Conference FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society (ISDC)

1.       What is the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society? It is an annual event where people from all over the world interested in the practice of System Dynamics and systems thinking gather. Now in its 36th year, the conference appeals to audiences across industry and academia. The conference is held alternately in North America and Europe, with occasional appearances in Asia and the Pacific Rim. These conferences introduce newcomers to the field, keep practitioners aware of current developments, and provide unparalleled networking opportunities. Participants come from business, universities, K-12 education, not-for-profits, government, consulting, the healthcare sector, and beyond. Learn more:

2.       How many people usually attend the Conference? Between 450 and 600 people have attended in recent years.

3.       When and where is the next ISDC taking place? This year’s conference will take place at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík, Iceland, from August 6-10, 2018 (Monday-Friday).  
August 3-5 (Friday-Sunday): Pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School
August 6 (Monday): The System Dynamics Colloquium (included with ISDC registration fee, but please register separately), SIG Meetings, Policy Council Meeting, Newcomer Orientation
August 7 (Tuesday): Official Conference Opening
August 10 (Friday): Full Day of Workshops, Last Day of Conference

4.       What’s included in the conference registration fee? The conference registration fee includes three full days of sessions, the Poster Symposium Buffet on Tuesday evening, and the Stand-up Banquet and take-out dinner on Wednesday evening. Lunch and coffee/tea breaks are included on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Registration includes a full day of workshops on Friday (lunch on your own).
Read more about pre-conference events below. 

5.       Are there any pre-conference events this year? Yes. A 3-day System Dynamics summer school will be held August 3-5 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) at the conference venue. The summer school will be taught by an international team of System Dynamics professors and practitioners. Although summer school participants are not required to attend the conference, they are strongly advised to register for the conference. Learn more:
On Monday, August 6, there will be a full day System Dynamics Colloquium, bringing together System Dynamics students and giving them the opportunity to discuss their research in a constructive and enjoyable atmosphere together with senior system dynamicists. Lunch and coffee breaks are included. The event is included in the conference registration fee, however, you must complete a separate registration to attend the SD Colloquium. Learn more:

6.       Will there be an opening session at this year’s conference? The official opening of the conference is Tuesday, August 7. In addition, a special plenary session open to the public will take place on Wednesday, August 8.

7.       Is there a group discount for registration? No group discount is available.

8.       When do registration fees increase? On July 11, 2018, registration fees increase. They increase again on July 30. Learn more about key dates and deadlines: Register early!

9.       What is the registration cancellation policy? Any cancellation or change in conference or summer school registration must be submitted in writing to the Society office. Cancellations on or before July 11, 2018, are subject to a cancellation fee of 50%. Thereafter, no refund will be given; however, a registration may be transferred to a substitute participant. For more information regarding refund, complaint, and/or cancellation policies, please contact the Society office at 1 (518) 442-3865.

10.   I want to bring a guest to the conference. What can they attend? A guest of an attendee must purchase a Social Program ticket, which includes admission to: Poster Symposium Buffet on Tuesday evening, Stand-up Banquet and take-out dinner on Wednesday evening, and the Family-Guest Lounge, which offers a place for travel companions to meet and make plans to do fun things in and around the conference site. Learn more: 

11.   Must I present a paper at the conference to attend? Absolutely not! We welcome attendance by anyone who has an interest in System Dynamics and many attendees do not present.

12.   How do I submit a paper? Papers are accepted until March 28, 2018. Learn how to submit here: (SUBMISSIONS WINDOW CLOSED)

13.   How will I know if my paper was accepted? Acceptance notifications will be emailed to the contact author of record on May 29, 2018. A designated presenter must register (and pay) for the conference by June 20, 2018, for the paper to remain in the schedule.

14.   How can I obtain a letter of invitation (for international attendees seeking travel visas)? We enjoy welcoming attendees from around the globe to our conference. Invitations are issued to accepted authors, Society members, and paid registrants only. If you meet one or more of these conditions, please contact [email protected] for a letter of invitation.

