News Archives 2017


Cambridge Conference Presentations (July 12, 2017)


The Security thread investigates issues related to security including defense, conflict, military, insurgency and counterinsurgency, social unrest, disaster management, crime, policing, and incarceration. The Security thread will featured a presentation by Ignacio Martinez-Moyano on his plenary paper, Modeling Aviation Security. The Security thread will also feature five posters under the topic of Conflict, Defense, and Security. A meeting has been scheduled for the Conflict, Defense and Security SIG.
The Stakeholder Engagement thread is focused on engaging and influencing stakeholders through participatory activities such as group model building, facilitation, facilitated modeling, games, and management flight simulators with emphasis on assessing the impact of the engagement. The thread includes the presentation of six posters and two scheduled workshops: A Decision Lab for Wicked Multi-stakeholder Problems and Exploring the Benefits of an Online Group Model Building Case Study Database.
The Strategy thread involves the development, communication, and implementation of strategy, including strategic thinking, goal definition, and outcome measures for public and private organizations. The Strategy thread features three parallels under the topic of Dynamics of Strategy and four poster presentations.

A complete list of the presentations, authors, and workshops at the Cambridge Conference can be accessed on the Society’s website in the Draft Program Overview.

Article Investigates Impact of Low-Carbon Policy on Future Endogenous Electricity Demand (July 10, 2017)


The Energy Policy journal recently published the article “A dynamic simulation of low-carbon policy influences on endogenous electricity demand in an isolated island system,” by Co-Representative of the Energy SIG, George Matthew and Society Member William Nuttall, along with their colleagues Ben Mestel and Lawrence Dooley. In the abstract, the authors state “This paper considers the dynamics of electricity demand in response to changes arising from low-carbon policies and socio-economic developments. As part of an investigation into the evolution of such systems on small economically-developed islands, endogenous electricity demand and associated policies are studied for the Azorean island of São Miguel. A comprehensive System Dynamics (SD) model covering the period 2005 − 2050 is presented which captures both historical behaviours and real-world influences on the endogenous demand dynamics of an island-based electricity system.” The full article can be read on the Science Direct website.

Resources Thread at the Cambridge System Dynamics Conference (July 10, 2017)


In the Resources thread, presentations relate to the understanding and management of resources, including energy, electricity, fuels, food, metals and other renewable and nonrenewable resources. Plenary papers presented in the Resources thread include: Impact Model for US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency, by Robert Nachtrieb, David Fridley, Wei Feng, Nihan Karali, Nina Khanna, Nan Zhou, Carolyn Szum, and Jimmy Tran; and Simulating the long-term or the short-term? Dare we do both?: Lessons from Policy Simulations in the Electric Power Industry, by Andrew Ford. The Resources thread also has six scheduled parallel presentations under the topics of Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability and Innovations in Energy Dynamics and ten poster presentations. The two workshops in the resources thread are Technical issues in modeling of energy and water problems and Creating Interactive Simulations Online with Forio Epicenter. The Energy Special Interest Group Annual Meeting and Roundtable has been scheduled in the Resources thread. Please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule for a complete list of the presentations, authors, and workshops at the Cambridge Conference.

Logo of Greenwood Strategic Advisors with sketch of treesGreenwood Strategic Advisors’ Simulator Used By Greater London Authority (July 6, 2017)


According to, “The Greater London Authority (GLA) is seeking input from computer-simulation experts to help it better understand how the city operates “as a system of interconnected systems”.” The GLA “has determined…. that system dynamics can improve its understanding of London in this high-level, strategic way, and assist with investment appraisal and evaluation, and strategy and policy development.” Conference sponsor, Greenwood Strategic Advisors, developed a simulator that was used in the initial part of the project and “will be invited to respond to the notice,” to further develop the original simulation “to complement – not replace – the GLA’s other existing models.”
Andreas Harbig, CEO of Greenwood Strategic Advisors, explains, “This is a watershed event in a 2-year co-creation process by Greenwood, the Greater London Authority, and the city of Boston. We’ve collaborated in developing and implementing a generic dynamic simulation platform that’s quickly adaptable to any city’s particular circumstances and issues. There will be more and bigger news to come regarding investments in sustainable growth in Greater London and other cities.” In describing the evidence of the power and value of System Dynamics in relation to this milestone project, Craig Stephens, Deputy CEO at Greenwood Strategic Advisors, lists three key elements, “1) Tackling a large systemic societal problem, as Jay Forrester urged us to do; in this instance the sustainability of cities and their financing; 2) SD-based products that are accessible to decision makers, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders, and scalable for repeat application; and 3) Substantial ongoing investment in developing underlying technology, SD-based products, and the city and investment markets.” More details can be found at

Logo of ISDC 2017Presentations at the Cambridge System Dynamics Conference (July 5, 2017)


Among the fourteen threads at the ISDC are the Operations thread and the Public Policy thread.
In the Operations thread, business and other process operations, including capacity management, quality control, operations management, supply chains, workflow, queuing, and workforce planning, are discussed. There are three parallel presentations featured under the topic of Financial Networks and Operations Management. The Operations thread also has seven poster sessions scheduled.

Issues in public policy including governance, social welfare, equity, justice, political science, urban dynamics, infrastructure, and transportation, are explored in the Public Policy thread. The Public Policy thread has six parallel presentations. These presentations are divided into the two topics of Models Informing Transport Policy (a Transportation SIG Special Session) and Infrastructure. Eleven poster sessions are scheduled in the Public Policy Thread, as well as a meeting for the Transportation SIG. Please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule for a complete list of the presentations, authors, and workshops at the Cambridge Conference.

Methodology Thread at the ISDC17 (July 3, 2017)


Contributions to the methodology of System Dynamics, modeling and simulation including model development, model analysis, validation, graphical presentation formats, and computational techniques, are presented in the Methodology thread. In this thread, Thomas Fiddaman and Larry Yeager will present their paper titled Dynamic cohorts: a new approach to managing detail. Also within the Methodology thread, PJ Lamberson will present Approximating Network Dynamics in Compartmental System Dynamics Models. There are also five parallel presentations in the Methodology thread under the two topics of Methodology and Integrating Perspectives. In addition, the Methodology thread features eight poster presentations, and four workshops, one of which is a two part session. Please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule for a complete list of the presentations, authors, and workshops at the Cambridge Conference.

Article on Climate Change Exercise Featured on Ars Technica (July 3, 2017)


A mock climate negotiation exercise held at MIT’s Sloan School of Management was the subject of a recent article by Scott K. Johnson, titled “Fake climate negotiations produce real impacts,” on the Ars Technica website. The climate exercise, led by MIT’s John Sterman, Climate Interactive’s Andrew Jones and University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Juliette Rooney-Varga, gave a group of people taking a System Dynamics course at the MIT Sloan School the opportunity to simulate how their policy choices would affect climate change. With President Drumpf’s announcement of pulling out of the Paris agreement, this particular exercise was the first to include a new group among the nations: US cities and states that remained dedicated to do their part to reduce emissions. This climate model has been used by over 35,000 people and is successful in increasing knowledge, creating a greater sense of urgency and promoting action. Presenting the facilitator’s thoughts on the impact of the exercise, Johnson writes “Those three things are linked in an interesting way, Rooney-Varga explained. It doesn’t appear to be the new knowledge that drives action, but the emotional sense of urgency. The social, personal experience has an emotional angle that is unlike simply reading an article. We are typically presented with a picture painted by scientists, which we can either accept or reject, Jones pointed out. But in a simulation like this, you are basically handed a tool and given the chance to work out the lesson for yourself.” Please read the full articleon the Ars Technica website to learn more about the climate negotiation exercise.

A related workshop “World Energy and En-ROADS Training” will be offered at this year’s conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts on July 20 from 8.30 AM to Noon. The Climate Interactive team will train participants in how to lead the workshop effectively. The workshop is organized into four sessions: Play World Energy; Complete World Energy, Debrief, and Introduction to Facilitation; Advanced World Energy facilitation techniques, En-ROADS structure and dynamics, and Planning your World Energy event; and Informal discussion. (Attendance of all four sessions is not required.) Please visit the website to register.

Learning and Teaching Thread at the ISDC17 (June 29, 2017)


The Learning and Teaching thread deals with the manner in which system skills are taught and learned including pedagogy, learning experiments, curriculum development, workshop design and interactive activities designed to be part of an educational experience. The three plenary papers in the Learning and Teaching thread are: Chinese students’ mathematical knowledge beats their domain experience and global cognitive styles in stock-and-flow problems, by Liang Qi and Cleotilde Gonzalez; The Attempt to Boost Stock Flow Performance by Using a General Problem Solving Strategy and a Reappearing Gender Effect, by Vivien Roeder; and Potential benefits of using a causal loop diagram in group model building: Evidence from a systematic investigation, by Marleen McCardle-Keurentjes, Etiënne Rouwette, and Jac Vennix. The Learning and Teaching thread also has two parallel presentations related to the topic of Innovative Teaching Approaches, and seven poster sessions. A special feature within the Learning and Teaching thread is the DynamiQueST Exhibit, showcased Monday through Wednesday. There are also five workshops scheduled in this thread and the meeting titled, “What’s Happening in Pre-College Education in the United States.” Please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule for a complete list of the presentations, authors, and workshops at the Cambridge Conference.

Spalsh LogoNews from the Creative Learning Exchange and BTN (June 27, 2017)


Splash! is a new mobile app being developed through a collaboration between BTN and the Creative Learning Exchange. Designed with beginners in mind, the new software will make the important critical thinking skills of systems thinking and System Dynamics more accessible to both students and teachers. The CLE website features an introductory video demonstration as well as examples of the modeling software in use. A Crowd Fundraiser for the first version of Splash! started on Monday, June 26. Learn more about investing in Splash! on their fundraising page.

Presentations at the Cambridge System Dynamics Conference (June 27, 2017)


Plenary, parallel and poster presentations at the Cambridge Conference are divided into threads by topics. Two of the threads featured this year are the Human Behavior thread and the Information and Knowledge thread. The dynamics of human behavior in the social environments of families, communities, organizations, culture, and society, including individual and social psychology, are covered in the Human Behavior thread. The Human Behavior thread features four poster presentations. The annual meeting for the Psychology and Human Behavior SIG as well as the workshop titled Modeling Psychological and Sociological Dynamics, are also scheduled in this thread.

Information and Knowledge thread presentations relate to the dynamics of information and knowledge including knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research and development, invention, and innovation. Under the topic of Security, Information, and Knowledge Dynamics, there will be three parallel presentations. The thread also includes five poster presentations and the workshop Feedback Rich Model Construction with Powersim Studio.
For a complete list of the presentations and authors, including abstracts, please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule.

Society Members Contribute Chapter to The Handbook of Behavioral Operations (June 23, 2017)


Society members Rogelio Oliva and Brad Morrison have contributed a chapter to The Handbook of Behavioral Operations. The book, edited by K. Donohue, E. Katok, and S. Leider, is set to be published in the Spring of 2018. In the chapter titled “Integration of behavioral and operational elements through System Dynamics,” Rogelio and Brad explain the use of System Dynamics to integrate operations management and behavioral sciences. The authors state, “At its core, system dynamics develops process-based theories that explicitly examine the interactions between the physical and institutional structures of operational systems and the behavioral decision rules of the agents in those systems. We first describe the system dynamics perspective on decision-making in dynamic environments. We then present a set of guiding principles to formulate behavioral decision making and describe the methods used by system dynamists to gather data to formulate those decision rules.” The full text of their chapter can be accessed on the ResearchGate website.

New Additions to 2017 Cambridge Conference Sponsor List (June 23, 2017)


As the conference date approaches, we continue to add new organizations to our list of generous Conference Sponsors. Late in March we acknowledged quite a large list of sponsors, and now we are pleased to report that we have gained the support of eleven more organizations! Thank you to Credit Human for their Supporting level sponsorship, and to Sandia National LaboratoriesWiley and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for their sponsorship at the Exhibitor level. We would also like to express our gratitude to Widyatama University, for their participation as a Welcome Reception Co-Host at the Cambridge Conference. Thank you to PwC for sponsoring the System Dynamics Summer School. A special thank you goes out to Uncommon Catalyst (and the BSIG), our Video Production Sponsor. Many thanks to Brothers All NaturalEVER Bar, and Primal Kitchen, our new Snack Sponsors. Thank you to all of our sponsors for paving the way to a successful 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society! Please visit the Society’s website to see a complete list of Conference Sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring the Conference, contact the Society’s office at 518-442-3865.

Recipient of System Science Scholarship to Present Poster at ISDC17 (June 23, 2017)


AcademyHealth is the leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this important work. Society member Nasser Sharareh has been selected by AcademyHealth to receive a Systems Science Scholarship, with generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The scholarship provides a unique opportunity to introduce systems science methods to the health services research (HSR) community and to foster collaboration and engagement between scholars and stakeholders in HSR. He was selected from a very competitive pool of his peers because he demonstrated expertise in systems science methods, understanding of how systems science might be used to advance population health, and interest in collaborating with the HSR community.

Nasser’s presentation is “A System Dynamics Approach to Modeling Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Receipt” in which he will explain the SD methodology and its applications in health systems. His work is under review by the Journal of Vaccine, and he will present a poster of that in 2017 System Dynamics Conference. If you are interested in learning more about Nasser’s work, please plan on attending the Monday evening poster session at the conference. See the Tentative Schedule for dates and times of all conference presentations.

