Minutes of the Meeting of the Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society

21 August 1997

Istanbul, Turkey

In Attendance.


Yaman Barlas (President Elect), John D. W. Morecroft (Past President), Alexander L. Pugh, III (Vice President - Finance), Michael J. Radzicki (Secretary), George P. Richardson (President)

Policy Council:

David F. Andersen, Robert Eberlein, Saburo Kameyama, Frank Maier, Michiya Morita, Graham Winch, Showing Young


Deborah Andersen, Paal Davidsen, David Ford, Raymond Harbridge, Peter Milling, Julie Pugh, Santanu Roy, Habib Sedehi, Roberta L. Spencer (Executive Director)

1. Call to Order.

The meeting was called to order at 5:44 PM by President Richardson.

2. Informational Items.


Chapter Reports.


Italian Chapter. Habib Sedehi reported that the Italian Chapter hopes to host the 2004 conference in Rome, Palermo, or Milan. He also requested that he be allowed to help in the planning of one of the Society's conferences so that he can gain some experience prior to 2004.


Indian Chapter. Santanu Roy reported that the System Dynamics Society of India hosted a national conference in Bangalore last year and that system dynamics is growing steadily in Indian universities and firms.


Chinese Chapter. Quifan Wang reported that the Chinese Chapter is active and growing. A copy of the Chinese Chapter's written report is available on this web site.


Report of the Vice President - Finance: Jack Pugh reported that, once again, the financial position of the Society is strong. He handed out and summarized a financial report that he had prepared for the Council. The main highlight of the report is that, under the cash method of accounting, the Society incurred an $8,700 loss during the fiscal year. Under the accrual method of accounting, however, the Society realized a $55,000 excess of revenues over costs during the fiscal year. The cash basis loss was incurred because the Society paid for the 1997 operation of its principal office during the 1996 fiscal year, and because the revenue from the 1996 conference was posted to the Society's books in 1997. The cash method was used to create the financial report for tax purposes. Pugh pointed out that this accounting technique is perfectly legal and conforms to generally accepted accounting principles.

3. Action Items.


Proposal to Host the 1999 Conference. Raymond Harbridge, Director of the Graduate School of Business & Government Management at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, put forth a proposal to host the 1999 system dynamics conference. Highlights of his proposal include:


1999 will be Victoria University's centennial year.


Wellington has a population of 350,000.


July is winter in New Zealand, but the winters there are not severe.


Travel to Wellington and the university is quite easy.


Hotel venues and university venues are both possible.


Golf, fishing, and wineries are attractions close to the university.


The budget is based on 150 attendees, 50 spouses, and a US$300.00 conference fee.


As New Zealand is the first nation in the world to see the sun each day and hence will be the first nation to welcome in the new millenium, the theme of the conference will be "Reflections on the Second Millenium: A Way Forward to the Third."

After Harbridge's presentation Graham Winch moved and Frank Maier seconded a motion that "the Graduate School of Business & Government Management at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand be awarded the 1999 system dynamics conference."

A discussion of the motion the ensued. The two main points made by the discussants were that:


Awarding the conference to New Zealand, instead of to a North American site, would prevent the conference from being held, on average, every other year in North America, which is a Society policy. This is because the 2000 conference has already been awarded to the University of Bergen, Norway.


There is currently no other proposal to host the conference on the table and the New Zealand proposal is very well done.

After substantial discussion, the issue was temporarily resolved when Jack Pugh moved and Bob Eberlein seconded a motion to: "table the motion to award the 1999 conference to New Zealand." The motion passed five to one.

President Richardson asked Harbridge when he had to know who had been awarded the 1999 conference. Harbridge said that October 1, 1997 was his deadline. Richardson promised that the Council would untable the motion, discuss it over the internet, vote on it, and inform Harbridge, prior to the October 1, 1997 deadline.


1999 Slate of Candidates. Past President John Morecroft announced that the Nominating Committee had arrived at a 1999 slate of candidates and a slate of candidates to replace Society officers who had recently resigned.

In terms of replacement officers, John Morecroft moved and Jack Pugh seconded a motion that: "David Andersen replace Jack Pugh as Vice President - Finance (1996-1998) and Bob Eberlein replace Geoff Coyle as Vice President - Meetings (1998-2000)." The motion passed unanimously.

Again, in terms of replacement officers, John Morecroft moved and Bob Eberlein seconded a motion that: "Eric Wolstenholme replace David Lane as Vice President - Publications (1997-1999)." A short discussion followed this motion. John Morecroft pointed out that Wolstenholme was somewhat hesitant about accepting the job, due to a perceived lack of appreciation by the Council of his efforts in the past. President Richardson asked Morecroft to convey to Wolstenholme the Society's sincere thanks for his past contributions. A vote was then taken and the motion passed.

In terms of the 1999 slate of candidates, John Morecroft moved and Jack Pugh seconded a motion that: "Jac A. M. Vennix be nominated as President-Elect (1999), David F. Andersen be nominated as Vice President - Finance (1999-2001), Nan Lux be nominated as Vice President - Membership and Chapter Activities (1999-2001), and Jack Homer (USA), Paul Langley (UK), Rogelio Oliva (Mexico/USA), and Ginny Wiley (USA), be nominated to the Policy Council (1999-2001)." The motion passed.

Again in terms of the 1999 slate of candidates, John Morecroft moved and Bob Eberlein seconded a motion that: "Mike Radzicki be nominated as Secretary (1999-2000). The motion passed.

4. Discussion Items.


Comments by the Editor of the System Dynamics Review. Graham Winch made the following comments about the Report of the Vice President - Publications, the role of the editor of the System Dynamics Review, and the current operation of the System Dynamics Review:


Winch extended a sincere thank you to Paal Davidsen, Andy Ford, Joel Rahn, and Jac Vennix for their editorial assistance during the past year.


Winch intends to expand the number of associate editors of the Review during the next year. He would like Policy Council members to nominate appropriate people.


Winch feels that the responsibility of selecting associate editors for the Review belongs to the editor, not the Vice President - Publications.


The format of the System Dynamics Review has been changed because John Wiley and Sons will soon make current and (selected) back issues available via the web. The format change was not made so that the Review would conform to the style of Wiley's other journals.


The Archives Section of the System Dynamics Review has been discontinued. Thus Section 1.1 of the Report of the Vice President - Publications is invalid.


John Wiley and Sons' plan to place abstracts and articles from the System Dynamics Review on the web invalidates Section 1.2 of the Report of the Vice President - Publications.

In response to Winch's last comment, George Richardson pointed out that an electronic version of the journal is an issue for the Publications Committee.


Clarification of the Role of the Vice President - Publications. Graham Winch asked that the role of the Vice President - Publications be clarified. Due to time limitations, President Richardson asked that this discussion be postponed until a later date.


Society's Electronic Presence. Due to time limitations, President Richardson asked that this discussion be postponed until a later date. Paal Davidsen suggested that the committee charged with investigating this issue (Paal Davidsen, Mike Radzicki, Bob Eberlein, and George Richardson) should hold some email conversations and craft a report, before the Policy Council discusses the matter.

5. Adjournment.

Bob Eberlein moved and Jack Pugh seconded a motion to adjourn. The motion passed and the meeting was adjourned at 6:51 PM.

Respectfully submitted.

Michael J. Radzicki