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 Subject : SD Summer School.. 01/25/2019 10:15:36 AM 
Mr. Leonard Malczynski
Posts: 50
Since 2014 there has been a Summer School the week before the annual international conference.

The idea was championed and realized by Erik Pruyt at Delft Technical University in 2014. Erik was instrumental in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018. The school has had different instructors and topics over those five years and has been a 3 or 4 day event. Typically these is a Beginner/Introductory track and an Intermediate or Advanced track.

Very few know that the Summer School is the result of volunteer effort in the location it takes place and instructors from many institutions. In the past the local organizers and participants have included system dynamicists at Delft, WPI, MIT, and the University of Iceland.

The SD Society has helped by collecting the registration fee and providing web pages - the Summer School is not sponsored by the Society nor is it part of the annual international conference. It is purely the result of dedicated volunteers and instructors and speakers.

Now, in 2019, this year's volunteers and the Society leadership are reviewing this arrangement. An ad hoc committee, appointed by the Society President, looked at what was done from 2014 to 2017 in June of 2018.

I would like to start a discussion on the Summer School. Here are some questions to get you thinking and commenting:

1. Should the Society sponsor the Summer School? Sponsorship can help with logistics, financial risk, promotion, etc.
2. Should Summer School continue to be run by volunteers, knowing that in some years there will be no Summer School due to lack of volunteers?
3. Should instructors and volunteers be paid for their time? Currently only housing and meals costs are paid to the instructors and speakers.
4. Should the curriculum be standardized? This is starting to happen for the Introductory/Beginner track and some efforts are being made in the Intermediate track. Who might be involved in standardizing the content?
5. Should Summer School be independent of the annual conference? In some years Summer School attendees get a discount if they also attend the conference.
6. Do you have comments, criticisms, ideas for the Summer School?

There are some very dedicated volunteers who have contributed hundreds of hours to the Summer School since 2014. Let's support their efforts with some thoughtful discussion.

P.S. I have been proud to have participated in the Summer School in 2014, 15, 16, 17, and now 2019. Thanks Erik for the idea and all your efforts!
 Subject : Re:SD Summer School.. 01/25/2019 04:56:18 PM 
Babak Bahaddin
Posts: 1
Hello Len,

It has been my pleasure for being able to work at the Society in the past few years. Based on my observation, our Society has always tried to embrace good ideas such as Summer School and Colloquium. However, one big barrier for the Society to have more contribution is its limited resources. That is why we depend on volunteers for these programs.

To me, the question is NOT whether the Society SHOULD sponsor the Summer School. The question is whether the Society CAN sponsor it. How are we going to provide resources needed for this extra piece? Are we going to raise the membership fees? Are we going to increase the registration fees? Are members and attendees going to be happy with these decisions? How does it affect the number of members and attendees?

 Subject : Re:SD Summer School.. 01/27/2019 02:50:24 PM 
Eliot Rich
Posts: 16
Location: Albany, NY, USA

Len, thanks for bringing this to the general membership. Having seen the excitement in the eyes of the attendees of past summer school programs, I believe that this is an important point of engagement for upcoming scholars. I am very grateful to those who spent untold and under-appreciated time creating and teaching them.

Summer school is an important point for dissemination of our ideas and skill sets. Thus some degree of standardization and consistency is important. It's also likely that our participants will take their lessons home with them, so they become disseminators as well. So we should make it easy for them to do it.

Finally, as a concrete activity of the Society, it will be easier to gain charitable contributions to support its development and delivery. The Society does not need to underwrite the entire cost of the program, and has not in the past.

It would be very helpful to hear from more members, particularly those who are either recent participants or who would like to help develop a program that can be re-used and leveraged in their own locations.


Eliot Rich
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