News Archives 2014

Special Issue of Sustainability: “System Dynamics Simulation of Environmental and Resources Sustainability”

Society member, Edward Garrity, recently sent us an email regarding a special issue of Sustainability: System Dynamics Simulation of Environmental and Resource Sustainability. This issue features open access articles related to System Dynamics modeling and sustainability and was edited by Allyson Beall King and Richard Dudley, also members of the Society.

The articles include “Sustainable Water Resource Management and Participatory System Dynamics. Case Study: Developing the Palouse Basin Participatory Model” by Allyson Beall, Fritz Fiedler, Jan Boll, and Barbara Cosens, “The Dynamics of Brownfield Redevelopment” by Todd K. BenDor, Sara S. Metcalf, and Mark Paich, “T21-Ohio, a System Dynamics Approach to Policy Assessment for Sustainable Development: A Waste to Profit Case Study” by Emrah Cimren, Andrea Bassi, and Joseph Fiksel and “System Dynamics Modeling of the Massachusetts SREC Market” by Hilary Flynn, Dwayne Breger, Andrew Belden, Asmeret Bier, Chad Laurent, Natalie Andrews, and Wilson Rickerson.

Also included in the special issue are “System Dynamics Modeling of Individual Transferable Quota Fisheries and Suggestions for Rebuilding Stocks” by Edward J. Garrity, “Learning from the Neighbors: Economic and Environmental Impacts from Intensive Shrimp Farming in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam” by Thuy T.H. Nguyen and Andrew Ford, “The System Dynamics of Forest Cover in the Developing World: Researcher Versus Community Perspectives” by Laura Schmitt Olabisi, and “Participatory System Dynamics Modeling for Sustainable Environmental Management: Observations from Four Cases” by Krystyna Stave.

We always appreciate bibliography references sent to us by members. Thank you Edward for these additions.

The System Dynamics Bibliography has been updated

The fourth update (2014d. version) of the 2014 Bibliography is now available. We offer the Bibliography in four different formats. Please visit the Download page and choose the format that works best for you.

Members Andrea Bassi and Edward Garrity have recently sent us references that are new to the Bibliography. Do you have any references that are not included in our Bibliography? Please send them to [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.

Check out the Bibliographic Updates page to see the items that have been added in December.

System Dynamics Review Early View

An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is a “research” article titled “A realistic leverage point for one-planet living: more compulsory vacation in the rich world” written by Jorgen Randers.

Recently some China Chapter members, along with some former students of Professor Qifan Wang, visited with him to celebrate his 80th birthday. The group spent time remembering and sharing old stories. Professor Wang has been influential in the field of System Dynamics in China. He served in leadership roles within the System Dynamics Society by helping to form the China Chapter and as the China Chapter Representative for many years. In 2007 Professor Wang served as President of the System Dynamics Society. Congratulations Qifan!

Radboud Summer School

At Radboud Summer School this year, Etiënne Rouwette and Andreas Größler will offer a one-week summer school course on Dynamic Business Models (10-14 August 2015). The target audience is novices to System Dynamics with an interest in business applications. The Summer School is intended for both Dutch and international students. The courses will be held at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, one of the leading academic centers of excellence in the Netherlands. EC credits can be earned, but please check with your home university in advance for information about transferring credits. Click here for more information.

Benelux Chapter Conference, 29 January 2015​ in The Hague

The Benelux Chapter announces the conference on System Dynamics Cooperation in Practice with Policy Makers and Social Scientists. The conference is organized by the Benelux Chapter together with PBL and TNO. It will be held in The Hague on 29 January 2015. You are invited to send in abstracts for papers of your System Dynamics related work, proposals for workshops or sessions and proposals for parallel streams. The conference is particularly interested in successful examples of applied System Dynamics research. The theme of the conference is based on the growth of the System Dynamics field in Benelux. Hundreds of students with some degree of System Dynamics knowledge graduate annually from one of the universities. The conference organizers write “But, if we look at policy making, governance and social science, only a small group of SD practitioners are able to integrate these worlds. What are the main reasons for SD not being used to the fullest in other areas? Are problems in social science and policy too complex to model with SD? Or are SD models too complex for policy makers and social scientist to understand? Does a gap exist between what SD has to offer and other areas of research and policy makers demand? And how can we cope with the uncertainty existing in (global) politics? During this conference, we would like to invite everyone interested or active in System Dynamics or related fields – including policy makers and social scientists – to show, discuss and elaborate on how we can aid policy makers and social scientist in their occupation.” To learn more about submission details, due dates, registration, and contact information, please visit the Benelux LinkedIn page or contact Tom Logtens at [email protected].

Three Online Introductory System Dynamics Courses for Math and Science Instructors

Starting in the Summer of 2015 the first two of a three introductory course sequence for math and science instructors will be offered online through Portland State University. The graduate-level 3-credit courses include Basic ModelsMore Advanced Models and Building Original Models from the News. The courses will run for ten weeks over the summer. Instructor Diana Fisher teaches “Environmental Math Modeling” to undergraduate students at Portland State University using System Dynamics and has recently finished teaching a System Dynamics mini-course at the Northwest Math Conference (NWMC) in Portland this past October. For more information on this and other courses, please visit the Courses website.

System Dynamics Society Members David Lane and Elke Husemann awarded OR Society President’s Medal for 2014

Pictured from left to right:
Eileen Munro, David Lane, and Elke Husemann

The winner of the OR Society President’s Medal for 2014, for the submission judged to be best practical, implemented, application of O.R., goes to David Lane (Henley Business School), Eileen Munro (LSE) and Elke Husemann, for “Using Systems Thinking to Undertake a Review of Child Protection in England.” The work formed a central part of ‘the Munro Review’ (Munro, 2010, 2011a, b), a high-profile review of state-managed child protection activities in England, conducted for the Department for Education.

Child protection in England encompasses a wide range of services which aim to secure the safety and welfare of children and young people. This includes, for example, the provision of foster care and adoption services, and support for families. The child protection system is also responsible for the investigation of possible cases of child maltreatment, and intervention in such cases.

Drawing on the field of system dynamics, causal loop diagramming was used to map the sector. Among the evidence used in support of the map were published research, expert interviews, and comments from relevant professions (e.g. health, social work, judiciary). This systems mapping unearthed a prescriptive approach to child protection that contributed to a culture of compliance.

A second phase of work used group model building to examine the functioning of the sector. A group of professionals and experts worked over a number of sessions and created a large and complex systems map of current operations. By considering the causal mechanisms that were in operation, it became apparent that the sector was in the grip of a set of reinforcing effects, or ‘vicious circles’. The map was subsequently used to give structure to the issues the review had to address and ultimately provided an organising framework for the recommendations that were made. Of the 15 recommendations in the report, ten were accepted in full and five were accepted in principle.

Using systems thinking and causal loop diagrams the work addressed a vital area of public policy and it had a major influence on the recommendations of the Munro Review. That influence continues through on-going changes in government policy for child protection. The work was therefore judged a worthy winner of the President’s Medal for 2014.

Bibliography Highlights for December

Sustainability, Recycling and the Throwaway Economy. Here are some articles in the System Dynamics Bibliography about sustainability, recycling and trash: a dilemma we all face in the modern world. Please take a look!

Author Year Title Journal
Sudhir, V., Srinivasan. G. & Muraleedharan, V.R. 1997 Planning for sustainable solid waste management in urban India System Dynamics Review
Ulli-Beer, Silvia, Andersen, D.F. & Richardson, G.P. 2007 Financing a Competitive Recycling Initiative in Switzerland Ecological Economics
Cimren, E., Bassi, A. & Fiksel, J. 2010 T21-Ohio, a System Dynamics Approach to Policy Assessment for Sustainable Development: A Waste to Profit Case Study Sustainability
Elina, D., Bazbauers, G., Berzina, A. & Davidsen, P.I. 2012 System Dynamics Model for Analyszing effects of Eco-Design Policy on Packaging Waste Management System Resources, Conservation and Recycling

India Chapter presents first of one-day seminar series

The System Dynamics Society India Chapter organized the first of a series of one-day seminars on Business Systems Modeling at one of India’s leading universities, the O.P Jindal Business School (JBS) in New Delhi, India. The seminar was conducted by Society members Karan Khosla (EarthSafe Enterprises) with support from Dr. Saroj Koul (Dean of Supply Chain and Logistics at JBS); it was attended by experienced mid-career professionals from across India, studying at various management programmes at the Jindal Business School. The programme’s focus was on building management flight simulators for strategic business planning. Two models were built and analysed: the first model demonstrated how delays in human resource supply chains impact project profitability; the second demonstrated how common marketing strategies for durable products can be captured and explored using a simple diffusion model. The seminars to follow in early 2015 will focus on creating SD based management flight simulators to capture processes related to production, marketing, and accounting. For more information on the India Chapter, and all other System Dynamics Society Chapters, please visit

News from the Brazilian Chapter: Symposium in São Paulo

The Brazilian Chapter of the Society is promoting a symposium in São Paulo, on December 4, 2014. The event will be held at FEI University Center and will include seven presentations describing applied research and consulting efforts. Guest speakers chiming in via the Web are Kim Warren, Andy Ford and Khalid Saeed. Local presenters: Edmilson Moraes will introduce the method, while Newton Bueno and João Arantes will provide examples of applications initiated in academia, and Rudolf Flunger will describe a consulting project, all of which carried out in Brazil. A closing panel will brainstorm, and address questions from the audience, discussing ways to improve formal training and to grow the client base for using the method and existing applications.

Web-Sim Fishbanks at the Federal University of the State of São Paulo

110 professionals, educators, and students from more than 30 organizations participated in the Web-Sim Fishbanks simulation lab held at the Federal University of the State of São Paulo, on September 12, 2014. The event was organized by João Arantes, of UNIFESP, and facilitated by Jason Jay, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management. It included representatives from Brazil’s Ministry of Environment, State of São Paulo Department of Education, consulting companies, and professors and students from some of the most prestigious universities in Brazil, as well as educators from two local high-schools. The Brazilian Chapter, under the leadership of Marciano Morozowski, promoted the event in partnership with MIT’s Learning Edge.

