System Dynamics Society
Minutes of the Policy Council Meeting Summer 2012
St. Gallen, Switzerland
July 2012

In attendance: David Lane (Past President) presiding, Brad Morrison (Secretary), Rogelio Oliva (Executive Editor), Andreas Groessler (VP Meetings), George Richardson (VP Publications), Rod MacDonald (PC Member), Len Malczynski (PC Member), Laura Black (PC Member), Ignacio Martínez-Moyano (PC Member), Etienne Rouwette (VP Member Services), Peter Hovmand (PC Member), Nici Zimmermann (PC Member), Florian Kapmeier (PC Member), Kim Warren (President Elect), Markus Schwaninger (PC Member), David Andersen (VP Finance), Bob Eberlein (VP, E-Presence), Martin Schaffernicht (VP Chapter Activities), David Ford (President), Silvia Ulli-Beer (PC Member), Peter Milling, Lees Stuntz, Jim Thompson, Jim Hines, Roberta Spencer, Sarah Boyar, Graham Russel (Publisher, SDR), Bob Cavana, Edward Anderson, Erik Pruyt, Aldo Zagonel, Erling Moxnes.

I. Welcome and Introductions
David Lane, acting as chair due to the delayed arrival of David Ford, called the meeting to order. On behalf of the Society, he thanked outgoing members and officers for their service: Susan Howick, Birgit Kopainsky, Agata Sawicka, Aldo Zagonel; Past Pres Rogelio Oliva., SDR Editor: Brian Dangerfield.

He welcomed new members for 2012: Rod MacDonald, Lees Stuntz, Silvia Ulli-Beer, Nicole Zimmermann. Pres Elect: Kim Warren, SDR Editor: Rogelio Oliva.

II. Overview of electronic session

a. Review electronic votes between the end of 2012 Winter PC Meeting and the beginning of the 2012 Summer PC Meeting

  1. Recognized the Biomedical SD SIG.
  2. Approved minutes of Summer PC Meeting, Washington, DC 2011.
  3. Recognized and accepted the slate of candidates to take office on January 1, 2013: President-Elect: Edward G. Anderson, Secretary: Brad Morrison (re-appoint), VP Meetings: Len Malczynski, and Policy Council Members: Elise Weaver; Paulo Goncalves, Inge Bleijenbergh, and Timothy Taylor.
  4. Approved the reappointment and term for Roberta Spencer to continue on the Organization and Bylaws Committee.
  5. Approved the recommendation of the Award Committee that award selection subcommittees member's terms be fixed at five years, with a normally two-term maximum.
  6. Approved the motion that the Policy Council recommend to the membership that the revision to the bylaws as embodied in the document Bylaws-DraftFeb10-2012.doc be adopted. The revisions were circulated to the membership in March, will be discussed at the General Business meeting, voted on by the membership electronically in September, and formally adopted in December if that vote passes.
  7. Approved the appointment of Brian Dangerfield to the Nominating Committee for the term of 8/2012 - 7/2015.

III. The chair called for additions to the agenda or announcements.

IV. Vice Presidential and Other Reports

a. Chapter Activities: Martin Schaffernicht: Report online. The Japan and Russia reports have been turned in since VP report was posted. We are in a much better state than we have been in before.

Martin thinks that Chapters and SIGs need to work together.

Bob Cavana notes that the Economics chapter is trying to perform as a Chapter and plans to report on Chapter Activities in that form.

We discuss whether there is a way to stimulate activity, perhaps using the capacity development fund to support SIGs.

It is possible to create virtual compilations/issues of a journal that put together different papers published in the SDR along a specific area. We could also do something that would involve collaborating with other journals.

Martin proposes drafting a mission for Chapters and SIGs. This can be done by selecting one or several good examples to use as benchmarks.

  1. Adhoc Committees that report to the VP Chapter Activities
There is some confusion about this committee, its name, and its role. David Ford wonders if this committee and the Strengthening the Field Committee are two committees with same goal. Aldo notes that we established a Capacity Development Fund, not Chapter Development Fund, and we formed an ad hoc Strengthening the Field Committee to review an approve proposals to use funds. He has not heard of a Chapter Development Committee. The members of the Strengthening the Field Committee are the VP Meetings (ex officio chair), the VP Finance, and the President. George remembers that the origin of this idea was that when we introduced the default conference sites, we also worried about not holding conferences in other parts of the world. So, we wanted to create a capacity to do conference-like activities, and the money allocated in the budget for Capacity Development was intended for this purpose.

