Workshop Listings
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA ◊ July 25, 2109

Click here to see the workshop schedule.


(5001) Feedback Rich Model Construction with Powersim Studio by Leonard Malczynski
This workshop will be an introduction to building system dynamics models using Powersim Studio. The workshop is intended for people who are relatively new to the field or do not have experience using Studio. The session will be conducted as a hands-on workshop and will demonstrate basic techniques for building and analyzing, stock and flow diagrams and simple simulation models. It will also point out some of the advanced Studio features such as arrays, user interface tools, VB scripting, and the powerful Studio interactive development environment (IDE). Sample models will be available. A free version of Studio with no expiration can be obtained here.  In addition a free 30 day license with complete functionality can be found here. Remember DO NOT INSTALL this 30 day version more than 30 days before the workshop!

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop (Windows) with software loaded. Level: Everyone.


(5002) Starting from scratch: Better model construction by Leonard Malczynski
This workshop will be an introduction to model construction. This is not formulation, group model building, or testing. This is all about the process of using system dynamics software tools to create well built and robust simulations. We will examine the quality of model construction, personal processes that will improve modeling skill, and criteria for checking the 'well built' attribute of system dynamics models. The workshop is intended for people who are relatively new to the field, have encountered models that can't be understood, or do not have considerable modeling experience. Sample models will be available. A best practices document can be downloaded here. Get the Powersim Studio Best Practice manual.

Requirements: Advanced Reading: Link. Level: Beginner.


(5003) Risk assessment and optimization with Powersim Studio by Leonard Malczynski
This workshop will be an introduction to running sensitivity and optimizations with Powersim Studio. The workshop is intended for people who are somewhat experienced with system dynamics modeling. The session will be conducted as a hands-on workshop and will demonstrate basic techniques for running sensitivity analysis and optimization. It will also point out some of the advanced Studio features such as RUNS, use of run functions, exporting and graphing results using the powerful Studio interactive development environment (IDE). Sample models will be available. A free version of Studio with no expiration can be obtained here.  In addition a free 30 day license with complete functionality can be found here. Remember DO NOT INSTALL this 30 day version more than 30 days before the workshop!

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop (Windows) with software loaded. Level: Intermediate.


(5004) Red versus Blue cyber game by Sander Zeijlemaker
Cybercrime is recognized as a global threat and cyber criminals are gaining in maturity. If you want to experience the behavior and dynamics of attackers and defenders, reserve a seat at one of our tables. This is the workshop to attend! 
Attackers and defenders play against each other at one table. You’ll see attackers learning and improving their attacks. You’ll see various disciplines within an organisation discuss dilemma’s like:
“Should we invest in product improvement, lower our costs base or improve our security?”,
"Should we prevent attacks or wait and respond to attacks?"
And in the meantime the attacker is knocking at your door… Learn about cyber security readiness: a self-learning and resilient organisation can easily deteriorate... This game helps in understanding the cyber-crime resilience business case. So it’s particular interesting for management, asset owners and product owners.

Requirements:  Advanced Reading: Link  Level: Everyone.


(5005) Creating Interactive Simulations Online with Forio Epicenter by Michael Bean
Forio Epicenter provides templates that makes it easy to produce an online simulation that works on both laptop computers and smartphones.
Forio Epicenter allows you to create an interface so users can interact with your Vensim, Powersim, Stella Pro, Python or Excel model online. Forio can host your simulation for you, and the platform also has the ability to integrate with your existing IT infrastructure, making it enterprise-compatible. Forio Epicenter provides tiered control for tens or thousands of users.
During this workshop, we will start with an introduction to Epicenter and sample interactive online models. Then we’ll divide the workshop into two parts. In the first part, we will teach you how to get your Vensim, Powersim, Stella Pro, Python or Excel model on Epicenter so it can be shared. In the second part, we’ll focus on creating a user interface for your model.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptops. Level: Everyone. Link: forio.com