This link contains more information, photos, and videos, including links to the materials distributed, a follow-up news article published in the Brazilian media, and a bilingual report of the effort involved in putting together this large session successfully.

This simulation lab, and an upcoming SD symposium, on December 4, 2014 (to be hosted by Edmilson Moraes at FEI University Center), are evidence of the growing interest in the method and its applications, following on the footsteps of a first symposium, held in 2004, and two regional conferences, in 2006 and 2011. (We have Pierre Ehrilich, Niraldo Nascimento and Ricardo Chaim, respectively, to thank for these earlier efforts.)


Members are invited speakers at Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference

Allyson Beall, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of the Environment, Washington State University and Peter Hovmand, Director, Social System Design Lab, Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis have been invited to speak at the Innovations in Collaborative Modeling Conference. This conference will be held in early June at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Allyson Beall’s presentation title is “Staying the Course: Collaborative Modeling as an Adaptive Process Over Time” and Peter Hovmand’s will talk about “Community Based System Dynamics: Lessons from the Field.”

The conference is accepting papers, demonstrations and posters on:
• Trans-disciplinary (linked) modeling that involves the integration of knowledge and practice across disciplines,
• Participatory modeling that involves stakeholders from a wide range of sectors in conceptualizing, representing, and managing complex problems, and
• Quantitative systems modeling techniques including, but not limited to, system dynamics modeling, social network analysis, and agent-based modelling.

The Call for Proposals deadline is December 19, 2014. For more information about the invited speakers’ topics and to learn more about the conference, please visit their conference website.


November 14-15, 2014 – Shanghai, China: The second System Dynamics Academic Forum for Postgraduates was hosted by Shanghai University of International Business and Economics in Shanghai, Nov 14-15, 2014. The forum received about 80 papers submitted by postgraduate students and young scholars from more than 15 universities and institutes. 57 of the submitted papers were accepted by the committee after refereeing. This forum brought the present members together for a high-quality two-day conference with two keynote speeches delivered by Professor Xu LI from Fudan University and Professor Enzo Binova from the University of Palermo. After paper presentation and communication in two parallel sessions, where invited eminent scholars in SD area made sublime comments, the awards ceremony was held on the closing ceremony. The forum offered an extensive and in-depth examination into the academics and application of system dynamics.

Member Didier Cumenal appointed Head of Dynamic Systems Group at AFSCET

AFSCET (French Association of Systems Science Cognitive and Technical Cybernetics) represents the French community systemic to the European Union of Systems (UES). It was founded in 1999 by Lucien Mehl, State Councilor, who died in 2005. Today, it is chaired by François Dubois, Full Professor (Applied Mathematics) at the “Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris” and member of the Laboratory of Structural Mechanics and Systems. AFSCET’s mission is to be a place where exchanges may take place with practices and lessons from diverse backgrounds. These exchanges are based on the systemic–the thought process from Information Theory and Cybernetics. Transdisciplinarity, the integration of major societal debates and thinking about the prospective are at the heart of the concerns of AFSCET. The Association invites all members who wish to participate in these discussions and thoughts. Three working groups are currently active:

  • AFSCET Café
  • Modeling of Complex Systems
  • System Dynamics (Think Tank)

“System Dynamics (Think Tank)” group is facilitated by Dr. Didier CUMENAL (Paris Sorbonne Ph.D., former Dean of the Faculty). He regularly publishes research on System Dynamics and is a long-time member of the System Dynamics Society. The primary mission of the group “System Dynamics Thinking” of AFSCET is to reactivate the dynamics systems in France. To this end, we will conduct several actions:

  • Learning the system dynamics (method, tools) to expand the vision of our economic and social environment.
  • Share with managers and academics, experience in system dynamics models.

The Association organizes conferences, workshops, discussions, seminars, devoted to the exploration of theories and systemic practices. It broadcasts all of its work with researchers, professionals and students, by means of the Internet and / or paper publications.

Climate Interactive analysis of the new US-China climate agreement

The United States and China just announced a new climate deal. China President Xi Jinping made the commitment that China would stop its emissions from growing by 2030, and President Obama announced that the United States would emit 26 percent to 28 percent less carbon in 2025 than it did in 2005. The Climate Interactive team analyzed the impact of the new climate agreement between the US and China: Breaking Analysis US China Climate Deal.

It has been picked up so far by the Associated Press and Climate Progress.

One of the advantages of the C-ROADS model is that it runs essentially instantly, so the minute news of the agreement broke, the CI team could begin to analyze the likely impacts on climate change and get the results out to the world in less than 24 hours.

For more on Climate Interactive, including access to the C-ROADS and En-ROADS models so you can try your own scenarios, see

European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) study programme

The European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) is a two-year study programme provided by four European universities: Bergen, Lisbon, Palermo and Nijmegen. In this scientifically and practically oriented programme, students are taught two complementary sets of knowledge and skills: analytical modelling and group facilitation.

The deadline for applications of potential students for classes starting end August 2015 in Bergen is 1st December 2014 (at least if you want to apply for a scholarship—without, a later application is possible). Please spread the word! More information:

System Dynamics Review Early View

An early view article of System Dynamics Review is now available online. It is a “notes and insights” article titled “‘Model’ teaching II: Examples for the early stages” written by George P. Richardson.

The Balaton Group Creates Book List

The Balaton Group, a nonprofit organization founded long ago by Dana and Dennis Meadows and dedicated to promoting sustainability using systems thinking and other methods, has created a page on their website listing the (many!) books written by the members. It’s quite useful and you will find both important System Dynamics works as well as a wide range of works addressing the many dimensions of sustainability, from scholarly research to children’s books. Many thanks to Gillian Martin Mehers and all the Balaton folks who contributed and assembled the list.

Member Christian Erik Kampmann wins Teacher of the Year at Copenhagen Business School

Member Christian Erik Kampmann, who received his PhD in System Dynamics at MIT Sloan, teaches innovation, sustainability and System Dynamics at Copenhagen Business School, the leading business school in Denmark. Christian was awarded Teacher of the Year at the Copenhagen Business School.

Congratulations to Christian on this impressive achievement!

Bibliography Highlights for November

Right wing, left wing? Democracy has been an effective and successful political system from the 5th century BC to today. Is it running into trouble? Here are some articles in the System Dynamics Bibliography about democracy. Please take a look!

Author Year Title Journal
Ilya Prigogine 1986 Science, Civilization and Democracy: Values, systems, structures and affinities Futures
Khalid Saeed 1986 The dynamics of economic growth and political instability in developing countries System Dynamics Review
P.H. Gurian, E. Euel,
D. Everett
1996 An application of Nonlinear Dynamics to the [US] Presidential Nomination Process Behavioral Science
N. C. Georgantzas,
G.D. Contogeorgis
2012 Societal metamorphosis via authentic democracy principles Human Systems Management
K. Hyunjung, R.H. MacDonald, D. Andersen 2013 Simulation and managerial decision making: A double-loop learning framework Public Administration Review
Khalid Saeed, O. Pavlov,
J. Skorinko, A. Smith
2014 Farmers, bandits and soldiers: a generic system for addressing peace agendas System Dynamics Review

Member Tiru Arthanari Awarded the 2014 International Anassilaos Prize “Renato Calapso” (October 24, 2014)

Every year the CULTURAL ASSOCIATION ANASSILAOS, through a panel of judges made up of distinguished representatives of the sciences and arts on both the Italian and European levels, confers awards on individuals or groups/institutions that have made outstanding contributions in the fields of the Arts, Culture, Economics and the Sciences. The award list has been expanded to include the John Paul II Peace Award. This year the prize, which was instituted in honour of the twentieth-century Italian geometer Renato Calapso, has been awarded to System Dynamics Society member Tiru Arthanari. The award is in recognition of Tiru’s contributions to combinatorial optimization, constrained optimization formulations of statistical problems, and mathematical modelling of many practical problems including that of modelling co-opetition among New Zealand growers. The award ceremony will be held on Saturday November 8, 2014 in Reggio Calabria, Italy at the Auditorium “Nicola Calipari” of the Palace of Consiglio Regionale della Calabria, at the presence of the highest Representatives of Italian Republic and under their official patronage. Congratulations Tiru on this award!

New issue of System Dynamics Review Available (October 23, 2014)

The latest issue of System Dynamics Review is available on Wiley Online Library. This issue of System Dynamics Reviewincludes research articles “Do markets mitigate misperceptions of feedback? (pages 123–160)” by Christian Erik Kampmann and John D. Sterman, “Managerial influence on the diffusion of innovations within intra-organizational networks (pages 161–185)” by Philipp Wunderlich, Andreas Größler, Nicole Zimmermann, and Jac A. M. Vennix, and “Sensitivity analysis of graphical functions (pages 186–205)” by Sibel Eker, Jill Slinger, Els van Daalen, and Gönenç Yücel. Articles in this issue also include a “notes and insights” article “Interactive web-based simulations for strategy and sustainability: The MIT Sloan LearningEdge management flight simulators, Part II (pages 206–231)” by John Sterman.

Updated Submission Guidelines and Tentative Schedule (October 22, 2014)

The Africa Chapter of the System Dynamics Society is organizing its 1st International workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing with the main theme “Transformation for Sustainable Development” in Kenya on 12-13 January 2015. There is new and updated information about submission guidelines, the tentative schedule and more available via this link: Call for Workshop Papers. The paper submission deadline is November 15, 2014.

Waters Foundation Systems Thinking in Schools Newsletter (October 15, 2014)

The October 2014 Waters Foundation Systems Thinking in Schools newsletter is now available online. In this issue you can read about how the Waters Foundation team has been busy supporting districts in New York, Wisconsin, Oregon and California in building their systems thinking capacity. Also read about the Project Based Learning workshop held this past summer in Tucson, Arizona, where teachers experienced with systems thinking tools and habits were able to further refine their skills at creating authentic, relevant learning opportunities for students. Also making news is the exciting completion of a 3-year systems thinking capacity-building plan for Winston Salem/Forsyth County Schools that came to an impressive closure this past June.

New Feature: Language Field in the Bibliography (October 13, 2014)

We now have a field so that references in our Bibliography can be searched by language. We invite those of you who wish to submit journal articles, books, chapters in books, and other forms of references to do so in your native language.

