[Society Logo]

News Archive

News that appeared on the Society homepage
2009 -2012

Updated December 26, 2012

University of Bergen Offers A New Distance Learning Course

University of Bergen offers a new graduate level distance learning course in Natural Resources Management. In this course, students learn to manage water reservoirs, fisheries, forests, animal herds etc., and they learn to operate in product and quota markets. The course is interactive with on-line tasks and immediate answers, videos, analogies, animations, simulators, simulation models, games, and discussions. There is no tuition fee. (Dec 10, 2012)



Geoff Coyle, longtime system dynamicist has died

group photoWe report the sad news that longtime system dynamicist R. Geoffrey Coyle died on November 19, 2012. Geoff was 74. He started his career as a mining engineer. Having completed a PhD in Operations Research, he came to Cambridge, Massachusetts from the UK in the late 1960’s, and studied with Jay Forrester to learn system dynamics. Upon his return to the UK, he started to develop system dynamics in England. He was the founder of the first system dynamics group in the UK, at the University of Bradford in 1970. This group grew terrifically and produced some of the most important people in our field. Geoff and his students have made enormously important contributions to the field and the next generation of their students have as well, all following in Geoff’s footsteps and under his tutelage.
Pictured left to right: George Richardson, Geoff Coyle and Julie Coyle

Geoff and the Bradford group also founded the first system dynamics journal, Dynamica. They created DYSMAP, the first system dynamics software that had built-in optimization and built-in dimensional consistency technique.

Geoff authored a number of very important books in the field including: Management in System Dynamics (1977), System Dynamics Modelling: A Practical Approach (1996) and Practical Strategy: Tools and Techniques (2004). In 1998, he was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the System Dynamics Society. More recently he returned to his first academic love and wrote a highly acclaimed history of mining in the UK: The riches beneath our feet (2010). This is a wonderful legacy in the field of system dynamics and beyond. (Nov 19, 2012)

2012 Bylaws Voting Results

Voting on the revisions of the Society’s bylaws was completed at midnight on November 15, 2012. We are pleased to announce that the membership has overwhelmingly approved the new bylaws. Out of 493 recorded votes, there were 37 Abstentions, 1 No, and 455 Yes. The new bylaws take effect January 1, 2013. (Nov 16, 2012)

European Master Programme in System Dynamics: Application Deadline

Jac Vennix is pleased to report that eighteen of the twenty-one students of the first cohort (who started in September 2010) have just graduated, with excellent results. The fourth cohort starts in August 2013. European Master Programme in System Dynamics is currently looking for excellent and enthusiastic students for the fifth cohort. To receive a prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship, funded by the European Union, please apply by the deadline of 1 December 2012. This two-year Erasmus Mundus Master Programme is offered by the Universities of Bergen (Norway), New University of Lisbon (Portugal), University of Palermo (Italy), and Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands). For full details please visit www.europeansystemdynamics.eu. (Nov 06, 2012)

Wiley Online Library “Article Spotlight” by Hazhir Rahmandad and John D. Sterman

spotlight logoThe Wiley Online Library has selected for this month’s Article Spotlight: Reporting guidelines for simulation-based research in social sciences by Hazhir Rahmandad and John D. Sterman. This article provides a set of Reporting Guidelines for Simulation-based Research in the social sciences, with a focus on common scenarios in system dynamics research and includes minimum and preferred guidelines for reporting models, reporting simulation experiments, and reporting optimization results. System dynamics community members are encouraged to adopt these standards to enhance the transparency and impact of their research. For free access please visit Wiley Online Library: System Dynamics Review (Oct 29, 2012)

New Publication by Jack Homer: Models That Matter: Selected Writings on System Dynamics 1985-2010

book coverJack Homer photoWhat can be done about workaholic burnout? Why do new medical products get underused or overused? Under what conditions does antibiotic resistance become rampant? How can we better balance public health priorities for preventing and treating diabetes and cardiovascular disease? What types of policies are essential for effective health care reform? These questions and more are explored in this new collection of 16 journal articles by Jack Homer, who has developed system dynamics models for a variety of private and public organizations from the 1980s to the present. Some of the articles explore the models in detail, while others step back to offer general thoughts on methodology and the central question of how to approach modeling with both rigor and practicality. Includes “Why We Iterate” from 1996, “Maps and Models in System Dynamics” from 2001, and his Forrester Award lecture, “Structure, Data, and Compelling Conclusions” from 1997. (Oct 23, 2012)

Erik Pruyt and Marleen Ribbens win the “Stop the Robber” Award

Marleen Ribbens (Innovation Programme Leader at the Dutch Police) and Erik Pruyt (Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology) have won the “Stop the Robber” Award (and €50000) for jointly developing a SD simulation model to fight high priority crimes. The model is currently used during meetings of Chiefs of Police to support their decision making with regard to real world police interventions by allowing them to discover intended and unintended consequences of these interventions in the virtual world, i.e. in the model through an online interface. The same simulation model is used at Delft University of Technology to test the effectiveness of suggested interventions under deep uncertainty, i.e. given tens of thousands of plausible scenarios, as well as to identify real-world pilot studies that would be desirable to reduce the uncertainty regarding the effects of some police interventions. The SD model and a coupled spreadsheet application will also be used to monitor and compare the effectiveness of real world interventions and that of virtual interventions in order to improve the formal model and mental models regarding the real world system. Hopefully the simulator will also be used one day to train all Dutch policemen and develop their systems thinking skills. Marleen and Erik will use the prize money to further develop the SD model and Forio simulator, extend their work to other priority crimes, and implement this approach in other Dutch police districts.
Pictured left to right: one of two ex-aequo second prize winners, first prize winners Erik Pruyt, Gerard Huijser van Reenen (Chief of Police of Zaanstreek-Waterland), and Marleen Ribbens, the President of the Award Committee, the other ex-aequo second prize winner, Ahmed Aboutaleb (Mayor of Rotterdam & President of the Security Council) (Oct 11, 2012)