Interview with Society Member Nelson Repenning Published in Inc.(June 21, 2017)


An interview with Society member Nelson Repenning was featured in the article “There’s One Question You Must Ask Before Solving Any Problem (It’s Also the Most Underrated Management Skill)” by Theodore Kinni, on the website of Inc. The interview focuses on a recent article in the Sloan Management Review, written by Nelson Repenning, along with fellow Society member Todd Astor and colleague Don Kieffer, titled “The Most Underrated Skill in Management.” Nelson, an MIT Sloan School of Management Distinguished Professor of Systems Dynamics and Organizational Studies and chief social scientist at ShiftGear Work Design, explains this underrated skill of formulating problem statements through the course of the interview. He discusses the importance of problem statements, key elements of a problem statement, and common mistakes seen in these statements. In responding to the question of why problem statements are underused, Nelson states, “The short answer is they do not come naturally. If you’ve done a job for a long time and you are confronted with a problem, your automatic processor will almost immediately supply a potential solution. Whereas formulating a problem statement and thinking it through is a lot of work. So, your brain actively resists it and it takes a little discipline to make yourself do it.” The full interview is available on the website of Inc. You can also read the article, “The Most Underrated Skill in Management,” in the Sloan Management Review.

System Dynamics Summer School Reaches Full Capacity! (June 20, 2017)


As of this morning, all available seats for the 4th System Dynamics Summer School have been filled. Thank you to all who have registered! If you have missed out on Summer School, please consider joining us at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, July 16-20. Today is the last day for reduced registrations rates, please see the conference registration page for details. Don’t forget to reserve your room at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge—discounted room rates at the conference venue end on Thursday, June 22!

Health Thread at the Cambridge Conference (June 20, 2017)


There will be three plenary presentations within the Health thread: An In Silico Exploration of HIV, by Keith Eubanks, Hua Yang, John Kapson, and Kenneth Cooper; Using integrated modeling to support the global eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases, by Radboud Duintjer Tebbens and Kimberly Thompson; and An Individualized ESA Dosing Regimen for Hemodialysis Patients To Stabilize Hemoglobin Levels in a Target Range, by Jim Rogers, Edward Gallaher and Craig Hocum. Twelve parallel presentations are also featured within the Health thread. These parallels are divided into four topics: Healthcare Innovations and Utilization, Treatment Trajectories and Health Outcomes, Cancer Prevention and Treatment Dynamics, and Population Health Intervention Modeling. The Health thread also includes ten poster presentations, and business meetings are scheduled for Biophysical System Dynamics SIG and Health Policy SIG. For a complete list of the presentations and authors, including abstracts, please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule.

Systems Thinking Workshop Features the Beer Game (June 19, 2017)


On April 25, a team of systems thinking experts from Virginia Tech (Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering) moderated the product distribution game (also known as the Beer Game) for a group of supply chain experts from the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in Washington D.C. Society members Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Maryam Andalib and Arash Baghaei Lakeh ran a board-based simulation game where the participants competed as supply chain teams to provide efficiency in managing their inventories of “pills.” To read more about this interesting adaptation of the Beer Game, please see the article posted on the website of Virginia Tech.

Family-Guest Lounge activities planned! (June 19, 2017)


Are you bringing a guest or family member to #ISDC17? The Family-Guest Lounge will offer a place for spouses, significant others, travel companions, and family members to meet, gather and make plans to do fun things in and around the conference site. Enjoyable, entertaining, and educational activities have been planned by volunteer, Linda Hirsch. Guests will have the opportunity to tour the Harbor Islands, attend a demonstration and talk at the MIT Media Lab, and much more. If you act quickly, there is even a chance to order tickets for a Red Sox game! A schedule with links to each activity can be found on the Family-Guest Lounge web page. All guests accompanying conference attendees are welcome to join the Family-Guest Lounge activities. An informational meeting will be held on Sunday, July 16, at 3:00 PM in the Crow’s Nest. Linda may be contacted at: [email protected].

Early Conference Registration Rates Available Until Tuesday, June 20 (June 18, 2017)


The International Conference of the System Dynamics Society is less than a month away. Register now to take advantage of the discounted rates! The ISDC17 celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field—an event that you will not want to miss! After you register for the conference, be sure to reserve your room at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge to guarantee the special room rate. Special conference room rates are available until June 22. For more information, see the accommodations web page. We’ll see you next month in Cambridge!

Society Member Paul Holmström Passes Licentiate Examination (June 16, 2017)


Society member Paul Holmström, an industrial doctoral student at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, has recently passed his licentiate examinate. (In Sweden that is the half-way point between a masters and a doctorate.) Paul’s first Society conference, Oxford 2004, led to his research interest in bringing System Dynamics into a process consultation/action research context, rather than bringing participative methods into model building. Paul explains, “The aim of this thesis is to study how System Dynamics can be a useful tool for healthcare practitioners in action research settings, building more on the needs and issues of a group.” The full paper can be accessed here. Read more about Paul Holmström and his research in the press release on Chalmers’ website. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Paul. We wish you all the best as you continue your studies!

Environment Thread at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society (June 15, 2017)


The dynamics of and policy for the environment, including climate change, pollution, environmental regulation, and ecology, are explored in the Environment thread. There will be five parallel presentations in the Environment thread at the ISDC. The presentations fall under two topics, Modeling for learning about the climate, and Socio-ecological dynamics. Eighteen poster presentations will also be featured in the Environment thread, as well as the two part workshop World Energy and En-ROADS Training.

Society Member Joins Project to Benefit Rural Village Communities (June 13, 2017)


Mihir Mathur has joined the SEAL project implemented by Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) as System Dynamics consultant to help in developing simulation models of social ecological systems in rural India. The project aims to use System Dynamics modeling to operationalize the Socio-Ecological Approaches to Livelihoods (SEAL) framework for enhancing the resilience of village communities. The SEAL project is in collaboration with Social System Design Lab, Washington University at St. Louis, Boston College, and Shiv Nadar University. The project specifically aims to use Community Based System Dynamics (CBSD) and Simulation to explore the social, ecological, and economic interactions and connections for designing interventions to build resilience of village communities.

Economics Thread at the Cambridge Conference (June 13, 2017)


The Economics thread at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society relates to the understanding of economic dynamics including macroeconomics, microeconomics, trade, business regulation, economic development, economic policy, insurance and risk management. The plenary presentation in the Economics thread is Applying a Multi-Player Game Theoretic Framework to Modeling the Global Capital Markets, by Stephan Cucchiaro. There will also be three parallels and ten poster presentations in this thread. The Economics Chapter Annual Meeting has been scheduled on Wednesday. Please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule for a complete list of the presentations, authors, and abstracts.

Member Ali Masoudi Takes On New Position as Sustainable Materials Manager at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) (June 12, 2017)


Member Ali Masoudi is now employed as a Sustainable Materials Manager at the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), starting this month. At the US BSCD, Ali is managing national and statewide Materials Marketplace projects including US Materials Marketplace, Turkey Materials Marketplace, Ohio Materials Marketplace, Tennessee Materials Marketplace and others. Through the Materials Marketplace projects, a cloud-based platform designed to facilitate cross-industry materials reuse, the US BCSD develops system-wide solutions to transition of our linear economy to a circular economy.

Ali is a Certified ISSP Sustainability Associate and a committee chair of Environmental Management and Sustainability at Energy and Environmental Division (EED) of American Society for Quality (ASQ). He is an official member of U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to ISO/TC 207 Environmental management as a representative of the EED-ASQ. Ali holds a MSc degree in Environmental Science from Yale University (2017), and a MSc and a BSc degree in Industrial Engineering from South Korea (2013) and Iran (2008) with a focus on sustainability and manufacturing systems, respectively. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Ali!

Business Thread at the Cambridge Conference (June 9, 2017)


One of the fourteen threads of presentations at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society is the Business thread. This thread relates to System Dynamics applications in businesses and organizations including profitability, marketing, competitive dynamics, product launches, project dynamics, and accounting. The Business thread this year will feature nine parallel presentations divided among the topics of Business Service Management, Technology and Energy, and Strategy. There are also eight poster sessions and three workshops within the thread. In addition, the Business thread schedule includes “A Fireside Chat with Ken Cooper,” taking place during the Wednesday morning break. For a complete list of the presentations and authors, including abstracts, please see the Draft Program Overview or the Tentative Schedule.

Tentative Schedule for the Cambridge Conference is Now Available! (June 9, 2017)


The International Conference of the System Dynamics Society is just around the corner! Take a look at the Tentative Schedule on the conference website to see the line-up of all the presentations, meetings, workshops, and special events. We hope you can join us in for this special 60th anniversary year conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts! Register by June 20th to take advantage of reduced rates.

News from the 8th European System Dynamics Workshop (June 8, 2017)


The 8th European System Dynamics Workshop took place last week, May 31 – June 2, in Lisbon, Portugal. The workshop was hosted by CENSE – Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research at the NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal, and was organized by Nuno Videira and colleagues Paula Antunes and Rui Santos. The European System Dynamics Workshop (EuSDW) is a series of biannual gatherings taking place each second year since 2003 in different European countries, with the aim to draw together researchers interested in System Dynamics and to provide an opportunity to discuss work-in-progress in a constructive and friendly setting. The main theme of the 8th EuSDW, “Modelling sustainability pathways: bridging science, policy and society,” was aimed at advancing on-going debates and strengthen the role of System Dynamics in promoting a holistic understanding of sustainability issues, as well as in supporting collaborative policy design and analysis. Paper presenters and discussants included Andreas Größler, Bent Bakken, Birgit Kopainsky, Carmine Bianchi, David Collste, David Lane, Enzo Bivona, Gabor Kiraly, José Luís Casanova, Jürgen Strohhecker, Krystyna Stave, Meike Tilebein, Paulo Gonçalves, Silvia Ulli-Beer, Steven Lade, Therese Bennich, Vincent de Gooyert, as well as a special World Café session with students from the EMSD – European Master in System Dynamics.

Volunteers Needed at the PhD Colloquium of the Cambridge Conference (June 7, 2017)


The PhD Colloquium organizers are currently seeking additional senior system dynamics practitioners to interact with students participating in the PhD Colloquium on Sunday in two innovative-format conversations:

  • The Open Space conversation (about 11 a.m. Sunday)
  • The World Cafe conversation (about 2 p.m. Sunday)

And if you would like to join PhD Colloquium participants for lunch, please do!

  • Lunch (about 12:30 Sunday) Note: The Cambridge Hyatt charges $25 per person for lunch, and you will need to pay for your meal, as the Student Chapter cannot afford to host non-students.

If you would like to participate in the Open Space or World Café conversations or eat lunch with students on Sunday, please contact the PhD Colloquium organizers.

Respected Report includes System Dynamics as “Living Business Models”
StratTech named a Gartner Cool Vendor in Project Portfolio Management, 2017 (June 7, 2017)


StratTech LLC and their partner Strategy Dynamics Ltd (makers of the Sysdea System Dynamics software) were recently named in the 2017 Cool Vendors in Project Portfolio Management report by tech-research leader, Gartner. Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company. This exclusive report highlights the growing awareness and importance of System Dynamics as a part of executive decision making. The report states:

“Because of a lack of a better way to do things, in most organizations, decisions in business, technology and operations are made on static, deterministic models. Often, the key assumptions regarding the economy, the industry and the competition that underpin the portfolio are not clearly articulated and linked to support alternative plans or the ability to make rapid decisions when facts end up differing from assumptions.”

“System dynamic modeling (the basis for StratTech’s offerings), when integrated with more traditional strategy planning processes, such as roadmapping, is used to help management see and follow how strategy is developed and how it evolves in real life, not just on a spreadsheet. These “living business models” allow managers to visualize, measure and gauge the impact of strategic and implementation decisions before making large investments. This represents a significant shift from static strategy frameworks that often do not provide sufficient granularity to help the organization improve.”

For those wanting to know more about System Dynamics, there are several available resources. System Dynamics is a powerful analysis tool used to explain patterns of system behavior, both good and bad. System Dynamics is a formal method of maps and modeling that focuses on causality, especially when the causal mechanism is circular creating powerful feedback. Unexpected behavior patterns are often a result of an insufficient feedback perspective. Understanding and capturing feedback structure with System Dynamics allows policy makers to intervene more effectively by making higher leverage policy decisions.

System Dynamics modeling also focuses on the accumulation of key resources. It takes time to build or deplete accumulations adding a delay. Feedback combined with delays can create unwanted outcomes such as “better before worse” or “continuous oscillations”. The System Dynamics method uses widely available software modeling tools to describe and simulate these dynamic behaviors, allowing policy makers to understand the likely short and long-term outcomes of available policy decisions.

Many important policy decisions are based on System Dynamics analysis. System Dynamics has been used successfully in many contexts, including business, economic, environmental, political, and social systems. The use of System Dynamics along with other proven problem analysis techniques creates greater confidence in policy actions. This is especially true for difficult, recurring situations.

There are many ways to learn more about System Dynamics. Publicly available descriptions of System Dynamics work include:

  • Award-winning applications of System Dynamics on the world stage.
  • Case studies of successful System Dynamics applications around the world.
  • A video description of important business application of System Dynamics, presented by Ken Cooper.
  • The What, When, and How of System Dynamics.
  • The website for the International System Dynamics Society.

In addition, the 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 16 through July 20, 2017. Plenary topics include: world health policy recommendations (vaccines, chronic disease); improving aviation security; building energy-efficiency standards (from the US-China Clean Energy Research Center); and understanding the behavior of today’s global capital markets. The final day of the conference (Thursday, July 20) will be dedicated to interactive learning. Workshops on System Dynamics software and techniques will be offered throughout the day.

(Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Gartner, Cool Vendors in Project Portfolio Management, 2017, 22 May 2017)

Announcing the 15th Latin American System Dynamics Conference (June 6, 2017)


The Latin American Chapter of the System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce its 15th conference on System Dynamics to be held at the University of Chile, Campus Andrés Bello of Santiago of Chile, from October 18-20, 2017. The conference organizers invite you to send your papers in Spanish, Portuguese or English. The submission system is available here. For detailed information about the program, key dates and the committee, visit the conference website. (The English version website will be available soon.) Any questions can be directed to the conference chairs: Juan Pablo TorresMartin Schaffernicht, and Gloria Pérez.

