Member, Vince Barabba, publishes a new book; How Your Enterprise Can Make Better Decisions and Learn From Mistakes

Congratulations to member, Vince Barabba on the publishing of his new book, How Your Enterprise Can Make Better Decision and Learn from MistakesGreat reviews are already arriving, including:

“Making good decisions is hard. Making great strategic decisions requires a leader’s full energy, per-sonal engagement, and systemic thought. Barabba’s personal journey reveals the essential approaches and mindset necessary to thrive in our increasingly complex environment.”
Nick Pudar, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

“Vince has distilled a treasure trove of wisdom from sixty years as a practitioner, thought leader, and astute observer and learner. Anyone that needs to navigate through the wild and uncertain seas of business disruption is well served by taking his lessons to heart. And, besides that, it is an interesting read!”
Carl Spetzler, Chief Executive Officer, Strategic Decisions Group

“Vince Barabba is one of the most important voices today with regard to how we all need to change our thinking.period! I urge everyone to read this vital book.”
Ian Mitroff, Professor Emeritus, USC, Senior Research Affiliate, Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley

The SDS Fall 2019 Newsletter has been released. Read Now! (October 18)

The Society's President Offers Farewell to Outgoing Executive Director (October 17)

Read the President's Letter. 

 A piece from The Atlantic’s Quartz on cybernetics references Jay W. Forrester (October 4)

"...cybernetics is at the heart of one of the biggest management concepts of the 20th century: system dynamics, the brainchild of Jay Forrester.

As a student at MIT, Forrester “worked on servomechanisms, which use feedback loops to maintain stability in devices like gun turrets”—just like Wiener. After taking a professional detour to invent RAM, Forrester decided to apply his understanding of systems to businesses."

Read the full article HERE.

Volume 35, Issue 3 of the System Dynamics Review is now available (October 3)

Members can access this issue online by logging into their profile and clicking the SDR Access link on the Member Landing Page:

Main Articles
Building a bridge to behavioral economics: countervailing cognitive biases in lifetime saving decisions
Babak Bahaddin, Stephen Weinberg, Luis F. Luna‐Reyes, David Andersen

Math matters: mathematical knowledge plays an essential role in Chinese undergraduates' stock‐and‐flow task performance
Liang Qi, Cleotilde Gonzalez

Aging effects in public policy making
J. Pedro Mendes, Miguel Aleluia

Notes and Insights
Using R libraries to facilitate sensitivity analysis and to calibrate system dynamics models
Jim Duggan

Submit to a special issue of Construction Innovation entitled “Hybrid Simulation in Construction” (October 3)

You are invited to submit contributions to a special issue of Construction Innovation entitled “Hybrid Simulation in Construction”. The main aim of this special issue of Construction Innovation is to devote significant attention to publishing the latest developments and findings on hybrid simulation that integrates two or more simulation methods to address highly dynamic and complex systems and its applications in construction. Submission Deadline is 31 March 2020. For further information, please see the link to the webpage:

We look forward to your submissions.
Best wishes,
Guest Editors:
Farnad Nasirzadeh
Deakin University, Australia
[email protected]

Susan Howick
University of Strathclyde, UK
[email protected]

SangHyun Lee
University of Michigan, USA
[email protected]

Joint European Doctoral Network In System Dynamics launches (October 2)

We are excited to announce the launch of the Joint European Doctoral Network in System Dynamics (, an interdisciplinary PhD network in advanced system dynamics. The network involves faculty from the Universities of Bergen, Lugano, and Stuttgart, the New University of Lisbon, Radboud University (Nijmegen), and from emlyon business school (Lyon). 

As part of this initiative, a first course will be taught in December 2019 in Lyon, France. Review the course information and register here.

To read the full announcement, CLICK HERE.

Registration open for the 3rd Asia Pacific System Dynamics Conference (October 2)

The registration portal for the 3rd Asia Pacific System Dynamics Conference is now open. To register, please go to

The conference will be held at The University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city. UQ is one of the largest universities in Australia, being ranked within the top 50 universities in the world.

Pre-conference workshops and a conference welcome BBQ dinner will be held on Sunday 2 February 2020. The conference program will run over Monday 3 and Tuesday 4 February 2020, and will include keynote addresses, a debate, six plenary presentations and 16 parallel sessions.

The Korean System Dynamics Society 20th anniversary and annual summer conference (October 1)

The Korean System Dynamics Society held its 20th anniversary and annual summer conference at Seoul Business School in Seoul on 31st August 2019. The theme of the event was "Resilience and Sustainability in Korea" with the Keynote speech delivered by Dr. Sang-Man Kwak; "My SD modeling." The President of the UK chapter, Dr. Siôn Cave, gave a speech in person. The System Dynamics Society President, Martin Schaffernicht and President Elect Birgit Kopainsky delivered recorded speeches.Enjoy the speeches at and the Conference photo album: 

The 2nd South African System Dynamics Chapter Competition in Africa

The South Africa System Dynamics Chapter was officially recognised at the 2014 Winter Policy meeting of the international System Dynamics Society, when Motion #119 was passed. All policy council members support the objectives of the Chapter which is to:

  • Promote understanding and awareness of system dynamics as a problem solving approach to many of the Africa-based problems;
  • Identify, develop, extend and disseminate knowledge contributing to the understanding of feedback systems in Africa;
  • Promote the development of the field of System Dynamics and the free interchange of learning, research  and scholarship in all related fields; and
  • Encourage and develop educational programmes in the feedback behaviour of systems in Africa.