[See Formal Motion 103, Promoting Chapter Activities, $20,000 in 2011 budget. (Revised 3‐12‐11) for documentation.]

b. E-Presence: Robert Eberlein We have a new website with content management system. (Report online)

c. Finance: David Andersen and AVP Navid Ghafarzadegan (Report online)

  1. Ad hoc Committees that report to the VP Finance

d. Meetings: Andreas Größler and AVP Enzo Bivona (Report online)

  1. 2012 Conference Report: Markus Schwaninger, Stefan Groesser, Elke Husemann, David Lane, and Roberta Spencer:
    Reported by Markus Schwaninger We have 479 participants and 40 guests. Conference financial plans aim for a $25 K surplus; we expect to have an even larger surplus when done. (Report online)
  2. 2013 North America: Roberta Spencer, Bob Eberlein, and Ignacio Martínez-Moyano. The conference will be at the Hyatt in Boston. The call for papers has been issued. (Report online)
  3. 2014 and beyond: Andreas Größler Will report during motions.
  4. Ad hoc Committees that report to VP Meetings

e. Member Services: Etiënne Rouwette (Report online)

  1. SIG Reports Etiennne notes that very few SIGs have reported, but those reports are online. Etienne wonders what their role should be.

    We began discussion about the idea that the Society should operate more through chapters and SIGS. However, the level of activity in the SIGS is not consistently high. Perhaps we should look at the conference threads and see how they match up with the SIGs to be sure there is appropriate overlap. The discussion raised many questions: What do we expect? How are they doing? If they don’t meet expectations what are we doing about it?

    Kim Warren feels that the SIGs are absolutely crucial because they form the public face of the Society. If the SIGs are not doing anything, it is a problem. Chapters are a bit different because they do not line up people professionally the way that SIGs do.

    Other issues include the manner in which we get people to fill in the reports.

    Etienne is having meetings with all the SIGs during the conference.

  2. Ad hoc Committees that report to the VP Member Services

f. Publications: George Richardson

George emphasized that Graham's and Rogelio's reports have much value in them. From Graham, we (SDR) have been gradually improving over time. Wiley is doing good things for us. Rogelio's report talks about revisions that are being put into place.

Rogelio would like to put in place a best reviewer award. We agreed that this suggestion should be handled through the Publications Committee. We may also consider listing reviewers for the year, or perhaps for 5 years to preserve anonymity.

  1. Report of the Publisher of the System Dynamics Review: Graham Russel (Report online)
  2. Report of the Editor of the System Dynamics Review: Rogelio Oliva (Report online)
  3. Ad hoc Committees that report to the VP Publications

g. Ad hoc Committees that report to the President

  1. Ad hoc Committee on the Organization of the System Dynamics Society: Bob Cavana (Reports to the President) (Report online)
    Bob Cavana reports that our society is doing many things extremely well. The Committee has discussed a set of issues and compared SDS with a few societies. The Committee suggests that there should be more VP positions. The Policy Council expressed its gratitude to Bob C. and committee. David L. suggests that strategy process incorporate this report. Having completed its report, the Committee was disbanded by David Ford.

  2. Education, Outreach and Public Understanding (EOPU) Committee: David Ford: Report online. This committee has been disbanded.

h. Executive Director: Roberta Spencer: (Report online)

(President David Ford arrived during Standing Committee Reports and presided over the rest of the meeting.)

V. Standing Committee Reports – Presentation, Discussion and Announcements

a. Administrative Committee: Peter Milling:

Peter reported that the Administrative Committee meeting just concluded. The Committee talked about budget, reporting formats, investment policies, and preparation for PC meeting. The Committee began discussing the structure of the PC meeting format. Face to face meeting seems to be important, but maybe a different format could be used for some things, especially reports. The current structure seems to generate lots of work for home office, especially to support reporting by VPs and committees.

b. Awards Committee: (Report online)

Peter Milling reported about committee work to consider how to organize a lifetime achievement award, an award given to a person who has made distinguished contributions and who has not received the Forrester Award – to be given toward the end of a person’s career. The award would be given in a year of the Forrester Award is not given. The Forrester award committee would make this award.

  1. Forrester Award (Ad Hoc): Jack Homer (Report online)
  2. Dana Meadows Award (Ad Hoc): Joel Rahn (Report online)
  3. Applications Award (Ad Hoc): Brad Morrison, Acting Chair) Brad Morrison will be the acting chair and conduct the Applications Award Committee meeting in St. Gallen.
  4. Community Service Award (Ad Hoc): David Lane (Report online)
  5. Other Outside Awards: Khalid Saeed

c. Nominating Committee: David Lane (Report online)

There is no activity to report between the winter meeting and the conference. Activity usually happens between the conference and the winter PC meeting.