(5009) Experiencing Systems Kinesthetically and Virtually by Anne LaVigne
How can system dynamics begin to infuse educational systems in ways that directly relate to what students are learning in school? This workshop creates a space for participants (both novices and experts) to try some different ways to learn and teach system dynamics concepts. Whether you are a teacher who would like to see what’s possible in your classroom or a professional who would like to bring this work to your local school, this workshop explores ways to introduce anyone, young or old, to the concepts of accumulations, rates of change, feedback, and dynamics. Through games and kinesthetic experience, you’ll get your hands and minds into exploring systems concepts and tools in the simplest possible way, while considering connections to learning goals and implementation. Please bring a laptop, tablet or phone to the workshop.

Requirements: Participants should bring: a laptop, tablet or large phone. Level: Everyone.


(5010) Splash into a new way of learning and playing by Anne LaVigne
Whether you are a novice or experienced in the use of system dynamics, this workshop can help you consider how to introduce abstract systems concepts to others. Splash!: A New Way to Play is a free app that brings thinking to life, encourages playful explorations, improves communication of ideas, and helps people identify effective solutions to problems. This workshop introduces the functions, capabilities, and limitations of Splash, while building simple models within a variety of contexts (math, science, literary and social). Bring a tablet or large phone to this session, preferably with Splash!: A New Way to Play installed on your device from the Apple store or the Google Play store. Note that Splash is not currently available on laptops.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Tablet or large phone with Splash!: A New Way to Play installed; laptops will not work with the app. Level: Intermediate. Link: clexchange.org/splash


(5011) Build a Multiplayer Online Simulation Game with Forio Epicenter by Michael Bean, Gareth Nicholas
This workshop will teach you how to develop your own online simulation game using Vensim, Powersim, Stella Pro, Ventity, or Excel and Forio Epicenter available online. You’ll come out of this workshop with a multiplayer game.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop. Level: Everyone.


(5012) Start Macro Modeling with a MacroLab Template by David Wheat, Marianna Oliskevych, and Alina Novik
Want to get started with macroeconomic modeling?  Or, just curious about what’s involved?  If you teach economics or do economic research, or if you’re an armchair economist who likes to tinker with models, there is something in this workshop for you.  You will get a free 30-day version of Stella Architect plus the MacroLab template model.  During the workshop, guided instruction will help you use the template to build a simple country-specific model and jumpstart your macro modeling experience. Even experts may be interested in how MacroLab handles multiple industry and household types, ensures stock-flow consistency, and links the financial sector with firms, households, and government. Plus, you will receive data and instructions for teaching others how to get started. The template is a by-product of two decades of teaching macroeconomics and monetary policy with MacroLab and, more recently, developing system dynamics models for economic policy analysis in a few Eastern European countries.  The workshop will be conducted by a team of three experienced modelers, and you can choose whether to work alone or with a partner.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop. Advanced Reading: Link. Level: Everyone.


(5013) System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc) by Ignacio Martinez-Moyano
In order to enhance model transparency through enhanced documentation and assessment, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) developed the System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc) that enables modelers to create practical, efficient, HTML-based model documentation and that provides customizable model assessments. The model documentation created by the SDM-Doc tool allows modelers to navigate through model equations and model views in an efficient and practical way creating documentation of the model sorted by variable name, type of variable, group, view, module, module/group/name, and variable of interest. Additionally, model tests are performed allowing modelers and reviewers of models to gain confidence in fundamental characteristics of model structure. The latest version of the documentation and assessment tool, its use, and the different assessments included in the tool will be presented and explained. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to be able to use the tool during the workshop. A copy of the software will be distributed to participants at the workshop (the tool is accessible from here).

