passed.

At this point the Policy Council recessed, reconvening at 3:40pm.

2009 Conference Pre-Proposals;  Jim Lyneis noted that our objective is to provide feedback and possibly select a tentative site.  Pre-Proposals have been received from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA and from Portland, Maine, USA. He stated we will use the same process as in the 2008 discussion.


Albuquerque, New Mexico (Leonard Malczynski and Aldo Zagonel):  The conference venue would be near Sandia National Laboratory, which would provide sponsorship and is a center for much SD work-30+ people.  Facilities are excellent and can accommodate 400+attendees. A program committee is in place.

Portland, Maine (John Voyer):  Venue and conference location would be the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland with good student housing available nearby (University of Southern Maine). 

Spreadsheet Analysis:  Jim Lyneis led the comparative analysis providing excellent comparisons of the key elements of the two proposals. 

(3) The Policy Council then went into Executive Session for the consideration process.

 One motion resulted from the Executive Session:

--Moved (Bob Eberlein, Ginny Wiley seconding) that the Policy Council accept the Albuquerque proposal, contingent on meeting certain requirements to be specified by the VP meetings (ideas include a more global theme, active sponsorship for a lower registration fee, and stimulating broader participation from their network of international research organizations).  The motion passed.

VP Finance (David Andersen):

David reviewed his written report, which contains all of the detail, and commented that the Society is quite healthy with unrestricted assets of about $450,000, and that the proposed 2007 Budget shows a surplus of $21,483 and has been reviewed by the Administrative Committee.  He also described the impact of the different business units (Products and Conferences subsidize other cost centers-the Beer Game is still selling well!) and some technical interactions with the University (SUNY) contract.  In addition, he noted that we employ a staff salary market adjustment to bring staff compensation to a market rate, above what the university allows.

Moved (Bob Eberlein, Jim Lyneis seconding) that the Policy Council accept the proposed 2007 Budget, with a surplus of $21,483.  The motion passed.

In closing, David described the need to negotiate a different arrangement for our Executive Director that relates to her qualification for tenure as a university employee and complications that arise from this structure.  The Policy Council endorsed David's continuing to work this issue; any specific proposal will come back to the Council for consideration.

VP Chapter Activities (Ginny Wiley):

In opening, Ginny Wiley Moved (Bob Eberlein seconding) that the Policy Council approve a Psychology Chapter.  She noted that all requirements have been fulfilled and that it is a Chapter rather than a Special Interest Group (SIG) so it can include others and have conferences, etc. to better move SD into the outside world.  (This is like the Economics Chapter).  The motion passed unanimously. 

Ginny also commented on the good health and enthusiasm of Chapters (now numbering 16) and urged viewing the poster sessions that display their activities at the conference (this in lieu of Chapter reports to the PC or the Business Meeting).  Our success in Chapter growth presents challenges in how to give them appropriate visibility in the Society conference.  She acknowledged the view that Chapters are a major strategic thrust for the future of the Society.

Nominating Committee (Mike Radzicki):

Mike noted that the outgoing President is charged with forming and chairing a Nominating Committee for the following year, and presented a motion for approval of his selections by the Policy Council:

Moved (Mike Radzicki, Bob Eberlein seconding) that the 2007 Nominating Committee be comprised of Yaman Barlas, Jim Lyneis, Ozge Pala, Qifan Wang (President Elect), and Mike Radzicki  (President/Chair).  The motion passed unanimously.

Other Issues:

--Use of Society Lists:  This item dealt with  the sharing of membership and conference attendee lists.  The current policy does not allow sharing, but in fact has been deviated from several times.  After discussion the following Motion was presented (Mike Radzicki, Ginny Wiley seconding):

Moved that Society Partners be given one-time (per year) use of our membership List and that Conference Sponsors be given one-time (per year) use of our conference attendee list.  Following lively debate involving issues such as understanding the benefit, what others do, alternative communications (such as a notice in our newsletter) and the need to communicate, the Motion was withdrawn.

Following this, based on the idea that we should do nothing until we are sure what to do, the following was moved (Bob Eberlein, Deborah Campbell seconding):

Moved that no one be authorized to use Society membership or conference lists.  The motion passed.

--Wiley Gratis Subscriptions:  Wiley currently offers 20 gratis subscriptions to the System Dynamics Review, but we have used only 2 of these.  Deborah Campbell, VP Member Services will explore this issue and propose the appropriate action.  (Note from previous discussion: These subscriptions were negotiated with Wiley to encourage SD activity in under-represented areas--typically lower-income, developing-economy regions-- including assisting in the formation of new chapters in these areas.)

--Relationship with the International Society of Systems Science (ISSS):  After discussion, a Motion was made (Mike Radzicki, Bob Eberlein seconding) that Mike Radzicki be instructed to form a committee to explore the relationship with ISSS and report back to the Policy Council.  The Motion passed.

--Lifetime Achievement Award Winners (Mike Radzicki on behalf of Brian Dangerfield): A Motion (Mike Radzicki moving, Brad Morrison seconding) was made that lifetime achievement award winners get free Society membership in perpetuity.  After some debate the Motion was withdrawn.

--John Wiley Report (Graham Russell): Graham's presentation centered on the System Dynamics Review (SDR.).  He thanked the Policy Council for signing the letter that enables him to get all volumes of the SDR on e-access.  Circulation exceeds 1400 in print or electronic form. The second issue for this year is out.  We will do a double issue for 50th anniversary next year in Oct. time frame.  Wiley is willing to do a gold cover or something similar to "jazz it up" and contribute to the celebration.  There is now a web page with a cumulative table of contents that links to the Wiley website. Graham stressed the criticality of the "ISI Impact Index" of papers published and noted that that the top two articles have been on Archetypes and Systems Thinking in Complex Decision Making.  A list of the top 25 most accessed papers was distributed. 

Ginny Wiley suggested that either the 50th Anniversary issue be made freely accessible or that members be able to buy extra copies.  Graham said these are good ideas and will be explored.

[Note:  the full John Wiley report needs to be on the Society web site along with other formal reports.  The paper copy distributed included some proprietary material that must be eliminated by Wiley before it can be put up on the Society web site]

--Effective Meeting Formats:  A broad ranging discussion of our meeting formats and processes (face to face, electronic, small groups, full Policy Council, etc.) seemed to reach a consensus that this is an important area in which we are not doing well and to which we devote significant resources and which we need to improve for Policy Council effectiveness.  The intent is communication structures that are appropriate for the needs and ways to assure we consider the right things in the first place.  Ginny Wiley urged that we not drop this important issue even though the hour is late.  Finally, a group consisting of Hank Akkermans, Deborah Campbell, Bob Eberlein, and Dave Packer were charged to explore this issue in depth and make proposals to the Policy Council. 

It was agreed that we should have another meeting of the Policy Council in Nijmegen to continue this topic if a room can be arranged.  Roberta Spencer will let us know. 

[Note:  This meeting did not occur].


Mike Radzicki made a Motion to Adjourn, seconded by many and approved by all at 6:05pm. 

Respectfully Submitted,

David W. Packer, Secretary
  assisted by Ed Anderson, Assistant VP (Secretary)

16 August 2006

System Dynamics Society

Policy Council 23 July 2006

Last edited by JP January 3, 2008