Proposal to Institute a System Dynamics Applications Award


System Dynamics Society Policy Council



Alan Graham, John Morecroft


January 27, 2005

Why do we need another award?

There is a dearth of tangible, readable and readily-available case studies of real application with real results

There is very low participation of SD end-users at the conference

Forrester Awards are dominated by teaching and research works—relatively few “real stories with happy endings”

What’s the award itself?

Modeled after the Edelman Applications Award of the INFORMS Society (and otherwise generally following the practices of other SDS awards)

For now, just a certificate presented at SD conference

Winner presents at SD conference plenary session (either published paper or presentation of unpublished paper).  Fit of the awards presentations with the conference and allocation of plenary spots should be the topic of ongoing strategizing by the award committees in consultation with the conference organizers. 

Expectation of submitting talk / paper to System Dynamics Review

Initially awarded biannually, until market research or submissions demonstrate a flow of paper production large enough to sustain annual awards, and possibly announcement and recognition of finalists as well

What are the award criteria?

Most important:  Demonstrating measurable benefit to an organization through the use of SD, written for an end-user (of SD) audience

Much less important:  New learnings that improve the art of applying SD, relating work to existing SD literature, relating work to other disciplines

What papers are eligible?


Self- or other-nominated

If published, within 7 years of submission deadline

Report work done within 10 years of submission deadline

At least one named author employed (at the time of the work) by the company or organization whose performance from the SD work

Has not won or been an announced finalist for a previous award from the System Dynamics Society

Who judges the papers?

A separate awards committee of 8 members

At least 5 members with significant careers in non-academic application (examples: Alan Graham, Jack Homer, Jim Lyneis, Mark Paich; others from overseas)

Preferably 2 members sitting on or at least experienced with other SDS awards (examples:  Jac Vennix, David Andersen)

Staggered 5-year terms, new members chosen by present applications award committee, approved by (overall) awards committee

Initial committee and terms chosen by Alan Graham (first Applications Award chair) and John Morecroft (chair, JWF Awards Committee), approved by (overall) JWF awards committee

Given that committee members must recuse themselves if they have submitted a paper, it is expected that they will exercise restraint in submissions, particularly during the last two years of their term.


Announce award process at Boston SD conference

PA can undertake a mail campaign to attend Applications Track at conference

If awarded in advance, Featured Speakers could be added to conference publicity

Announcements in relevant journals

Added into ongoing SDS publicity

Extreme conditions

If no good papers are nominated, the committee may not make the award

Submitted papers, including the fact of submission, will be under non-disclosure by committee members unless actually announced as winner or finalist