News from Thailand (June 5, 2017)


As the soon-to-be Thailand Chapter of the Society continues to go through the process of obtaining their formal Chapter status in the System Dynamics Society, their members are working to create a model to address issues in the public health sector. Last month, Society members Borwornsom Leerapan, Pard Teekasap, Nipaporn Urwannachotima, Pawat Tansurat, and Arunrak Cuper Meeyai began conducting a series of workshops on group model building with the stakeholders and policymakers of Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health. The goal is to build a System Dynamics model to gain a better understanding of problems around planning and managing demands and supplies of health workforce in Thailand in the next 20 years. The Chapter members strongly believe System Dynamics can be an approach of choice to tackle such complex issues. With group model building, they hope Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health will adopt the policy recommendations revealed by the models, which hopefully lead to implementing more sustainable policy interventions in Thailand’s health systems.

Call for Papers: Iran Chapter’s Conference on System Dynamics (June 2, 2017)


The Iran Chapter of the System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce its first conference on System Dynamics to be held on September 13, 2017 at Sharif University of Technology, Tehran. The conference organizers invite you to send your papers to the conference chairs by July 6, 2017: Ali Mashayekhi ([email protected]) and Mohammadreza Hamidizadeh ([email protected]). More details on submission formatting guidelines, program aims, key dates, and the organizing committee will be available on the conference website soon.



Founding members of the ASEAN Chapter gather for a photo at the 2nd Annual Asia Pacific Conference.


The Society Welcomes the New ASEAN Chapter (June 2, 2017)


On June 1st, the Society’s Policy Council voted to recognize the newly formed ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. The Chapter was initially proposed in February at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Region Conference in Singapore. The Chapter is off to a strong start with a large core of founding members and initial officers in place. Dr. Lakshminarayanan Samavedham of the National University of Singapore will serve as the Interim President of the Chapter and help the ASEAN Chapter to elect Office Bearers of the Chapter. ASEAN Chapter membership will be open to any person living or working in the ASEAN. More information on joining the ASEAN Chapter will be available soon on the System Dynamics Society Chapters’ web page.

New Book Features the Work of Society Members (June 2, 2017)


The book Innovative Healthcare Systems for the 21st Century, edited by Society member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah and his colleague Peter Tsasis, was recently published by Springer International. The book offers comprehensive frameworks, models, and integrative solutions for healthcare management presented by experts from around the world. Among the contributing authors are Society members Markus Schwaninger, John P. Ansah and Enzo Bivona. The publisher’s book summary states, “This volume offers researchers and policy makers an insightful and critical review of the state of the art in healthcare modeling, with a particular focus on system dynamics, agent-based models, and modern empirical studies. It will be of interest to those in the fields of health, business management, and information systems.” Innovative Healthcare Systems for the 21st Century is now available on the Springer website.

Member Ozgur Merih Araz, PhD, earns tenure and becomes Associate Professor in the College of Business at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (June 2, 2017)


Society member Ozgur M. Araz has been granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in the College of Business at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL). Ozgur received his PhD from Arizona State University, MS from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, and BS from Istanbul Technical University, all in Industrial Engineering. Before joining UNL he was a faculty member in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he developed Systems Science track in Public Health curriculum and taught graduate level Complex Systems Thinking and System Dynamics Modeling courses. Ozgur currently teaches Supply Chain Planning and Control, Decision Making Models and Database Management and Organization courses in the College of Business at UNL. He has published several peer reviewed articles in various journals including Production and Operations Management, Decision Support Systems, IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, International Journal of Production Economics, Healthcare Management Science, as well as Emerging Infectious Diseases, Medical Care, Journal of Urban Health among others. Ozgur’s recent research has been in the fields of predictive modeling for healthcare applications, workforce planning, healthcare operations management and complex systems modeling for public health, specifically for childhood obesity. His research has been supported by NIH, VA Hospitals, HDR Company and Nebraska Medicine. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Ozgur!

Society Member John Sterman Quoted in The New York Times (June 1, 2017)


An article published in The New York Times this morning, “The U.S. Is the Biggest Carbon Polluter in History. Will It Walk Away From the Paris Climate Deal?” by Justin Gillis and Nadja Popovich, further explores the impact of US participation in the Paris climate agreement. In the article, Climate Interactive responds to the question of calculating “when Americans would have run out of fossil fuel if the nation’s population had somehow, at the beginning of the industrial era, been allocated a share equal to those of the rest of the world’s people,” answering “Americans would have used up their quota in 1944, the year the Allied armies stormed the beaches of Normandy.” The article also features a quote from Society member John Sterman, MIT professor and founder of Climate Interactive. In reference to poorer countries developing their economies with new clean energy technology, John states “Nobody really wants barrels of oil or tons of coal. They need a warm, dry, safe place to live, and access to healthy food, and lighting when it’s dark.” Read more in the full article on The New York Times website.

Climate Interactive’s Work Used in Recent Climate Agreement News Articles (June 1, 2017)


Yesterday The New York Times published the article “World Awaits Drumpf Decision on U.S. Future in Paris Accord,” featuring data and scenarios that were built by Climate Interactive and the MIT Sloan School of Management. The data from the C-ROADS simulation model is presented in an interactive graphic embedded in the article. Climate Interactive also provided data used in the BBC News article“Drumpf urged to retain Paris climate deal by UN chief,” posted earlier today. The BBC article uses a climate scoreboard thermometer created by Climate Interactive to illustrate the increase in global temperature by 2100, showing a range with and without US participation in the Paris agreement. Visit the Climate Interactive website to access to the data and simulations.

Endless Gratitude for Our Volunteers (June 1, 2017)


Thank you to the Submission ReviewersThread Chairs, and all of the volunteers who are working to make the 2017 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society a successful event! A great deal of work goes into planning and executing the annual conference—we are so lucky to have the help of 376 people filling all 537 volunteer positions. These dedicated individuals generously donate countless hours of their time to support the Society and the conference. Cheers to our incredible team of conference volunteers; the conference would not be possible without you!

See a complete list of the Society’s 787 volunteer positions in the 2016 Summary of Volunteer Time document accessible through the winter Policy Council meeting minutes.

News from the Policy Council (May 31, 2017)


The Policy Council recently approved and is pleased to announce that the 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, hosted by the Iceland System Dynamics Center, will be held at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. Bob Eberlein, Allyson Beall, and Jürgen Strohhecker were approved as Program Chairs for the conference to be held August 5-9, 2018. A pre-conference summer school is also being planned.

System Dynamics Review Early View (May 31, 2017)


The research article “Graphical features of flow behavior and the stock and flow failure,” by Society members Cleotilde Gonzalez and Liang Qi, along with their colleagues Nalyn Sriwattanakomen and Jeffery Chrabaszcz, is featured in the Early View of the System Dynamics Review. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.

Society Member Presents at Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany(May 30, 2017)


Society member Carmine Bianchi, Professor of Business and Public Management, University of Palermo, giving a talk at the Center for Technology in Government, University at Albany. Prof. Bianchi spent a week in residence as a Visiting Scholar at the Center, working on research proposals to link System Dynamics and systems thinking with public management outcome measures.




System Dynamics Review Features Jay W. Forrester Memorial Issue (May 30, 2017)


A special double issue of the System Dynamics Review is available online. The issue, dedicated as the Jay W. Forrester memorial issue, features seven articles, including Jay’s most recent article as an archive piece, an editorial and obituary for Jay. In the editorial article, “Meeting Jay W. Forrester,” Yaman Barlas shares his own personal experience with Jay over the past 40 years. Additional articles in this issue include: “Challenging learning goals improve performance in dynamically complex microworld simulations,” by Miles M. Yang, Hong Jiang, and Michael Shayne Gary; “Winner-take-all or long tail? A behavior model of markets with increasing returns,” by P.J. Lamberson; “Determining intervention thresholds that change output behavior patterns,” by Bob Walrave; “The cobweb theorem and delays in adjusting supply in metals’ markets,” by Simon Glöser-Chahoud, Johannes Hartwig, I. David Wheat, and Martin Faulstich; “The dual-process theory and understanding of stocks and flows,” by Arash Baghaei Lakeh and Navid Ghaffarzadegan; and “Sensitivity analysis for models with multiple behavior modes: a method based on behavior pattern measures,” by Mustafa Hekimoğlu and Yaman Barlas. Access the full issue on the Wiley Online Library.



Plenary Presentations at the 2017 ISDC (May 30, 2017)


The 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 16-20. The program will feature twelve plenary presentations that showcase important work in the field. These plenaries are divided by topics and categorized into eight threads. On behalf of the Society, we are pleased to highlight the plenary presentations of the 2017 ISDC:

The Economics thread at the Cambridge Conference will feature the plenary presentation Applying a Multi-Player Game Theoretic Framework to Modeling the Global Capital Markets, by Stephen Cucchiaro. As stated in the Abstract, “Conventional finance theory is based on the idea that market prices incorporate all known market information, therefore changes in market prices are considered to move randomly. However, System Dynamics approaches have demonstrated that complex systems of interrelated variables (such as the global capital markets) often produce behavior that may appear to be random, but in fact results from the causal relationships, nonlinearities, feedback loops and time delays inherent in complex systems.”

The plenary presented in the Environment thread is Impact Model for US-China Clean Energy Research Center for Building Energy Efficiency, by Robert Nachtrieb, David Fridley, Wei Feng, Nihan Karali, Nina Khanna, Nan Zhou, Carolyn Szum, and Jimmy Tran. The authors develop a system dynamics model integrating new construction, retrofits, technological developments and policies to promote energy efficiency in the building sector in China. The model is being used by senior policymakers in support of the US-China bilateral agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from both nations. Abstract

There will be three plenary presentations within the Health thread. In the plenary An In Silico Exploration of HIV, Keith Eubanks, Hua Yang, John Kapson, and Kenneth Cooper, discuss the simulation of human biological systems to explore physiological dynamics, disease progression and the impact of potential therapies, with a focus on immune response. The model was used to design a novel therapy for HIV, which was then tested in a real-world clinical trial. Abstract

Also in the Health thread, Radboud Duintjer Tebbens and Kimberly Thompson will present Using integrated modeling to support the global eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases. They discuss the central role of System Dynamics in disease eradication programs, with a focus on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Abstract

The third paper in Health thread is An Individualized ESA Dosing Regimen for Hemodialysis Patients To Stabilize Hemoglobin Levels in a Target Range, by Jim Rogers, Edward Gallaher and Craig Hocum. Dialysis patients are at high risk of anemia, but the treatment, injections of Erthyropoeitin Simulating Agent (ESA) commonly leads to endogenous and potentially harmful cycles in Hemoglobin levels. Working with clinicians at the Mayo Clinic, the authors developed a system dynamics model that led to a novel treatment protocol that improves patient outcomes and lowers treatment costs. The authors describe the model behavior, its replication of the clinical issue at hand, and show how the model was used to develop superior policies. We then discuss how the new policies were implemented in the host organization, and present results over time.” Abstract

A plenary presentation from the Human Behavior thread is Chinese students’ mathematical knowledge beats their domain experience and global cognitive styles in stock-and-flow problems, by Liang Qi and Cleotilde Gonzalez. The authors present an experiment intended to test whether mathematical knowledge, global/local processing style or domain experience affected SF failure or the use of the correlation heuristic. Abstract

A related paper, The Attempt to Boost Stock Flow Performance by Using a General Problem Solving Strategy and a Reappearing Gender Effect, by Vivien Roeder, will be presented within the Learning and Teaching thread. The author tested male and female participants with stock flow tasks used in prior research, relating understanding of accumulation to the different problem solving strategies used by the participants. Abstract

In the Methodology thread, Thomas Fiddaman and Larry Yeager will present their paper titled Dynamic cohorts: a new approach to managing detail. The authors propose a new method for accurate simulation of aging chains and populations that provides exact tracking of cohorts with a low computational burden. “The approach simplifies the representation of distinct age, period and cohort effects and representation of dynamics other than the aging process, like migration and attribute coflows.” Abstract

Also within the Methodology thread, PJ Lamberson will present Approximating Network Dynamics in Compartmental System Dynamics Models. Prof. Lamberson describes a framework to model contagion in networks (such as disease spread or innovation adoption) developed primarily in theoretical biology, known as a pair approximation or correlation model, that relaxes the perfect mixing assumption of standard compartment models used in epidemiology and marketing yet can be readily implemented using compartment model tools. Two examples are presented to illustrate the approach and its effectiveness. Abstract

The final paper in the Methodology thread, Simulating Across Multiple Time Zones: Lessons from Policy Simulations in the Electric Power Industry, will be presented by Andrew Ford. Accurate modeling of electric power systems is difficult due to the need to relate different time scales, from hourly, daily, and seasonal variations in generation and load to investment delays and capital lifetimes measured in years or decades. Methods to simulate long-term and short-term dynamics emerging from three studies of the power industry are presented. These methods will prove useful for those who wish to include different time dynamics in their simulations. Abstract

The Security thread will feature a presentation by Ignacio Martinez-Moyano on his plenary paper, Modeling Aviation Security. Dr. Martinez-Moyano explains the development and impact of the Checkpoint Strategy Simulator, a System Dynamics model that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) uses to understand and effectively manage the challenges associated with providing security at the nation’s airports.Abstract

Marleen McCardle-Keurentjes, Etiënne Rouwette, and Jac Vennix will present their paper, Potential benefits of using a causal loop diagram in group model building: Evidence from a systematic investigation, in the Stakeholder Engagement thread. The authors present a classroom experiment that tests the value of using causal loop diagrams in group model building. Abstract

Please see the Draft Program Overview by Thread, available now on the Society’s website, for a list of the plenary, parallel and poster sessions to be presented at the conference, links to the abstracts and supporting material submitted by the authors. Additional details , including registration information, can be found on the conference website.

