Minutes of the General Business Meeting Of the

System Dynamics Society

23 July 2003

Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, NY

Draft 26 August 2003

In Attendance


Paal Davidsen (President), Robert Eberlein (President Elect), James Hines (Past President), Jay Forrester (Founding President), David Packer (Secretary), David Andersen (Vice President--Finance), John Morecroft (Vice President—Publications), Ginny Wiley (Vice President--Members and Chapters), James Lyneis (Vice President--Meetings),

Members:  Approximately 40 members of the Society

Call to Order

President Paal Davidsen called the meeting to order at 5:10pm.

Agenda Items

Minutes: Dave Packer.  The minutes of 31 July 2002 Society Business Meeting held at Palermo, Italy were approved without modification.

Executive Director’s Report: Roberta Spencer reported on the health of the Society, as documented in her written annual report.  Highlights were that over 400 people attended this conference, that the Society has 844 members, and that financial stresses are an important issue.  She also appealed for volunteer effort to review the bibliography on the web for quality issues.

Chapter Reports: Ginny Wiley, VP Member and Chapters reported on the state of Chapters.  The Society now has eleven chapters and two Special Interest Groups SIGs), with interest expressed for four additional chapters and three Special Interest Groups.

Chapters reporting on their affairs were the Japan Chapter, the UK Chapter, the Australasia Chapter, and the Brazil Chapter (welcomed as the most recent addition by a standing ovation).

SIGs reporting on their status were the Education SIG (the former Higher Education SIG with a charter broadened to include all education), and the Environmental Dynamics SIG.

Report of the Vice-President Finance: David Andersen reviewed the Society’s financial position and the stresses stemming from a significant loss in 2002, mostly related to the Palermo Conference.  He noted that the budget for 2004 contains a dues increase, approved by the Policy Council, and that this increase will be structured to favor lower income members and contain a greater increase for those with higher incomes.  A subcommittee of the Policy Council (David Andersen, Yaman Barlas, and Jack Pugh) is working the specifics.

Report of the Vice-President Meetings: Jim Lyneis noted that the 2004 conference would be at Keble College, Oxford University, UK.  The specific location for the 2005 conference will likely be in New England, and location guidelines and strategy for future conferences are being developed.  There has been extensive Policy Council discussion of various conference issues.

Report of the Vice-President Publications: No report was given, but Paal Davidson announced that this position is open, as John Morecroft is stepping down.  Paal requested that suggestions for candidates be given to him, as he will appoint someone for the interim term.

Report of the Awards Committee: John Morecroft reviewed the status of the Jay Forrester and Dana Meadows (student) awards.  The student prize attracted thirty-one candidates this year, and shows healthy signs of increasing interest.  He noted that concerns about the requirements for the student award, specifically the requirement for conference attendance, which may exclude a set of candidates, will be reviewed during the year, and likely changes made for the next year.

Report of the President: Paal Davidson asked George Richardson to read a letter to Diane Taylor, who is retiring from her position with John Wiley supporting the Society.  The letter conveyed our thanks and appreciation for the work she has done over the years.

Paal reviewed the nominations announced earlier and accepted for new officers and Policy Council members.  They are President Elect: Graham Winch (2004), VP Meetings: Jim Lyneis (2004 – 2006), VP At Large: Bob Cavana (2004 – 2006) and Policy Council members Allen Boorstein, David Exelby, Tim Haslett, and Gianliborio Marrone (2004 – 2006).

He also announced the members of the Nominating Committee that he will chair as outgoing President.  They are Graham Winch, Paal Davidson, Carmine Bianchi, Kim Warren and Paulo Gonzales.

Paal also briefly reviewed the actions being taken to develop site selection principles for conferences and conference structure.  Bob Eberlein noted that the concept of conference threads and thread chairs is an important move for quality, continuity, and reduction of headquarters work. 

In open discussion, it was also noted that Bob Cavana is working the issue of free issues from Wiley.   A suggestion was made that the Society needs a way of giving people the opportunity to donate to help alleviate financial stresses.

There being no further business a motion to adjourn was approved unanimously at 5:55pm

Respectfully Submitted,

David W. Packer


26 August 2003

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