As always, we are looking for new references or references that have not yet been included in our Bibliography. If you have references that you would like to share with us, please send them to [email protected].

The Bibliographic Updates page lists recent additions to the System Dynamics Bibliography. This list is updated whenever new submissions are received.

The third update of the 2014 Bibliography is now available. It can be viewed in text format (Notepad) as well as a tab delimited format (database compatible). For those who have EndNote X or higher, there is a compressed version. Instructions may be found on the Download page.

8th Annual German Chapter Meeting and 2014 Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Award Winner (October 10, 2014)

More than 40 participants joined the 8th annual conference of the German Chapter, held in the end of May at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Karlsruhe. This year’s conference focused on System Dynamics methodology and the modelling process involving stakeholders. Related to this overall topic, Etienne Rouwette and Laura Black held key note speeches about their current research. Etienne Rouwette presented a project with the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Laura Black talked about “Modelling as Social Act.”

Furthermore, it was the 7th time the German Chapter awarded the Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Award in memory of Prof. Dr. Gert von Kortzfleisch who was a pioneer in teaching and using System Dynamics in his research in Germany. This year, the German Chapter awarded Roland Maximilian Happach for his master thesis titled “Three Scenarios of the European Natural Gas Market: A Market in Arrays”. In his thesis, Roland Maximilian Happach analyzes the impact of three distinct scenarios: the omission of long-term contracts, the increase of liquified natural gas and the introduction of bi-directional gas flows on the inner-European natural gas flows. It was the first time that the Gert-von-Kortzfleisch Award distinguished a master thesis. Segments of the thesis are published in the proceedings of the 2014 System Dynamics Conference (“Modelling the inner-European natural gas flows”). Roland Maximilian Happach completed the European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) at the universities of Bergen (Norway), Palermo (Italy) and Nijmegen (the Netherlands) in 2012 as part of the first cohort.

Congratulations, Max!

Society for Organizational Learning Announces Upcoming Leadership Program with Peter Senge and Robert Hanig (October 09, 2014)

The Society for Organizational Learning (SOL) has announced its “Foundations for Leadership Program.” Deepen your capacity to lead effectively in this intensive three-day program, based on the leadership development process described in The Fifth Discipline, by Peter Senge, identified as a seminal management book by Harvard Business Review. Participants in the program will explore what it takes to create an environment where leadership is a shared responsibility, naturally embedded in the fabric of an organization and community, and connect with and benefit from the perspectives of colleagues from a wide range of organizations from around the world. The program, described by past participants as a “not-to-be-missed opportunity,” is facilitated by Peter Senge and Robert Hanig, and will take place December 9-11, 2014 and March 25-27, 2015 in Bedford, MA.

Creative Learning Exchange Newsletter (October 09, 2014)

The Fall 2014 issue of The Creative Learning Exchange’s newsletter The Exchange is now available on their website. In this issue you will find “Innovation Academy Charter School Reaffirms a Systems Approach to Education,” a compelling article about the implementation of systems thinking and education at the Innovation Academy Charter School. Also in the newsletter is an update about CLE’s 11th biennial Systems Thinking and Dynamics Modeling Conference held near Boston, Massachusetts at the end of June.

Food and Agriculture Organization Call for Papers – Deadline Updates (October 09, 2014)

In the context of their “Meeting Urban Food Needs” project, the Food and Agriculture Organization of UN (FAO), in collaboration with the System Dynamics Italian Chapter and the University of Turin, has announced new deadlines for its call for papers (3/2014) on “Complex-systems dynamics principles applied to food systems.” The new proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2014; and new full paper submission deadline is January 30, 2015. Selected papers will stimulate discussion on how complex-systems dynamics perspective can contribute to the understanding of the characteristics, structure, performance and behavior of food systems meeting urban food needs and to the formulation of appropriate policies, strategies and investments plans. At least five authors among those whose paper will be published (one author per paper) will be invited to attend an expert meeting in FAO-Rome in 2015.

International Research Conference on Systemic Analysis in Economics (October 07, 2014)

Member and Russian Chapter Representative Natalia Lychkina invites system dynamicists to participate in the upcoming “International Research Conference on Systemic Analysis in Economics” to be held November 13-14, 2014 in Moscow. Join in several opportunities for the themes of “Theory of Social and Economic Systems,” “Methods for Systemic Modelling,” “Systemic Analysis in Solving Social and Economic Problems,” “Social and Economic Cybernetics,” and “System Measurement and Soft Computing.” Conference working languages will be in English and Russian. For more information including registration information, please visit the conference website.

Member Andrew Jones to speak at Smithsonian’s Grand Challenges Consortia Symposium (October 07, 2014)

Member Andrew Jones will give a presentation at the one-day symposium titled Living in the Anthropocene: Prospects for Climate, Economics, Health, and Security, organized by the Smithsonian’s Grand Challenges Consortia. It will be held at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, on October 9, 2014. Andrew’s presentation is titled “Solving Climate Change in 20 Minutes: A Guided Simulation.” The symposium will consider how humans are transforming the climate and environments of the Earth at an accelerating rate through agriculture, urbanization, transportation, the use of fossil fuels, and many other activities. The views of leaders in the fields of climate, health, economics, and security who will consider the problems we face will be featured and possible solutions offered. This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

Last year Andrew, along with his co-authors, was the recipient of the System Dynamics Applications Award, presented every other year for the best “real world” application of system dynamics. The award was for their work Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model. Andrew is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of Climate Interactive.

Otto Scharmer“5 Conditions for Shifting Social Fields” article in The Huffington Post (October 07, 2014)

A recent article in The World Post, a partnership of The Huffington Post and Berggruen Institute on Governance by Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer from MIT is titled “5 Conditions for Shifting Social Fields.” It talks about participants engaging in intense discussions with key thought leaders in global finance (Simon Johnson), Systems Thinking (Peter Senge), data-driven societies (Sandy Pentland), urban transformation (Phil Thompson), mindful systems change (Dayna Cunningham), and System Dynamics (John Sterman). The participants of this multi-day event spent one half-day in a workshop related to global climate change. Please click on the article link to read about what it takes to address the current crises of our time at the level of the source (as opposed to the level of the symptoms) and more.

25th Systems Thinking in Action Conference (October 01, 2014)

Systems Thinking in Action+ DC 2014 Conference with the theme “Systems of Wellbeing” will be held November 5 – 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. Systems Thinking has long been established as a discipline, a lens, and a set of tools necessary to create long-term, sustainable solutions, especially when focused on solving problems. The conference goal is to go beyond problem solving and start imagining healthy, thriving individuals, communities and families, and organizations and institutions that promote wellbeing. Where is there leverage for wellness? Where is positive change emerging in our world? And what would it look like if we were to redesign systems, big and small, to facilitate wellness and wellbeing? Keynote speakers include Glenda Eoyang, David Stein and Maria Seddio, David Peter Stroh, Marilee Adams, and Victor Garcia.

EURAM’15 – Entrepreneurship SIG track (October 01, 2014)

The EURAM (European Academy of Management) Conference will be held in Warsaw, Poland in mid-June, 2015. Please see the Call for Papers (CfP) and specifically the CfP for the business simulation topic within the Entrepreneurship SIG track. The title of this track is Visionary entrepreneurship in complex worlds: Computer modeling, business games and scenario analysis. Co-proponent for the Entrepreneurship SIG and Society member Stefano Armenia states, “It is a great occasion for System Dynamics people in Europe to attend a great management conference and for our community to spread out and disseminate in a very large attendance event (usually around 1500 attendees).” Submissions will be done on-line on the EURAM 2015 website from December 1, 2014, till January 13, 2015. For more information, please visit the EURAM’15 Conference website

New Publication: Extensive coverage of System Dynamics modeling in new CSS textbook (October 01, 2014)

This new textbook, by Claudio Cioffi-Revilla, Ph.D., D.Sc.Pol., provides a unified Introduction to Computational Social Sciences in a reader-friendly format. The four methodological approaches; automated social information extraction, social network analysis, social complexity theory and social simulation modeling are explained in detail. In addition to explicit mention of all the main pioneers, the System Dynamics Society, the System Dynamics Review, software, and much more, the book features System Dynamics Society member Professor Nazli Choucri of MIT. Chapter 9 includes coverage of System Dynamics models since System Dynamics is an essential component of the CSS core. This book highlights the main theories of the Computational Social Science paradigm as causal explanatory frameworks that bring light on the nature of human and social dynamics.

NIH grant-funding and System Dynamics (September 29, 2014)

The NPR blog posted a new article titled “After The NIH Funding Euphoria’ Comes The Hangover’.” The post reflects on a paper published at Service Science in 2012 by Richard Larson, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, and Mauricio Gomez Diaz. The original published paper developed a simple difference-equation model of new funding versus past commitments for grant funding agencies, and uncovered a balancing loop which can create periodic oscillations in National Institutes of Health new competing grants and magnify effects of change in budget on new funding.

First International Workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing (September 29, 2014)

The System Dynamics Africa Chapter is organizing its inaugural Chapter Workshop to exchange novel ideas and practical experience in System dynamics, “The 1st International Workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing” will be held at the Safari Park Hotel Nairobi in Kenya on 12-13 January 2015. The theme of this workshop is “Transformation for Sustainable Development” and is therefore designed for SD members and practitioners in Africa and elsewhere in the world who are interested in emerging societal challenges and how to leverage the developments in big data and cloud computing technologies. Participants will benefit from an international perspective and meaningful insights of leading SD experts and fellow delegates from the Africa region and the rest of the world. Click here for more information about this workshop.

Member Jim Thompson to present at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (September 22, 2014)

Member Jim Thompson is giving a presentation at the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, co-sponsored by WHO Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. More than 1,700 health systems researchers from 100+ countries are participating in the conference in Cape Town, South Africa, September 30-October 3, 2014. The theme for this Symposium is on people-centered health systems: health systems that recognize that people are their central focus and resource, and that address responsiveness at population and patient levels as a central goal. The event brings together researchers, policy and decision makers, advocates, and implementers from around the world to develop the field of health systems research.

