2020 Sponsor News

Ventana SystemsSage Analysis Group, Inc.System Dynamics Group at the University of BergenHomer Consultingisee SystemsCopernicosDESTAGeorgia Health Policy CenterStrategy DynamicsWhole Systems PartnershipDynaplanSystem Dynamics Group, California State University, ChicoSystem Dynamics Group, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen


Ventana Systems

Ventana is working on a number of applications that combine models and data to analyze strategies in complex systems:

  • A state COVID19 response model that interprets test statistics and facilitates resource allocation. The model pools information from the 50 US states, and runs in parallel on HPC servers.
  • A city/utility low-carbon strategy model that examines relationships among buildings, energy-consuming devices, electric and other vehicles, and utility rates.
  • A state energy sustainability platform that allows an energy-producing state to explore alternative pathways that serve decarbonization, reliability and employment goals, blending CCS and EOR with emerging PV, solar and storage, including a novel statistical treatment of variability.
  • An assessment of the science base emerging from the Deepwater Horizon accident, with a metamodel of the Gulf of Mexico's health.
  • Smart City planning, including a metro population model for a major city and a district-level dynamic planning model.

The confluence of challenges we face - COVID, climate, social justice, and political corrruption to name a few, leave us convinced that now, more than ever, technology must support sophisticated, accurate modeling at the breakneck speed of crisis decision making. We remain dedicated to providing tools to support both your most urgent needs and your most important long-term strategies.

Vensim 8.1

The new Vensim 8.1 release begins the rollout of a new graphics framework for model diagrams, with aesthetic and Synthesim improvements.

Vensim DSS can now export models to run in web browsers via WebAssembly. Models run on the client side with no latency, so Synthesim provides a good user experience. There is much more to come on this front. You can try one example at http://vensim.com/temp/gomri/

Vensim Pro and DSS can now combine submodels. This makes group model development easier and facilitates re-use of models.

Ventity 4

Ventity 4.0 will be released prior to the System Dynamics conference. The new version includes many small refinements, like bar charts, new run management options and copy-paste improvements, as well as some major new features. Reusable Components, like super-macros, can be shared within and across models. GIS visualization is improved, and performance loading data and running models is faster across the board.


PA Consulting’s System Dynamics Arm is Now Sage Analysis Group, Inc.
A new name for our long-established team that began in 1963 as Pugh-Roberts Associates.

We are delighted to share the news that we have transitioned to be (again!) an independent, employee-owned firm. We began as an MIT spinoff, Pugh-Roberts Associates, and then were for many years a subsidiary of a global consultancy.  We learned a lot through our different corporate homes and are excited to chart our new future. Our direction remains guided by our passion to use rigorous analysis to navigate through strategic complexity.

We are proud to maintain and grow a large team of expert modelers and our culture values developing deep technical expertise so we can best influence decisions and important strategic outcomes. While ten members of our team date back 20+ years to our Pugh-Roberts days, we continue to add and develop many great newer experts in System Dynamics and Data Science. We work in teams combining deep expertise in System Dynamics with other techniques and a range of styles and experiences.

We are strong believers in the value of System Dynamics analysis, which remains essential to our work. We use System Dynamics across the spectrum from large, closely calibrated and tested models to qualitative applications.  We often combine Data Science and qualitative analysis techniques with System Dynamics to gain a comprehensive view of complex issues, cross-check information, and synthesize findings. We retain all of our core models and software dating back to our Pugh-Roberts years, along with many new models and tools.  Our recent innovations build on our deep strength identifying causal drivers of performance, and integrating qualitative information, quantitative models, and data science.

We look forward to many new adventures!

Our new website has more on our capability, client impact, and origins. Please visit www.sageanalysis.com to learn more.


The System Dynamics Group at the University of Bergen continues to offer two master programmes in System Dynamics: the M.Phil. System Dynamics and the Joint European Master's Programme in System Dynamics.

As a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis, the newly admitted first-year students from abroad will not be able to enter Norway in time for the beginning of the fall 2020 semester. We are therefore offering the entire fall semester online (in combination with hybrid events) and are currently working on internet-based education also for the additional semesters in the M.Phil. program. We are excited by the potential to expand our reach and motivated to design a unique learning experience.


Homer Consulting Recent Activities June 2020 
 

Jack has been active along several fronts during these past months.

He enters his tenth year with ReThink Health, where his work with Bobby Milstein focuses on the dynamics of community well-being and health system reform.  In 2019, he and Bobby published this article in Milbank Quarterly.  Also, an article about the ReThink Health Dynamics Model by Jack, Bobby, and Gary Hirsch appears as a chapter in this new book.  