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop is encouraged. Advanced Reading: Martinez-Moyano, I. J. (2012), Documentation for model transparency. System Dynamics Review, 28: 199–208 (Link). Level: Everyone. Link: systemdynamics.org/SDM-doc


(5014) Monitoring & Dashboarding: a Practioner's requirement for SD by Michel Kuijer, and Arjen Ros
Basic starting point of this workshop is applying System Dynamics in the working processes of organisations e.g. for support in making their decisions from an integral perspective and/or improving the substantiation/transparancy of their decisions. Organisations are allready dealing with models and data. So when using SD models this should be integrated in the existing modelcomplex and datastructure/dataflow. SD is based on (initialization) data and simulations themselves generate data. So important is the connection between model (structure) and data. Also simulation results have to be presented in such a way which is accessable/understandable for decisionmakers in organisations: the non-model experts. This requires dashboard capabilities. As such SD-models can be used to monitor progress of developments (based on former made teactical/strategical decisions).
In this workshop we will in an interactive way exchange our experiences in this field as Practitioners (applying SD in the worksprocesses of organisations) with the participants. We are also curious to their experiences. Our objective is to co-create a set of requirements for SD-model->data->dashboardt as result of the workshop. This result will be shared with the participants and will be made available via a final submission file to the Conference members.

Requirements: Level: Everyone.


(5015) Interactive Project Management Simulator: Can you avoid being LEW (Late, Expensive and Wrong)? by John Sterman, and Michael Bean
Complex projects are chronically late, over budget, and fail to meet customer requirements: Late, Expensive and Wrong.  System dynamics has long been used successfully to improve project management, but most of these models are proprietary or simplified for academic purposes.  In this workshop you will have the chance to work with a new, interactive web-based management flight simulator for project management.  You will play the role of project manager for a large, complex project in a realistic model.  You will make decisions about project schedule, staffing, concurrency of project phases, how to handle late scope changes and so on, and receive immediate feedback on the consequences. You will have the chance to try your hand at a construction project, new consumer electronic hardware product, and/or new software system.  Can you delight the customer with important features while bringing your project in on time, under budget, and with high quality?  The simulator is new and will be freely available for academic use afterward, joining the set of management flight simulators available from MIT Sloan (link).

Requirements: Participants should bring: People should bring laptops.  Folks will play in teams of 2 or so we will be ok even if not everyone can bring a laptop.  Sim will also work on tablets such as iPads.  Workshop can be done in 1.5 hours, but we could also use 3 hours productively if that is possible given the schedule and doesn't create too many conflicts with other workshops. Level: Everyone.


(5016) Facilitating Climate Games and Strategy Workshops with En-ROADS by Andrew Jones, Travis Franck, and Thomas Fiddaman
Training in Facilitating with En-ROADS: Interactive Experimentation with a Policy-Maker-Oriented Global Energy and Climate Simulator
Society’s energy infrastructure and the Earth’s climate are each complex dynamical systems driven by multiple feedback processes, accumulations, time delays and nonlinearities, but research shows poor understanding of these processes is widespread, even among highly educated people with strong technical backgrounds.
Existing energy and climate models are opaque to policymakers and too slow to be effective either in the fast-paced context of policymaking or as learning environments to help improve people’s understanding of climate dynamics.
Here we present a transparent, intuitive policy simulation model that provides policymakers, negotiators, educators, businesses, the media, and the public with the ability to explore, for themselves, the likely consequences of energy, GDP, land use, and GHG emissions policies through workshops and games. The model runs on an ordinary laptop in a fraction of a second, offers an intuitive interface and has been carefully grounded in the best available science.
We introduce the simulation, teach participants to help others understand its insights and dynamics, and explain a game and a workshop that can surround the simulation experimentation experience.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop optional. Level: Everyone. Link: climateinteractive.org/programs/world-energy


(5017) Getting Started with Stella and Stella Online by Robert Eberlein, and William Schoenberg
Stella is the original visual environment for building and understanding System Dynamics models. In addition to Windows and Macintosh versions Stella is also available directly in modern browsers such as Chrome. In this workshop we will guide participants through the construction and understanding of models using Stella on either the desktop or the browser. We will work through the basic mechanics of setting up and using the software and then together build and analyze a simple model. Participants will learn the mechanics of using the software including constructing a diagram and connecting everything together to create a simulating model. We will explore the use of custom graphs and the use of Stella Live to gain insights into model behavior. Participants should bring their own computers or tablets. For those with Macintosh or Windows computers we will install software for use during the workshop and demonstrate moving between the online and desktop environments.