Jim’s session presents a study of a novel medicines access program to assist the poor living in rural villages in Kenya. A System Dynamics model simulates the idealized program and concerns about its actual implementation. Presentation participants will be invited to interact with the model by trying alternative parameter values and suggesting improvements to the concept model.

The presentation includes a section on System Dynamics methodology publications and global learning resources. The slides include a list of System Dynamics courses and degree programs around the world. If you have information on currently offered degree programs and university-level courses in System Dynamics, especially in Africa and East Asia, please send new or updated information to the Society using the course survey form. This information will be used to update the Society Web site.

Jim is a founding member of the Society’s Health Policy Special Interest Group and feels that this occasion is a fantastic opportunity for outreach to highlight System Dynamics as an extremely powerful tool for health policy and systems research.

In Memoriam (September 18, 2014)

Past member Richard Stevenson passed away last week after recently being diagnosed with sarcoma. Richard founded Cognitus Ltd. and did much to promote System Dynamics through teaching and consultancy throughout the 1990’s. Amongst other things, Cognitus Ltd. was a sponsor of the Society, the UK distributor for the ithink System Dynamics software, and the organizer of the annual gathering of the UK Chapter in Harrogate for its first few years. Thanks to Eric Wolstenholme for sharing this information.

Global Sustainability Fellows Program (September 18, 2014)

For the first time, in summer 2014, the Sustainability Laboratories of New York realized the Global Sustainability Fellows Program (GFSP), a trans-disciplinary study program at master level for students from all over the world. The purpose of the GFSP is to support a worldwide transformation toward a sustainable society. The program’s goal is to prepare future leaders and managers from all sectors, including governmental bodies, companies and civil society, to master this challenge. The pilot program took place at EARTH University in Costa Rica. This small university is focused on sustainability; it even has an organic farm on its campus. Participants came from 15 countries and all five continents. Besides theory, an exploration of the tropical rainforest and visits to organic farms and factories, the program included fieldwork in Martina Bustos, a poor district of the city of Liberia. Markus Schwaninger, professor at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and a long-standing member of our Society, was on the faculty of the GSFP. He taught System Dynamics, the qualitative version of which provided excellent tools for the fieldwork: For example, together with citizens of Martina Bustos, students constructed causal loop diagrams in order to explore paths for the development of the district. Final evaluations show that the program was a big success.

Students and faculty of the Global Sustainability Fellows Forum, Costa Rica, 2014

EARTH University, Pococí Campus, Limón, Costa Rica

The Oasis XMILE Technical Committee has been working on the development of a standard for storing System Dynamics models, and have recently approved a Committee Specification Draft (CSD) and submitted it for 30-day public review. The public review started September 12, 2014 and ends October 11, 2014. This document defines an open XML protocol (XMILE) for the sharing, interoperability, and reuse of System Dynamics models and simulations. This is an open invitation to comment, and OASIS solicits feedback from potential users, developers and others, whether OASIS members or not, for the sake of improving the interoperability and quality of its technical work. Reviewers may provide comments directly from the comment-tag version of the document. Full information on the 30-day Public Review of XMILE can be found on the SDForum.

Member John Sterman and Climate Interactive featured in film “Disruption (September 15, 2014)

The film Disruption features incredible and informative interviews from scientists, activists and leaders – including Climate Interactive partner John Sterman of MIT. The film was released in advance of the People’s Climate March, the largest climate march in history, in the streets of New York City on September 21, 2014. Climate Interactive uses System Dynamics modeling to explore the interplay between social and planetary systems and focuses on climate change research. In 2009, John Sterman was part of the group that developed the Climate Rapid Overview and Decision-support Simulator (C-ROADS). The C-ROADS simulation calculated the long-term climate impacts of proposals that were under consideration in the negotiations to produce a global climate treaty at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2009. Last year, the System Dynamics Applications Award was presented by the Society to John Sterman, Thomas Fiddaman, Travis Franck, Andrew Jones, Stephanie McCauley, Philip Rice, Elizabeth Sawin and Lori Siegel for their work Climate Interactive: The C-ROADS Climate Policy Model. This award is presented for the best “real world” application of System Dynamics.

EncyclopediaYutaka TakahashiSystem Dynamics Included in Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology for the First Time (September 5, 2014)

The new edition of Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology was published in July 2014 by IGI Global. This third edition of the encyclopedia includes System Dynamics in its content for the first time. One whole chapter is devoted to System Dynamics, and is written by the Society member Yutaka Takahashi. This chapter provides a brief introduction to the System Dynamics approach and lists fundamental and recent works in this field. For more information about the encyclopedia and the chapter, please click here.

book coverBrian DangerfieldNew Book on Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics Methods (August 14, 2014)

In recent years, there has been a growing debate, particularly in the UK and Europe, over the merits of using discrete-event simulation (DES) and System Dynamics (SD). There are now instances where both methodologies were employed on the same problem. The new book, Discrete-Event Simulation and System Dynamics for Management Decision Making, edited by Sally Brailsford, Leonid Churilov, and Brian Dangerfield (pictured left) details each method and compares each in terms of both theory and their application to various problem situations. It also provides a seamless treatment of various topics–theory, philosophy, and detailed mechanics and practical implementation–providing a systematic treatment of the methodologies of DES and SD, which previously have been treated separately.

New issue of System Dynamics Review Available (August 13, 2014)

The latest issue of System Dynamics Review is available on Wiley Online Library. This issue of System Dynamics Reviewincludes “Radicalization under deep uncertainty: a multi-model exploration of activism, extremism, and terrorism” by Erik Pruyt and Jan Kwakkel, “Model behaviour and the concept of loop impact: A practical method” by John Hayward and Graeme Boswell, and “Public and health professionals’ misconceptions about the dynamics of body weight gain/loss” by Tarek Abdel-Hamid et al.. Articles in this issue also include a research-problem article “Levels of evidence in system dynamics modeling” by Jack homer, and notes and insights articles “Model’ teaching” by George Richardson and “Interactive web-based simulations for strategy and sustainability: The MIT Sloan LearningEdge management flight simulators, Part I” by John Sterman.

System Dynamics Society Awards Given at the Conference (July 31, 2014)

Pictured left to right: Jorgen Randers and Jack Homer

Lifetime Achievement Award
The System Dynamics Society occasionally recognizes people for making a significant contribution to a field or a practice over an extended period of time by giving them Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the only award of the Society that is based on a body of work done over lifetime and not on a single article. This year, the award was presented to Jorgen Randers for his leadership in futures research and global sustainability.

The System Dynamics Society Outstanding Service Award recognizes individuals that have, on a volunteer basis, made exceptional contributions to the Society over an extended period of time. This year the Society awarded Pål Davidsen and Jac A. M. Vennix this award in grateful recognition of their exceptional volunteer contributions to the System Dynamics Society.

Pictured left to right: Pål Davidsen and Jac A. M. Vennix

Pictured left to right: Andy Ford, David Andersen, Pål Davidsen, Roberta Spencer, Jac Vennix, Peter Milling, and Bob Eberlein

Conference Paper Awards

The Dana Meadows Award of the System Dynamics Society is given annually for the best paper by a student presented at the annual System Dynamics Conference. Established in 2001, the prize celebrates and recognizes high quality student work in the field of System Dynamics. The 2014 recipient was Can Sücüllü from Bogaziçi University for his paper (co-authored by Gönenç Yucel) Behavior Analysis and Testing Software (BATS).

The Lupina Young Researchers Award is given annually for outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics authored by students. The 2014 recipient was Mohammad Jalali from Virginia Tech for his paper (co-authored by Hazhir Rahmandad, Sally Bullock, and Alice Ammerman) Dynamics of Obesity Interventions inside Organizations.

Pictured left to right: Can Sücüllü and Joel Rahn
Pictured left to right: Mohammad Jalali and Gary Hirsch
Pictured left to right: Siva Muthuprakash, Karim Chichakly, and Bob Eberlein

The Barry Richmond Scholarship Award is presented annually to a deserving Systems Thinking or System Dynamics practitioner whose work demonstrates a desire to expand the field or to apply it to current social issues. This year’s recipient was Siva Muthuprakash K. M.

Join the Delft Conference conversation at #ISDC14 ! (July 11, 2014)

During #ISDC14 we want to create a more engaging conference by using social media.

Join the live conversation at the Delft conference via Twitter by using the hashtag #ISDC14. Share the excitement, post inspiring quotes, ask questions, provide feedback, engage by using #ISDC14 as the conference happens. Onsite, the conversation will be visible, so if you are not attending, please join in and follow the conversation from home! Make sure you are already following our Twitter account on If you do not have a Twitter account, please sign-up.

During and after this year’s conference, use the ISDC LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Follow the conference happenings while participants load conference reports and blogs on the LinkedIn System Dynamics Conference group. Reports will also be displayed at the conference. We expect some pictures will also be shared.

Some fun onsite: the best e-participant at the conference will be rewarded. Make sure you are part of the conversation!

2013-14 ASHRAE President Bill Bahnfleth (left) presents Samir Traboulsi with an Exceptional Service Award

Member Samir Traboulsi Receives ASHRAE Exceptional Service Award (July 08, 2014)

Samir Traboulsi, Ph.D., P.Eng., ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Assessment and High-Performance Building Design Professional from Beirut, has received an Exceptional Service Award from ASHRAE at its 2014 Annual Conference held recently in Seattle. The Exceptional Service Award recognizes Distinguished Service Award recipients who have continued to serve the Society faithfully and with exemplary effort.

Traboulsi is senior lecturer, American University of Beirut; general manager, Thermotrade; managing director, Ranec; Beirut, Lebanon. He served as the Region-at-Large director and regional chair on the Board of Directors. In that role, Traboulsi identified local HVAC&R needs; energized members to become advocates for the spread of standards; and encouraged professionals to become more involved. He founded the Lebanese Chapter and also initiated the founding of several other chapters throughout his region. As a senior lecturer, he uses ASHRAE Handbooks as part of his courses on building services and the environment.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at

Samir is a long-time member of the System Dynamics Society. Congratulations Samir!