Shayne Gary Promoted to Associate Professor

Shayne Gary has been promoted to Associate Professor, with tenure, at the Australian School of Management, University of New South Wales. Shayne is a leader in the application of system dynamics to strategy and organizational behavior, using field methods, experiments, and simulation models. He received his Ph.D. in system dynamics and strategy at London Business School and his undergraduate degree at MIT. Congratulations to Shayne! (Sep 27, 2012)

New Publication by Ed Anderson and Nitin Joglekar: The Innovation Butterfly

Product and service innovations are the result of mutually interacting creative and coordination tasks within a system that has to balance business risks, technical decisions, marketplace taste, personnel management, and stakeholder commitment. The constituent elements of such systems are often scattered in multiple firms across the globe that form a complex system consisting of many interacting parts that are examined using case evidence, causal loop diagrams and systems thinking. In the spirit of the “butterfly effect”, metaphorically describing the sensitivity to initial conditions in physical systems, this book builds an argument that “innovation butterflies” can, in the short term, take up significant amounts of effort and sap efficiencies within individual innovation projects. In the long term, they can shift the balance of the entire innovation portfolio into unplanned directions. While the desire to try new and emergent alternatives precludes precise planning, numerous examples from cutting-edge theory and practice show how innovation leaders can take advantage of innovation butterflies though the design and implementation of agile planning of project and capability portfolios, proactive data tracking and innovation analytics, plug-and-play business processes, and a decentralized, empowered organizational structure. An appendix on simulation models and group model building addresses underlying system dynamics opportunities. (Sep 26, 2012)

Film Documentary on The Limits to Growth

Documentary filmmaker Enrico Cerasuolo and his team are making a documentary about the story of The Limits to Growth, from its birth until its deep relevance today. The website www.lastcallthefilm.org has more information about the film and how to contact them should you have archival materials, photos, films, or videos regarding the story of the book, its inspirers, Aurelio Peccei and Jay Forrester, and authors (pictured left). (Sep 23, 2012)

Pictured left to right: Jorgen Randers, Jay Forrester, Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, and Bill Behrens

The First Summer School on System Dynamics in China
The first summer school program on system dynamics in China was offered by Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade from August 21 to August 30, 2012. The summer school was tuition and accommodation free for postgraduate students. The program recruited 61 postgraduate students and young scholars from more than 25 universities and institutes in China including Tsinghua University, Renmin University, Naijing University, Tianjin University, Zhongshan University, University of Macau, Chinese Academy of Sciences etc. The purpose of the summer school was to provide an academic exchange platform for students learning system dynamics and to popularize the application of system dynamics in China. (Aug 28, 2012)

System Dynamics Society Awards Given at the Conference

The Jay Wright Forrester Award recognizes the authors of the best contribution to the field of system dynamics in the preceding five years. This year the award was presented to J. Bradley Morrison, Jenny W. Rudolph, and John S. Carroll for their winning work "The dynamics of action-oriented problem solving: Linking interpretation and choice." The Academy of Management Review, Oct 2009, Volume:34 Issue:4 pp.733-756. (Jul 24, 2012)
Brad's talk at the conference

Brad Morrison and Jack Homer (Committee Chair)
Brad Morrison with His Family
Award Winning Work
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 Peter Milling this award in grateful recognition of his exceptional volunteer contributions to the System Dynamics Society. (Jul 24, 2012)
Peter Milling, Roberta Spencer, Bob Eberlein, and David Lane
Christa and Peter Milling

Conference Paper Awards

Pictured left to right: András Kővári, Joel Rahn (Committee Coordinator), and David KeithThe Dana Meadows Award was established in 2001 to honor the late Dana Meadows and encourage the next generation of students in the field of system dynamics. The award is given annually for the best paper by a student presented at the annual System Dynamics Conference. The Society awarded its 2012 Dana Meadows Award to David Keith at MIT, and András Kővári at Delft University of Technology. David Keith was awarded for the paper Understanding Spatiotemporal Patterns of Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Adoption in the United States. András Kővári was awarded for the paper Prostitution and Human Trafficking: A model-based exploration and policy analysis. (Jul 24, 2012) Pictured left to right: András Kővári, Joel Rahn (Committee Coordinator), and David Keith
Pictured left to right:Thomas Logtens, Vincent de Gooyert, Tom Rust, and Erik Pruyt (Award Presenter)The Lupina Young Researchers Award was given this year to three outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics authored by students. All three papers were presented in plenary sessions at this year's conference: Societal Aging in the Netherlands: Exploratory System Dynamics Modeling and Analysis, by Thomas Logtens, Re-designing policy and process in health care service delivery: a system dynamics case study, by Tom Rust, and Revisiting the Roberts-Levin Patient Dropout Model, by Vincent de Gooyert. (Jul 24, 2012) Pictured left to right: Thomas Logtens, Vincent de Gooyert, Tom Rust, and Erik Pruyt (Award Presenter)