Requirements: Participants should bring: laptop or tablet. Level: Everyone. Link: iseesystems.com


(5018) Incorporating Discrete Elements in Stella Models by by Robert Eberlein, William Schoenberg, and Karim Chichakly
This workshop is designed for people with some experience with Stella or those who have completed the first Stella workshop It will cover the modeling of discrete processes in Stella, including tracking cycle times, managing queue priorities, attribute tracking, and conveyor control.A number of examples will be worked on, including prioritized service delivery, representing populations with migration, and discease progression. The tracking of discretre batches will be contrasted with the perfect mixing assumption used in continuous representations and the differences in resulting dynamics hightlighted. Participants should bring their own computers, either Macintosh or Windows, and we will install the software for use during the workshop.

Requirements: Participants should bring: laptop (Windows or Mac). Level: Intermediate. Advance Preparation: some familiarity with Stella or the intro workshop. Link: iseesystems.com


(5019) Optimization, Calibration, and Sensitivity with Stella by Robert Eberlein, William Schoenberg, and Karim Chichakly
Stella has long been known for its ease of use, and we have now extended that support a full range of optimization options including localized search and global search using genetic algorithms. In this workshop we will work through the process of setting up and performing sensitivity runs, optimizations, and calibrations. The workshop is intended for people with some experience with Stella, or those that have taken the intro Stella workshop. Attendees will learn the basic mechanics of optimization and see that value it can bring in understanding systems and the models that represent them. The teaching will be done using a series of sample models that provide insights into the optimization process and its strengths and weaknesses. Participants should bring their own computers, either Macintosh or Windows, and we will install the software for use during the workshop.

Requirements: Participants should bring: laptop (Windows or Mac). Level: Intermediate. Link: iseesystems.com


(5020) Collecting Data with Stella Interfaces by Robert Eberlein, William Schoenberg, and Karim Chichakly
Stella now has powerful interface development capabilities that allow you to make models approachable by a wide spectrum of people. This workshop walks through setting up interfaces so that the insights and learning that the people using them gain can be measured and optimized. Starting from an existing model, users will build an interface and set up the data collection processes to see how information about the use of that interface can be collected and analyzed. Techniques to integrate survey instruments into the interface will also be demonstrated. The interfaces developed will be deployed to the web allowing their use by anyone with internet access. Participants should bring their own computers (Windows or Macintosh). We will install the workshop version of Stella Architect so that attendees can work through the development and publication process.

Requirements: Participants should bring: laptop (Windows or Mac). Level: Intermediate. Link: iseesystems.com


(5021) Play with Complexity: Using Stella interfaces to teach biology, system dynamics, and scientific practices. by Jon Darkow
Biological systems are dynamic systems. Students experimenting with system dynamics models is an excellent way for students to examine the complex behaviors of biological systems. I have designed over 50 interfaces of Stella models that have been run hundreds of thousands of times by users across the world. These interfaces represent a rich variety of the high school and undergraduate biology curriculum. The purpose of this workshop will be to show participants how I design interfaces to teach biology, dynamic behaviors, and scientific reasoning. I will show participants how my students regularly explore feedback, self-regulation, and emergence by manipulating system dynamics models. Additionally, in my classroom, I scaffold authentic laboratory experiences with teaching the students how to design and test controlled experiments. Participants will run controlled experiments, analyze results, and diagram models that are underlying the behavior of the system.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Laptop, tablet, or large smartphone. Level: Everyone. Link: sites.google.com/site/biologydarkow/


