The Society e-Newsletter
Special Transition Issue

From the New Executive Director

 Volume 39

Number 3

A Message from the Society President / A Fitting Gift of ThanksThank You, RobertaRoberta Spencer: A RetrospectiveRemembering Roberta's ServiceFrom the New Executive Director Mark NelsonThe New Society Office & Contact InformationSDS Professional Staff Team


From the New Executive Director

Dear Society Members, Supporters and Friends:

I am writing today as the new Executive Director for the System Dynamics Society.

First, I want to say that I deeply believe in the mission of the Society, and the positive impact its members and the field have on the world. If the only constant in the world is change, then the pace of that change is rapidly accelerating. The complexity and fragility of systems are increasingly apparent across a wide range of fields and domains. System Dynamics can provide critical insights to these systems, leading to a better world. For me, few things are as exciting as collaborating with exceptionally talented and diverse individuals from around the world to make a positive and meaningful difference.

Second, I want to acknowledge that change is difficult. In the past two years, the Society experienced a daunting number of changes. A small sampling of these include: a new website and backend systems, contracting with Capitol Hill Management Services, an association management company, for operations, closing of the Albany Home Office, the retirement of Roberta Spencer as Executive Director, and the passing of both Jay Forrester and Allen Boorstein. That is an exceptional amount of change for any organization, and yet I am confident that the Society has a strong foundation to successfully navigate the challenges such change creates.  

Third, there is more change ahead. Like the world at large, the Society and the field face an array of challenges and opportunities over the next decade. We must refocus our energy and attention on the Society’s mission and how we can achieve it by working together. We have many possible initiatives, and very limited resources. We must also remember to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of members, volunteers, staff, and other partners who each play vital roles in successfully navigating the changes facing the Society, the field, and the world.  In the months ahead, you will hear more about the Society’s future, and have opportunities to help shape that future.  

A top priority of mine is to listen and learn. Since July, I enjoyed engaging directly with more than 100 stakeholders across the Society, plus attending the annual meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland. I want to hear directly from you.  To enable that, later this year we will conduct a survey to provide every member with an opportunity to provide feedback on the Society’s programs and future. In advance, please verify that the member contact information for you and your colleagues is up to date with the Society.  After that, please watch for the member survey and take a few moments to respond.

Thank you for being part of the System Dynamics Society.  I look forward to working with each of you as we continue to advance the Society and the field.

Mark R. Nelson, PhD, MBA, CAE
Executive Director
System Dynamics Society


Meeting with the New Executive Director
From l..to r.: Social Media Specialist Sarah Buck, Executive Director Mark Nelson, Graphic Designer Tara Thomas & Administrator Michael Breslin.

System Dynamics Society