Pictured left to right: Mauricio Gomez Diaz, and Joanne Egner(Award Presenter)

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 Mauricio Gomez Diaz. (Jul 24, 2012)

Pictured left to right: Mauricio Gomez Diaz, and Joanne Egner (Award Presenter)

The co-first-place winners of Best Poster Presentation at the Poster Symposium were Different Concepts of Dynamics in Strategy Research, by Markus Schwenke and Stefan Groesser, and Developing Scenarios for Deeply Uncertain Dynamically Complex Risks: Exploring Plausible Futures of Lyme Disease, by Erik Pruyt and Jeroen Coumou. The co-second-place winners were Is it Really Greener in the Cloud? An Investigation of Energy Trends in Cloud Computing, by Chris Browne, Haley Jones and Paul Compston, and Should Korea's Barn Swallows Be on the Red List of Threatened Species?: Population Dynamics Combined with Ecological Changes, by Man-Hyung Lee, Nam Hee Choi, Won-Gyu Ha and Jong-Hoon Yoo. (Jul 24, 2012)
Pictured from left to right: Elke Husemann (Program Chair), Chris Browne, Stefan Groesser, Markus Schwenke, Erik Pruyt, and David Lane (Program Chair)

Nicole Zimmermann Received the Gert von Kortzfleisch Prize

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für System Dynamics (German chapter of the System Dynamics Society) has awarded the Gert von Kortzfleisch Prize to Nicole Zimmermann. The prize is given annually for system dynamics work. It is named after Gert von Kortzfleisch, who was a professor at the University of Mannheim and who was the first person to apply system dynamics in Germany. Dr. Zimmermann received the prize for her dissertation "Dynamics of Drivers of Organizational Change." This research analyzed what drove the New York Stock Exchange's shift from manual to electronic trading; it suggested a generic model of organizational change and investigated the dynamics between environmental and managerial determinants of change. (July 12, 2012)

AcademyHealth, the leading organization in the US for public health services and systems research (PHSR), has selected for its 2012 PHSR Article of the Year Award the paper, "Why Behavioral and Environmental Interventions Are Needed to Improve Health at Lower Cost", by Bobby Milstein, Jack Homer, Peter Briss, Deron Burton, and Terry Pechacek (Health Affairs, volume 30, number 5, May 2011). Bobby Milstein accepted the award at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Orlando, Florida, on June 27th. The award selection committee praised the article for "its timeliness, unique and innovative methods, and strong potential to challenge current thinking." The paper uses HealthBound, a previously published system dynamics model of the US health system, to test three commonly proposed approaches to health reform: expanded insurance coverage, better preventive and chronic care, and measures to promote healthier living conditions. The analysis finds that while all three strategies would reduce the death rate, only the measures to improve living conditions are likely to reduce total system costs over a 25-year time horizon. (Jun 27, 2012)

New Publication by Kim Warren: "The Trouble with Strategy …"
Kim Warren

Abstract: This book is not directly about system dynamics, but ends up showing that it could help with the widespread problems in business strategy. It builds on over 30 years of doing strategy work and teaching MBAs and executives, together with evidence about what executives and consultants actually do. Everyone knows there's a problem - business schools grumble that management don't use what they teach, the big consulting firms fill the gap with methods of their own, and senior management struggle on with strategy and business planning approaches that they know are of little use. As recent difficulties show, we all pay a big price for this, whether as customers, employees, holders of pensions, or simply as citizens. It is not management's fault that strategy is often badly done - they do the best they can with the poor tools the strategy field offers. The heart of the problem is that strategy methods focus on static ratios (return on investment, market share, profitability, and so on) and make no attempt to answer the question management really want answered - how to build and sustain performance over time (which is where system dynamics can help!) For more information please visit the website "The Trouble with Strategy ..." (Jun 6, 2012)

Hazhir RhmandadHazhir Rahmandad has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. Hazhir has studied multiple public health problems, including obesity dynamics, comparing model types for analyzing disease transmission, and modeling polio transmission dynamics. He also builds dynamic models of complex organizational processes, with applications to organizational learning and strategy, optimizing pricing and openness strategies for software firms and understanding tradeoffs in building long vs. short term organizational capabilities. His methodological research includes finding optimal policies in system dynamics models and developing and applying advanced calibration methods in these models. He has published in diverse journals including Management Science, Epidemiology and Infection, Organization Science, and System Dynamics Review among others and his research has been funded by NSF, NIH, FAA, HUD, and private companies. Hazhir holds a Ph.D. in Management (System Dynamics) from MIT Sloan School of Management and an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran and has been an active member of the System Dynamics Society for the past decade. (Jun 14, 2012)
Dennis Meadows in the News With extended visits to both Moscow and Paris, Dennis Meadows has recently inaugurated new Russian and French translations of the Limits to Growth third edition. In the spring of 2012 he visited each city to deliver a number of major speeches, hold press conferences, and give interviews to the principal television and print organizations. The German version of the book was published several years ago. It selected as the most important book on the future published in the German language in 2006. The third edition of Limits has now appeared in over 15 languages. A posting about Dennis Meadows in French. A rough translation to English. (Jun 14, 2012)
Workshop Day: Tentative Schedule The St. Gallen Conference is approaching quickly and there is new information to share with you. The tentative schedule for the Thursday Workshop Day is available, along with an abstract description for each workshop. If you are planning to attend any of the workshops offered please check the "Requirements for Participants" abstract. Some workshop facilitators ask that you bring certain materials or do some reading in advance. Please visit the conference website to learn more. A workshop overview is also available. (Jun 4, 2012)