Jack continues work on the US opioid epidemic, advising the Food & Drug Administration and a modeling team directed by Harvard’s Mohammad Jalali.  Jack and Wayne Wakeland have a new article describing their original model of the opioid epidemic in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 

Jack is completing Year 2 of a four-year project under Kaiser-Permanente for state-level decision-makers in Colorado on strategies for reducing the burden of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary disease. 

He also continues to work with Climate Interactive on refining and writing about the En-ROADS model and simulator

Jack developed a finely-tuned model of COVID-19 in the United States, also applied to the state of Delaware with the support of the Well Being in the Nation Network.  The model and a series of slide decks may be found here.  (Thanks to Carl Smith at U Queensland for setting up this Google Drive!) Jack is also active with SD Society leadership as VP of Professional Practice (2019-2021).  In this capacity, he published an article in the SD Review on best practices, and he also wrote a series of 8 posts on SD practice (March-October 2019) for the SD Wisdom blog

Also, he and Gary Hirsch developed a remote one-on-one mentorship program for the Society, which started last December and has so far matched up 22 learners with their own dedicated SD expert.


isee Systems 

We are proud to announce version 2.0 of Stella Architect, Stella Professional, and Stella Designer; a new and innovative realm of system dynamics modeling. The highlight of this innovative release is the new Loops that Matter™ that allows you to immediately visualize the impact of every variable in a model on every other variable throughout the simulation. It identifies the feedback loops important to generating behavior and allows you to create causal loop diagrams that display those loops in a simplified form. We look forward to showcasing this new version at the upcoming ISDC.

The upcoming ISDC will be a busy one for isee systems. We have 6 presentation, 4 workshops, one user group meeting and of course we will also have a booth where you can stop by to talk with us. Below are the titles for all our presentations and workshops so you can keep a look out for them in the schedule.

Presentations:

  • Automated Diagram Generation to Build Understanding and Usability, by William Schoenberg
  • Finding the Loops that Matter, by Robert Eberlein, William Schoenberg
  • Seamlessly Integrating Loops That Matter into Model Development and Analysis, by William Schoenberg, Robert Eberlein
  • Inferring Causality in Feedback Systems by Combining Neural Nets and Ordinary Differential Equations, by William Schoenberg
  • The Effect of Food, Housing and Skills Interventions on Individual Life Trajectories, by Sarah Davie, Robert Eberlein
  • Economic Dynamics: Two Years from Completion, by Robert Eberlein
Workshops:
  • Getting Started with Stella Automated Loop
  • Dominance Analysis in Stella using Loops That Matter
  • Optimization and Calibration with Stella Building
  • Sharing Online Simulations Using Stella

We hope to see many of you at the ISDC.


Copernicos specializes in Asset Management
Copernicos specializes in Asset Management, the management of complex and capital-intensive systems. We help organizations to innovate the management of their physical assets such as ships, trains, infrastructures, plants, offshore platforms, power plants and buildings. Asset owners often have to deal with complex partnerships. The interaction between people and people and systems determines performance, cost and (environmental) impact of the assets. Copernicos supports clients in policy making using System Dynamics modeling, using our asset management knowledge base. Our approach is based on group model building together with stakeholders and subject matter experts. Model-based scenario analysis supports cost-effective and sustainable decision making over the lifetime of those assets.

Current applications
Examples of current projects in which we apply System Dynamics:

  • Sustainable traffic policies
  • Life cycle and maintenance policies for navy ships
  • Integral port security
  • Regional traffic management and long-term maintenance contracts
  • Innovation of portfolio management for sustainable coastline care
  • Innovation regarding Plastics in Rivers

Some of those cases we will present during the coming ISDC-conference.

Current research
At this moment, we are facilitating a master thesis research on how to implement detailed component level models (mostly non-SD models) into a larger overall system dynamics model. During the Conference we will present a poster on this topic. We use Ventity for this, as it has a more object-oriented SD modelling structure. Therefore, Ventity can handle objects (modules, components) which seems a perfect solution for this system – components coupling. Constant expansion of the pool of component models could lead to increased precision and effort reduction.

We also have the link of SD to Systems Engineering under research, another Systems Science besides System Dynamics that is relevant for asset management.

Would you like some more information? Please contact us at: [email protected]
www.copernicos.com


Into its third year, DESTA is entering into a new partnership with India Climate Collaborative (incubated by TATA Trusts) for identifying climate co-benefits and trade offs of sustainability projects. These include, Wildlife Conservation, Urban Ecology and Organic Agriculture. 

DESTA also created a causal loop model of COVID 19 and its impact on India’s socio economic system, in collaboration with Mr. Arun Maira. This session can be viewed here. We believe that using systems thinking can help alliances better coordinate to create a more resilient system on-road to recovery. 