(5028) Stratagem by Rod MacDonald, and Sean Grier
Stratagem was a game developed by Dennis Meadows in the mid-1980s to pass on the lessons learned through the development of the World3 model. The goal of the game is to give participants an experiential learning environment where they would role-play the position of a minister in a developing country. Their team, made up of five ministers, was responsible for allocating scarce resources through 10 rounds of decision making covering 50 years to move their country along the path of development. They are required to invest in the development of energy, food, goods, social services, and the environment while managing a demographic shift from high to moderate population growth in a system full of time delays, nonlinearities, scarce resources, and feedback. Participants will learn systems thinking lessons and about the dynamics of population growth, energy limitations, non-energy investments, maximizing economic outputs and how complex systems interact.

Requirements: Participants should bring: laptops, not necessary but helpful. Level: Everyone.


(5029) Group model building for building SD capabilities in communities by Allison Simpson, Ellis Ballard, Alan Mozaffari, Gabrielle Scott, Dianne Lam, and Trevor Hicks
Over the last ten years, there has been growing interest in the use of group model building (e.g., Richardson & Andersen, 1995; Vennix, 1996). This trend has been aided by the development of a growing catalog of group model building exercises or “scripts”(Ackermann, Andersen, Eden, & Richardson, 2010; Andersen & Richardson, 1997)for increasing accessibility and research on effectiveness of group model building (Hovmand et al., 2012). These resources often were developed and tested in corporate or policymaking contexts. As the practice of group model building expands to community and cross-cultural contexts, how can we think about the use and adaptation of these methods?
This workshop examines GMB design and script adaptation for use in building capabilities for system dynamics modeling in communities.  The workshop will feature discussion on the theoretical foundations of community based system dynamics, “hands-on” participation in group model building scripts commonly used in community settings, and discussion of design considerations through case examples of work with teenagers in St. Louis, MO, children and teachers in Afghanistan, and village residents in rural India.  The workshop will close with a chance to work individually or in teams to design and receive feedback on GMB workshop sequences. 

Requirements: Level: Everyone. Link: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Scriptapedia


(5030) Participatory System Dynamics for Planning Policy Engagement by Jane Branscomb, Karen Minyard, and James Dills
Groups with a goal of population-level change cannot afford to leave policy tools on the table: policy is too powerful as a structural lever. But groups avoid many tools through lack of understanding the many ways and phases in which they might engage; the vast spectrum of policy types; and which of these are subject to limitations. This workshop unpacks these multiple dimensions. We use the CDC’s Policy Process to outline points of entry for engagement and the Georgia Health Policy Center’s Adaptive Actions to characterize roles. Policy types are highlighted by jurisdiction (from personal to global), sector (public or private), and for public policy by branch (legislative, executive or judicial). We show what combinations from that smorgasbord meet the definition of “lobbying” and how large the remaining domain is. Over half of the allotted time is interactive group work using systems thinking metaphors, behavior over time graphs, and causal loop diagrams. Participants can bring a topic to use as a case study, or join an impromptu team on-site and experience a process to replicate back home. Handouts and worksheets are provided. Once completed, these become a strong starting place for a policy engagement plan on an issue of concern.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Pen or pencil. If desired, a population outcome with a concerning trend as a use case example. Level: Everyone. Link: ghpc.gsu.edu


(5031) Group Model Building as an Intervention to Advance Equity: An Experiential Workshop by Sarah Pritchard, and Melanie Houston
Efforts to combat oppression by engaging people with social privilege and power often fall short because they fail to enable them to see oppression as a structural, systems problem rather than individual discriminatory events. Community based system dynamics (CBSD) builds on group model building to emphasize social justice and the development of participants’ systems thinking capabilities (Hovmand, 2014). CBSD is a promising approach for developing participants’ capabilities to see the feedback structures sustaining oppression. In light of the #MeToo movement and outcry over campus sexual violence, we have been exploring the use of CBSD to engage men in adopting more progressive mental models of masculinity and gender violence. 
In this workshop, we’ll lead participants through a series of hands-on group model building scripts that explore men’s role in preventing relationship and sexual violence. These activities replicate CSBD workshops conducted with undergraduate fraternity men intended to provoke insights about structures of masculinity that both sustain violence against women and harm men themselves. Participants will have an opportunity to experience a full CBSD workshop and insights from the session will help inform ongoing work to engage young men in combating domestic violence and sexual assault.