  1. Members of the Nominating Committee:
    David Lane (Immediate Past President 2012) Chair; term: 8/12 - 7/13
    David Ford (President 2012)
    Kim Warren (President Elect 2012)
    Ed Anderson 8/2010 - 7/2013
    Juergen Strohhecker (8/2011 - 7/2014)
    Brian Dangerfield (8/2012 - 7/2015)

  2. Open Positions, 2014-2016 Terms David Lane noted that nominations are being accepted for the following open positions. Self-nominations are encouraged.
    President Elect (2014)
    Vice President Chapter Activities (2014–2016)
    Vice President Finance (2014-2016)
    Policy Council (2014-2016): Four openings

d. Organization and Bylaws Committee: Brad Morrison (Report online)

e. Publications Committee: George Richardson (Report online)

George Richardson reported that we need to confirm the appointment of another committee member for a three year term (2013-2015). George moved (Kim Warren seconded) to approve appointment of Susan Howick. Motion passed.

f. Strategy Committee: David Ford (Reports online)

David Ford expressed thanks on behalf of the Society to Kim Warren for his diligent and persistent work.

VI. Call for Additional Items

Lees Stuntz wants explicit K-12 support to be shown in the budget.

VII. Motions/Action Items

a. Approval of Minutes of Winter 2012 David Lane moved (Rogelio Oliva seconded) to approve the minutes of the Winter 2012 meeting. Motion passed.

b. European Default site for 2014 (Andreas Groessler)

Andreas Groessler moved (Bob Eberlein seconded) that the Society adopt Delft University of Technology in Delft, the Netherlands, as the default site for Society conferences to be held every other year starting in 2014. Motion passed.

Andreas Groessler moved (Bob Eberlein seconded) to remove the expected $25,000 expected surplus from the conference budget for the European conference.

Discussion of the motion: The VP Meetings would monitor the finances of the conference. David A. confirmed that our budgeting practice has been to include an expectation of a conference surplus (approx. $25K). However, sometimes we do not achieve this and even sometimes incur a loss. The effect of this suggestion would be to reduce the fees for the European conference by $50, which means not having to make the European conference more expensive, given higher expenses and typically lower sponsorship revenues. Erik Pruyt reminded us that the facilities at Delft are free. With attendance at about 475 attendees, as we had for example in Neijmegen, we would achieve a $25K surplus. David A. explained there are two decoupled budget processes, one for Society and one for Conference. Rogelio suggested that we focus on trying to keep fees at levels similar to the fees for NA conference. George Richardson moved (Ed Anderson seconded) to table the motion. Motion to table passed.

Further Discussion: There is some concern about sponsorship and fundraising at the default sites. The default site model may actually require more workload from home office, but this was not the original intention. George points out that there will be more pressure on the Home Office to raise funds. Rogelio thinks that the apparatus for organizing a conference has changed and that it is necessary to create an apparatus to support the fundraising activity. He suggested that the VP Meetings need to consider the apparatus for decision making and conference planning that best fits with the new default site. Aldo talks about local sponsorship, society sponsorship, registration fees and conference expenses. There were some challenges during the Albuquerque, NM conference looking at costs and income and balancing those two things.

c. Approval of budget

Peter Milling reported that the Administrative Committee recommends the approval of the budget as presented by the VP Finance. Peter Milling moved (Etienne Rouette seconded) that the PC approve the 2013 budget presented by the VP Finance.

Discussion of the motion: The budget shows a structural deficit of about $49K from operations, but the budget breaks even when investment income, conference surplus, and sales are considered.

Lees said that Society has done a post-budget contribution to K-12 education for past several years. David said that Society is in financial position to be able to invest in things that are good for the field, and K-12 education is good for the field. We have done so informally in the past, and it would be great to formalize this position. Kim suggests that this request be channeled to Strengthening the Field Committee. The Strengthening the Field Committee will look at this request and ask for approval to broaden the mandate of the committee for spending the budgeting money.

Etienne would like to make budget for chapters available for SIGs.

David A. reminded us that compensation for the professional office staff is contingent on the Society overall being in the black. Consequently this should be taken this into consideration when budgeting funding for initiatives

Motion to approve the budget passed.

d. Approval of Standing Committee Members appointed by the President

  1. Administrative Committee: Bob Eberlein 2013-2015 (reappointment)
  2. Award Committee: Erling Moxnes and David Lane 2013-2015 (reappointment)
  3. Organization and Bylaws: Bob Eberlein 2013-2015 (reappointment)
  4. Strategy Committee: Birgit Kopainsky 2012-2014 and Jim Lyneis 2013-2015

David Ford moved (Markus Schwaninger seconded) to approve these appointments. Motion passed.

e. Canada Chapter Recognition (Report online)

Martin Schaffernicht moved (Etienne Rouwette seconded) to recognize the Canadian Chapter of the Society. The Canadians have put together a group with 13 members in good standing. Motion passed.

f. SPOC – Society Program Oversight Committee (Bob Eberlein) (Report online)

  1. Bob Eberlein moved (Brad Morrison seconded) to change the policies of the Society to include the SPOC as a Standing Committee with the following description of its membership and mandate:
    “The Society Program Oversight Committee shall consist of six members, three of whom are former or current Conference Program Chairs, serving staggered three year terms. It shall recommend future Program Chairs to the Policy Council. It is responsible for overseeing and reviewing the performance of Program Committee members and the types and nature of sessions to be presented at the conference as well as the topic areas around which conferences are organized.” Motion passed by 3/5 vote (Policy Change).