With an aim of improving the utility of models to help people test their own assumptions and belief systems about a common reality, DESTA, in collaboration with ATREE, Sahjeevan, RAMBLE, BTN and BPUMS, created the mobile simulation app - Banni in a time of change - which is freely available on Google Play Store (project funded by USAID). This app simulates future runs, including climate change impacts, of the grassland system including the changes in people’s livelihood and incomes. This app has been used to run workshops with local people for imagining multiple futures and then testing their assumptions through a group exercise using the app. 

We are also pleased to pleased to share our paper on Limits to Growth published in the Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Springer.

DESTA Research LLP is a firm dedicated to providing research and consulting services for sustainable development using systems thinking and system dynamics, based in New Delhi, India. DESTA Stands for Developing Ecosystems for Systemic Transformation and Adaptation. It is also a word in Amharic having the meanings joy and happiness.

To know more - www.desta.co.in 

The Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University is proud to sponsor the System Dynamics Society's virtual annual conference. GHPC provides evidence-based research, program development, and policy guidance at the local, state, and national levels to improve health and well-being. System dynamics tools and systems thinking are integral to our work. 

Today's greatest population health challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic response and long-standing health inequities, are multifaceted and require new ways of engaging stakeholders to develop meaningful solutions. Systems thinking acknowledges that a set of interconnected factors underlie the complex issues challenging population health improvement. Identifying these elements and their connectedness helps foster critical thinking and catalyze multistakeholder conversations to identify high-leverage opportunities for significant and lasting change. 

At this year's virtual conference, GHPC will present two sessions:

  • Policy Engagement for Public Health Professionals: Tools for Finding Your Place (session #149)

This presentation describes the Georgia Health Policy Center's work applying systems thinking mindset and mapping tools and activities to help public health leaders identify and exercise their most impactful roles in policy engagement. We cross-walk the use of systems thinking tools (the iceberg metaphor, behavior over time activity, a variable elicitation worksheet, and causal loop diagrams) with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Policy Process to identify opportunities for public health leaders to act in the policy lifecyle.

  • Building Policymaker Capacity to Address Maternal Mortality in the United States Using Systems Mapping and Modeling (session #208)

Like many public health challenges, increasing maternal mortality rates in the United States are the result of multiple complex factors. The Georgia Health Policy Center used a systems-oriented approach to facilitate a conversation with state policymakers and other stakeholders, which recognized the broader and dynamic system in which high maternal mortality is nested. To date, the center developed a systems map, which will ultimately result in a system dynamics model that allows policymakers to test the potential impact of pulling certain policy levers at the state level to improve maternal health and decrease maternal mortality rates. 

Work With Us 

The Georgia Health Policy Center continues to explore ways to improve translation of systems thinking and system dynamics tools into practice. Please visit our website or  contact us at [email protected] or 404-413-0314.

Strategy Dynamics

Congratulations to the Society for rising to the challenge of an entirely online conference and also thanks to everybody for the considerable effort that has made this possible. 

We remain, as ever, committed to providing accessible online learning resources, mostly for business modelling and management purposes - resources becoming more critical as normal travel-to-class is ever more difficult, whether for carbon-emission reasons or virus-avoidance. 

Modelling  software

We are delighted that our Sysdea software is having a major relaunch by its developer, Chris Spencer, as “Sheetless”. This new tool, too, is super-easy to access, use and share, so is perfect for newcomers to dynamic modelling. But Sheetless is also adding powerful integration features, to meet the needs of organisational users. 

Teachers

During this period we have worked with top pandemic experts on a COVID-19 model that helps look at regional responses. This is an open-access model, developed with Sheetless, that can easily be localised (more at sdl.re/COVIDmodel).

Upgraded online courses

We are also upgrading our courses to a new platform. This will allow us to give a better learner experience, to exploit the power of Sheetless and to improve access for teachers who use our courses in their programs. 

Teachers

  • Student packs that combine model-based games with e-books and the modelling classes work well and are popular to get students started on SD and business modelling. New teaching features will ease the load for Instructors when teaching remotely.

Our online games

These continue to develop, and now include the popular People Express game in Simplified Chinese and Japanese. Further translations will follow.  We have added more games to the platform and our main games, in addition to People Express are White Label Restaurants and the Professional Services Microworld.

Teachers 

  • We have made teacher-admin of classes still easier, so contact us to find out more.

Visit us on our website or at our conference information page.  

Kim Warren & Christina Spencer
Strategy Dynamics Ltd
[email protected]


The Whole Systems Partnership has been privileged to support a number of health and care systems in the United Kingdom over the last few months in their needs to understand the impact of COVID-19.  We were extremely grateful to Isee Systems in their generosity in helpful to kick-start our modelling using their initial framing of the challenge back in early March.  WSP have now progressed this modelling in a way that reflects UK requirements in terms of care system architecture and Government policy toward the initial lockdown and current phases of easing that lockdown. 