Peer Mentoring Network (July 08, 2014)

David Andersen connects with colleagues via a System Dynamics peer mentoring network, aka The Thursday Morning Group. David says peer mentoring is imperative to increasing effectiveness and progression in careers and professions, specifically in fields such as System Dynamics. The Thursday Morning Group meets via live video chat in order to catch up and provide support for fellow system dynamicists who are exploring new challenges and project avenues. Participants come from as far west as California and as far east as Ethiopia. Some members have known each other since 1975, and others as recent as several years ago. Attendance is very regular and members of the group are committed to high quality work in System Dynamics and its effect on society. Participants act as the group mediator to ensure effectiveness of the online peer mentoring session. The international group explores and develops aspects of System Dynamics issues, concerns and future planning by rotating who presents research and issues at the meetings. Each meeting has a particular focus and participants prepare questions they would like to address during meeting times. Friendships are strengthened and professional development increases as projects are launched and research continues to be conducted through the System Dynamics Peer Mentoring Network group meetings on Thursday mornings.

Perhaps there are similar efforts elsewhere that the Society can share on our website? If so please send us your news!

Diana Fisher is one of three expert panelists discussing the impact of XMILE

XMILE Panel Disucssion: How Will XMILE Impact the System Dynamics Landscape? (June 17, 2014)

Over the past months, we’ve seen great System Dynamics use cases, ranging from climate to retail, some using Big Data. The goal of XMILE is to make it easier to develop such applications and support the integration of System Dynamics models into additional solutions being developed for business and policy makers. To finish the year, we are presenting four webinars that focus on the draft XMILE specification developed by the OASIS Technical Committee.

In this fourth and last XMILE overview webinar, we will have an open panel discussion with three leaders of the System Dynamics field on their views of what XMILE can do to change the field. Please join Andrew Ford of Washington State University, Diana Fisher of CC Modeling Systems, Ignacio Martinez-Moyano of Argonne National Laboratory, and us for what promises to be an energetic and informative discussion.

This webinar is the twelfth in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series jointly sponsored by IBM, isee systems, and the OASIS XMILE Technical Committee. The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discuss new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

C-ROADS Analysis in Science article (June 07, 2014)

The news item A bold baby step on emissions, by Eli Kintisch from the new issue of Science (6 JUNE 2014 • VOL 344 ISSUE 6188 1071) discusses the likely impact of the new proposed EPA rules limiting CO2 emissions from existing coal plants. The team at Science asked Climate Interactive to analyze the impact of the rules on global emissions and warming.

Opponents of the rules including the coal industry argue that the US rules will have only a small impact on global emissions and warming, but the goal of the rule is also to promote reductions by other nations. Up to now, nations including China (the world’s largest emitter), India, and other key developing nations have argued that they should not be asked to cut their emissions or coal use when the US has no policies to cut theirs. The new rules, if implemented, will undercut this argument, and may be important in leading to a new global agreement to reduce emissions now being negotiated, with a target date for agreement of 2015, at the UNFCCC meeting to be held in Paris that year. The C-ROADS analysis shows that if other nations follow the US reductions the benefits are huge, with future warming falling from nearly 5°C above preindustrial levels to just above 2°C.

Further explanation and documentation of the analysis can be found here. Sent in by John Sterman.

In Memoriam (June 5, 2014)

Klaus Dieter John

Klaus Dieter John from Chemnitz University of Technology passed away two weeks ago. Klaus was a long time member and participant at our conferences every year. In addition to being a past representative of the Economics Chapter, Klaus was an enthusiastic reviewer for conference paper submissions. Klaus introduced his daughter Sarah and son Sebastian to System Dynamics and they accompanied him to a number of our conferences. Sarah wrote recently “My father often told us how much he enjoyed being part of the System Dynamics Society. He really cherished the friendly and warmhearted atmosphere that he hadn’t experienced at any other society in that intensity and manner. I just wanted to let you know, how inspiring the System Dynamics Society had been to him.”

Narendra K Patni
picture from

Narendra K Patni from Patni Holdings LLC has died recently. Naren was a steadfast sponsor and member the System Dynamics Society for many years. He was a graduate of MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Naren was a student of Jay Forrester and worked for him for a few years prior to the formation of Patni Computer Systems, an extremely successful Indian outsourcing business. Earlier this year, Naren wrote a quick note to the Society office, “He [Jay] and I go a long way back. He is my true mentor.” Naren introduced his son Anirudh to System Dynamics; Anirudh was also a member of the Society.

Rogelio Oliva wins POM Society’s Skinner Teaching Innovation Award

Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review and MIT Sloan PhD alum in System Dynamics Rogelio Oliva has been awarded the Skinner Teaching Innovation Award by the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). Congratulations Rogelio! Below a description of the award and the citation.

The purpose of this award is to recognize impact and innovation in the teaching of Production and Operations Management courses.

Award Criteria:

  1. Pedagogical excellence. This could be documented through the diversity of courses taught and student evaluations, letters of support from former students and/or assessments of knowledgeable colleagues.
  2. Creativity and/or innovation. This would be reflected in teaching approaches and methodologies (e.g., team teaching, student teams, action learning, role playing, etc.) and/or new ways for understanding actual operations problems and the methods that can be applied to deal with them (e.g., frameworks, technology, software, etc.).
  3. Impact. In this case, impact on the field, the profession, students/executives, and managers is of relevance. Various types of evidence could be offered to demonstrate that the applicant’s teaching has influenced the world of POM. Having taught large numbers of students is certainly one measure of impact, but more important is evidence that the applicant’s teaching has influenced behavior. This could be documented via letters from former students, statements from people in industry who have hired former students, and letters from other academics who have themselves been influenced by the applicant’s teaching (e.g., by adopting a book, case or course structure).

Citation: Professor Oliva is truly a master of the case method of teaching. His former students describe his classes as extremely demanding, even stressful, but their appreciation is clear from his consistently school-leading teaching evaluations as well as the remarkable 12 teaching awards that he has received in his 16 years of teaching. Former students consistently comment that Professor Oliva’s classes were transformational for them in the professional journeys. In addition, he has made substantial contributions to our profession through his numerous case method workshops around the world, as well as his widely-adopted Harvard Business School cases and teaching notes.

The list of past winners is at

Live Web Seminar – XMILE’s Display and Interface Capabilities (May 30, 2014)

Announcing the third overview XMILE webinar! Join us on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 as Billy Schoenberg of isee systems and Gary Baxter MEMIC of will explain how stock-flow diagrams are represented in XMILE. They will also discuss how output objects (such as graphs and tables) are described, how input objects (such as sliders and switches), are specified, and how the stock-flow diagram can be annotated with text, graphics, and buttons.

Over the past seven months, we have presented seven System Dynamics use cases, some using Big Data. To finish the year, we are presenting four webinars that focus on the draft XMILE specification developed by the OASIS Technical Committee: overview, technical details of simulation aspects, technical details of display and interface aspects, and a panel discussion with System Dynamics leaders about the impact of XMILE on their work and the field. The webinar series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discuss new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

Yukata Takahashi quoted in Japanese newspaper (May 27, 2014)

Society member, Professor Yutaka Takahashi of Senshu University School of Commerce, reported to us that he was recently quoted in the Yomiuri Shimbun morning edition.

At issue was public procurement for a job training program. There are laws in Japan that prohibit public officers having close contact with prospective bidders prior to the bidding process. Despite this, several officers of the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare gave much information to a prospective bidder, the Japan Organization for Employment of the Elderly, Persons with Disabilities and Job Seekers (JEED).

Professor Takahashi credits his System Dynamics experience with aiding him in concluding that even though regulation and punishments are in place for the public procurement process, there are “systematic problems…” He went on to say, “The schedule and nationwide scale of this project caused uncertainty and related organizations’ avoidance of responsibility. The correct solution must redesign the whole project as a system, balance resources and project size, and avoid underestimating unfavorable time evolution of small changes.”

Professor Takahashi is a member of the public procurement supervision committee, Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in Japan.

The Yomiuri Shimbun has a daily circulation of over 9.8 million copies.

The System Dynamics Bibliography has been updated (May 22, 2014) (May 22, 2014)

The second update of the 2014 Bibliography is now available. It can be viewed in text format (Notepad) as well as a tab delimited format (database compatible). For those who have EndNote X or higher, there is a compressed version. Instructions may be found on the Download page.

The Bibliographic Updates page lists recent additions to the System Dynamics Bibliography. The Updates Page includes references for recent journal articles as well as older journal articles that have just been brought to our attention. We are always looking for new references or references that have not yet been included in our Bibliography.

Was your paper accepted for our Delft Conference? Have you had a journal article or conference paper published recently? Did you find your references in the System Dynamics Bibliography? If not, and you would like to share the System Dynamics, Systems Thinking or Systems Modeling references that you used, please send them to [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.

System Dynamics Africa Chapter takes off with a big bang! (May 22, 2014)

The Society’s Policy Council recently approved the formation of the System Dynamics Africa Regional Chapter. This is an important step in creating awareness of System Dynamics and its applications in solving pressing societal challenges across Africa. The Chapter’s membership covers nearly 30 countries.

The objectives of the Chapter are to:

  1. promote understanding and awareness of System Dynamics as a problem solving approach to many Africa-based problems;
  2. identify, develop, extend and disseminate knowledge contributing to the understanding of feedback systems in Africa;
  3. promote the development of the field of System Dynamics and the free interchange of learning, research and scholarship in all related fields in Africa;
  4. encourage and develop educational programmes in the feedback behaviour of systems in Africa.

In order to achieve these objectives, the Chapter shall conduct meetings, workshops, and conferences; and publish books and other materials.

There are many items on the Chapter’s agenda. Soon it shall hold its proposed flagship Conference, the 1st International Workshop on System Dynamics, Big Data and Cloud Computing. The conference will be held on the 11th and 12th of November, 2014, in Nairobi, Kenya. The 10th of November will be reserved for the PhD Colloquium.

You are welcome to take part as an author, reviewer, adviser or participant to get current knowledge and understanding of System Dynamics and its applications in Africa.

The president of the Chapter, Professor Ddembe Williams, says, “We expect Case studies, experience papers, and theoretical papers mainly focusing on global societal challenges, including global health, food security, climate change, software development, water usage, and policy development.” There will be four plenary sessions.