Society Member’s Paper Published in Ecological Economics (May 24, 2017)


The article “Using inclusive wealth for policy evaluation: Application to electricity infrastructure planning in oil-exporting countries,” by Society member Ross Collins and his colleagues Noelle Selin, Olivier deWeck, and William Clark, was recently published in the journal Ecological Economics. In summarizing the work, Ross states “The paper uses a System Dynamics model to prospectively evaluate policies in terms of their forecast impact to the sustainable development trajectory of the countries analyzed. In the paper we use the inclusive wealth framework from welfare economics to define and bound sustainable development, where development is considered sustainable if the social value of a country’s capital stocks are non-declining over time.” The full article can be accessed on the Science Direct website.

System Thinking Practice from isee systems (May 16, 2017)


isee systems is now offering an online training course led by leading experts in the field, David Peter Stroh and Society member Michael Goodman. Systems Thinking Practice is a six class training course that builds on the Systems Thinking Concepts course that was offered last fall. The course will enable you to apply Systems Thinking principles and tools in real time to a chronic, complex problem in your own organization or community. In this training session, you will learn to build a foundation for organizational or community change, conduct a systems analysis with the support of a diverse group of stakeholders, enable stakeholders to make an explicit choice between the case for change and the case for the status quo, and identify high-leverage interventions. For additional details including a full course overview, please visit isee systems’ website.

Society Member Saras Chung Takes New Position as Foundation Director of Strategy and Innovation
(May 16, 2017)


Society member Dr. Saras Chung has accepted a new position as Foundation Director of Strategy and Innovation at a start-up think tank focused on informing funding decisions for investments in education in St. Louis and nationally. In her new role, she will be identifying and developing strategies to ensure young people in low-income communities attain the educational opportunities they deserve to learn and prosper. Saras is an alumnus of the Washington University in St. Louis’ Brown School of Social Work’s MSW program and PhD program and has worked with a number of research projects and centers, including the Center for Social Development. Most recently, she worked as a Computational Research Scientist at the Social System Design Lab and was an instructor and teacher for several courses, in addition to leading youth development and K-12 activities including Changing Systems Youth Initiative. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Saras!

Society Members Contribute Chapters to New Publications
(May 15, 2017)


Society members Nuno Videira, Paula Antunes, and Rui Santos have contributed a chapter to the new publication titled Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics: Nature and Society. Their chapter, “Participatory Modelling in Ecological Economics: Lessons from Practice,” is one of fifty contributions by various international researchers. A description of the book edited by Clive L. Splash states, “This handbook, edited by a leading figure in the field, demonstrates the dynamism of ecological economics in a wide-ranging collection of state-of-the-art essays. Containing contributions from an array of international researchers who are pushing the boundaries of the field, the Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics showcases the diversity of the field and points the way forward.” Additional information can be accessed on the Routledge website.

Earlier this year Nuno, Paula, and Rui also collaborated on a chapter titled “Engaging Stakeholders in Environmental and Sustainability Decisions with Participatory System Dynamics Modeling” included in the book Environmental Modelling with Stakeholders: Theory Methods and Applications. Edited by Gray, S., Paolisso, M., Jordan, R., Gray, S, “This book presents the current state of knowledge regarding the theory and practice of engaging stakeholders in environmental modeling for decision-making, and includes basic theoretical considerations, an overview of methods and tools available, and case study examples of these principles and methods in practice.” Environmental Modelling with Stakeholders is available on the Springer website.

New Article by Society Members on the Role of Stakeholders in Operational Research
(May 11, 2017)


The research article, “Reviewing the role of stakeholders in operational research, a stakeholder theory perspective”, by Society members Vincent de Gooyert and Etiënne Rouwette, along with Hans van Kranenburg and R. Edward Freeman, was recently published in the European Journal of Operational Research. The authors state in the abstract, “In the founding years of stakeholder theory there was a close connection and interchange of ideas between stakeholder theorists and operational researchers. Yet in recent years, the stream of papers that includes both fields has dwindled to a trickle. This lack of theoretical integration is surprising, as Operational Research is in nature a collaborative discipline. In this paper, we discuss three topics in stakeholder theory that can inform and improve studies involving working with stakeholders in Operational Research”. The full paper can be accessed on the Science Direct website.

Free Webinar from Strategy Dynamics on May 18th (May 10, 2017)


Strategy Dynamics presents “Living Business Models with Kim Warren,” a free webinar on Thursday, May 18th. Kim will share some of the many cases where Living Business Models solved major challenges, or provided rock-solid, adaptable plans for all kinds of enterprise, from start-ups to corporate turn-rounds. He will also show that building these models is easier, faster, and more reliable than spreadsheet-based alternatives that can only produce less-useful results. To accommodate a global audience, two sessions will be offered on May 18th. Additional details, including session choices listed in your local time zone, can be found on the registration page.

Non-Degree System Dynamics Courses (May 4, 2017)


The System Dynamics Society’s website features a growing list of non-degree courses and workshops in System Dynamics offered by various companies and universities. A free, self-paced course from GoldSim was recently added to the list. Find “Non-Degree Courses and Workshops” listed under “Activities and Resources” in the menu bar on the Society’s website. Expand your knowledge—check out the website to learn more about all the courses offered!

Register for the 34th MIT/WPI/Albany PhD Colloquium (May 4, 2017)


The 34th PhD Colloquium will be held Friday, May 19, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The colloquium is an opportunity for students from New England universities to present their research involving System Dynamics, and to receive feedback from leaders in the System Dynamics community. Presenting work, in any stage of completion, has proved to be a valuable experience for many participants. For additional details and registration information, please see the event web page. Visit the UAlbany-MIT-WPI SD Colloquia web page to find many papers and photos from the meetings of SD students and faculty members, held twice a year since 2000.

Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems: a Newly Published Book by Kambiz Maani(May 2, 2017)


Professor Kambiz Maani’s new book, Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems — A Systems Thinking Approach with Cases, was published by Word Scientific earlier this year. The book aims to change the way important policy and business decisions are made by addressing complex challenges with a systems thinking approach. “This entails synthesis of diverse knowledge and perspectives in a transparent and unifying decision-making process, engaging stakeholders with competing interests, perspectives, and agendas under uncertain and often adversarial conditions.” The book, as described in the publisher’s summary, “introduces the systems approach in a non-technical language for multi-issue, multi-stakeholder decision making, supplemented by numerous case studies including business, economics, healthcare, agriculture, energy, sustainability, policy and planning. The book provides a fresh and timely approach with practical tools for dealing with complex challenges facing the evolving global business and society today.” Kambiz’s academic and consulting career in systems thinking and modeling spans over 25 years. He held the AgResearch Founding Chair in Systems Thinking and Practice at the University of Queensland in Australia. Currently, he is Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for the College of Business at Massey University in New Zealand. Kambiz will be presenting at the Workshop Day of the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Cambridge on July 20th. Multi-Stakeholder Decision Making for Complex Problems — A Systems Thinking Approach with Cases is available now on the World Scientific website.

New System Dynamics Summer School Video (April 27, 2017)


If you are thinking about attending the 4th System Dynamics Summer School in Cambridge this year, you will definitely want to see this video! Max Happach, a PhD student from University of Stuttgart, volunteered to share his System Dynamics Summer School experience in this video he created for the Society. As a participant in last year’s Summer School in Delft, Max gives a first-hand account of the program’s structure and value. Find out his top three reasons to attend Summer School—watch the video on the Society’s YouTube channel!

Society Member Rod MacDonald Featured in James Madison University News (April 27, 2017)


Society member Rod MacDonald takes the spotlight in the article “Integrating system dynamics and system thinking,” by D. Vieth and S. Roddewig, published on the website of James Madison University (JMU). Rod joined the faculty of JMU’s Department of Integrated Science and Technology in the Fall semester of 2016, bringing with him 25 years of experience in using System Dynamics to analyze public policy. From his Peace Corps work in Botswana, Africa, to earning his master’s in public policy and his PhD in public administration at the State University of New York at Albany, Rod’s experiences have fostered his passion for System Dynamics modeling. It is that passion for integrating science and technology that Rod brings with him to the classroom. This semester he is teaching two classes involving System Dynamics. Rod speaks highly of his students, the program at JMU and what it means to be an educator as a way of “giving back.” Read the full article on the James Madison University News web page. Although we miss seeing Rod around the Home Office here in Albany, we are glad things are going well for him at JMU and wish him continued success in all his adventures!

Addition of New Chapter Completes Creative Learning Exchange’s Model Mysteries(April 27, 2017)


The Creative Learning Exchange has announced the completion of the book Model Mysteries: An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies, and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place, by Anne LaVigne and Society member Lees Stuntz. Model Mysteries is intended for students, ages 10 and up, who are interested in creating and using models to solve real problems. The book can be used by students practicing on their own, or by teachers to complete a guided or independent study. Model Mysteries can be downloaded from the Creative Learning Exchange website.

Society Member Krystyna Stave Co-Editor of New Book (April 26, 2017)


The newly released book Social and Ecological System Dynamics, edited by Society member Krystyna Stave, and her colleagues Goraw Goshu Yemer and Shimelis Aynalem, is the first title in the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series. As described on the Springer website, “This book is a social—ecological system description and feedback analysis of the Lake Tana Basin, the headwater catchment of the Upper Blue Nile River.” For details, please visit the Springer website.




Tentative Workshop Schedule Now Available for the ISDC17 (April 25, 2017)


We are happy to announce that the tentative Workshop Schedule is now available for the 2017 International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Workshop day, held on Thursday July 20, offers 40+ hours of beginner and advanced workshops to enhance your skill set!

Plan your customized conference experience! Kick off your ISDC adventure with four days of pre-conference Summer School, followed by the PhD Colloquium and other special events on Sunday. Next, attend the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday invited and contributed sessions. Then, join in on Thursday’s Workshop day—the final event in the conference line up.
Please check the conference website for updates as July approaches! Coming soon: The Program by Thread, available in May and the full conference schedule, available in early June.

The countdown is on for the #ISDC2017! Registration is now open for the conference, July 16-20, and for the summer school, July 11-14. We hope to see you in Cambridge this summer!

Systems Thinking in Education Summer Workshops (April 21, 2017)


The Waters Foundation is offering several courses in systems thinking this summer. There is something for everyone, whether you are just starting out or are well on your way to creating positive changes in your classroom, school or organization using the habits and tools of systems thinking. Courses currently offered include:

  • Systems Thinking Level 1: Developing Capacity for Thinking, Learning and Leading: June 6-9, Tucson, Arizona and August 7-9, Mequon, Wisconsin
  • Systems Thinking Level 2: June 12-15, Tucson, Arizona
  • Camp Snowball: July 10-14, Vernon, New Jersey

To learn more about these courses, please visit the Waters Foundation website.

Society Member Contributes Chapters to New Book (April 21, 2017)


Society member Mihir Mathur has contributed to two chapters in the newly published book Drawdown—The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawken. Joining the project through a fellowship program, Mihir’s chapters include the climate impacting topics of reducing food waste and family planning. The book analyses and simulates climate impacts (reduction in atmospheric CO2 eq ppm) of 100 climate solutions which if implemented at scale could reverse global warming. Visit the website to learn more about the book Drawdown, the fellowship program and their global coalition of more than 200 researchers, business leaders, and scholars.

Now Available: New System Dynamics Oral History Video (April 18, 2017)


The new two-part video of the MasterCard Case, narrated by Ken Cooper, was recently added to the Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories page on the Society’s website. In this video Ken Cooper tells the story of this classic System Dynamics strategy modeling, in which the model-based analyses rapidly generated a dramatic turnaround in MasterCard’s market share. Previously released videos is this series include: Litton Industries, Hughes Aircraft, and Northrop Grumman. To learn more about the MasterCard case and other cases where System Dynamics has made a big impact, visit the System Dynamics Case Repository.

Seminar on System Dynamics- April 20th at MIT (April 17, 2017)


The System Thinking Club, MIT Sloan School is hosting a seminar on System Dynamics, with guest presenter Nabil Raad, Director of Enterprise Risk at Ford Motor Company. The seminar will be held Thursday, April 20th, from 12-1 PM. Nabil will present about Ford Motor Company’s Global Data, Insight, and Analytics (GDI&A) department and dynamic modeling application in his group. He will also conduct interviews with students interested in joining Ford Analytics. For an overview of the presentation or to RSVP, please visit the System Thinking Club’s website.




System Dynamics Summer School (April 12, 2017)


The 4th System Dynamics Summer School page has been updated. The 2017 System Dynamics Summer School will be held at MIT, July 11-14, and is followed by the International System Dynamics Conference, which begins July 16 with the annual PhD Colloquium. Visit the Summer School web page for an overview of program details, including topics, distinguished faculty, and course level information.

This year, there will be a limited number of scholarships sponsored through the generous support of PwC. Scholarships will provide up to US$2,000 to cover the costs of tuition, economy-class travel, and lodging. To apply for a System Dynamics Summer School Scholarship, please fill out the application here. The application deadline is May 1, 2017.

Registration for participants must be done through the Web Portal. Details regarding registration fees and the cancellation policy can also be found on the Summer School page. Although summer school participants are not required to attend the conference, they are strongly advised to register for the ISDC too, and to participate in the PhD Colloquium and post-conference workshop day.


System Dynamics Review Early View (April 12, 2017)


The research article “The cobweb theorem and delays in adjusting supply in metals’ markets,” by Society members Simon Glöser-Chahoud, Johannes Hartwig, I. David Wheat and Martin Faulstich, is featured in the Early View of the System Dynamics Review. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.

Cambridge Conference Travel Information (April 11, 2017)


If you are planning on attending the 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, check out the Society’s website for some useful information! To help you plan your visit, the conference website has details about the venue, public transportation, as well as a list of dining options. We are thrilled to be back in Cambridge this year. The Cambridge/Boston area is filled with cultural and education institutions, scenic parks, significant historical sites, and great restaurants. There is much to do while you are in town—be sure to take advantage of all this wonderful city has to offer. Guests traveling with registered attendees can enjoy organized outings and a casual meeting space in the Spouses’/Family Lounge at the conference. Conference volunteer Linda Hirsch, Coordinator of the Spouses’ Lounge and Guest Activities, has many fun-filled adventures in the works. Activities, accessible to all ages and abilities, will be announced as they are confirmed. We hope to see you this summer. Register before June 20th to take advantage of reduced fees!