Brad Morrison has been promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in the International Business School at Brandeis University. Brad’s research in healthcare includes close-in observational study of how people and systems cope with the routine overcrowding of emergency departments as well as other work that explores the micro-foundations of diagnostic error.  In another stream of research, he examines the paradoxes of building organizational capability and implementing innovation and change.  His system dynamics publications have appeared in the Academy of Management Review, the American Medical Journal, Academic Emergency Medicine, and the Journal of Business Research. Before his academic career, he was a partner at a leading global management consulting firm and has more than 15 years of consulting experience. For the System Dynamics Society, he has served as a member of the Policy Council, the Administrative Committee,  the Selection Committee for the Applications Award,  and the Organization and By-Laws Committee, and he is currently Secretary of the Society.

Description: Professor John Richardson speaks at the 2010 Fall Dinner. Photo by Rachel Lincoln.
Brad holds a Ph.D. in Management (System Dynamics and Organization Studies) from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, an MBA (Finance) from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Management Science from MIT. (May 29, 2012)

Description: Professor John Richardson speaks at the 2010 Fall Dinner. Photo by Rachel Lincoln.

Stefan Grösser Receives Junior Scientist Award

Prof. Dr. Stefan Groesser was honored at this year's Business Innovation Day of the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) with the Junior Scientist Award (2nd place). He received the award for his published work on mental models, innovation diffusion, and system dynamics  methodology. The award honors the achievements of young academics early in their career. (May 29, 2012)

Dr. John Sterman Awarded with a Doctor Honoris Causa Degree Description: Professor John Richardson speaks at the 2010 Fall Dinner. Photo by Rachel Lincoln.

The University of Lugano (Universita della Svizzera Italiana – USI), Switzerland, has unanimously decided to award professor John Sterman a Doctor Honoris Causa degree. The prestigious honorary doctorate, the highest academic honor conferred by the University of Lugano, is awarded each year to a single individual chosen for academic contributions and international impact. As a recognized leader in his academic field, Professor Sterman will receive the award from the Faculty of Economics for his pioneering contributions to System Dynamics, Organizational Dynamics and Behavioral Decision-Making. The award ceremony will take place in Lugano, Switzerland on May 12, 2012. The Corriere del Ticino news report and the University of Lugano Media Communication Service announcement, both with photos, are available. (Feb 29, 2012)

Dr. Mila Sherman Received a Research Excellence Award

Society member Mila Sherman received a Research Excellence Award on May 2, 2012 from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. This award identifies Dr. Sherman as one of the most successful scholars among the Isenberg research faculty in 2011. The Research Awards Committee considered Dr. Sherman’s rich portfolio of scholarly activity, including the record of publication in premier and top quality journals. (May 3, 2012)

MIT News Features Article on the Beer Game

An article titled “The secrets of the system” about the Production Distribution Game, commonly referred to as the Beer Game, along with a photo of Jay Forrester, was featured in MIT News on May 3. Peter Dizikes, writer for the MIT News visited the Operations Academy, MIT Sloan School of Management for this lead story. Patricia Robertson, Director of the Operations Academy recently commented to Jay Forrester, developer of the Beer Game, “The game continues to be an essential piece of learning for our groups.” (May 3, 2012)

New E-mail List Links System Dynamics to Public Policy Research

David Andersen and George Richardson have been working with a team to establish a system dynamics community of practice at APPAM, the premier public policy research group in North American. In this effort, system dynamics is being grouped with other methods such as agent-based simulation, social network analysis, and data visualization to create a new cluster that is being called, “Policy Informatics.” One outcome of this larger effort is a new “PIN-L” e-mail distribution list for scholars and practitioners interested in the area of policy informatics—including system dynamics and public policy. Those interested in strengthening ties and promoting a tighter linkage between system dynamics and main line public policy researchers are encouraged to subscribe to this list by sending a blank message to the following e-mail address: pin-l-subscribe-request@listserv.albany.edu. (Feb 29, 2012)

Description: Professor John Richardson speaks at the 2010 Fall Dinner. Photo by Rachel Lincoln.

John Richardson Honored as Faculty Member of the Year; Announces Retirement

Dr. John Richardson was honored by American University's School of International Service (SIS) as the SIS Faculty Member of the Year. Dr. Richardson joined the American University faculty in 1975 as the Director of the Center for Technology and Administration. His time at SIS began in 1980, when he continued his research in global modeling.

Please read more about Dr. Richardson's accomplishments and the dinner honoring him. (Feb 27, 2012)


Symposium: Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launching of Limits to Growth, the first report to the Club of Rome, a joint symposium entitled “Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet” was hosted in Washington, DC by the Club of Rome and the Smithsonian Institution’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet.

Limits to Growth Panel
Speakers and panel discussion members at afternoon session.

The symposium was held on Thursday March 1st, in the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall. A reception followed. Please see program statement for other details.

