Forrester's Views on Moving the Gordon Brown Fund to the Creative Learning Exchange

The following is for the System Dynamics Policy Council for action at the conference in Turkey.

At the March 11, 1997 meeting of the Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society, President Richardson appointed the following to consider the administration of the Gordon Brown Fund.
Jay Forrester
Jim Hines
Nan Lux
Mike Radzicki
Lees Stuntz
George Richardson

The committee is in general agreement that the Gordon Brown Fund should be transferred to the Creative Learning Exchange for handling the administrative aspects in the future.


The Fund was created by contributions from three donors who understood that distribution from the Fund would be handled by a committee consisting of Janet Gould, George Richardson, Barry Richmond, Nancy Roberts, and Jay Forrester, Chm. Donations were made to the System Dynamics Society as a vehicle for handling the accounting. Jack Pugh has been generous in handling the financial transactions.

However, Jack Pugh at the last Council meeting recommended transferring the Fund from the Society to the Creative Learning Exchange because of questions raised by his accountant for the Society.

At the last meeting of the Council, some members seemed to feel that the Council should actively intervene in managing the Fund, but that would be contrary to the understanding with the donors. With the Council membership rotating as it does, the history and practices of the Fund would be lost.

There has been some discussion that the Fund would help sustain a link between the K-12 community and the Society. However, the Fund does little for the relationship, while the education sessions that the Society conducts in the annual conferences, and the availability of the journal to K-12 do make a good connection.

The CLE has been very active and constructive in assisting with the Fund, and the Society has not been involved except for handling the finances. The CLE has the resources and motivation to work with schools in relation to the Fund. The CLE has an international mailing list of several thousand people interested in K-12 education and notices about the GSB Fund have gone out in the CLE quarterly newsletter. Lees Stuntz and the staff at CLE are in touch with the schools that are using system dynamics. They have contact with most of the people who might be candidates for assistance from the Fund.

The CLE does want to administer the Fund, and has gotten approval from their lawyers that it is appropriate to do so.

It appears that the Fund will be more successful if located at the Creative Learning Exchange, the Society will lose nothing substantial, and the cash flow problem identified by Jack Pugh will be solved.

Jay W. Forrester
Professor of Management, Emeritus
and Senior Lecturer, Sloan School
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Room E60-389
Cambridge, MA 02139
tel: 617-253-1571
fax: 617-252-1998

email: [email protected]