Member Mihir Mathur Becomes Visiting Faculty at the Tata Institute of Social Science, Hyderabad(April 11, 2017)


Society member Mihir Mathur has accepted a position as a part of the Visiting Faculty at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS), Hyderabad, India. Mihir, who learned System Dynamics during his post-graduate studies from Sadhana Center for Management and Leadership Development, has applied System Dynamics for his research on environmental sustainability projects. Mihir presented his work at the Asia-Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference, held earlier this year in Singapore. At TISS he teaches a six credit System Dynamics modeling course to Masters students of Natural Resources and Governance. TISS is a pioneering college for social and environmental studies in India. The introduction of System Dynamics in their curriculum is a watershed moment for TISS, providing an opportunity to advance the use of System Dynamics for social and environmental studies in India. Mihir is currently working on multiple sustainability research projects using System Dynamics at the Foundation for Ecological Security and at The Energy and Resources Institute.

Policy Council News (April 10, 2017)


It is our great pleasure to announce that Diana Fisher will serve as the newly established Vice President Pre-College Education for the 2017-2019 term. Lees Stuntz will serve the remainder of Diana’s Policy Council term through 2018. The full list of current Officers and Policy Council Members can be seen on the Society’s website, under Govenance in the menu.

The Policy Council and Nominating Committee of the System Dynamics Society are pleased to present the candidates nominated as Officers and Policy Council Members for 2018. Policy Council members for the 2018-2020 term include: Shayne Gary, Hilde Martinussen, Josephine Kaviti Musango, and Raafat Zaini. Candidates for Officers of the 2018-2020 term include: Krystyna Stave, Vice President of Publication; Özge Pala, Vice President Membership; Robert Eberlein, Vice President of Electronic Presence; and Martin Schaffernicht for President Elect 2018. The 2018 State of Candidates listing, found on the Governance page of the Society’s website, features a short biography and photograph for each candidate. Congratulations to all the candidates and thank you for your service to the System Dynamics Society!

Transdisciplinarians Take an Interest in System Dynamics Archetypes (April 10, 2017)


The journal GAIA featured System Dynamics archetypes in the 7th of its “Toolkits for Transdisciplinarity” series. The seven how-to guides, found on The System Thinker website, provide an introduction to systems thinking tools, especially for understanding dynamic systems. Please see the webpage and the attached flyer for additional details.



Model Mysteries-Stella Online Webinar (April 7, 2017)


Next Wednesday, April 12, isee systems is hosting a free webinar highlighting Model Mysteries, An Exploration of Vampires, Zombies and Other Fantastic Scenarios to Make the World a Better Place. Just released, this resource is a fun, engaging entry point to modeling. Based on a philosophy that “copying” models is a stepping stone to understanding, each chapter provides a guided path to build and then modify a model, applying one generic structure to a variety of contexts. The webinar will demonstrate how these small models can easily be built using Stella Online, shared with others, and used to foster new insights about how systems work. To learn more or to register, visit isee systems’ website!

Society Member Presents Climate Exercise to Massachusetts State Legislators (April 5, 2017)


Last week, Society member Juliette Rooney-Varga, director of the Climate Change Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, led state legislators through an interactive briefing using C-ROADS and En-ROADS. Juliette’s presentation was featured in the article “As Drumpf retreats, citizens step up on climate,” published by the Boston Globe on March 30th. Juliette, on sabbatical this year at the MIT System Dynamics group, is working with Climate Interactive to educate people about climate policy. As stated in the article, “With the national administration shifting to a do-nothing policy on climate change, other actors, from towns to cities to states to companies, must pick up the slack. But to push those efforts along, this country needs more citizens who are educated about the issue and policy possibilities.” Read the full article on the website of the Boston Globe.

Deadline Extended to April 30- Journal of Simulation Special Issue in System Dynamics (April 5, 2017)


The Journal of Simulation, a journal of The Operational Research Society, has extended the paper submission deadline for a special issue on “Advances in System Dynamics Modelling from the Perspective of other Simulation Methods.” Society members Dr. Martin Kunc and Dr. John Morecroft, along with their colleague Dr. Sally Brailford, will be the guest editors of this special issue. The objective of the special issue is to provide readers of the Journal of Simulationwith a rich overview of current developments in System Dynamics. The edited collection will help those who may not have detailed knowledge about System Dynamics to appreciate the modelling approach and its contribution. The editors are accepting papers that can help to build bridges with other simulation methods. Unpublished papers that follow the listed guidelines should be submitted by April 30, 2017. For more information contact Martin Kunc.


New PhD: Society Member Vasanth Kamath (March 31, 2017)


On March 25, Society member Vasanth Kamath successfully defended his PhD research work, titled “Knowledge Management & Innovation in Manufacturing using System Dynamics approach,” in the PhD program at Manipal University, India. Vasanth is grateful to his PhD committee: Prof. Dr. Gopalkrishna Prabhu (Chair), Prof. Dr. Manohara Pai (Co-Chair), and Prof. Dr. Sathish Shenoy (Directorate Research – Manipal University) for their support. He would also like to acknowledge valuable comments and feedback received on his doctoral work from Prof. Dr. L. S. Ganesh, DOMS, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai. Vasanth extends his deepest gratitude to Professor Dr. Lewlyn L. Raj Rodrigues and Dr. Pradeep V. Desai for their mentorship. Currently, Vasanth is an Assistant Professor in the area of Operations Management at T.A. Pai Management Institute in Manipal, India. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Dr. Kamath!

Climate Interactive Provides Data on the Impact of Repealing the Climate Policies (March 29, 2017)


In a blog post on the Climate Interactive website, “What Slashing Climate Rules Means for the U.S. Pledge to Paris,” Ellie Johnston explains the impact of President Drumpf’s executive order to repeal the Clean Power Plan and other climate policies. The data and analysis from the Climate Interactive (C-ROADS simulation and Climate Scoreboard), along with analysis collected from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the EPA, and the NHTSA, were used in The New York Times article, “Drumpf’s Executive Order Pushes the U.S. Climate Pledge Further Out of Reach,” published on March 28th. Ellie notes, “We explored what policy actions were intended to deliver upon the U.S. pledge to the Paris climate agreement, and which actions are now threatened due to the new administration’s slashing of climate rules.” She also welcomes the use of this data by others; please contact the Climate Interactive for information.

DynamiQueST: System Dynamics Event for Secondary School Students
(March 27, 2017)


On March 17th, students from local secondary schools visited the campus of WPI to take part in DynamiQueST. The annual event, sponsored by the Creative Learning Exchange (CLE), is designed to enrich students’ understanding of System Dynamics through simulations and discussions, as well as coaching from System Dynamics professors and professionals. Students took part in a World Climate Simulation, followed by a presentation and feedback session. After a debriefing of the earlier simulation, students discussed problem solving approaches, focusing on critical thinking skills. CLE executive director, Lees Stuntz notes, “The world needs more System Dynamics, and we’re grateful to WPI for providing their resources and expertise of faculty to help students learn.” Read more about the DynamiQueST experience in Allison Racicot’s article featured on the website of WPI.

Call for Book Chapter Proposals (March 27, 2017)


Society member Hassan Qudrat-Ullah, working with the publisher Springer-US, has announced a call for book chapter proposals. The book, titled Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Supply Chains, will be edited by Hassan. Potential authors are invited to submit their work in the area of sustainable supply chains centered around the applications of various complex systems-oriented toolboxes, including System Dynamics, networks, agent-based models, large-scale optimization, evolution of supply chain, coupled supply chain and human ecology-based solutions, as well as the empirical studies (with a clear focus on innovative integrative solutions).

The extended abstract (2-3 pages) should include: the topic, the goals of your chapter, a brief description and significance of your contribution within the book theme, and the utility/ real-world application of your work. Extended abstracts should be submitted by e-mail attachments to the editor, Hassan Qudrat-Ullah, by May 15, 2017. For additional details, including a list of suggested topics, please see the full announcement.

Publication of Society Member’s Paper on Strategy Development (March 27, 2017)


The European Journal of Operational Research has published the article, “Supporting strategy using system dynamics,” by Society members Martin Kunc and Juan Pablo Torres, along with their colleague Frances O’Brien. In the abstract, the authors state, “This paper presents a protocol for supporting strategy development via system dynamics (SD) modeling in consultation with Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of small organizations; it also reports on the effectiveness of this protocol one year after an initial study was conducted.” The full paper can be accessed on the Science Direct website.

System Dynamics Infographic (March 24, 2017)


To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the field of System Dynamics, we are asking your help in creating an “SD Infographic” to be displayed at this year’s conference. The SD Infographic will highlight the most memorable System Dynamics-related event(s) in each year, starting in 1956.

Leading up to the conference, we ask you to share any memory, photo, or fact (with the date) that might be included in the SD Infographic. Progress on the SD Infographic will be posted on social media, please participate and follow the progress! Please join us on our SD Infographics LinkedIn Showcase. You can share your items either on our Facebook page or via email ([email protected]). The final product will be printed on a large banner and be available at the 35th International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts this year.




Highlighting 2017 Cambridge Conference Sponsors! (March 24, 2017)


Plans for the upcoming 35th International Conference in Cambridge are gaining tremendous momentum thanks to our incredible Team of Sponsors. Thank you for your generous support!

A sincere thank you to our Conference Partners: Greenwood Strategic Advisors AGPA Consulting Group; Edward B. Roberts; and the System Dynamics Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Many thanks to our Champion Sponsors: Lundberg Family Farms and Ventana Systems, Inc.

Much appreciation to our Supporting Sponsors: AnyLogic, North AmericaBTNGeorgia Health Policy Center, Georgia State Universityisee systemsLexidyne, LLCMindseye Computing, LLC; and MITRE Corporation

We also happily acknowledge the support from the group of Exhibitor Sponsors: Argonne National Laboratory (Systems Science Center, GSS); Allen L. Boorstein; Copernicos GroupDynamics OperationsEMSD: Erasmus Mundus European Master Programme in System DynamicsForio; Informed Dynamics Systems; International Society for Systems SciencesSocial System Design Lab, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. LouisSociety for Organizational Learning, North AmericaStrategy DynamicsTecnológico de MonterreyViaSim Solutions; and Whole Systems Partnership

A special thanks to our Welcome Reception Hosts: System Dynamics Group, University at AlbanySystem Dynamics Group, University of Bergen; and System Dynamics Group, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

We would also like to thank our Friends and Donors: Hyatt Regency Cambridge; Krishna Pendyala Family Charitable Fund; and Lane Press of Albany

Cheers to our Snack Sponsors: Crispy Green, Inc.Lundberg Family Farms; and Raw Revolution

As we recognize our conference sponsors individually on social media, please share, like and retweet.
Join us in this special anniversary year as a Conference Sponsor! Sponsorship packages are available at several different levels with valuable benefits for your company. This sponsorship support also enables us to keep the conference affordable for all. If you are interested in becoming a part of the community of sponsors, please contact the System Dynamics Society office.

New Article by Society Members on Education Policy (March 22, 2017)


The research article, “Work-education mismatch: An endogenous theory of professionalization,” by
Society members Navid Ghaffarzadegan and Richard Larson, along with their colleague Yi Xue, was recently published in the European Journal of Operational Research. The authors state in the abstract, “We model the education-workforce pipeline and offer an endogenous theory of professionalization and ever-higher degree attainment. We introduce two mechanisms that act on the education enterprise, causing the number of educated people to increase dramatically with relatively short-term changes in the job market. Using our illustrative dynamic model, we argue that the system is susceptible to small changes and the introduced self-driving growth engines are adequate to over-incentivize degree attainment.” The full paper can be accessed on the Science Direct website.


Society Member Granted Tenure from Willamette University (March 21, 2017)


Society member Kawika Pierson was recently granted tenure from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he teaches accounting, statistics and complex systems for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. In 2011, Kawika graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School with a PhD in management and a focus on System Dynamics and accounting. His thesis, “Profit Cycle Dynamics,” examined the existence and causes of profit cycles in the airline and insurance industries and other sectors of the economy. He has published in various high quality academic journals and presented his work at conferences including the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, the Public Management Research Association Conference, and the Production and Operations Management Society Conference. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Kawika!

Proposal of a Thailand Chapter of System Dynamics Society (March 21, 2017)


Last month, a group of Society members met with President Elect, Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano in Bangkok, Thailand following the Asia Pacific System Dynamics Conference in Singapore. The members discussed plans to form a new Thailand Chapter, and as a result, a motion will be forthcoming to establish the Thailand Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. The great news of this new chapter proposal was announced at last week’s Policy Council Meeting of the System Dynamics Society. A formal motion to establish the Thailand Chapter will follow in the near future.



Pictured from left to right: Nij Tontisirin, Sutee Anantasuksomsri, Borwornsom Leerapan, Pard Teekasap, Somsak Chunharas, Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano (and his daughter Paula), Pimthipa Teekasap, Pawat Tansurat, and Piya Hanvoravongchai.



Strategy Dynamics Announces New Online Course (March 20, 2017)


For several years Kim Warren has run online Strategy Dynamics courses, which explain the frameworks of their powerful approach to strategy and implementation. In response to many people wanting to go further and actually build models for their plans and challenges, Strategy Dynamics has launched a new course on Dynamic Business Modeling. The Dynamic Business Modeling course instructs on how to actually build and use quantified simulation models that match those frameworks, using the amazingly easy Sysdea browser-based software. The Strategy Dynamics courses are described at updated courses page. Three immediate options are offered:

  • take a self-taught core course on Dynamic Business Modeling
  • enroll in the next scheduled instructor-led course on Strategy Dynamics and Business Modeling, running over 8 weeks from March 24th
  • and the self-taught course on Strategy Dynamics is still available

These beneficial courses offer management a rigorous and reliable approach to making sustained improvements in performance, whether by tackling one-off challenges, or by providing the foundation for confident, continuing plans. As a thank you, Strategy Dynamics would like to offer a 10% off coupon on any of their courses. To use this discount, select your course then select “View Basket” and add Coupon “SDSocFriend” in the discount box. All these courses are available to teachers at no charge, and the course content to teach will also be provided. Visit Strategy Dynamics’ website to get started!

