A Resolution for the Improvement of Content at System Dynamics Conferences

David Ford

Policy Council Meeting
Summer, 1997

WHEREAS, a primary purpose of the System Dynamics Society ("the Society") is the development of system dynamics in rigor, quality and breadth of application,

AND WHEREAS the conferences sponsored by the Society are a primary means of promoting this development,

AND WHEREAS, different tools and methods which can be a part of the Society's conferences fulfill these different objectives unequally well. For example system dynamics work which increases the rigor and quality of the methodology and benefits the system dynamics community by increasing the explanatory capacity and acceptability of system dynamics is facilitated by rigorous peer review, iterative improvement and the documentation and maintenance in a permanent and available form of only rigorous system dynamics work. And for example expanding the breadth of application of system dynamics is facilitated by the presentation of work which is preliminary, speculative and exploratory and can benefit the system dynamics community through its promotional, pedagogical or controversial nature.

AND WHEREAS the Society seeks to improve the quality of system dynamics work while not constraining growth in the breadth of application of system dynamics through the Society's conference,

THEREFORE RESOLVED the System Dynamics Society will include the following in the responsibilities of the director of system dynamics conferences:


  1. Incorporate into the conference structure presentation, documentation and communication means and formats which facilitate, encourage, reward and promote the development and presentation of rigorous system dynamics work. A few examples of the many possible means and formats include rigorous review of full paper submissions to make conference proceedings publication a valuable step toward journal publication, awards for quality system dynamics work in different sub-domains, "automatic" or facilitated submission of plenary papers to the System Dynamics Review, different length papers in proceedings based on quality, an annual "Best of System Dynamics [year]" issue of System Dynamics Review based on the best plenary papers and awards for best conference presentations at the final conference meeting based on conference attendee voting.


  2. Document as a permanent record of the conference only examples of good system dynamics work presented at the conference based on peer review.


  3. Incorporate into the conference structure means and formats which facilitate and encourage the presentation of a broad spectrum of system dynamics material and methods at a variety of levels of development. A few examples of the many possible means and formats include poster sessions, panel discussions, system dynamics-based research experiments, simulated system dynamics-based consultations, facilitated team-based modelling exercises, talks by speakers currently outside the system dynamics community, training sessions, abstracts which are not part of permanent conference documentation, management flight simulator and debrief demonstrations, parallel session talks and plenary talks.