The program was webcast live, and is archived at: http://www.si.edu/consortia/limitstogrowth2012 (Feb 5, 2012)

New Scientist Features Article on Limits to Growth -- 40 years later

A preview of the article titled “Boom and doom: Revisiting prophecies of collapse” is available online at the link below. The article was published in the Jan.7-13 2012 New Scientist magazine. It is a brief survey and appreciation of The Limits to Growth, 40 years after its first publication. The full article is accessible to subscribers.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328462.100-boom-and-doom-revisiting-prophecies-of-collapse.html (Feb 1, 2012)

Announcing an important change to Society members' online access to the System Dynamics Review

Membership Services at our publisher, John Wiley & Sons, has implemented changes in online access to the System Dynamics Review. This year Wiley is migrating to a new access method, so there will be a fundamental change to access to System Dynamics Review works via the publishers’ website. New registration instructions will be sent directly by Wiley to all members. Please note that this applies to all System Dynamics Society members, even if those who have set up their access in the past under the old system. (The old access arrangement will be discontinued soon.)

The email message from Wiley will have the subject line: “Wiley Online Library Activation Instructions for Society Membership Online Access”). In order to continue online access to the System Dynamics Review, each member (as they renew or join) will receive a message directly from Wiley (“wileyonlineaccess”) describing how to migrate to this new access method. Please follow the new activation instructions it contains.

In case of further query about the migration instructions or online access issues, please contact Sharon Brooker, Membership Services Specialist: sbrooker@wiley.com. Or, please feel free to contact the Society office. (Jan 19, 2012)

Back to top

Jay Forrester has been inducted into the 2011 IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame (2011-12-14)

Jay ForresterJay Forrester has been inducted into the 2011 IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame. This honor recognizes Jay’s pioneering work in digital computer development, and particularly his research that helped provide the foundation of modern supply chain management principles. The very first system dynamics model was Jay's model of GE's appliance supply chain, which then became the basis for his book, Industrial Dynamics. The 10 Hall of Fame manufacturing executives and thought leaders are featured in this month’s issue of IndustryWeek. In past years, inductees have included Steve Jobs, Lee Iacocca, and Joseph Engelberger, the father of robotics.

There is a profile on Jay Forrester available as well. Congratulations to Jay!

To revisit a biography of Jay Forrester titled "The power of the bond between cause and effect: Jay Wright Forrester and the field of system dynamics" by David C. Lane, published in the System Dynamics Review Special Issue: Exploring the Next Great Frontier: System Dynamics at 50, Volume 23, Issue 2-3, pages 95–118, Summer-Autumn (Fall) 2007 go to Wiley Online Library.

SD Case Repository Now Available (2011-11-23)

It is our pleasure to announce that the first version of the SD Case Repository project is ready and on the web! The system dynamics case webpage <http://cases.systemdynamics.org/> provides a collection of consulting projects that were performed after 1990 and used system dynamics as their method.

Directed by the VP Member Services, Etiënne Rouwette, the project aims to help clarify to (potential) users how system dynamics was successfully used and applied to public and private organizations, and to promote applied system dynamics studies. This website is an ongoing project. Currently information about 36 cases is collected.

We hope to expand the collection by including more cases. If you have been involved in a consulting project, please submit a summary of your case, in less than 1,000 words, and with the proper citation to where it was originally published to office@systemdynamics.org. For a case to be accepted it must meet the following three criteria:

- It was a contracted project (with funding or in-kind support) by a private or public organization;
- It was published in a peer-reviewed journal, book, or conference proceedings, 1990 or after; and
- It reports on a fully-developed simulation modeling analysis.

We would like to thank everybody who has been helping the VP Member Services in this project including Bahri Khairul, Fleur van den Elzen, Jack Homer, David Lane, Kim Warren, David Ford, Bob Eberlein, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, and many others.

Dr. David Lane has been appointed to the editorial board of a new journal (2011-09-15)

Dr. David Lane, London School of Economics and current Society President, has been invited to join the editorial board of the new journal Operations Research for Health Care, published by Elsevier. This international journal is aimed at those working in health and health policy in universities, government departments and consultancy firms and will publish papers describing the use and evaluation of OR techniques in health, including lessons learned in engaging with policy makers, clinicians, managers, and other decision makers. Papers concerning the application of system dynamics modelling to health care are most welcome. For further information click here.

Visit to Mayo Clinic (2011-09-15)
In other news, in August, David visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was an invited ‘Highlight Speaker’ at a conference on Systems Engineering and Operations Research in Health Care. The conference provided a forum for health care professionals, OR practitioners, and university faculty to discuss effective applications of systems engineering and operations management tools in the delivery of health care.

System Dynamics Society Award Winners (2011-08-08)

Diana Fisher receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from John Sterman.
The System Dynamics Applications Award winners receive their award from Jim Lyneis.

Lifetime Achievement Award. 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, this award was presented to Diana Fisher for her work on K-12 Education.

The System Dynamics Applications Award is presented by the Society every other year for the best "real world" application of system dynamics. The Society awarded its 2011 Applications Award to Jack Homer, Kristina Wile, Gary Hirsch, Justin Trogdon, Amanda Honeycutt, Bobby Milstein, Diane Orenstein and Lawton Cooper for their work Prevention Impacts Simulation Model (PRISM) for Chronic Disease Policymaking.

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 David Andersen and George Richardson this award in grateful recognition of their exceptional volunteer contributions to the System Dynamics Society.