15.   Is there funding available to help with travel/registration costs? There are a limited number of partial scholarships available. Those receiving scholarships will have their conference registration fee waived and USD$100 will be provided to put toward hotel and/or other local costs. We are sorry, but there is no funding available for travel, food or other expenses. To learn more and apply: 

16.   What is the best way to get to Reykjavík? There are three main airlines that have regular flights to and from Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport (KEF)Easyjet, Icelandair, and Wow Air. There are also a number of other airlines that have less frequent or chartered flights to Keflavík. It can be useful to use the Icelandic based flight search engine dohop to search airline companies serving your route.

Reykjavík is approximately a 45-minute drive from Keflavík International Airport. Iceland has no train services, so you can either take the bus, a taxi or rent a car to get to the city. A taxi can be picked up outside the main arrivals lounge. Learn more: 

17.   Are there hotel discounts available for conference attendees? Yes. Conference attendees can choose from a variety of hotels and hostels, many of which have offered a special discounted rate for the conference. (Deadlines for these rates are approaching quickly, make your reservations early for the best selection!) Learn more: 

18.   What is considered appropriate dress for the conference? Most attendees wear business casual attire during their time at the conference. The temperature is much cooler in Iceland with average daytime temps in August of 10-12°C (50-55°F). Dressing in layers is recommended. Additional traveler information and a "what to pack" guide can be found on the conference website.

19.   Are there special events for first-time attendees? There will be a Newcomer Orientation on Monday, August 6.

20.   I am looking for a new job. Can I connect with potential employers? Yes. Red badge ribbons connect job-seekers with potential employers. Anyone who would like to be identified as having job-finding resources or job opportunities will wear a red badge ribbon. Ribbon-wearers are willing and prepared to spend time helping out job-seekers. This is about networking and providing guidance and support to job-seekers, and is not a formal job fair.

21.   When will the conference schedule be available? The tentative program schedule will be available June 27, 2018. See other deadlines and key dates:
22.   How do I become an exhibitor or sponsor? Visit the Conference Sponsor web page to see a list of current sponsors. To see the benefits of sponsorship (including exhibiting) and the available levels visit the Sponsor Benefits page. There are many opportunities to support the conference at varying levels of sponsorship. Please contact Roberta Spencer at [email protected] to find out more about how to become a sponsor and how to exhibit at the conference.

23.   Are there awards given at the conference? Can I nominate my paper for any awards? The Jay W. Forrester Award is given annually at the conference to the best publication in System Dynamics during the previous five years. The Dana Meadows Award is given to outstanding papers authored by students that are presented at the conference. The Lupina Young Researchers Award is given to outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics, authored by students or recent (past 5 years) graduates presented at the conference. The Barry Richmond Scholarship Award is presented annually to a deserving Systems Thinking or System Dynamics practitioner whose work demonstrates a desire to expand the field or to apply it to current social issues. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes people for making a significant contribution to a field or a practice over an extended period of time. The System Dynamics Applications Award is presented by the Society for the best “real world” application of System Dynamics. The System Dynamics Society Outstanding Service Award recognizes individuals that have, on a volunteer basis, made exceptional contributions to the Society over an extended period of time. 
Learn more about the awards listed above, please visit:  

24.   How can I connect with other attendees via social media? Please follow the Society on Twitter and use the hashtag #ISDC18 to tweet about the conference. Please also join our Facebook event page and follow us on LinkedIn.

25.   Is wireless internet available at the conference? Yes, complimentary wireless internet access on campus has been arranged by the Society. For participants with eduroam access: The University of Iceland recommends using eduroam to connect to university WiFi.

26.   I am looking to show off my model in a small group situation, is that possibleThe Model Expo offers an opportunity to show your model to others and let them interact with it. It is a chance to talk to people about how your model works, get feedback, or just show off. Learn more:

27.   I may also want some one-on-one help with my model, is that possible? Modeling Assistance Workshop sessions offer one-on-one coaching for participants seeking assistance. Questions may relate to a model that you are thinking, studying, or developing. Learn how to sign up:

 28.   I am interested in publishing my work, is there guidance availableAt the Publishing Assistance Workshop, expert mentors will be available to offer guidance aimed at navigating the publishing process for those puzzled about how to get their System Dynamics research and applications papers published. Learn more: 

Check out the Reykjavík Survival Guide for great travel tips!