The 38th International Conference of
the System Dynamics Society

Bergen, Norway ◊ July 19-23, 2020

"Hindsight in 2020: Learning from the Past to Inspire the Future"

We invite you to join us in Bergen, Norway for the 38th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. Our 2020 conference will honor the 20th anniversary of the 2000 Bergen conference and the long history of system dynamics in Norway, including as host of the inaugural 1976 conference. Whether you are new to the practice of system dynamics or already an expert, we welcome you to Bergen in 2020, where you may contribute your original work and learn from leaders in the field about the state of the art in system dynamics. Submissions are encouraged on all topics relating to the theory and practical application of system dynamics modeling.


The conference theme is “Hindsight in 2020: learning from the past to inspire the future.” The saying that “hindsight is 20/20” implies that it’s easy in retrospect to “see” why events unfolded as they did, but it’s much harder to accurately anticipate the outcome in advance. In the scientific practice of system dynamics, concern about such “hindsight bias” compels us to formalize behavioral expectations a priori, before testing dynamic hypotheses of feedback mechanisms, so that the value of a model for producing new insights can be established relative to these expectations. But after building models, subjecting them to rigorous analysis, and discovering robust model-based policies, a different and deeper kind of hindsight can develop over time. It is this kind of hindsight that we wish to hone in 2020, by asking how what we know now could inform the practice of system dynamics and inspire alternative models that address the challenges our society must face today and tomorrow.

In the spirit of this theme, the 2020 conference provides an opportunity to look back at prior models and their evolution in light of recent developments to see how they may inspire future directions for the next generation of models. We particularly encourage reflections on methodological developments related to system dynamics that have arisen thus far in the new millennium. Submissions oriented to the conference theme may offer fresh perspectives on contributors’ own prior work or other computational models that have been developed in system dynamics and related fields. Original contributions may be made by conducting new experiments with existing models, modifying those models to leverage advances in computational methods that have emerged in recent years, or demonstrating innovative model applications that address adaptability and robustness to context. By taking stock of the rich legacy of system dynamics, hindsight can help to build the collective memory of our system dynamics community and thereby inspire strategic directions for the field going forward.

Click here for the 2020 Call for Papers