David Andersen and George Richardson receive the Outstanding Service Award from Jay Forrester.
Navid Ghaffarzadegan receives the Dana Meadow Award. He is also one of the winners of the Lupina Young Researchers Award.
David Keith is the runner-up for the Dana Meadow Award. He is also the winner of the Environmental SIG Scholarship Award.

The Dana Meadows Award was established in 2001 to honor the late Dana Meadows and encourage the next generation of students in the field of system dynamics. The award is given annually for the best paper by a student presented at the annual System Dynamics Conference. The Society awarded its 2011 Dana Meadows Award to Navid Ghaffarzadegan at University at Albany, SUNY, for the paper Beyond Personality Traits and Financial Incentives: Bias and Variation in Medical Practices as Results of Experiential Learning. The Honorable Mention in the Dana Meadows Award competition is David Keith at MIT for the paper Understanding Innovation Diffusion in the Presence of Supply Constraints and Price Feedback: The Case of the Toyota Prius.

The Lupina Young Researchers Award was given this year to two outstanding papers dealing with health-related topics, authored by students or recent (past 5 years) graduates and presented at the conference. Both papers were presented in plenary sessions at this year’s conference: Beyond Personality Traits and Financial Incentives: Bias and Variation in Medical Practices as Results of Experiential Learning, by Navid Ghaffarzadegan and Modeling the Dynamics of Thyroid Hormones and Related Disorders, by Oylum Seker.

Oylum Seker, one of the winners of the Lupina Young Researchers Award receives her award from Eric Pruit.
Sarah Boyar receives the Barry Richmond Scholarship Award from Joanne Egner.
Erik Pruyt receives the Best Poster Presentation Award.

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 Sarah Boyar.

The winner of Best Poster Presentation at the Poster Symposium was Exploring Demographic Shifts: Ageing and Migration in a Deeply Uncertain Dynamically Complex World, by Erik Pruyt, Thomas Logtens, Govert Gijsbers, Tim Sweijs and Stephan de Spiegeleire.

The Environmental SIG Scholarship Award, new this year, for students and new researchers whose paper is about promoting carbon neutral practices was given to David Keith, for his paper Understanding Innovation Diffusion in the Presence of Supply Constraints and Price Feedback: The Case of the Toyota Prius.

System Dynamics Professors Granted Tenure (2011-06-27)

Mila Getmansky Sherman was granted tenure at Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, where she teaches corporate finance, finance theory core, and financial models in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Professor Mila's research specializes in the empirical asset pricing, hedge funds, systemic risk, performance of investment trading strategies and system dynamics. She is a graduate of MIT Sloan PhD Program in System Dynamics. For more information on her work, please visit her website.  

Congratulations Mila!

Eliot Rich was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor at the University at Albany, SUNY, where he teaches information systems design and system dynamics in the School of Business.  Eliot's thesis used system dynamics to study knowledge management programs in consulting firms.  His current research includes study of information systems, infrastructure security, and organizational dynamics.  For more information on his work, please visit his website.

Congratulations Eliot!

Jeroen Struben Received the Desautels Faculty of Management Distinguished Teaching Award (2011-05-31)

Jeroen Struben is the recipient of the 2011 Desautels Faculty of Management Distinguished Teaching Award (Graduate Level). These awards, one at the undergraduate and one at the graduate level, are determined by a committee comprised of student representatives, program directors and a representative from the Dean’s office. The awards recognize outstanding teaching in their programs, superb engagement with students and contribution to the learning environment in the Faculty. The recipients will formally be presented their awards at the convocation ceremonies in June.

Congratulations, Jeroen!

Nelson Repenning Received the Jamieson Award for Excellence in Teaching (2011-05-20)

Nelson Repenning May 2011. Professor Nelson Repenning was honored this year with the Jamieson Award for Excellence in Teaching at the MIT Sloan School of Business and Management. It is given annually to two MIT Sloan faculty members and is the most important award for teaching excellence at MIT Sloan. The award is endowed by Burgess Jamieson, MIT class of 1962.

Congratulations Nelson!

2011 Edelman Award Presentations (2011-05-09)

Ken Cooper, Greg Lee, and colleagues were recognized by INFORMS as finalists in the 2011 Edelman Award competition for their application of system dynamics to improve project management at Fluor Corporation. The Edelman Award is the top prize in the field of operations management/management science. The work Ken, Greg and their colleagues have done was previously recognized by the System Dynamics Society with the Best Application Award, presented to them at the 2009 conference in Albuquerque. As a side note, this is the second time Ken Cooper has been recognized as an Edelman laureate -- the first time was in 1980, for his groundbreaking work applying system dynamics to project management in the dispute between Ingalls and the US Navy.

John Sterman writes "It's great to see system dynamics being applied to improve project management, not only to resolving disputes after projects have experienced difficulty. Congratulations to Ken, Greg and all their colleagues for this honor and for their great work."

Ed Roberts comments "As an 'SD old-timer' but long time admirer of your efforts and accomplishments in system dynamics, I congratulate you for once again being recognized for your pioneering work in proving that SD can be made to work, and work really effectively. Your original efforts in developing the project management modeling tools to a finished set of capabilities began at Pugh-Roberts and with your persistence achieved remarkable results for so many companies. It is great to see that you continue to achieve."

To view their presentation on the work, along with the work of the other finalists click here.