More information including the call will be available on the Society’s website.

New article in the American Journal of Public Health, “Using Simulation to Compare 4 Categories of Intervention for Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risks”(May 22, 2014)

AJPH is one of the world’s leading public health journals and has been selected as a core journal by the Medical Library Association. The June 2014 issue includes three articles with System Dynamics content. The above-named article uses the Prevention Impacts Simulation Model (PRISM) to compare four categories of intervention—clinical, behavioral support, health promotion and access, and taxes and regulation—for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. PRISM is a wide-ranging, evidence-based System Dynamics model funded continuously since 2007 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with additional major funding from the National Institutes of Health. It received the System Dynamics Society’s Application Award in 2011. The new article is the most complete published presentation of PRISM to date. The authors are System Dynamics Society members Gary Hirsch, Jack Homer, and Kristina Wile, along with health economist Justin Trogdon and CDC supervisor, Diane Orenstein. For more information, go to or contact one of the authors.

We are happy to announce the tentative Schedule by Thread is now available for the 2014 System Dynamics Conference in Delft, the Netherlands. Sessions have been organized to demonstrate the value of System Dynamics for Good Governance in a Complex World, which is the theme of the conference. Sessions include the role of models in governance in the public and private sectors, involving a diversity of domains, disciplines, organizations, stakeholders, policies, and goals. Please take a look to see the list of research topics and documented applications solving real world problems. To name a few, some plenary session titles include Award-Worthy System Dynamics Applications; Supply Lines and Resources; Methodology: Analysis and Data; and Governance.Additionally, the Thursday Workshop Schedule is also available. All levels of workshops will be offered; enhance your skill set!The Modeling Assistance Workshop, the Newcomer Orientation, and the Red Ribbon Event are perennial favorites, all returning to the Delft conference. Additionally, building on the success of last year, the Model Expo will return to the schedule this year. Meet the sponsors and exhibitors to learn about their new products and developments. Details on these items and more can be found online.The program schedule will be available in early June on the conference website; please check for updates as the conference approaches. The program promises to provide an opportunity for you to learn about the latest work and research, and receive state-of-the-art information on a range of topics. Join the enthusiastic students, academic leaders, and expert consultants and professionals who will debate topics with the breadth and depth needed to really understand what people are doing in the field.

Registration is now open. Take advantage of opportunities to gain and share knowledge in the field, network and more. We hope to see you in Delft, the Netherlands; the dates of the conference are July 20 – 24, 2014. (May 22, 2014)

Live Web Seminar – XMILE’s Simulation Capabilities: A look under the hood (May 12, 2014)

Announcing the second overview XMILE webinar! Join us on May 20 as Will Glass-Husain of Forio dives into the details of the XMILE modeling language. He will describe the core System Dynamics language specified by XMILE that all compatible software must implement and present several detailed example models. The XMILE language includes features such as:

  • basic functionality including stocks, flows, auxiliaries
  • specifying simulation units and time settings
  • mathematical, logical, and other functions
  • array syntax and functions
  • conveyors and queues
  • the ability to add new functions and structures with macros

This webinar is the tenth in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series jointly sponsored by IBM, isee systems, and the OASIS XMILE Technical Committee. The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discuss new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

Credit Suisse IQP team with alumni Souleymane Bah (center) outside of Credit Suisse in Zurich, Switzerland.

Souleymane Bah (Society Member) and Credit Suisse host WPI students for IQP (May 10, 2014)

When Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) proposed a Switzerland Project Center or Hub of Engagement, Souleymane Bah ’07, a graduate in Systems Dynamics who now works for Credit Suisse in Zurich got involved to help a group of students have this research opportunity. An Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) is not organized as a course, nor is it related to the major. Instead, small teams of students work under the guidance of faculty members from all disciplines to conduct research, using social science methods, directed at a specific problem or need. Students deliver findings and recommendations through formal reports and oral presentations to project sponsors (often nonprofit, municipal, or government agencies) and faculty advisors. Now, thanks to the generosity of Credit Suisse and the enthusiasm of Souleymane, four WPI students are completing their IQPs at Credit Suisse.

Prof. dr. Jac Vennix

Jac Vennix, Former Society President Receives High Honor (April 25, 2014)

Jac Vennix received a Royal Honour from the King of the Netherlands today. The Honour recognized Dr. Vennix for his scientific achievements in the field of System Dynamics and lauded his activities in sharing his knowledge in academic and non-academic networks in the Netherlands and globally. This Honour was presented to Jac on April 25, 2014 by the Mayor of his hometown. The Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands (Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw) was conferred on Jac.

Pictured (with ribbons) from left to right: Rob van der Heijden, Jac Vennix, Wim Brand, John Jansen, and Ad van der Avoird. Also in the picture: Wilma de Koning, Gerard Meijer, and Bas Kortmann.

In the Mayor’s award speech, he stressed that Dr. Vennix is internationally recognized as a leader in System Dynamics. The Mayor highlighted Jac’s contributions to the System Dynamics field, including his appointment as Society President, his 1996 book, Group Model Building, and his role as a driving force behind the Erasmus Mundus European Master Programme in System Dynamics, the first program of its kind in Europe. In 2000 he founded the Netherlands System Dynamics network. Edward Anderson, President of the System Dynamics Society states, “We are delighted to hear about Jac’s award. I cannot think of a more deserving scholar. I also am pleased that his contributions to System Dynamics are specifically recognized.”

Jac was joined by the dean of the faculty, prof. Rob van der Heijden, who also received a Royal Honour today, both for their outstanding academic and social merits.

Congratulations Jac!

2014 Student Prize Winner at UK Chapter Annual Conference (April 22, 2014)

The 16th annual conference of UK Chapter was held at London School of Economics, April 3-4, 2014. The theme of the conference was “Operational Risk and Analytics”. A series of presentations and issues related to the theme were presented and discussed by scholars, practitioners, and students at the conference. The UK Chapter Policy Council awarded a student prize to Jennifer Morgan for her work “Exploring frameworks for mixing DES and SD in theory and in practice” presented on Friday April 4th. For more information about the conference, please visit the UK Chapter website.

Live Web Seminar – Introduction to XMILE (April 17, 2014)

Announcing the ninth webinar in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series! Join us on April 29as Karim Chichakly of isee systems gives an introduction to XMILE, the first of four webinars that focus on the draft XMILE specification developed by the OASIS Technical Committee.

Over the past seven months, we have seen seven great System Dynamics use cases, ranging from climate to retail, some using Big Data. The goal of XMILE is to make it easier to develop such applications and support the integration of System Dynamics models into additional solutions being developed for business and policy makers.

In this webinar, Karim will present the motivation for a standard, the benefits from adoption of this standard including new applications the standard makes possible, and an overview of both XMILE concepts and the XMILE file structure.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register.

The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discusses new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

Society Member Kimberly M. Thompson, and colleagues, win the Edelman Award (April 3, 2014)

Press Release (March 31, 2014) – INFORMS issued a press release that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which collaborated with Kid Risk, Inc. to use analytics and operations research to combat the remaining pockets of polio around the world, won the 2014 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

The award is a top honor for high impact real-world applications of operations research and management science.
The award was for their work “Using Integrated Analytical Models to Support Global Health Policies to Manage Vaccine Preventable Diseases: Polio Eradication and Beyond.” Here is a short video of the award announcement and presentation.

Society member Kimberly M. Thompson is President of Kid Risk, Inc. Kim spent several years as a visiting faculty member at the System Dynamics Group at MIT Sloan. Kim and her nonprofit, Kid’s Risk work to use data, models, and analytics to improve the health and welfare of children around the world.

Kim is also a winner of the Jay W. Forrester Award (2008) with Radboud J. Duintjer Tebbens, for “Eradication Versus Control for Poliomyelitis: an Economic Analysis” published in The Lancet 369 (9570): 1363-137, April 2007.

Congratulations to Kim and her colleagues.

Live Web Seminar – Online Analytics: Bringing the Power of System Dynamics within Reach (March 27, 2014)

Announcing the eighth webinar in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series! Join us on April 8 as Micheal Bean, the co-founder of Forio presents Online Analytics: Bringing the Power of System Dynamics within Reach.

Michael will present LatinoVoteMap, a tool used in the 2012 presidential election along with a number of online simulators developed for business education and published by Harvard Business Review. These interactive tools provide the insights and understanding that come from long hours of modeling and analysis to people without the requisite technical expertise quickly and effectively. Michael will outline the design principles necessary to make world class simulators that many people can use.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register.

The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discusses new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

Frank Davidson, 95, of Concord, MA and Montfort-L’Amaury, France has passed away(March 27, 2014)

Frank Davidson, past chair of the System Dynamics Steering Committee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has passed away. Frank served on this committee for more than a quarter century along with Jay Forrester. Frank was one of the earliest sponsors of the System Dynamics Society and continued to support the Society in a number of ways. Frank had a diverse and interesting background, he founded and co-chaired the Channel Tunnel Study Group and was credited with getting the Channel Tunnel built. In 2006, he published a two-volume classic, Building the World, featuring the world’s greatest engineering works with original contracts that launched these achievements. Just recently, the sequel Building the Future was presented. Jay Forrester said, “I was always amazed by Frank’s wide acquaintanceship. I seldom mentioned a name that he did not know, or knew someone who knew the person.” Roberta Spencer noted “Frank’s energy and cheerful enjoyment of life was contagious. I admired him greatly.” Jim Hines adds “Frank Davidson was many things. To me, he was a gentle raconteur with old world manners and the most charming man I ever met.” Please see the tribute written by Kathleen Lusk Brooke.

Dr. Max Moehs discusses climate change with Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) — picture from

Annual Climate Science Day (March 27, 2014)

Charles Paul “Max” Moehs, Ph.D. from the American Society of Plant Biologists writes a short blogdescribing his experience as one of about 40 scientists who lobbied members of Congress on the annual Climate Science Day, this past January. Max describes how Climate Science Day works, and how he used concepts from Climate Interactive’s climate modeling including the “carbon bathtub” to help people understand why it’s urgent to cut emissions and how deeply they must be cut. John Sterman notes “It’s great to see these System Dynamics concepts spreading and to see folks like Max engaging in direct action.”

