To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the field of System Dynamics, we are asking your help in creating an “SD Infographic” to be displayed at this year’s conference. The SD Infographic will highlight the most memorable System Dynamics-related event(s) in each year, starting in 1957.

Leading up to the conference, we ask you to share any memory, photo, or fact (with the date) that might be included in the SD Infographic. Progress on the SD Infographic will be posted on social media, please participate and follow the progress! Please join us on our SD Infographics LinkedIn Showcase. You can share your items either on our Facebook page or via email ( The final product will be printed on a large banner and be available at the 35th International System Dynamics Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts this year.

1956 – 1959

1956 - Jay Joined the Sloan Faculty

Jay W. Forrester joined the Sloan faculty in 1956. A 1956 memo to the faculty research seminar titled “Dynamic models of economic systems and industrial organizations” laid out his initial thinking, and became the first in a series of D-Memos (dynamic modeling memos).

1957 - Refrigerator/Beer Game

Forrester wanted an accessible way to explain his management insights to students. So he devised the Refrigerator Game, soon re-dubbed the Beer Game. In this table game, teams mimic the beer industry’s supply chain, trying to meet consumer demand while minimizing costly inventory

1958 - SIMPLE

Richard Bennett created the first system dynamics computer modeling language called SIMPLE (Simulation of Industrial Management Problems with Lots of Equations) in the spring of 1958

1959 - DYNAMO

In 1959, Phyllis Fox and Alexander Pugh wrote the first version of DYNAMO (DYNAmic MOdels)

1960 – 1969


1961 - Industrial Dynamics

Jay Forrester writes "Industrial Dynamics" following the success in HBR of an article by the same name.

1962 - World’s First Ph.D. Dissertation in System Dynamics

Ed Roberts carried on a research program related to R and D management which produced a doctoral dissertation completed in 1962. Professor Frank Fisher, a distinguished econometrician, was his dissertation chair.

1963 - Pugh-Roberts Company

Pugh-Roberts founded by Alexander (Jack) L. Pugh III and Edward B. Roberts. Jack and Ed where 2 of the 3 first research students of Jay Forrester




1967 - First System Dynamics Newsletter

The System Dynamics Newsletter, which was first called the Industrial Dynamics Newsletter, appears to have started before 1968 from reference to it in D-1169 of October 1968. The Newsletter was discontinued when the System Dynamics Review and other publications made it unnecessary.

1968 - Principles of Systems

Author: Jay W. Forrester

1969 - Urban Dynamics

Authors: Jay W. Forrester; Foreword: John F. Collins

1970 – 1979

1970 - Bradford University System Dynamics Group

The first formal university group in system dynamics in the U.K. was established at the University of Bradford in October 1970. The group was formed by Geoffrey Coyle.

1971 - World Dynamics

Author: Jay W. Forrester


1973 - Toward Global Equilibrium: Collected Papers

Edited by Dennis L. Meadows and Donella H. Meadows

1974 - Readings in Urban Dynamics

Edited by Nathaniel J. Mass

1975 - Dynamica

Dynamica had been founded by Geoff Coyle at Bradford University in 1975 and had served continuously since then as the sole journal devoted to publishing system dynamics scholarship.

1976 - SD Conference in Geilo, Norway

The 1976 International Conference on System Dynamics Geilo, Norway, August 8 – 15, 1976

1977 - Alternatives to Growth I: A Search for Sustainable Futures

Edited by Dennis L. Meadows

1978 - Managerial Applications of System Dynamics

Edited by Edward B. Roberts

1979 - Edelman Prize

Ken Cooper wins the ORSA/TIMS Edelman Prize for "A Case Settled, A Framework Built"

1980 – 1989

1980 - Corporate Planning and Policy Design: A System Dynamics Approach

Jim Lyneis writes "Corporate Planning and Policy Design: A System Dynamics Approach"

1981 - Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling with DYNAMO

George P. Richardson and Alexander L. Pugh III write "Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling with DYNAMO"


1983 - System Dynamics Society

The System Dynamics Society was formed Decision/resolution was made at the 1976 System Dynamics Conference in Geilo, Norway.


1985 - System Dynamics Review

SDR was born in 1985 and and Eric Wolstenholme became inaugural executive editor. The first publication of the Review, Volume I, issues 1 & 2, printed and mailed to something like 587 system dynamicists around the world by December of 1985.



1988 - SDS Executive Director

Starting on January 1, 1988 the System Dynamics Society has, for the first time, an Executive Director. Julia Spear Pugh graciously accepted the position without remuneration. (Julia Pugh with Marg Rahn and Pål Davidsen)

1989 - National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Jay received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for computer science in 1989.

1990 – 1999

1990 - The Fifth Discipline

Peter Senge writes "The Fifth Discipline"

1991 - First Systems Thinking Conference

The first Systems Thinking conference is held in Cambridge and draw and audience 150 people





1996 - Italian Chapter

The formal request for Italian Chapter was posted on October 2, 1995, by Habib Sedehi (President and Italian representative of the grouping). The SDS approved the proposal at the annual Policy Council meeting in February 1996.

1997 - Roberta Spencer

Roberta Spencer started to work in Jan 1, 1997 as Executive Director for the System Dynamics Society. The SDS moved to Albany in the same year.

1998 - First Full Undergraduate Degree

SDS celebrated this year the founding of the first full undergraduate degree in System Dynamics, at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

1999 - UK, Australia, and New Zealand Chapters

2000 – 2009

2000 - Business Dynamics

Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World with CD-ROM 2000 Author John Sterman

2001 - Fish Banks

The Fish Banks Ltd. game was developed by Professor Dennis Meadows, co-author of “Limits to Growth.

2002 - Barry Richmond

Barry Richmond was a professor at Dartmouth College. In 1985 he founded isee Systems, a System Dynamics software program that facilitated a great deal of work in the field. He passed away in August of 2002.

2003 - The Last D-Memo

The last D-memo on the DVD disk is Jay's D-4886-1 of July 21, 2003, “Economic Theory for the New Millennium” presented at the 2003 International System Dynamics Conference.

2004 - Swiss, Economics Chapter

2005 -Business SIG, Russian, Pakistan Chapter

2006 -

2007 - Barry Richmond Award, Application Award

The first System Dynamics Application Award and also the first Barry Richmond Scholarship Award were given at the 2007 ISDC conference. (Margarita Cruz, Kathy Richmond and Joanne Egner)

2008 - Lupina Award

The first Lupina Award was given to Hyunjung Kim, Jennifer Headley, Holly Rockweiler, Aqeela Jogee

2009 - Outstanding Service Award

The first Outstanding Service Award was given to Andrew Ford.

2010 – 2017

2010 - India Chapter

2011 - Benelex Chapter - Conflict, Defense, and Security SIG

2012 - BioMedical SIG - Canada Chapter

2013 -

2014 - First Asia Pacific Conference

First Asia Pacific Conference in Tokyo

2015 - Iran Chapter

2016 - Asset Dyanmics, Transportation, Agriculture & Food SIGs