System Dynamics Society

Minutes of the Annual Business Meeting

July 27, 2010 Seoul, Korea

President Rogelio Oliva called to order the 2010 General Business Meeting of the System Dynamics Society at 8:00 am.

President Oliva thanked the outgoing members of the Policy Council: Jim Lyneis (Past President), Krystyna Stave (VP Member Services) Deborah Andersen (VP of Publications), and Renan Jia, Ozge Pala, Warren Tignor, and Khaled Wahba (PC members) for their service to the Society. He congratulated and thanked Andreas Groessler (VP of Meetings) and Joel Rahn (VP at large) for accepting the renewal of their appointment and thanked all continuing members of the PC for their work and continuous support for the Society.

President Oliva welcomed the new members of the Policy Council: David Lane (President Elect), George Richardson (VP of Publications), Etienne Rouwette (VP of Member Services), Laura Black, Ignacio Martinez-Moyano, Martin Schaffernicht and Kim Warren (PC members).

Bob Eberlein moved (Erling Moxnes seconded) to approve the minutes of the Albuquerque, NM meeting. Motion passed.

Reports from the officers of the Society:

a)      VP of Finance David Andersen
The report is posted on the Society website. The Society operations break into six "business centers:" conferences, core operations, sales (Beer Game), publications (SDR), investments, and awards. Net assets are strong, and we are in pretty good financial shape. We had strong performance in 2009, including a gain of about $29K from the Albuquerque conference and strong investment performance, resulting in an overall gain of $90K.

David also reported the results of the 2-year trial of tiered dues structure: dues revenue is higher, but there has been no growth in the number of low income members.

The budget for 2011 shows a projected net gain of $64K in 2011.

b)      VP of Electronic Presence Bob Eberlein
The web submission is system getting a little smoother every year.
We are working to move the website to a content management system.
There is a thread on the Seoul conference on the discussion forum.
The Wiki is almost completely inactive.
We need a webmaster, now that Jack Pugh has stepped down.

c)      VP of Chapter Activities AVP Martin Schaffernicht
We received reports from 7 of 17 chapters, better than previous years.
We welcome the Indian Chapter, our newest chapter.

d)     VP of Meetings Andreas Groessler
The 2011 conference will be in Washington, DC. Imrana Umar is leading the organization team.
The 2012 conference will be in St. Gallen, Switzerland.
The Policy Council has voted to implement a default rotation scheme for conference locations, starting in 2013. In 2013, the conference will be at a default site in North America, and in 2014 it will be at a default site in Europe. Boston is a likely choice for North America. We are still looking for a default choice for Europe. The default rotation scheme is being put in place to avoid relying on proposals. We are still happy to receive proposals from other sites, especially outside of NA and Europe. Also, the Society will support other regional activities from groups that want to organize activities in their regions.

e)      VP of Member Activities Etienne Rouwette
We are studying countries with low membership to see if there are ways to boost membership. We also want to increase the number of low income members.
We are trying to bolster connections with SIGs, and efforts to do so are beginning here at the conference in Korea. We are working on building a case repository of system dynamics success stories. We are exploring the possibility of meeting with prospective members in research formats similar to focus groups to better understand why or why not they might join the Society.

f)       VP of Publications George Richardson
George has just taken over for Deborah Andersen. There is an extensive report on the web, written by Deborah, with content from Graham Russel on Wiley-Blackwell, Brian Dangerfield on System Dynamics Review, and Bob Eberlein on Electronic presence.

We are in the process of concluding an extensive project to renegotiate our contract with Wiley-Blackwell. We began the negotiations with existing contracts that had our journal as a cost center, but the results have set us on a course to break even by 2011 and then become a profit center thereafter. The contract represents a marvelous improvement over what we had. Admin Committee has reviewed a proposed 8 year contract, and the Policy Council has authorized the negotiating team, with advice and counsel of Admin Committee, to finalize the contract.

g)      Executive Director Roberta Spencer
The report is posted on the web, and past annual reports are archived on web. Please send email with any questions.
David Andersen highlighted the exceptional contribution Roberta made to the renegotiation of the Wiley-Blackwell contract.

h)      Nominating Committee Erling Moxnes
The Nominating Committee will begin seeking nominees for four PC members to be replaced. The terms will be up also for the Secretary, VP finance, and VP Chapters. The Nominating Committee will consider all candidates to insure a proper diversity in our leadership and will propose a slate at the winter PC meeting.

New Business

A questioner asked if there will there be any concerted effort to hold a conference in Asia. Rogelio Oliva explained some of the rationale for the new default site policy, emphasizing that the Society is open to consider proposals from alternative sites and that the Society is committed to supporting regional efforts. David Andersen elaborated that this policy allows the Society to make developmental investments that are not tied to a conference cycle, so in theory we could make such investments to partner directly with chapters to support growth in other geographical areas.

Imrana Umar suggested that we consider setting up endowment funds to support the awards we give. David said that we can view the accumulated gains from our annual activities as an endowment. When we do well on our conference, we can maintain our equity and still make a developmental investment on an annual basis.

Bob Cavana asked if there are economic benefits to the default conference site policy. Rogelio said yes, especially in the time and energy of home office. Bob noted that Decision Sciences Institute (DSI) has a global conference in USA and several regional conferences, which is a model we should consider.

Etienne Rouwette moved (Man-Hyung Lee seconded) to adjourn. Motion passed.