  2. Bob Eberlein moved (Kim Warren seconded) to appoint to the SPOC the following members with their listed terms of membership:
    • Len Malczynski 2012-2012
    • Ed Anderson 2012-2012
    • Elke Husemann 2012-2013
    • David Ford 2012-2013
    • Robert Eberlein 2012-2014
    • Andreas Größler 2012-2104
    Motion passed

  3. Bob Eberlein moved (Len Malczynski seconded) Motion To adopt the ISDC Program Guidelines and ask that they be updated regularly and recorded at each Winter Policy Council Meeting with substantive changes requiring a vote of the PC for approval. Motion passed.

g. Motion for Formalization of Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Milling moved (Bob Eberlein seconded) that the PC adopt the following motion:

The Policy Council hereby formally recognizes the Lifetime Achievement Award as an official award of the System Dynamics Society, and directs the Jay W. Forrester Award Committee to manage evaluations and granting of the award.

The criteria for this award are:

  1. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors the substantial contribution of an individual to the development or application of the field of System Dynamics during his/her career.
  2. The award is to be given to a person who, despite this contribution, did not receive the Jay W. Forrester Award.
  3. The award is to be given towards the end of the person's professional career.
  4. In a particular year, the Lifetime Achievement Award is to be given in lieu of the Jay W. Forrester Award. (Although the committee need not give either award in a given year.)

Discussion of the motion: Markus asks why one person should not be eligible for JWF award and the lifetime achievement award. Peter answers that awards committee discussed this question extensively, but agreed to proposed the motion as stated.

Yaman suggests that JWF award criteria should be applied in a strict way, as an award for a single piece of research and that the JWF award contribution could not be used as part of the lifetime achievement evaluation.

David A asked if there would be a cash stipend. Peter M. said the committee was not recommending a cash award. It was asked why not, if the JWF award would not be awarded in same year. George R. noted that a recipient of this award is not likely to expect a cash stipend.

Rogelio expressed concern about constraint that we could not give out JWF and LTA in same year.

David L. noted the program implication of a timeslot for a talk from the recipient.

Motion passed.

h. David Ford announced that Slate of Candidates to take office on January 1, 2013 is ratified due to no objection:

  1. President-Elect: Ed Anderson
  2. Secretary: Brad Morrison (2013-2014 re-appointment)
  3. VP Meetings: Len Malczynski (2013-2015 new appointment)
  4. PC Members Inge Bleijenbergh, Paulo Gonçalves, Tim Taylor, Elise Weaver.

VIII. Additional Discussion about the Strategy Committee Report

Lees raised the question of when and where we should talk about strategy, and we spent some time on a Strategy Committee Report. David F. suggested that strategy committee tried to get a broad spectrum of people to participate, did not get much participation, and concluded that those who participated should try to keep moving forward. Kim said we got quite strong contribution to first part - what is vision for field, and quite strong contribution in terms of people expressing what success looks like. We got a lot of information about where we think we trying to bring the field by 2018. Kim extracted the implications of those views and possible implications for actions; however, there was very little response to Kim's first pass at trying to distill the ideas. Kim is uncomfortable that the existing set to recommendations is largely his views, so it is not clear about how best to move forward.

Aldo has organized a panel discussion to look at how the development funds provided were used. (Report online)

Aldo suggested that PC meeting should include an opportunity to present and get feedback, questions, etc.

Aldo commented on his experiences as participant who submitted input as part of the process. He said he participated but dropped the ball. He felt the feedback from the first phase was disappointing, that the work he put in had fell through the cracks, that there was not a wealth of information in the first round. He found much difficulty answering the questions in the second round The difficulty with round one is that it is an open ended set of questions. Round 2 really needs numbers or there is no real basis for strategy.

Kim noted that in round one was an open ended question, designed to be the least possible call on people's time. For quantitative questions, we were very much asking for guesses. Typically, answers clustered, but there were some outliers.

Most said over past five years, field has moved very little and desire that over next five years, we should be moving 3-5 times as fast.

For example, most respondents said that over the last 5 years we have moved very little if at all and over the next 5 years we need to move 3 times as fast, publishing 3 times as much, holding 3 times as many activities, achieving employment at 3 times current levels, and conducting 3 times as many executive training activities.

IX. Motion to Adjourn:

David Lane moved (Rogelio Oliva seconded) to adjourn the meeting. Motion passed.

Recorded by Secretary Brad Morrison.