 The Chapter is very dependent on sponsorship, support and collaboration from external parties and has been actively supporting the growth and acceleration of SD skills in South Africa and Africa. One such initiative is the annual system dynamics competition which is in its second year running. The competition case study is provided to the interested entrants 2 months before the SASD Conference (now in its 7th year held annually in November). The Conference is used as the platform to present prizes to the winners and to provide them an opportunity to elaborate on their SD approach. This year, the annual SASD Chapter competition was magnanimously supported by iSee Systems who provided trial licences for iSee Stella Architect software to all the entrants, besides a fantastic software prize to the overall winner (who will be announced at the 7th annual SASD Chapter Conference being held in Stellenbosch, South Africa on the 14th November 2019). A one day system dynamics workshop was held on the 21st September 2019 as a refresher for experienced modellers and as a support initiative for new modellers who will be participating in the competition. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Andries Botha and Corne du Plooy and supported by Danie Booyens and Dr Rudolph Oosthuizen, who are all policy council members of the SASD Chapter. The resounding success of the SASD Chapter competition due to support from iSee systems will allow the competition to be extended beyond the African borders in the coming years.  

 The SASD Chapter would like to thank iSee Systems for their excellent support of the competition which will help grow system dynamics and provide new opportunities for system dynamicists in Africa!  

 CCS’19 Satellite Session: Complex decision making in high-consequence environments

During the Conference on Complex Systems 2019 (CCS’19) to be held at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, Argonne and University of Chicago Computational Social Scientist Ignacio J. Martinez-Moyano, along with Alexander Kalloniatis (Defence Science & Technology Group /Australian Government), will host a special satellite session, “Complex decision making in high-consequence environments: Exploring the dynamic interplay of social, behavioral, and technical considerations leading to conflict, crime, security, and resilience.” This session is a follow-on to the 2016, 2017, and 2018 CCS satellite sessions on security and will expand its focus to include processes that lead to conflict, crime, security, and resilience.

Decision-making processes are at the core of how organizations and individuals deal with the causes and consequences of high-impact events. Often in complex systems, because of their inherent unpredictability and because of multiple non-linear effects and time delays in how systems respond, decisions made to address current problems or to prevent future problems are the reason why problems persist over time or emerge in the future.

This session will focus on complex decision making in high-consequence environments. In particular, we intend to explore the dynamic interplay of social, behavioral, and technical considerations leading to conflict, crime, security, and resilience.

Examples of topics that will be addressed are modeling complex systems and their decision-making structures; analysis of escalation and de-escalation of conflict and violence and increases and decreases in criminal activity and organizations; design of decision-making processes to increase security and resilience; adversarial decision making and behavior; mechanisms to reduce ambiguity into uncertainty; and structural considerations needed for stability and instability in complex systems.

The intent of this satellite session is to provide a space in which we will share knowledge and insights about how complex decision making in high-consequence environments can contribute to making the world a more resilient and safer place! We aim to stimulate interactions between practitioners and complexity scientists in this increasingly challenging area.

Important Dates:
July 12, 2019: Deadline for abstract* submission (abstracts should go to [email protected] with the subject title: “CCS’19 abstract submission”)
July 19, 2019: Notification of acceptance and Preliminary Program Released
August 10, 2019: Satellite Session Presenter Registration Deadline


Engaged teaching and learning of system dynamics using LEGO®  SERIOUS PLAY ® at Sustainable Development Programme, Stellenbosch University (June 19)

In the 2019 System Dynamics Modelling 771 module, Professor Josephine Musango, the Coordinator and facilitator of the module, invited Dr Jenson Goh from Residential College 4, National University of Singapore who is a certified facilitator of the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY method and expert in using games pedagogy for teaching and learning. 

 The 2019 class constituted of 16 students who were divided into four groups of four students working on the issues of gender-based violence (Gender-Based Violence Group), management of menstrual health at school (Bloody Mary Group), the dilemma of social media users (So Much Pressure Group) and the challenge of meeting electricity for urban population (The Spark Group). For more information, please click here

The Society releases its Spring Newsletter, which contains important updates and information about operations, events, members and more.  (April 4)

System Dynamics Newsletter Submittal  (April 9)

During the past 12 months, the Psychology and Human Behavior SIG has met every four to five weeks. We discuss the application of system dynamics to sociology and history. We are going through Turner’s book “Human Institutions: A Theory of Societal Evolution.” We are exploring the possibility of creating system dynamics models of his theories. We are also exploring models of historical collapse. To join, or for more information, please contact Pascal Gambardella or David Lounsbury.