System Dynamics and UNEP's Green Economy Report (2011-02-22)

The UN Environmental Programme has just released a ground-breaking report titled "Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication." Society member Andrea Bassi is lead author of the modeling chapter, and the modeler and coordinator of all the modeling work, which is largely based on system dynamics. This is being used as a flagship report of the UNEP and highlights public policy analysis, especially concerning a transition to a greener economy. An advance copy online release can be read at (+)
Back to top

Videos of the Special Guest Lecture Series at the 2010 System Dynamics Conference (2010-11-30)

The Special Guest Lecture Series presentations were recorded at the 2010 System Dynamics Conference "Beyond the Crisis: Greening Society, the Economy, and the Future." The first video presentation of the series is now on the web: The Road from Copenhagen: Supporting International Climate Negotiations with the C-ROADS Simulation, by Professor John Sterman. Other video presentations will be available soon, for a list of other titles and print versions of the papers, please visit this page.

Advancement of Monetary Science and Reform Award to Professor Kaoru Yamaguchi (2010-11-30)

At the System Dynamics Conference in Seoul (July 2010), Professor Kaoru Yamaguchi presented a paper at the plenary session titled On the Liquidation of Government Debt under a Debt-Free Money System. With a modest revision, the same paper was presented at the Monetary Reform Conference in Chicago, on October 1st, for which the Advancement of Monetary Science and Reform Award was given by the American Monetary Institute.

Kaoru is a former president of the Society’s Economics Chapter and currently a professor at the Graduate School of Business, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. He teaches macroeconomic dynamics, business system dynamics and sustainable business modeling. It is his hope that the system dynamics method will be well recognized among mainstream economists through this award.

His interview video as well as the presentation speech is available through this link (+).


Professors David and Deborah Andersen Win Fulbright Scholarships (2010-09-18)

David and Deborah AndersenDavid and Deborah Andersen are among five distinguished researchers at the University at Albany who are named Fulbright Scholars for 2010-2011. Established in 1946, the Fulbright Scholar program is designed to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Award recipients are chosen on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as their extraordinary leadership potential in their research field.

David and Deborah will spend a year in Puebla, Mexico and Montreal, Canada. They will study supply chain dynamics associated with the production and distribution of coffee as a commodity within the North American Free Trade Alliance (NAFTA) region. The Andersens aim to develop a proposal for an information policy that might lead to an improvement in the market share of fair wage and environmentally sustainable trade within the NAFTA region. In addition, Deborah will study public library policy, and how language affects collection development, in both Montreal and Puebla.

David Andersen is a distinguished Service Professor in the department of Public Administration and Policy, and Informatics at the University at Albany. He is also the Jay W. Forrester award winner, the former President and the current Vice President of Finance of the System Dynamics Society. Deborah Lines Andersen is an Associate Professor in the departments of Information Studies and Informatics at the University at Albany. She is also the former Vice President of Publications of the System Dynamics Society.

Link to the full news on the University at Albany website (+).

Rector Kortmann opens European Master in System Dynamics (2010-09-02)

On August 26 the European Master in System Dynamics (EMSD) was officially opened in Bergen, Norway by Rector Kortmann and his colleague Sigmund Grønmo. The two-year Master’s programme is a collaboration between three universities: the University of Bergen, the University of Palermo and the Radboud University of Nijmegen (coordinator). From the Nijmegen School of Management, the programme is led by Prof. Jac Vennix.

In September 2010, the programme officially starts with a group of 24 students from nineteen countries. The programme was developed during the last three years, funded by a grant from the Erasmus Mundus Curriculum Development programme. Approximately 20 students per year can be admitted to the programme with this grant. The students will be selected on the basis of excellent study results and motivation. For more information, go to: http://www.europeansystemdynamics.eu/

European Master in System Dynamics

From left to right: Prof. Carmine Bianchi (University of Palermo), Rector Sigmund Grønmo (University of Bergen), Social Science Faculty Dean Knut Helland (University of Bergen), Rector Sebastian C.J.J. Kortmann (Radboud University of Nijmegen), Prof. Jac Vennix (Radboud University of Nijmegen), Prof. Pål Davidsen (University of Bergen). Photo: Erling Moxnes.

Mark Paich, Corey Peck, and Jason Valant Win Forrester Award (2010-08-01)

The Jay Wright Forrester Award recognizes the authors of the best contribution to the field of system dynamics in the preceding five years. This year the award was presented to Mark Paich, Corey Peck, and  Jason Valant of Lexidyne, LLC for their winning work "Pharmaceutical Product Branding Strategies: Simulating Patient Flow and Portfolio Dynamics" published by Informa Healthcare; 2nd edition March 2009. More information on this book can be found at this link.

Mark Paich
Mark Paich
Corey Peck
Corey Peck
Jason Valant
Jason Valant

The citation and winners' speech (delivered at the award ceremony in Seoul) will be published in full in the System Dynamics Review. Later this year, they can be found by searching the System Dynamics Review page at Wiley InterScience for Volume 26 Issue 4 (October/December 2010); abstracts are available to all; full articles are only available for members to view.

Jac Vennix
Chair, Jay W. Forrester Award Committee

Lexidyne, LLC specializes in helping clients understand and leverage key cause-and-effect relationships using the principles of System Dynamics. Combining strong facilitation skills with powerful simulation tools and over 100 years of collective System Dynamics experience, the Lexidyne team offers consulting solutions to government agencies, non-profit organizations, and several Fortune 500 companies. Headquartered in Colorado, Lexidyne works with clients across the country and around the globe.