In developing our COVID-19 modelling we have been fortunate enough to have been embedded in a local system where the impact on a population of around 1.8M people has had to be understood.  We have been able to reflect actual data streams in the modelling, enabling us to refine our understanding of some of the unknowns at the start of the Pandemic.  In the UK we’ve just entered a phase in which restrictions are being eased, which has enabled us to explore four different scenarios for COVID-19 over the coming 9-12 months, as can be seen in the adjacent figure.  Our model can be explored here: https://www.thewholesystem.co.uk/covid-19-scenario-and-impact-model/ 

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 As attention is redirected toward planning for the resumption of non-COVID demand and capacity the use of System Dynamics and the contribution it has made during the initial phase of the pandemic is being recognised.  WSP are therefore providing further support to understand backlogs in the system, the impact of suppressed demand on underlying population health needs and the implications for our workforce of different ways of working that has been informed by the initial and ongoing needs of different population groups, whilst being vigilant of the risks associated with COVID-19. 

Dynaplan

GEOGRAPHY

Dynaplan is present in Norway, Switzerland, and Germany. Through partners we deliver solutions worldwide.

SOLUTIONS

Dynaplan provides technology and services for strategic workforce planning, dynamic business planning, and health.

In Europe we are among the top suppliers in SWP (strategic workforce planning) for large and mid-size organisations.

Our driver-based planning approach brings agility and flexibility to business strategy, planning, forecasting, and budgeting.

In the health sector we have contributed solutions for reducing patient waiting times with up to 80% for secondary health care provided by hospitals. Currently, we are using simulation to help hospitals maximize production while at the same time being prepared for different Covid-19 scenarios.

INDUSTRIES

Our solutions are generic and customizable. In Germany, for example, we count at least one of the main players across all industries among our customers.

BENEFITS TO CUSTOMERS

The main purpose of Dynaplan’s solutions is to help customers make better decisions and to act quickly and adequately when things do not develop according to plan.

Good decisions make the right use of data, knowledge, and tools.

It is our experience that companies underutilize the vast amount of knowledge within the organisation. Through our technology, knowledge is structured into “parallel universes” which are used to simulate possible future scenarios.

As a result, data from the virtual future is available when decisions are to be made in the real world.

Dynaplan helps customers put in place and operate solutions that become part of both periodic and ad-hoc planning. Through our operation support programme, customers get assistance when necessary.

We normally do not consult. Instead we enable our customers to make use of new technology and methods to bring transparency, efficiency, quality, and speed into their planning.

Our customer promise is: we care.

www.dynaplan.com


The System Dynamics Group, California State University, Chico, is part of the Department of Management in the College of Business. In the 2019-20 academic year we continued delivering instruction in System Dynamics to undergraduates and MBA students. A total of 186 students, primarily undergraduates, completed our MGMT 470 Business Dynamics course, which is solely focused on System Dynamics. Our capstone Strategic Decision-Making course in business administration, BADM 495, saw its highest total yet for an academic year - 690 students - who are introduced to System Dynamics concepts through lectures and the People Express simulation as well as various software applications to help them with building conceptual maps and models.  We look forward to continuing with spreading the teaching of systems thinking and system dynamics next year, even in a virtual classroom format!

System Dynamics Group,Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen

The System Dynamics Group of Nijmegen School of Management is part of Research and Intervention Methodology, a group of around twenty employees, varying from full professors to PhD students. The head of Research and Intervention Methodology is professor Etiënne Rouwette, former System Dynamics Society President. The focus of this group is on disentangling messy organisational problems in a wide diversity of domain areas. Within the overarching research theme of Responsible Organization, the group studiesamong others decision making, cultural diversity, and stakeholder engagement. Besides their meaningful contributions to the existing knowledge in the field, insights are widely shared among students of the Bachelor’s programme in Business Administration and the Master’s specialisation in Business Analysis and Modelling.

In this unique Master’s specialisation in Business Analysis and Modelling, students will learn about the role of formal modelling and computer simulation for organisational decision-making. They will become specialists in developing simulation models that offer a sound basisfor designing and evaluating strategies. In addition to facilitation and simulation, the Master also addresses the basics and application of game theory and related decision support methods. Knowledge and skills on using decision supportare embedded in an understanding of what hinders effective problem solving and implementation of solutions in organisations. This includes knowledge about individual and social ‘biases and heuristics' leading to suboptimal decision-making. In conclusion, the master’s programme combines system dynamics (analysis) with group model building (facilitation). Students learn how to apply analysis in a social setting: communicating results, facilitating group sessions, creating consensus and commitment.

The current situation regarding the coronavirus asks for flexibility and creativity in order to maintain the high level of education. The daily activities have moved to the online world, which is also the case for our classes. Of course, this shift has posed some challenges, but we are proud of the adaptability of our staff and students. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone on our campus again in September!