Register for the PhD Colloquium! (March 17, 2017)


This year the PhD Colloquium has a new registration form. The Student Chapter website will no longer be used for registration. Please click here to sign up to attend the PhD Colloquium. For information about the PhD Colloquium and to get in touch with the organizers, please visit the PhD Colloquium Facebook page. See you in Cambridge!

ISDC Submissions Due Next Week! (March 16, 2017)


Wednesday, March 22nd is the deadline for submitting your work to the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society. This year’s conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 16-20, 2017, marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. We will celebrate the accomplishments of the past six decades and explore future directions by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. Take this opportunity to share your innovative work in System Dynamics—submit your paper today!

Dr. Mila Getmansky Sherman Receives Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence (March 15, 2017)

 On March 6th, the CFA Institute announced that Dr. Mila Getmansky Sherman was the winner of the Top Award in the Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence competition. The Graham and Dodd Award of Excellence is a prestigious award given by the CFA Institute’s Financial Analysts Journal in recognition of excellence in research and financial writing. The article, titled “Interconnectedness in the CDS Market,” was the work of Mila Getmansky Sherman, Giulio Girardi and Craig Lewis. In the abstract the authors state, “Concentrated risks in the market for credit default swaps (CDSs) are widely considered to have contributed significantly to the 2007–08 financial crisis. We examine the structure of the CDS market using a network-based approach that allows us to capture the interconnectedness between dealers and nondealers of CDS contracts.” Mila received her undergraduate and doctoral training at MIT, where she concentrated on System Dynamics and finance. She is currently Associate Professor at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Additional information about the award is available on the CFA website. To read the full paper visit the SSRN website. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulation to Mila!

World Climate Simulation
March 17, 9 A.M. -3 P.M.
(March 13, 2017)




DynamiQueST is a showcase of the power of simulations and creative student projects that utilize critical thinking skills to analyze complex dynamic systems.

JOIN US to play the World Climate Simulation created at MIT and used internationally to facilitate current world climate negotiations.

SEE HOW systems thinking and System Dynamics (ST/SD) can elucidate both global issues and curricular content.

What Are The Goals Of DynamiQueST?

  • Experience the World Climate Simulation, based on systems thinking, and used around the world to understand the issues surrounding climate change.
  • Apply practical critical thinking tools to a real-world problem.
  • See student projects that embody critical thinking using systems thinking and System Dynamics (ST/SD).
  • Showcase student work for the wider community.
  • Meet students from other communities
  • Have some fun and celebrate with kids!

Who Will Be There?
Students (ages 12-18), teachers and parents will participate in the simulation and learn to utilize some of the tools of System Dynamics and systems thinking to analyze and clearly communicate critical thinking. Coaches will be there to facilitate both the simulation and the presentation of student projects.

For more information see the Creative Learning Exchange website or email Lees Stuntz.

ST course and SD meetings in Brasilia, Brazil(March 11, 2017)


This week, Society member Karim Chichakly, Co-President of isee systems, taught a week-long course in Systems Thinking at ENAP (Brazilian Public Administration School). The morning classes were held for 92 high-level civil servants. In the afternoons, the Brazil Chapter accompanied Karim in a series of thematic meetings with federal and state government agencies regarding forests/climate, accountability, water resources, and taxation issues. Brazil Chapter member Aldo Zagonal describes the second day of events, reporting “The class was well attended on day 2, when activities and exercises helped hone-in key System Thinking concepts. Our meeting at Brazil’s Tribunal de Contas da União (the equivalent of the U.S. GAO) sparked a lively discussion about a number of issues that could become the subject of an interesting and useful System Dynamics project. The paradigm and the method are causing excitement, which we hope will continue throughout the week.”

Information about the Brazil Chapter, including contact information for Brazil Chapter Representative Paulo Nakamura, can be found on the Society’s website.

2017 Standing Committee Appointments (March 8, 2017)


The Policy Council recently approved the 2017 Standing Committee appointments of the following members: John Morecroft (Administrative Committee), Jac Vennix and Elke Husemann (Awards Committee), David Lane (Nominating Committee), Brad Morrison (Organization and Bylaws Committee), Allyson Beall King and Stefano Armenia (Society Program Oversight Committee), and Sarah Metcalf (Publications Committee). Elke Husemann will also serve on the Strategy Committee. To see a complete list of Standing Committee members and the duties of each committee, please visit the Society website. We welcome the newly appointed members and thank all committee members for their willingness to serve.

Modeling Assistance Workshop at the 2017 ISDC (March 8, 2017)


Once again, we will be offering the popular Modeling Assistance Workshop (MAW) at the annual International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge. Rod MacDonald and Gary Hirsch will be organizing the MAW activities, which include two workshops and the opportunity to obtain modeling assistance at any time during the conference. All levels of modeling background are welcome! If you think you may be interested in receiving assistance on a modeling question at the conference, please notify us in advance of the conference by writing to Rod MacDonald. If you are interested in coaching, please write to Gary Hirsch.

Proposal of New ASEAN Chapter (March 7, 2017)


The proposal of a new ASEAN* Chapter was announced at the 2nd Annual Asia Pacific Conference last month in Singapore. The ASEAN Chapter membership will be open to any person living or working in the ASEAN, and will not be restricted to members of the Society. The objectives of the Chapter are to promote the development of the field of System Dynamics and the free interchange of learning and research in all related fields, and to encourage and develop educational programs in systems thinking and System Dynamics modeling. There will be a motion to approve the proposal of the ASEAN Chapter at the upcoming Policy Council meeting.



Founding members of the ASEAN Chapter gather for a photo at the 2nd Annual Asia Pacific Conference.



* The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is an organization of countries in southeast Asia set up to promote cultural, economic and political development in the region.

Newly Established: The Asia Pacific Coordinating Council (March 7, 2017)


It was an exciting moment when nearly 100 delegates to the 2nd Asia Pacific Conference of the System Dynamics Society endorsed the creation of the Asia Pacific Coordinating Council (APCC). The APCC will be established as a Standing Committee of the System Dynamics Society. Lakshminarayanan Samavedham (Laksh) has been appointed to serve as the Founding Chair of the APCC. A motion is set to be drafted to ensure that all members of the APCC will be invited to participate fully in all business of the Society so that they are best positioned to take actions to promote System Dynamics in the Asia Pacific Region.


Pictured from L to R are APCC Members: Mihir Mathur, Atsushi Fukuda, (joined by President-Elect of the System Dynamics Society Ignacio Martinez-Moyano and Executive Director of the System Dynamics Society Roberta Spencer), Ying Qian, Chang Kwon Chung, Carl Smith, and Lakshminarayanan Samavedham, Interim President APCC




2nd Annual Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference (March 6, 2017)

The Asia Pacific System Dynamics Conference, held at National University of Singapore, February 19-22, was a huge success, attracting nearly 200 participants from 15 countries. The conference began with a Student Research Colloquium opened by Professor John Richardson and Professor Lakshminarayanan Samavedham. The student colloquium featured eight oral presentations and nine poster presentations.

The main conference opened with an address by guest of honor, Provost of NUS, Professor Tan Eng Chye. Plenary presentations included the following titles:

  • “Toward a Sustainable Society – Learning from Japan’s Edo Period and Contributing from Asia to the World” by Junko Edahiro
  • “The Asia Pacific Region is the Growing Edge of the System Dynamics Society” by David Anderson, Robert Eberlein & Ignacio Martinez-Moyano
  • “Large Scale Systems of Singapore” by Lui Pao Chuen
  • “Is Humanity Becoming More or Less Reasonable?” by Kishore Mahbubani, Dean LKYSPP
The plenary presentation of Lui Pao Chuen.

During the course of the two main conference days, there were also thirty-three oral presentations and thirteen poster presentations. On the last day of the conference, these seven workshops were held:

  • Agile modeling with Sysdea by Kim Warren
  • Introduction to Stella by Bob Eberline
  • Lessons That Move Pre-College Mathematics and Science Students Toward Complex System Analysis; and Modeling Dynamics Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course, both by Diana Fisher
  • Multistakeholder Decision Making for Wicked Problems-A System Thinking Lab by Kambiz Maani
  • Introduction to Business Strategy Using Management Games and System Modeling: Fishbanks®

To view additional photos from the conference, please visit the Facebook page of the Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference.

Award for Best Papers at the Asia Pacific Region Conference Student Research Colloquium (March 6, 2017)


On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we would like to congratulate the winners of the Award for Best Paper submitted to the Student Research Colloquium at the 2nd Annual Asia Pacific Region System Dynamics Conference! The first place award was presented by to student author Kan Jun Gregory Tham and research supervisor Naviyn Prabhu Balakrishnan for the paper “Understanding Income Inequality in Singapore from System Dynamics Perspective.” The second place award was presented to student author Kian Ming Phua and research supervisor Naviyn Prabhu Balakrishnan for the paper “Singapore Public Housing Dynamics: Exploring Plausible Future of Public Housing.” Shown in the photos below, are the student winners along with Provost of NUS, Professor Tan Eng Chye.

Member John Sterman Quoted in CNN Website Article (March 3, 2017)


On February 22nd, CNN’s website featured the article “The Paris Agreement is bigger than Drumpf… isn’t it?” by John D. Sutter. The article explores the outcome if the United States were to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. The author of the article quotes Society member John Sterman as he explains the challenges of limiting warming. In the article, John states “[A] cascade of defections from Paris, would be a fatal blow to the prospects to liming warming to no more than 2 degrees, and there would be climate catastrophes that come with that.” Sutter reports “Current pledges made as part of the Paris Agreement, including US commitments, put the world at about 3.4 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100, according to Sterman and Climate Interactive. If the entire agreement fell apart and global emissions continued at their current clip, the planet could expect 4.2 degrees of warming.” The full article can be viewed on the CNN website.

Fields Institute is Now Accepting Proposals for Theumatic and Focus Programs (March 1, 2017)


This may be of interest to any System Dynamics researchers looking to promote thinking, learning, and research with mathematicians: The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical and Sciences has announced that applications are now being solicited for new thematic and focus programs beginning in 2019. Please visit their website for details.

System Dynamics Review Early View (March 1, 2017)


The research article “Challenging learning goals improve performance in dynamically complex microworld simulations,” by Society members Michael Shayne Gary and Miles M. Yang, along with their colleague Hong Jiang, is featured in the Early View of the System Dynamics Review. The article is now available on the Wiley Online Library and will later be published in an issue of the System Dynamics Review.

Warren Farr was approved as the Vice President Marketing and Communications (March 1, 2017)


Warren Farr was recently approved (by the Policy Council) as the Vice President Marketing and Communications of the System Dynamics Society. Warren is the President of Informed Dynamic Systems and the CEO of Refrigeration Sales Corporation (RSC). He states in his bio that “throughout his life, he has been fascinated by designing and operating complex systems” and “that System Dynamics provides a useful and satisfying way of describing and analyzing these systems.” Congratulations Warren!

Members Article Published in the International Journal for Agricultural Sustainability (March 1, 2017)


The International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability has published the article, “A systems approach to forecast agricultural land transformation and soil environmental risk from economic, policy, and cultural scenarios in the north central United States (2012–2062),” by Society members Ben Turner, Melissa Wuellner, Tim Nichols, Roger Gates, Luis O. Tedeschi, and Barry H. Dunn. In the article, the authors discuss the socio-economic and environmental threats associated with converting grasslands to row crops in the north central United States. They state in the abstract, “We used a system dynamics model of the region to forecast agriculturally driven land transformation through mid-twenty-first century. The base-case scenario projection showed that farmland area continued to increase, from under 200,000 km2 to over 230,000 km2. Unmitigated, the soil environmental risk (SER) of such changes reached conservative estimates of Dust Bowl-era externalities.” The full article is available on the website Taylor & Francis Online

News from the Korea Chapter of the System Dynamics Society (March 1, 2017)


The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce that Chang-Kwon (Benjamin) Chung is the new president of the Korea Chapter of the System Dynamics Society. Benjamin holds a Ph.D. in International Business Strategy and is a research fellow at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. He was elected president on February 25, 2017, at the annual winter Korean System Dynamics Conference and general assembly. Almost 40 of the chapter’s 300 members attended this conference, including nine high school students for post presentation. The Korean Chapter holds monthly seminars (from March to June and from September to November), two annual conferences (summer and winter), and four publications of their own System Dynamics journal every year. Benjamin states “My mission is to vitalize this bequest, make the membership and finance stronger, boom up K-12 SD, and bridge Korean System Dynamics Society with SDS including no doubt Asia-Pacific Society.”

New Release: 2nd Edition of Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works(February 28, 2017)


The second edition of Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works, by Society member Asish Ghosh, is now available on the website of the publisher Springer International. The description on the website states “This book will enable readers to not only better interact with the systems in their professional and daily lives, but also allow them to develop and evaluate them for their effectiveness in achieving their designed purpose.” More information about Dynamic Systems for Everyone: Understanding How Our World Works can be found on the Springer website.



DynamiQueST: World Climate Simulation for Students, Parents and Teachers
(February 28, 2017)


DynamiQueST: World Climate Simulation is scheduled for March 17, 2017, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. The event, open to students (ages 12-18), teachers and parents, will teach participants to use the tools of System Dynamics to analyze real world challenges. The World Climate Simulation begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by lunch and an opportunity to talk with students who are using System Dynamics and system thinking in their work. The program concludes with a debriefing of the climate simulation using system thinking tools. To learn more about DynamiQueST or to register, please visit the Creative Learning Exchange website.