First Issue of “Policy and Complex Systems” Now Available! (March 24, 2014)

The Policy Studies Organization is pleased to announce the first issue of the Journal on Policy and Complex Systems.

The Journal on Policy and Complex Systems is a new open access journal to be published twice a year, promoting professional and public understanding of the relationship between policy studies and complex systems thinking. The peer-reviewed journal provides a platform whereby researchers, policy makers, experts in relevant disciplines, and modelers can join together to offer scientifically valid, and societally appropriate, solutions to challenging problems facing the world today, from the perspective of systems and complexity science. The first Table of Contents includes titles such as “The Price of Big Science: Saturation or Abundance in Scientific Publication?” To learn more about this journal, and other open access publications please visit the website:

Dynamics of Resilient Socio-Economic Systems
-– Summer School August 2014
 (March 24, 2014)

For the first time, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands is offering a summer school in August 2014. System Dyanmics Society members Etiënne Rouwette and Andreas Größler are offering a course on Dynamics of Resilient Socio-Economic Systems. The target group for this one-week course are advanced undergraduate or graduate students interested in this topic. The course includes an introduction to System Dynamics. However, if a substantial number of people with pre-knowledge of System Dynamics attends, an advanced thread will work on research oriented topics. The course will run from 3-8 August 2014.

General information about the summer school can be found at
Specific information about our course can be found at .. resilient/

There is an early-bird registration deadline on 1 April 2014. Students can gain 2 EC points when successfully finishing the course.

Description: Financial crises, natural disasters, man-made conflicts, logistical problems and fraudulent behavior pose great risks to companies and not-for-profit organizations. How can organizations survive in such turbulent environments? How can organizations fulfil their tasks if its members are bounded rational? How can an organization compensate for setbacks? And how is it that some organizations even seem to benefit from problems? This course attempts to answer these questions. You will design and run simplified versions of these organizations and analyze what they need to endure environmental setbacks. In addition to providing some theoretical input, this course will also emphasize a hands-on approach and creating what has been called “resilient” organizational structures with the help of computer modelling and simulation.

This topic will be approached from a dynamic perspective, in which resilience means that dynamic equilibria exist (e.g. a company’s ability to balance its newly hired and its leaving employees) and that oscillations are within the system’s span of control of the system (e.g. the tasks a person can effectively handle and on which they always rely). Modeling and simulation will be used as the primary forms of investigation. On the one hand, we will learn how to create the archetypal structures of resilient systems. On the other hand, we will use pre-developed simulators to study the effects of dynamic adaptive systems in action. With the help of these models and simulators we will investigate the effects of organizational policies on pre-defined performance indicators.

We will introduce System Dynamics as a modeling and simulation method and apply this method to a hot topic in the organizational and political debate: How can we build resilient systems that can cope with complexity, uncertainty and change? This practical course with a theoretical foundation will give you the opportunity to practice hands-on model building and simulation. You will also evaluate structures and policies to improve the level of organizational resilience.

New article in the Special Issue Systems Education for a Sustainable Planet: “The Design of Educational Programs in System Dynamics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute” (March 24, 2014)

Educational programs leading to degrees in System Dynamics are rare and thus of critical importance to the future of the field of System Dynamics. However, to a large extent such programs have not yet been made transparent to the System Dynamics community as a whole. The present article describes the design and rationale for undergraduate and graduate programs at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The goal of the article is to invite feedback from the System Dynamics community about our specific programs as well as to facilitate wider discussion about the appropriate content, design, and pedagogy of degree programs and courses in System Dynamics. The authors of this open access paper are System Dynamics Society members Oleg V. Pavlov, James K. Doyle, Khalid Saeed, James M. Lyneis, and Michael J. Radzicki. Guest Co-editor of this special issue is System Dynamics Society member Robert Y. Cavana.

Systems 2014, 2(1), 54-76; doi:10.3390/systems2010054 (doi registration under processing)

The 2014 Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference was held at Senshu University in Tokyo, Japan, February 22-24, 2014. The conference celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the first publication of System Dynamics work in Japan. Conference participants came from more than 25 countries, including Australia, Canada, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA, UAE, UK, and Vietnam. There were about 95 conference participants, 7 plenary presentations, 31 parallel session papers, and 8 workshops. The overall organization of the conference allowed for time to interact with colleagues and make new contacts with people from the Asia-Pacific region. Highlights of the conference included the Welcome Reception and Conference Banquet, where superb Japanese cuisine was mixed with some formal comments celebrating 50 years of System Dynamics in Japan, and some interesting reflections on the changes in Japan since the International System Dynamics Conference there in 1995. The Conference Organizing Team plans to hold a formal Asia-Pacific Conference every two years, with the next conference possibly being in Singapore in 2016. They would also like to hold some activity in the region every alternative year. Thank you to the organizers, sponsors, and participants for making this event a great success. (March 3, 2014)

The Italian Chapter reports that the First International SYDIC Workshop was held in Rome, Italy on January 21-22 and was hosted by the Sapienza University of Rome at the premises of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica, Automatica e Gestionale Antonio Ruberti. It was the most important Italian System Dynamics event since the Palermo Conference in 2002!

Around 60 attendees, including academics and students, private and public managers, practitioners, and consultants, took part in the workshop, chaired by the SYDIC president, Stefano Armenia (Sapienza University of Rome).

The focus of the workshop was “System Dynamics for Policy Assessment & Strategy Development” and it was mainly aimed at building both new capacity in SD modelers as well as developing further the field by disseminating the culture of System Dynamics as well as its possible applications. Learn more about the workshop here. (Feb 26, 2014)

Live Web Seminar – ALCES Toolkit: Regional development and land-use dynamics (Feb 24, 2014)

Announcing the sixth webinar in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series! Join us on March 4 as Dr. Brad Stelfox, Matt Carlson, and Noah Purves-Smith of ALCES Landscape and Land-Use Ltd. present ALCES Toolkit: Regional development and land-use dynamics.

The team of presenters will demonstrate the ALCES Toolkit and its application to real land-use policy issues. The framework they have developed combines a system dynamics model that allows for the quick investigation of project impacts on the local environment and then uses that information to paint a clear picture of the geographic spread of the resulting changes. The combination is powerful and insightful and a great example of how system dynamics can be combined with other technologies to deliver results that can be understood and acted upon.

North America has a diverse suite of landscapes that have been shaped by an equally diverse set of land uses and natural disturbances. Each land use creates significant benefits to society, but also causes significant challenges to regional managers concerned about achieving performance across a broad suite of economic, social, and ecological indicators. Confronted by legislative requirements focused on triple bottom line performance, new planning tools are required to explore the frontiers of landscape/land-use issues and solutions. The toolkit enables stakeholders to visualize the key dynamics of both land uses (crops, livestock, mining, forestry, oil and gas, transportation, tourism, residential) and natural disturbances (fire, insects, climate, climate change), providing a quantitative understanding of the outcome of alternative land-use trajectories to performance of key ecological, economic, and social indicators.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register.

The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discusses new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

Meet The 2015 Candidates (February 21, 2014)

There are eleven Policy Council seats to be filled for 2015. Get to know the candidates — learn their names, see their photographs and read their bio-sketches. Etiënne Rouwette will become President Elect in 2015; he will be leaving the office of VP Membership open. Özge Pala, who has been the AVP Chapter Activities, is the candidate for this opening. George Richardson’s term will be finished at the end of this year; the candidate for VP Publications is Pål Davidsen. The newly created roles of VP Marketing & Communications and VP Professional Practice that were only recently filled in 2014, have Peter Hovmand and Ken Cooper respectively as the candidates to continue in 2015. Current officers that are slated for reappointment are Brad Morrison as Secretary and Bob Eberlein as VP Electronic Presence. The four candidates for Policy Council Member are Stefano Armenia, Özge Karanfil, Gönenç Yücel, and Erik Pruyt.

The Nominating Committee and Policy Council are pleased to present these leaders who share the vision for a vibrant System Dynamics Society.

Program Schedule with Abstracts for the Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference (February 19, 2014)

Program Schedule with Abstracts for the Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference has been posted! The conference starts on Saturday, February 22. Plenary session titles include Inspiring Strategy (speakers include Kim Warren and John Richardson), Economics and Development (speakers include Khalid Saeed and Brian Dangerfield), Reliability and Integrity of Models (speakers include Yaman Barlas and Martin Schaffernicht), and Excellence in Teaching (speaker George Richardson). Parallel session topics include Business and Industry Issues; Health Behavior and Learning; Health Networks and Evaluation; Medical and Health Issues; Strategy Analysis; Economics and Planning; Project Management; Conflict and Evaluation; Agriculture, Tourism and Waste Management; Operations and Supply Chain Management; Natural Disasters, Water and Sanitation; Energy Resources Management; and Public Policy Issues.

There is a full line up of hands-on workshops including Stella Computer Software, Project Evaluation, Managing Repeated Errors in Product Development and Design (in Japanese), Mapping and modeling business cases with the Sysdea online software, System Dynamics with Repast Simphony, System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool, Money and Macroeconomic Dynamics, and Introduction to Group Model Building.

For full conference information, please visit the Asia Pacific Conference website.

System Dynamics Society Member Running for US Senate (February 17, 2014)

Bruce Skarin, longtime member of the System Dynamics Society, has recently announced that he will run as an independent candidate to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate. Bruce wrote “For several years now I have grown increasingly concerned with the inability of the United States government to take meaningful action on a range of difficult problems. I know that many in this community share these concerns and have worked tirelessly since the inception of the field to bring about a deeper and more thoughtful understanding of how system dynamics can be applied to create more effective and sustainable solutions to both national and global problems.

My own analysis of this dysfunction led me first to the inability of Congress to fully understand the dynamics of these problems, then to its insatiable dependence upon huge amounts of money from the very industries and interests they were charged with regulating, and finally to the complete sense of powerlessness felt by the American people. This is not a single point of failure like faulty leadership. It is systemic, and until we fix it, there will be no meaningful progress on any other issue.