Society Member, David Lane, Gives Opening Speech at Operational Research Society Conference  (April 3)

Professor Lane, a Fellow of the Operational Research Society (ORS), gave the opening speech at the conference entitled ‘Building productivity, insight and foresight for your business: How computational modelling can help business and industry’. He also participated in a panel discussion later on in the day. In his talk, he described his extensive experiences as a modeler in business and government in order to motivate the day. He emphasized the benefits of combining the analytical power of modelling with its use as a mean of getting managers to participate in strategic discussions. For more information please click here

News from UK Chapter  (February 25)

The UK Chapter of the SD Society is excited to hold its annual conference on April 4 & 5 in central London! The conference theme is “Uncovering Connections – Delivering Insight”. The UK Chapter conference places a strong emphasis on getting experienced practitioners in consultancy & corporate environments to share their insights, as well as discussing the use of SD in academic studies in a variety of disciplines. We hope to welcome a full house of students, experienced SD practitioners & those who are brand new to SD. Register today!

News from Korean Chapter  (February 25)

The winter conference, one of the biannual conferences since 2000, entitled " Resilience and Sustainability in Korea" was held on February 23th at Seoul Business School in Seoul, South Korea. This conference was the 40th conference since 1999 and began with the keynote speech "Who can move the mountain? SD is the story about people." by Professor Ki-Chan Kim who is a professor of business administration of the Catholic University of Korea and the chairman of the Innovation-driven Economy Division of the National Economy Advisory Council. There were six plenary presentations and one poster presentation, and 40 participants. Visit the online album here. The 41st conference will be the summer conference with the 20th Anniversary of Korean System Dynamics Celebration.

From the annual general meeting at the end of the conference, Dr. Chang-Kwon Chung was re-appointed the President of Korean System Dynamics Society for a second consecutive term until 2020.

Book Your Hotel Reservation Today!  (February 19, 2019)

Attending #ISDC2019?! Book your hotel reservation today! The Hotel Albuquerque will serve as the Host Hotel for the 2019 System Dynamics Society Conference. The Albuquerque Hotel is a luxury hotel located in the heart of Old Town and offers a unique location in the historic district. Special conference discounts are available for attendees. Book by June 28 and specify that your booking is related to the System Dynamics Society Conference or ISDC2019! For more information, please visit the accommodations page.

Call for Papers: The Second National Conference of the Iranian Chapter of System Dynamics Society  (February 18, 2019)

The Second National Conference of the Iranian Chapter of System Dynamics Society will take place on April 24-25, 2019, at Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran. The purpose of this conference is to develop the knowledge of systems thinking and System Dynamics methodology to facilitate solving the national and organizational problems in Iran.

The focus of the conference is "Systems Thinking and System Dynamics Methodology" and "Systems Thinking and System Dynamics Applications" in all aspects of economic, social, environmental, etc.

Officials of this conference are as follows:

  • Conference Chair: Dr. Alinaghi Mashayekhi
  • Conference Secretary: Dr. Mohammad Reza Hamidizadeh
  • Scientific Committee Chair: Dr. Massoud Rabieh
  • Organizing Chair: Dr. Seyed Hossein Hosseini

The deadline for paper submissions is March 11, 2019. The submission guidelines for authors and additional conference details could be found at the conference’s website at

New Publication by Ugo Bardi, Sara Falsini and Ilaria Perissi (February 14, 2019)

Recently, Ugo Bardi, Sara Falsini and Ilaria Perissi performed a System Dynamics study that confirms Joseph Tainter’s theories on the collapse of societies and his proposition of a common cause. Their study goes deeper into the origins of the diminishing returns of civilizations. Learn more about their work today

Have you submitted your paper yet? (February 14, 2019)

Have you submitted your paper yet for our 37th Annual Conference? Check out contribution requirements, submission instructions, threads for 2019, deadlines, and more! We look forward to viewing your work!

Registration is Now Open! (February 13, 2019)

Registration is NOW OPEN for #ISDC2019! We are thrilled to host our 37th Annual Conference in Albuquerque, NM July 21-25, 2019! Communicate, demonstrate and share your work in System Dynamics to engaged peers and industry leaders! Don’t delay, register today!

GMB by Kaveh DianatiNew Publication by Society Members Kaveh Dianati and Nici Zimmermann (February 13, 2019)

Society members Kaveh Dianati and Nici Zimmermann from UCL (University College London), together with other colleagues in an international research project, have just published a paper in the high-ranking environmental journal Science Of The Total Environment. In this paper, they report on work they have been doing in Nairobi, Kenya, on the topic of household air pollution. More than half of Nairobi’s population live in slums. Most of these households use kerosene, charcoal, or wood for cooking, leading to very high indoor concentrations of PM2.5, a major threat for the health of the population. The authors have used a Group Model Building approach to build a System Dynamics model that highlights the importance of reinforcing feedback processes involving investment in monitoring and health impact assessment studies, with important implications for policy.

 New Society President Shares New Year's Message (January 8, 2019)

Click here to read a message from new Society President Martin Schaffernicht.

 Society's New Archives: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2009-2012