The 2020 System Dynamics Colloquium

Theme | Important Dates | Get Involved | Schedule | Photos

The System Dynamics Colloquium (formerly known as the PhD Colloquium) is a one-day event organized by the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society held on the first day of the International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC). The Colloquium promotes dialogue among system dynamicists of varying fields, levels of training and backgrounds and creates spaces to have meaningful conversations about the topics that we all care about so that everyone can share and receive feedback to improve their work. The format of the event consists mainly of breakout sessions in which doctoral, master’s and undergraduate students, as well as professionals and academics in any field who are new to system dynamics (juniors) can discuss their ideas and concerns, and get mentored by more expert system dynamicists (seniors).

To know more about the event, please contact the System Dynamics Colloquium co-chairs Jennifer Johnson and Laura Upegui, at [email protected].

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The 2020 System Dynamics Colloquium theme: “Reflecting Together”

Building on the ISDC theme “Hindsight in 2020: Learning from the Past to Inspire the Future”, the SD Colloquium theme this year will revolve around reflecting together. First thinking about the past, about the history and purpose of SD. Then pondering about how much we have accomplished, what is important right now, and our challenges for the years to come. This theme will examine how making mistakes is an important part of the learning process and how accepting vulnerability can help us progress both individually and as a society. Lastly, that no matter what, we should constantly keep improving and questioning each other in order to generate change and have an impact on the future we want.

Hence, collaborative efforts that include a wide range of experiences, applications, methods, and technologies are needed to address the ever-evolving issues facing the world today. The aim of the Colloquium is to bring system dynamicists closer, in order to help us all reflect together on systems and the collective learning process of our community. Experts in system dynamics have a lot to offer developing system dynamics researchers, and it can be difficult for newcomers to learn from sifting through years of seminal papers. In addition to this, junior system dynamicists have many ideas on how to combine new and developing techniques with established practices, and come with fresh eyes that can create novel paths to discover, as well as new concerns to address.

Important Dates - these dates are subject to change as we pivot to our Virtual Conference format

Deadlines for the Colloquium are the same as the International System Dynamics Conference, with an extra deadline for those wishing to get feedback from their Angel Advisors (see below).

  • January 20, 2020 Opening date for paper submissions
  • March 2, 2020 Deadline for paper submissions
  • May 4, 2020 Notification of acceptance
  • May 18, 2020 Presenter registration deadline
  • June 19, 2020 Deadline to upload a video for Angel Advisors
  • July 19, 2020 System Dynamics Colloquium

Ways to Get Involved

Senior System Dynamicists
In addition to attending and participating in the Colloquium events, there are other ways senior system dynamicists can engage junior system dynamicists at the System Dynamics Colloquium.

Angel Advisors: Angel Advisors are senior system dynamicists that are assigned one or two Colloquium poster presenters to give oral feedback during the poster and networking session. The Angel Advisors agree to read the poster presenter’s abstract before the Colloquium and approach them during the poster session to discuss their work with them. This program has been working since 2015 and we hope we can get more senior system dynamicists involved each year.

Discussants: Discussants for the student papers present feedback (max. 10 mins) after the junior system dynamicist presents their work at the System Dynamics Colloquium. The discussant will read the paper beforehand and present general comments on the paper that would be helpful for the audience. Discussants are encouraged to meet with the junior system dynamicist to provide more specific comments.


A big part of the logistics and the general design and execution of the event is only possible thanks to the help of our team of volunteers. If you want to contribute with ideas, time or any type of effort (both before the Colloquium and the day of), don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. It is also an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world and have a lot of fun. All the support is greatly appreciated!


The 2020 System Dynamics Colloquium will include several presentations by senior and junior system dynamicists, but the main focus is the interaction events where all the attendees come together in groups to network and discuss ideas.

Interaction Events

Ice Breaker: An informal “getting to know each other” event.

Plenaries: Two students will be selected by the Colloquium Organizing Committee to present a 20-minute presentation of their work. Following each plenary presentation, a discussant (senior dynamicists in the specified field) will provide 10 minutes of feedback to the plenary speaker.

Open Space: At Open Space, junior system dynamicists get a chance to talk about their work and network with senior system dynamicists through a fun and informal workshop where all topics are welcome.

World Café: At World Café, junior and senior system dynamicists get together in groups to engage in conversations around central topics of system dynamics.

Keynote: A senior dynamicist will be chosen to give a keynote address about system dynamics as it plays a role in the Colloquium theme.

Poster and Networking Session: The poster and networking session is the last event of the day, which lasts for two hours. At this time, Angel Advisors meet with their advisees to give them feedback and answer questions, while everyone enjoys free beer and snacks.

Photos from the 2019 Colloquium