Partial Scholarships Available for the 2017 Conference in Cambridge (February 27, 2017)


Scholarship money is available to support student attendance at the International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge this summer. Members of the Society and individuals who are presenting during the conference will be given scholarship preference. Additional details about scholarships are available on the conference website. When applying, please enter the Web Portal and use the “Award and Scholarship Information” button on your User Menu. The deadline for scholarship applications is May 11th.

Your donation can create more scholarships! We have awarded 125 scholarships over the past twelve years as donations enabled us to grow our annual scholarship budget. Help us increase the number of scholarships awarded this year by donating to the Conference Scholarship campaign! Your support of this program will create a meaningful opportunity for a deserving student. These determined, bright students are the next generation of distinguished system dynamicists, let us welcome them by supporting their participation in the 2017 International System Dynamics Conference. To make a donation, simply include your contribution with your conference registration, or contact the Society office.

Society Member David Wheat Promoted to Full Professor of System Dynamics at the University of Bergen in Norway (February 24, 2017)


For three decades, David was president of Wheat Resources Inc, a management consulting firm serving business and government clients. He received his PhD in System Dynamics at the University of Bergen, his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, and his bachelor’s degree in political science at Texas Tech University. During the 1970s, he served at the White House as staff assistant to the President of the United States. David teaches the modeling process course and the policy design course and supervises student research in the international master’s degree program in System Dynamics. His research focuses on demographic and economic issues, plus policy design research aimed at improving the methodology of System Dynamics modeling. Current research projects involve building dynamic economic modeling capacity at the National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine, creating an SD-based macroeconomic model for Lithuania, and developing a macroeconomic forecasting model in collaboration with economists at the Bank of Lithuania. He also collaborates with researchers at the University of North Dakota on public health. David is also visiting professor of economics at ISM University of Management and Economics in Lithuania and adjunct professor of economics at Virginia Western College in the United States. He is past-president of the Economics Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, and has conducted guest lectures in Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Congratulations to David! On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we wish you the best of luck in your new position.

ISDC Submissions Due March 22nd (February 22, 2017)


ONE MONTH remains to submit your System Dynamics work to the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, to be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA – July 16 – 20, 2017. The submission deadline is MARCH 22. Please review the submission guidelines and instructions. Become a part of this engaging and diverse event by submitting your work today!

Author ID Week Feb 20 – 24th (February 21, 2017)


Submissions are arriving through the Web Portal daily! All conference paper and workshop submissions require that each author has an author ID. Please ask your co-authors to register directly at the Society’s Web Portal this week to ensure correct author information. It is free to register and only takes a moment. It is the contact author’s responsibility to confirm all submission information is complete. To learn more about the conference, please visit the conference website.

Member Andrew Jones Presents “Top 10 Reasons for Hope for Our Climate” (February 21, 2017)


Andrew Jones, Society member and co-director of Climate Interactive, will give a presentation on global climate change followed by an open question-and-answer session at University of North Carolina Asheville on February 23rd. Drew’s discussion, “Top 10 Reasons for Hope for Our Climate,” will run from 6-7:30 p.m. at UNC Asheville’s Highsmith Union, in the Swannanoa River Room 104. This event is sponsored by the Student Environmental Center, a student organization at UNC Asheville, and is free and open to everyone. For additional details, see the UNC Asheville website.


Your design could be on the 60th anniversary collector’s line of SDC merchandise! (February 17, 2017)


The System Dynamics Student Chapter invites you to send us your funniest stock and flow diagram (SFD) or causal loop diagram (CLD) designs in a high resolution image. The competition is open to everyone, both students and senior system dynamicists alike. The only requirement for the contest is that the design needs to fit on a t-shirt. Please send your design to phdcolloquium-at or submit through the PhD Colloquium Facebook page as a post or private message. The winner will receive a sampling of free SDC merchandise with their winning design, as well as all the glory and attention that the Student Chapter can bestow, which will guarantee a celebrity status throughout the conference week…and beyond!

Looking for a Roommate for the Cambridge Conference? (February 15, 2017)


We have created a Conference Roommate Board on an unlisted LinkedIn page to help participants find roommates. This group is only open to 2017 ISDC Conference or Summer School participants who are seeking a roommate. Please contact our office to request an invitation to join this group. The conference website has a link to the Hyatt Reservation Form with a list of room and cost details. The Hyatt Regency Cambridge has offered a special student rate-get the most affordable option by sharing the student rate with a roommate! The deadline for hotel room reservations is June 22, 2017.

Tips on Writing a Good Research Paper
 (February 15, 2017)


If you are planning to submit a paper for the 2017 ISDC, check out these helpful articles from long-time reviewer, Tom Fiddaman, with tips on writing good System Dynamics Conference papers. “Writing an SD Conference Paper” and “Writing a good system dynamics paper II” are available on the “Submissions” page of the Society’s conference website. Papers should be submitted through the web portal by the March 22 deadline. Acceptance notices will be sent by May 11, 2017.

Call for 2017 Lupina Young Researchers Award Nominations
 (February 13, 2017)

FYI Student and Recent Graduate (5 years) Presenters!
 The Health Policy Special Interest Group (HPSIG) of the System Dynamics Society is pleased to present the Lupina Young Researchers Award for work that focuses on dynamic phenomena in health systems and problems. This self-nominated award is sponsored by the Lupina Foundation of Ontario, Canada. The Lupina Award will be given to people at early stages of their careers to encourage them to do further work in Health System Dynamics. The self-nomination procedure should be followed when submitting your paper. The deadline for submissions is March 22nd. Details of the award can be found on the Society’s website.

Ventana Systems Announces the Release of Ventity 1.0
 (February 10, 2017)


Ventana Systems has recently released Ventity 1.0. Ventity makes is easier to represent systems with irregular, changing structure and data, providing clean separation of the model from the data. Some of the software’s features include: modularity and object orientation, strong data-model separation, dynamic creation and deletion of model components and relationships, support for team collaboration and advanced charting. Ventity’s capabilities work to complement Vensim software. The two programs are developed in parallel and are available as a bundle. To learn more about Ventity visit Ventana Systems’ website.

Society’s VP Chapter Activities Appointed Co-Editor of Kybernetes Journal
 (February 10, 2017)


Dr. Eng. Stefano Armenia, the System Dynamics Society’s VP Chapter Activities, has been recently appointed as Co-Editor of Kybernetes: The international journal of cybernetics, systems and management sciences, published by Emerald-Insight. The role of Editor in Chief has been taken up by Prof. Gandolfo Dominici, Scientific Director of the BSLab. Kybernetes has a new Editorial Board and a richly updated scopes, which are now focusing more on the social, organizational and managerial applications of cybernetics and systems thinking. For more information, please visit the journal’s website.


Research Article Explores Modeling and Simulation in the Classroom
 (February 9, 2017)


The article “Learning and Education Experience in System Dynamics of Management Students: Case Studies,” by Society members Miroljub Kljajić , Andrej Škraba and their colleague Mirjana Kljajić Borštnar, was published in the International Journal of Decision Support System Technology. In the article, the authors discuss their research, stating “This paper describes experiences in the teaching of a Modelling and simulation course for students of management sciences at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor [Slovenia]. Our course consists of continuous simulation based on systems dynamics and discrete event simulation DES. The course is in the 3rd year, and students have already taken courses from mathematics, statistics, theory of systems, as well as organizational and economic courses. The final grade for the course is derived from the student’s project and written exam. In this paper, we will discuss methods of teaching SD and its impact on the students’ performance (final grade).” The full article is available on the IGI Global website.

Software Updates for Stella Architect
 (February 9, 2017)


Earlier this month, isee systems announced the release of new updates in Stella Architect 1.2. The improved features of the software include: improved data manager, better functionality of importing external runs, parameter control windows updates, model view improvements and animation, the addition of divide 0 operator, preserving graphs and tables and circularity checking. To learn more about the new features visit isee systems’ website.

Member Hazir Rahmandad Featured in Huffington Post Article
 (February 8, 2017)


The article “Hazhir Rahmandad: Applying System Dynamics to Social Challenges” was published on February 6, 2017, on The Huffington Post website. The article is part of a series of interviews by the Iranian Americans’ Contribution Project featuring distinguished Iranian-Americans who have made major impacts in their professional fields. The article covers Hazir’s biographical information before delving into specific questions about his start in engineering, his current research work, and concluding with Hazir’s thoughts on being Iranian-American. Hazir, an associate professor of System Dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management, was the 2015 Jay W. Forrester Award winner and currently serves the Society as a Workshop Chair for the 2017 ISDC. Please see the full article on the Huffington Post website.


New on the SDS Website: Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Histories(February 8, 2017)


On the Society’s website under the category of “What is SD?” you’ll find a new section called “Award Winning Applications of System Dynamics.” These award winning applications of SD are linked to our Case Repository pages and the new Commercial Applications of System Dynamics as Oral Historiespage. This new page will feature a collection of short videos in which senior modelers narrate the story of high impact commercial applications of System Dynamics, providing a compliment to written material available in the Case Repository.

In the fall and winter of 2016, Ken Cooper visited the System Dynamics Society home office to film a series of videos narrating several high impact and more interesting commercial applications from his distinguished career. We are pleased to announce Ken’s first video, the Litton Industries Case, is available now on our website. Additional videos will be released in following weeks, so check back soon to hear more interesting stories about award winning SD applications!

News from the Korea Chapter (February 7, 2017)


On January 31st, following the celebration of the Lunar New Year’s Day, a special open lecture for System Dynamics was held in Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. Attendance exceeded expectations, as more than fifty participants including high school students and executives of companies participated in this event. Professor Dong-Hwan Kim, the former president of Korean System Dynamics Society (2010-2012), gave a two hour high energy lecture. The Korea Chapter has also announced that the 2017 winter conference of Korean System Dynamics will be held in the same place, Ewha Womans University, on February 25th. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, we wish the Korea Chapter continued success!

Member Jack Homer uses ReThink Health model to assess potential adverse impacts of Drumpf policies (February 6, 2017)


The ReThink Health website, sponsored by the Rippel Foundation, features the editorial, “Beware unintended consequences: what the ReThink Health model tells us about the impact of President Drumpf’s policies,” by the foundation’s President and CEO, Laura Landy. The editorial is based on a white paper by Jack Homer, which analyzes potential impacts on US health of four areas where policy reversal under Drumpf seems possible: health insurance, job growth, environmental regulation, and community-minded law enforcement. The SD model is used to estimate impacts on morbidity, mortality, worker productivity, and health care costs from 2017 to 2029, assuming that the policy reversals remain in place for that long. When all four of the reversals are combined, the first three outcomes are worsened by 3 to 4 percentage points over the 12 years. Health care costs are somewhat reduced—but only because access to needed care has been curtailed. On a more optimistic note, the ReThink Health model was also used to analyze constructive policies for regional health systems, in an article published in Health Affairs, a leading health policy journal, earlier in 2016.

Society Member is Partner in SURE-Farm, an SD Research Project (February 3, 2017)


The University of Bergen website news page features the article “EU funding for climate dynamics project,” written by Sverre Ole Drønen. The article highlights the latest research project of Birgit Kopainsky, a System Dynamics researcher from the Department of Geography at the University of Bergen and Society member. The project focuses on the “sustainability and resilience” in European agriculture systems and is coordinated by Wageningen University in the Netherlands. The project, named SURE-Farm (Towards SUstainable and REsilient EU FARMing systems), has received 4.8 million Euros from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. In the article, Birgit explains, “The SURE-Farm project will assess management tools to improve the economic, environmental and social resilience of European farms. The idea is to find opportunities to create a more sustainable agricultural industry.” The full article is available on the University of Bergen’s website.

Special Issue of Journal of Cleaner Production Features Collection of SD Articles (February 3, 2017)


Research work involving System Dynamics at service of sustainability, has recently been published in Journal for Cleaner Production. In a description of the journal’s thirty-five articles, Karl-Henrik Robèrt, author and co-editor of this special issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production, writes “The focus of the special volume is on science at service of systematic leadership towards sustainability. The knowledge captured in this special volume helps leaders understand what sustainability is, i.e., how to define it, and to operationalize it in a systematic and strategic way in any arena or organization and across disciplines and sectors.” One of the thirty-five articles, “Boundary matters: the potential of system dynamics to support sustainability?” by Ehsan Nabavi, Katherine Daniell, and Husain Najafi, discusses how the use of System Dynamics improves understanding and supports sustainability. In the abstract the authors conclude, “The paper also discusses how and why System Dynamics needs to be used by analysts in a more complete manner (i.e. engaging qualitative, quantitative, and participatory approaches) to ensure that in any given applied case, the models, and the judgements underpinning their development, are effectively embedded in societal and political contexts that allow their use for supporting sustainability.” This article and the full journal are accessible on the Science Direct website.

Information and Knowledge Thread at the Cambridge System Dynamics Conference (February 3, 2017)


Papers submitted to the 2017 ISDC are classified into one of fourteen threads. Among the threads at the conference this year is the Information and Knowledge Thread. This thread relates to the dynamics of information and knowledge including knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research and development, invention, and innovation. The chairs for the Information and Knowledge Thread are members Christian Kampmann, Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School, and Gönenç Yucel, Associate Professor at the Bogaziçi University and the 2014 Dana Meadows Award winner.

Call for Papers: 35th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society (February 2, 2017)

The Web Portal is now open to accept paper submissions as well as proposals for workshops and tutorials to be presented at the International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 16-20, 2017. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. System Dynamics is used around the world, from K-12 classrooms through doctoral programs, in scholarly research across many disciplines, and in applications from organizational change to climate change, from medicine to management. The conference will celebrate the accomplishments of the past six decades and explore future directions by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. For a detailed list and descriptions of conference session topics, visit “Threads for 2017” website. The submission deadline is March 22nd. For more information, please visit “Call for Papers” website.