RAM Is Born - the anniversary of Jay Forrester's patent application for the matrix core memory (2010-05-13)

An article about the anniversary of the invention of RAM is featured in the section "This Day in Tech" on the website. The title of the article is "May 11, 1951: RAM Is Born"

George Richardson receives the 2010 Excellence in Academic Service Award and the SUNY-wide Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service (2010-05-12, updated 2010-06-02)

George RichardsonProfessor George P. Richardson received the 2010 Excellence in Academic Service Award at the University at Albany. The Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards at the University at Albany mark outstanding performance in teaching, research, professional and classified service, librarianship, and faculty service.

The Excellence in Academic Service award is presented to members of the teaching faculty who have demonstrated leadership and service to the University over a sustained period.

Professor Richardson also recieved the SUNY-wide Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service.

Congratulations George!

An article about the Whirlwind Computer (2010-03-08)

An article about the Whirlwind Computer, along with a photo including Jay Forrester is featured in the section "This Day in Tech" on the website. The title of the article is "March 8, 1955: The Mother of All Operating Systems."

Back to top

System Dynamics in use at United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark (2009-12-10)


The Climate Rapid Overview and Decision-support Simulator (C-ROADS) was developed by Drew Jones, Beth Sawin, and Lori Siegel of the Sustainability Institute, Tom Fiddaman of Ventana Systems, and John Sterman of the System Dynamics Group at MIT.

The C-ROADS simulation calculates the long-term climate impacts of proposals under consideration in the negotiations to produce a global climate treaty.

See the figure at left or this link for updates on the impact of current emissions reduction proposals.

Jorgen Randers Awarded "Academics' Prize 2009" by Akademikerne (2009-11-16)

Academics Prize Winner 2009 Jorgen RandersJorgen Randers was recently awarded the Norwegian "Academics' Prize 2009" for his contribution to foster academic freedom, and his focus on the importance of knowledge for sound societal development.

This is the second time this prestigious prize has been awarded. For forty years Randers, presently Professor of Climate Strategy at the Norwegian School of Management, has researched environmental issues. Randers holds an MS in Physics from the University of Oslo and a PhD in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He was first noticed internationally as coauthor of the book Limits to Growth in 1972. Later, in the 1980s, he was President of the Norwegian School of Management. Recently he chaired the "Low Emissions Commission," appointed by the Norwegian Cabinet, reporting in 2006 on how Norway may reduce its climate emissions by two-thirds before 2050.

The prize was awarded by Akademikerne, an umbrella union for employees with academic degrees (labor organization for physicians, architects, engineers, MBAs, etc.) having in total some 150,000 members. For more information online, click here. Congratulation Jorgen.

National Geographic Magazine Features Article on the “Carbon Bathtub” and John Sterman (2009-11-16)

John StermanThe work John Sterman has led at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and with Climate Interactive on mental models of climate change will be featured in the "Big Idea" section of the National Geographic Magazine, December issue.

The magazine's graphics and artwork convey these complex ideas clearly. The online article, which is already available, includes a link to the online version of C-ROADS; in print this article will be found on pages 26-29.

Please visit Climate Interactive – The Blog to see this and other posts. Congratulations to everyone involved.


System Dynamics Society Applications Award 2009 to Ken Cooper and Greg Lee for Work at Fluor Corporation (~ 2009-09-11)

Applications Award 2009The International System Dynamics Society awarded its 2009 Applications Award to Kenneth Cooper of Cooper Associates, Milford NH, and Gregory Lee of Fluor Corporation, Aliso Viejo CA. The Applications Award is presented for the best application of system dynamics, and is one of the preeminent awards in the field of dynamic simulation modeling. The international panel of judges unanimously selected Cooper and Lee’s “Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor” as the best modeling application from nominees around the world. 

Cooper and Lee designed, built, tested, and implemented a model-based system to aid project management at Fluor Corporation. Fluor is one of the world’s largest Engineering and Construction firms, with 2008 revenues over $20 Billion. The US-based firm operates in every major business sector and geography. (More information about the award, link to the paper


John Sterman received the Jamieson Award for Excellence in Teaching (~ 2009-07-03)

June 2009. Professor John Sterman, Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management has received the Jamieson Award for Excellence in Teaching at the MIT Sloan School of Business and Management. It is given annually to two MIT Sloan faculty members for their contribution to teaching excellence. The award is endowed by Burgess Jamieson, MIT class of 1962.

Congratulations John!

Link to MIT News Page


Yaman Barlas received the 2008 best teaching award of Bogaziçi University (~ 2009-06-18)

Professor Yaman Barlas received the 2008 best teaching award of Bogaziçi University. Up to two faculty members from four main colleges are offered the award each year. Professor Barlas' affiliation is with the Industrial Engineering Department where he teaches simulation and system dynamics courses. This is the second time Yaman Barlas received this teaching excellence award, the first being in 2006.



Dennis Meadows Wins Japan Prize for Work Initiated within the MIT System Dynamics Group (~ 2009-02-16)

The Japan Prize is awarded to people from all parts of the world whose original and outstanding achievements in science and technology are recognized as having advanced the frontiers of knowledge and served the cause of peace and prosperity for mankind. Dennis Meadows is recognized for his work on "Transformation towards a sustainable society in harmony with nature."

More information:
    Citation for the award
    Link to the Japan Prize page
    Energy Bulletin - Dr. Dennis Meadows wins prestigious Japan Prize

Back to top