To counter this system, after several years of research and consideration I have decided to run as an independent to represent Massachusetts in the US Senate using a redesigned approach to politics. An approach that provides citizen funded independence, that uses system dynamics and other tools as a basis for my platform, and that focuses exclusively on empowering the American people instead of only those with wealth and power.”

For a summary of his campaign please see this article and learn more on Bruce’s website.

Live Web Seminar – Energy Market Dynamics: Transforming the electric power industry (Jan 30, 2014)

Announcing the sixth webinar in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series! Join us on February 11 as Andrew Ford, Professor of Environmental Science, Washington State University presents Energy Market Dynamics: Transforming the electric power industry.

Professor Ford will discuss two important examples of System Dynamics bringing understanding where other approaches fell short. For his first example, Dr. Ford will be covering ground for which he received the 1996 Jay W. Forrester Award*; his second example is completely recent. This presentation highlights System Dynamics as the ideal application for studying the dynamically complex electric power industry. It also shows the timelessness of a methodology that is completely focused on time. Electric utilities have seen dramatic shifts in regulation and technologies over the last four decades.

First, a look at the dilemmas utilities faced in the 1970s-1980s as construction lagged and retail rates increased. Regulators, fearing a death spiral of ever increasing rates and decreasing demand, limited the price increases which put great strain on the utilities. Dr. Ford’s work generated insight on the Death Spiral and other strategic issues, highlighting the benefits of increased utility spending on customer conservation, a novel idea at the time.

The second case explores energy storage in the power system. This has been called the Holy Grail for renewable generation, but the lack of analytical estimates of its value remains a major obstacle to its development. By combining a long-term planning model with a short-term model of compressed air storage operations, Dr. Ford was able to provide those estimates for Ontario power system. This work has been crucial in promoting discussions among members of the project team and power agencies in Ontario.

If you know people interested in this topic, please tell them about this event. Read details and register.

The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discusses new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Bob Eberlein
VP Electronic Presence
System Dynamics Society

*The 1996 Jay Wright Forrester Award was awarded to Dr. Andrew Ford for his paper “Estimating the Impact of Efficiency Standards on the Uncertainty of the Northwest Electric System.” (Operations Research, 1990. July–August).

The Bibliography has been updated (Jan 27, 2014)

An updated version of the Bibliography, with over 10,600 references, is now available. Please visit the System Dynamics Bibliography.

Please also visit the page that lists Bibliographic Updates and recent publications related to System Dynamics. The Updates Page now includes references for recent journal articles as well as older journal articles that have just been brought to our attention. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to see some other items that were recently submitted.

The Bibliography is updated four times a year. Please send references for recent articles or articles of any age to [email protected]to be included on the list and in our Bibliography. We would love to hear from you.

CLE – Conference for K-12 Education (Jan 25, 2014)

The Creative Learning Exchange announces information about this year’s conference: Systems Thinking and Dynamic Modeling Conference for K-12 Education. It will be their 11th biennial ST/DM conference at the Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA. The dates are June 28- June 30, 2014. The Conference will provide resources and opportunity for educators and interested citizens to explore what is current and possible in K-12 systems education. To learn more about the program with Workshops with hands-on learning, Informative plenary presentations, and Discussion roundtables, please visit the conference website.

For information on how to submit a proposal is also available online; proposals are due February 1st. For more information about the deadlines and key dates, keynote speakers, scholarships, registration, lodging, and more, please visit the CLE website.

News about the Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference (Jan 24, 2014)

The Tentative Plenary Program and Workshop Schedule has been posted! Please take a look.

The program chairs are putting together a very exciting program! This conference presents a great opportunity to meet some of the leading System Dynamics practitioners and academics in the world. To see the list of topics and keynote speakers, please visit the Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference webpage. Additionally there will be workshops designed to improve your understanding of the theory and practice of System Dynamics (both qualitative and quantitative aspects). And, a wide range of parallel session papers will also be presented including topics related to business, economics, public policy, health, environmental, resources, human behavior, and methodological issues.

For more conference information including, the registration form and accommodations information near Senshu University Campus, please visit the conference website. We look forward to welcoming you in Tokyo in about four weeks!

Pegasus Communications is now Leverage Networks (Jan 14, 2014)

In 2013, Kris Wile, Rebecca Niles and Kate Skaare acquired most of the assets of Pegasus Communications with the capital assistance of Ohana Holdings LLC, an investing arm of Pierre Omidyar, the founder of Ebay.

Leverage Networks provides a access to all of the Pegasus materials you know and love, through both virtual/digital downloads and physical books. In addition to these existing Pegasus materials we will be curating additional submitted materials from the wider Systems Thinking, System Dynamics and Organizational Learning communities. These materials will be further supplemented by interactive online learning communities and connections to practitioners, experts and thought leaders that will help everyone build their knowledge and capability in the application of these powerful tools.

Leverage Networks: powerful tools for complex problems

  • Host strategic conversations for learning and alignment
  • Discover the hidden power in your system
  • Design strategies that drive your performance

Policy Council 2014 (Jan 22, 2014)

The System Dynamics Society is pleased to announce the 2014 Policy Council:

President: Edward G. Anderson
President Elect: Jürgen Strohhecker
Past President: Kim D. Warren
Founding President: Jay W. Forrester
Secretary: J. Bradley Morrison
Vice Presidents:
Chapter Activities: Martin Schaffernicht
Electronic Presence: Robert L. Eberlein
Finance: David F. Andersen
Marketing & Communications: Peter Hovmand
Meetings: Leonard Malczynski
Membership: Etiënne A.J.A. Rouwette
Professional Practice: Ken Cooper
Publications: George P. Richardson
Policy Council Members are Roderick MacDonald, Lees Stuntz, Sylvia Ulli-Beer, Nicole Zimmermann, Elise Axelrad, Inge Bleijenbergh, Paulo Gonçalves, Timothy Taylor, Jim Duggan, Warren Farr, Elke Husemann, and David Wheat

Congratulations to both the new and returning members of the Council! For more information on the Policy Council, Society committees, past meetings and other related topics, please visit the Society Governance page.

Update: First Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference (Jan 17, 2014)

We are pleased to announce the registration form for the First Asia-Pacific System Dynamics Conference of the System Dynamics Society is now available online. Please register as soon as possible, and not later than Feb 7th, 2014. Registration information, fees and payment instructions are also available on the registration area of the conference website. For more information, please contact Organizing Chair, Akira Uchino by email at [email protected]. The list of keynote speakers is now available and the presentations and workshops schedule will be coming soon.

Web Streaming available at 1st International SYDIC Workshop on System Dynamics Modeling (Jan 17, 2014)

Online registration is open on the Workshop’s website. Please register as soon as possible, as the event dates are the 21st-22nd January 2014, in Rome Italy. The Workshop organizers are announcing another very important initiative – online web streaming will be available. One of the Workshop sponsors, Unified Communication, is providing this service. You may now register for web streaming access to the Workshop, please see the workshop website, on the registration page, for all related information. For all those who have registered or will register in the next few days, follow-up information will include:

– Updated program (already available on the Workshop Website)
– Access credentials (for those following the event in streaming mode)
– Directions to get to the Workshop Venue
– Information on preliminary activities (needed software or laptop) and/or propaedeutic readings/etc.

A downloadable, final version of the Workshop’s brochure is available.

Biomedical SIG Representatives Ed Gallaher and Jim Rogers Coauthor a New Paper (Jan 17, 2014)

John Sterman notes: The new paper describes how a system dynamics model was used to develop a better protocol to treat people with severe anemia. Briefly, anemia patients treated with drugs (erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, or ESAs) that stimulate red blood cell production often experienced large amplitude, often dangerous, cycles in their hemoglobin levels (low levels are obviously dangerous; high levels increase risk of stroke and cardiac events). The model showed the cause of the cycle to be the long time delays in the negative feedback between administration of the treatment and the resulting improvement in hemoglobin.

It’s a lot like the beer game: There is a red blood cell supply chain, with long delays. The treatment stimulates activity in marrow stem cells, which then become red blood cell precursors, which eventually become mature red blood cells, which are then released into the bloodstream, adding to the stock of circulating red blood cells. The total delay is on the order of a month or so. Under the standard treatment protocol ESAs are given when hemoglobin levels fall below a threshold and treatment is stopped when levels exceed a threshold. This is analogous to ordering beer based only on current on-hand inventory levels, and ignores the supply line of red blood cell precursors. Not surprisingly, the result is oscillation.

The authors used the model to develop an optimal protocol for treatment customized for each patient, but easy to administer. The optimal policy greatly reduces the amplitude of the cycle, and the resulting reduction in adverse events not only improves patient survival and quality of life, but lowers costs.

The work was done by a cross-disciplinary team at the Mayo Clinic including a team of nephrologists, physiologists and system dynamics modelers.

See this short video by Mayo Clinic department chair for a description.

Live Web Seminar – Big Data in Retail: Taking the next step with System Dynamics (Jan 16, 2014)

Announcing the fifth webinar in the Big Data, System Dynamics, and XMILE webinar series! Join us on January 28th as Bob Eberlein explores this symbiotic relationship between Big Data and System Dynamics; learn how System Dynamics can improve Big Data Analytics.

Big Data and System Dynamics belong together. While Big Data can analyze and forecast, only System Dynamics can predict how your ecosystem will respond when you act on those forecasts. For example, price elasticity in a given market might be studied, leading to decisions to change the product mix or implement special discounts. With System Dynamics, you can then model the impact of your strategies on your customer and competitor ecosystem to understand how they will react and how soon the value of your changes will degrade. This presentation will talk about being able to anticipate how your decisions will affect others, so you can be ready for changes.

Big Data can also populate System Dynamics models with live values, creating new operational decision-making tools so you can regularly evaluate changing market conditions and their impact on your decisions. If you know people who work with Big Data, please tell them about this event. Read details and register.

The series showcases exemplar applications of System Dynamics in the areas of environment, business, health care, and public policy and discusses new opportunities that will be available as the XMILE standard is adopted. Visit for more information on this event and the full series including past webinar recordings available for viewing, upcoming events, and joint sponsors.

Roberta L. Spencer
Executive Director
System Dynamics Society