Requirements: Level: Everyone. Link: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Scriptapedia


(5032) Getting Started with Vensim by Thomas Fiddaman, and Larry Yeager
This hands-on workshop will provide a quick introduction to modeling with Vensim. The primary purpose is to obtain technical proficiency with the software - building diagrams, writing and checking equations, running models and displaying output. However, in the process, we will work with interesting, classic models that demonstrate growth and decay, nonlinearity and shifting loop dominance and other interesting phenomena. As time permits and governed by the interest of participants, we will also cover modeling discrete events, stochastic behavior, tipping points and/or crafting good behavioral decision rules.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Bring a laptop or share with a friend. We aspire to provide power, but a full battery is a good idea. Vensim PLE can be installed in advance from the web link provided. A Vensim DSS trial copy will be available in the session. We recommend downloading, installing and testing in advance. Advanced Preparation: Familiarity with the most basic system dynamics concepts is assumed, but no preparation is necessary. If you can't make it, there is a brief video tutorial hereLevel: Everyone. Link: vensim.com/download/


(5033) Getting Started with Ventity by Thomas Fiddaman
This is a hands-on introduction to Ventity, a platform for system dynamics modeling that supports detailed and object oriented modeling while preserving attractive features of existing tools, including a completely declarative language with a graphical representation. We will introduce the software and new concepts, including collections of entities, attributes, relationships, aggregation and allocation functions, and actions. Features facilitate modularity and collaboration, provide a more natural description of detail than arrays, and solve sparse matrix problems. It has application to both traditional system dynamics, with modular sectors, and to agent based modeling.

Requirements: Participants should bring: Bring a laptop or share with a friend. Ventity requires Windows 7, 8 or 10 – either Windows hardware or a Mac emulator. We aspire to provide power, but a full battery is a good idea. Materials and a Ventity trial copy will be available in the session; arrive early to install software if you don't already have a recent copy; we strongly recommend installing in advance from the link provided. Advanced Preparation: Familiarity with basic system dynamics concepts is assumed, but no preparation is necessary. Level: Intermediate. Link: ventity.biz/download/

(5029) Group model building for building SD capabilities in communities by Allison Simpson, Ellis Ballard, Alan Mozaffari, Gabrielle Scott, Dianne Lam, and Trevor Hicks
Over the last ten years, there has been growing interest in the use of group model building (e.g., Richardson & Andersen, 1995; Vennix, 1996). This trend has been aided by the development of a growing catalog of group model building exercises or “scripts”(Ackermann, Andersen, Eden, & Richardson, 2010; Andersen & Richardson, 1997)for increasing accessibility and research on effectiveness of group model building (Hovmand et al., 2012). These resources often were developed and tested in corporate or policymaking contexts. As the practice of group model building expands to community and cross-cultural contexts, how can we think about the use and adaptation of these methods?
This workshop examines GMB design and script adaptation for use in building capabilities for system dynamics modeling in communities.  The workshop will feature discussion on the theoretical foundations of community based system dynamics, “hands-on” participation in group model building scripts commonly used in community settings, and discussion of design considerations through case examples of work with teenagers in St. Louis, MO, children and teachers in Afghanistan, and village residents in rural India.  The workshop will close with a chance to work individually or in teams to design and receive feedback on GMB workshop sequences. 

Requirements: Level: Everyone. Link: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Scriptapedia