Member Article in the Journal Mathematics Enthusiast (January 31, 2017)

The research article “Reorganizing Algebraic Thinking: An Introduction to Dynamic System Modeling,” by Society member Diana Fisher, has been published in the journal Mathematics Enthusiast. The article presents the idea of introducing System Dynamics modeling into the middle school or high school level algebra class. In the abstract Diana explains, “In the body of the paper, a nested sequence of simple bank account examples, increasing in complexity, is used to demonstrate a comparison between using a closed form approach and using Stella to mathematize each situation. The comparison, showing equivalent recursive equations, closed form equations, and Stella modeling diagrams, is designed to give the reader (algebra teacher, mathematics education decision-maker, researcher, or whomever) an accessible introduction to understanding Stella model diagrams and the mathematical engine operating under the ‘hood’ of the software.” Diana concludes by discussing the advantages of students utilizing modeling software and the limitations of traditional math curriculum. The full article is available through the Scholar Works University of Montana website.

Call for 2017 Dana Meadows Award Nominations (January 26, 2017)

Attention Student Presenters: The Society’s Dana Meadows Award (DMA) symbolizes the Society’s commitment to students by recognizing the very best student work. It also honors, in an enduring way, the life and work of Dana Meadows. The Dana Meadow Award is a self-nominated award given to outstanding papers authored by students that are presenting at the conference. The self-nomination procedure should be followed when submitting your conference paper. The Web Portal will open for submissions on February 2nd and are due by the March 22nd deadline. More information about Dana Meadows, the Dana Meadow Award, and detailed submission guidelines can be found on our website.

Winter Policy Council Meeting: March 16 in Cambridge, Massachusetts (January 26, 2017)

The Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society will meet for the Winter Meeting on March 16 at 11:00 AM. President Len Malczynski will preside over the meeting. The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. As stated in the Bylaws, the Policy Council shall meet as a separate body, electronically or in person, at least twice each year, once at the annual international conference and once during the first fiscal quarter of the year. We welcome the new and returning PC officers and members and thank those who have fulfilled their terms. Please see the e-brochure “Meet the Officers and Members of the Policy Council.” Advance reservations are required for attendees; please contact the Society office. All past Policy Council Meeting minutes are archived on the Society website, and can be found using “Governance” menu item.

Member Ellis Ballard Appointed Associate Director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab (January 23, 2017)


Society member Ellis Ballard has accepted a new position as the Associate Director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab at Washington University in St. Louis. Ellis, who received his Masters of Public Health and Masters of Social Work from the Brown School, has taught Community Based System Dynamics and has designed and led group model building workshops. He has also applied these SD approaches in his research and practice involving health equity and human rights issues in low and middle income countries. Founding Director of the Social System Design Lab, Peter Hovmand notes “During his time in the Social System Design Lab, Ellis has made significant contributions to the lab and overall direction, and developed a management style that students, faculty, staff, and community partners have all come to value and enjoy. Ellis brings with him a terrific spirit of positive energy, passion for advancing group model building practice and system dynamics, exceptional management skills, and commitment to social justice.” On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Ellis!

Article Uses System Dynamics to Analyze the Cycle of Fake News (January 23, 2017)


The article “Do you think fake news can be killed with the truth? Think again,” by Sharon Pian Chan and Andre Alfred, which appeared on the website of ART + marketing, used System Dynamics to analyze data regarding fake news. Chan and Alfred note “We decided to combine our engineering and journalism backgrounds to do a deeper dive on how fake news feeds on itself using systems thinking, a tool we have been studying at MIT the past year.” The authors give credit to Society members and MIT System Dynamics Professors, John Sterman and Nelson Repenning for their feedback. The systems map was created using Vensim software. The authors describe this data, reporting “When we add the causal loop diagrams to the stock flow, we can see the relationship between the demand for partisan news sources, Facebook filtering, confirmation bias and how the system feeds on itself to drive the creation of fake news.” The authors seek to explore solutions in their next post and request feedback. Please see the full article for details about the data and for the authors’ contact information.

Member Andrew Jones of Climate Interactive Interview on Public Radio WCQS (January 19, 2017)


On January 12, member and Climate Interactive co-director, Andrew Jones spoke with Jeremy Loeb on Western North Carolina Public Radio WCQS. In the interview, Andrew talks about climate issues in the wake of the election of Donald Drumpf. In regards to the public’s concerns about what direction the new administration will take on climate change, Andrew says “this could be the thing that rallies people to be much more engaged in something that has always required citizen action.” Loeb also brought up The New York Times digital story which used data provided by the Climate Interactive. The graphic designers used the climate data in an interesting, interactive way that engages people. The fact that there is a growing concern and conversation on climate gives hope. Andrew talks about getting people interested and involved in a movement, as he phrased it in the interview “I see people who are coming together to demand better by pulling together.” To listen to the full interview, please visit the website of WCQS.

Call for 2017 Award Nominations / Cambridge Conference (January 17, 2017)


The 2017 ISDC celebrates six decades of accomplishments and explores the future by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. The Awards Ceremonies of the conference are an opportunity to recognize the achievements of individuals in the field. We invite you to consider nominating a colleague or yourself for outstanding work in the field of System Dynamics. Awards information can be found on the conference website. There you will find nomination criteria, submission due dates and detailed descriptions for each of the following awards: Jay Wright Forrester Award, System Dynamics Application Award, Dana Meadows Award, Lupina Young Researchers Award, and the Barry Richmond Award. We look forward to honoring the award winners of 2017. See you this summer in Cambridge!

Registration is Now Open for the 2017 ISDC! (January 16, 2017)


The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce that registration for the 35th International System Dynamics Conference is now open. Hosted by the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan School of Management, the conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 16-20, 2017. We invite you to take part in this 60th anniversary celebration as the 2017 ISDC is expected to be the largest-ever gathering of system dynamicists! Additional events include a pre-conference System Dynamics Summer School (July 12-14) and the PhD Colloquium (July 20th). Join us for an exciting lineup of presentations, workshops, learning opportunities and networking. For details and registration information, please visit the conference website. See a list of 2017 Conference Sponsors.

Blog Article Dedicated to the Memory of Jay W. Forrester (January 13, 2017)


In a recent blog article on the Supply Chain Management Review website, Larry Lapide dedicates his column, an annual update on oil and the supply chain, to the memory of Jay W. Forrester. Lapide writes, “Some managers will know who he was and what he accomplished regarding supply chain management. For others, they should think of the educational “beer game” that they have most likely played. It simulates how a lack of downstream and upstream information causes excess and volatile inventories to be held by trading partners all along a supply chain. Second, regarding oil he was the father of System Dynamics that dealt with using simulation to understand big systems, such as the impact of CO2 emissions on the global environment.” Lapide notes that Jay’s books Urban Dynamics and World Dynamics led to the models that “started the field of global modeling and led to the models we read about today simulating climate changes and supporting the need to limit CO2 emissions by reducing the use of carbon-based energy. Hence, Forrester’s relevance to this oil update.” The full article can be read on the Supply Chain Management Website.

ISDC 2017 Submission News: (January 13, 2017)


The 2017 Conference Program Co-chairs wish you a healthy and productive new year and are looking forward to seeing you at ISDC 2017 this summer, here in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the field of System Dynamics. Whereas the 50th anniversary conference celebrated the achievements of our first half-century, for this 60th anniversary conference we seek to construct a program that points the way to the future by showcasing the best work in dynamic modeling being done today. We will also celebrate the life of Jay W. Forrester, the founder of the field of System Dynamics, who passed away in November. Stay tuned for details.

Submissions will be accepted from February 2 to March 22. We welcome studies of dynamic phenomena based on qualitative or quantitative field study, laboratory or field experiments, and other data sources and methods. We particularly welcome work that provides new approaches to important theoretical and methodological issues, application areas, modeling practice, pedagogy, empirical methods and integration of different approaches to modeling the dynamics of complex systems. Appropriate contributions could advance methodology, develop a novel theory to explain important dynamic phenomena, test existing theories or show real-world impact. If the work addresses an important issue, takes a dynamic, endogenous perspective, captures the behavioral decision making of the actors in the system, is rigorously grounded in data, and is fully documented and replicable, we welcome it for consideration, no matter what software or modeling formalisms are used.

Whatever your focus, please ensure that your paper meets the high standards for quality we seek in our field. Be sure your paper:

– addresses an important issue,

– appropriately assesses and critically reviews the relevant literature,

– is clearly written,

– clearly presents your model, analysis, and results,

– follows the full documentation standards for the System Dynamics Review, including submittal of the actual model wherever possible,

– and meets the Preferred Model Reporting Requirements.

Finally, please make sure the title of your paper describes the key issue or contribution. IMPORTANT NOTE: please avoid a title such as “Your Title: A System Dynamics Approach” (or similar). Focus your title on the substance of your study, not the method you are using. Full title details can be found at the time of submission on the Paper Information for Submission Page in the Web Portal. For additional information, please contact the Conference Program Co-chairs, John Sterman and Nelson Repenning.

The 2017 PhD Colloquium wants you! (January 12, 2017)


This year’s topic for the PhD Colloquium is ‘Building Capacity’. The format will be brand new this year and will turn the colloquium into a learning environment where students can fully interact with and make use of the knowledge held by the senior system dynamicists who are attending.

This year the colloquium will feature not only the traditional PhD plenaries and posters, but also two new exciting sessions in the format of Open Space and World Café. In addition, the successful Angel Advisor program will return.

Both PhD and Master students are encouraged to submit their work, and the call for student papers is already out and can be found at the colloquium’s brand new Facebook page.

Senior system dynamicists will receive an invitation to participate at this year’s colloquium in a few weeks time. For now, more information about the new events this year can be found at the link above.

See you all in Cambridge!

New Ph.D.: SDS Member Raafat Zaini (January 09, 2017)


Society member Raafat Zaini has successfully defended his dissertation titled “Modeling Manifest and Latent Structures in a University: Understanding Resource and Dissent Dynamics” in the System Dynamics Ph.D. program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Raafat would like to thank his Ph.D. program committee: K. Saeed (chair), M. Elmes, and O. Pavlov, for their support. Raafat’s research interest is in the area of organizational dynamics and innovation sustainability with a focus on R&D organizations and higher education institutions. His current work involves the analysis and dynamic modeling of universities strategies, and investigating the role of dissent in organizational innovation climate. Raafat won the Graduate Innovation Exchange Award for Ph.D. research in social science and business at WPI in 2013 and 2014, and served as the president of WPI System Dynamics club in 2016. While pursuing his Ph.D., Raafat has worked as a researcher at MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center and consulted for the Advance Management Group. Raafat served as a co-chair of the System Dynamics Society business special interest group 2013-15, and is currently a member of the Society’s Policy Council. On behalf of the Society, congratulations to Dr. Zaini!

New Ph.D.: SDS Member Saeed Langarudi (January 06, 2017)

Society member Saeed Pourmasoumui Langarudi has successfully defended his dissertation titled “Political Economy of Resource Dependent Nations: A System Dynamics Approach” in the System Dynamics Ph.D. program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Saeed is grateful to his Ph.D. committee: Dr. Michael Radzicki (chair), Dr. Alexander Smith, and Dr. Rajib Mallick, for their support. He would also like to acknowledge valuable comments and feedback he received on his doctoral work from participants of the Collective Learning Meetings at WPI’s System Dynamics Club. His deepest gratitude goes to Professors Khalid Saeed and Isa Bar-On for their incredible support, encouragement, and mentorship. He is also thankful to Professors Homa Katouzian and Ali Mashayekhi for their precious comments and advice. Saeed is now a Post Doctoral Research Scientist at the New Mexico State University’s Department of Animal & Range Sciences. On behalf of the System Dynamics Society, congratulations to Dr. Langarudi!

Pictured from left: Alexander Smith, Rajib Mallick, Michael Radzicki and Saeed Langarudi

Call for Abstracts: Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) 2017 (January 05, 2017)


Symposium organizers of ABM 2017: Agent-Based Models in the Social, Human-Environment, and Life Sciences, have announced a call for papers. The symposium, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, will be held in San Diego, California, from April 20-22, 2017. The goal of this symposium is to transform the science, technology, and application of agent-based models in the context of social, human-environment, and life sciences. Abstracts of presentations and posters should be submitted by the January 31st deadline. Students, postdocs and assistant professors may apply for an ABM Professional Enhancement Awards to cover expenses related to attending the symposium. Additional details about ABM 2017 and submission guidelines can be found on the symposium website.

Strategy Dynamics Offers New Online Course (January 05, 2017)


Strategy Dynamics is now combining a new instructor led online course on building living business models with their existing strategy dynamics business frameworks course. The course is designed to guide the non-specialist through the process of building working, quantified business models. The course is divided into two parts: Core Structures and Models, and Extension Frameworks and Models. The core frameworks course starts on January 9th. For additional details and registration information, please visit the Strategy Dynamics website.

Journal of Simulation Announces Call for Papers (January 04, 2017)


The Journal of Simulation editors have announced a call for papers for a special issue on System Dynamics. The guest editors for the special issue are Sally Brailsford and Society members Martin Kunc and John Morecroft. In an effort to connect System Dynamic modelling to other simulation methods, the journal is interested in submissions that discuss: mode conceptualization, model development and testing, policy development, and other areas. Please read the call for papers on the Springer website for details. The deadline for submission of papers is March 31st, 2017.


SD Article on Mental Health Intervention (January 04, 2017)


The research article titled “Community based system dynamic as an approach for understanding and acting on messy problems: a case study for global mental health intervention in Afghanistan,” by Society members Ellis Ballard and Peter Hovmand, along with their colleagues Parul Bakhshi and Jean-Francois Trani, was published by BioMed Central in a recent issue of the Conflict and Health journal. The article explores the factors that prevent persons with mental illness from using available health care services. Describing the methods used, the authors stated “We employed community based system dynamics to examine interactions between multiple factors and actors to examine the problem of persistently low service utilization for people with mental illness. Group model building sessions, designed based on a series of scripts and led by three facilitators, took place with NGO staff members in Mazar-I-Sharif in July 2014 and in Kabul in February 2015.” The full article is available on the BioMed Central website.