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2021 Student-Organized Colloquium


The Student-organized Colloquium is a free, 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 Student-organized 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, masters and undergraduate students, as well as practitioners, professionals and academics in any field who are new to System Dynamics (less experienced, mentees, juniors) can discuss their ideas and concerns, and get mentored by more experienced system dynamicists (mentors, seniors).

If you have any questions about this event, please contact the System Dynamics Colloquium co-chairs, Braveheart Gillani and Cherie Dirk.

Who Should Attend?


All are welcome – undergraduates and post-graduate students, researchers, practitioners, lecturers, professors, retired system dynamicists, etc. A wide range of experiences, applications, methods, and technologies are needed to address the ever-evolving issues facing the world today and therefore we encourage all who are interested in system dynamics to attend this event. The aim of the Student-organized Colloquium is to bring all system dynamicists closer, in order to help us all reflect together on systems and the collective learning process within our global and inclusive System Dynamics community.


Student-organized Colloquium 2020 – Online

Student-organized Colloquium 2019 – Albuquerque, USA

For Novices


The Student-organized Colloquium strategically takes place on the first day of the ISDC since it is a “soft-landing” for newcomers, enabling interaction with peers and senior system dynamicists before the formal proceedings of the ISDC. The Student-organized Colloquium is an important event where less-experienced system dynamicists (i.e. students and non-students that are new to the system dynamics field) can get feedback on their work, build networks and learn from and alongside one another, in a comfortable environment.

For Experts


Experts in System Dynamics have a lot to offer developing system dynamicists (less experienced, juniors, mentees) and it can be difficult for newcomers to learn from sifting through years of seminal papers. In addition to this, less experienced 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. We need experienced system dynamicists to help us grow.

2021 Theme: TBC

Important Dates

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


27 January 2021 Registration and Paper Submissions Open
25 March 2021 Paper Submissions Due
26 May 2021 Notification of acceptance
9 June 2021 Presenter registration deadline
16 June 2021 Deadline to upload a 2-min introductory video for Angel Advisors
25 July 2021 2021 Student-organized Colloquium

Schedule of the day (TBC)

The 2021 Student-organized Colloquium will be hosted virtually using an online conference platform (Zoom) and the general structure will include plenary keynote presentations by more experienced (senior, mentor) and less experienced (junior, mentee) system dynamicists, a poster session (Angel Advisor Programme) and break-out sessions in smaller groups. The main focus of the day is providing opportunities for less-experienced system dynamicists (i.e. students and non-students that are new to the system dynamics field) to get feedback on their work, build networks and learn from and alongside one another, in a comfortable environment.


Student Presentations: Two students will be selected by the Student-organized 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.

Keynote: A more experienced system dynamicist will be chosen to give a keynote address about their journey in system dynamics and how system dynamics relates to this year’s SD Colloquium theme.

Breakout sessions:

Open Space: Open Space is a fun and informal session where less experienced participants get a chance to talk about their work (successes and challenges) and any System Dynamics related topics while gaining a perspective from more experienced (senior, mentor) system dynamicists. Participants engage in smaller break out groups and get an opportunity to set an agenda of topics they’d like to discuss as a group in the allotted time.

World Café: The World Café session is an adaptation of a well-developed methodology for hosting large group dialogue. Less experienced (junior, mentee) and experienced (senior, mentor) system dynamicists get together in a café-like format to engage in 15-20 min conversations around central topics/questions before moving to a different group with different people. Multiple interactions are encouraged to build on the session before it.

Poster session (Angel Advisor Programme) and Networking:

The poster and networking session allows Student-organized Colloquium participants to enjoy interacting whilst viewing the varied selection of posters presented by less experienced system dynamicists. During this time, poster presenters also meet with their Angel Advisors to get dedicated feedback on their work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Call For Volunteers

Sign Up!Contact Chairs

Planning Team

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), please contact the Student-organized Colloquium co-chairs, Braveheart Gillani and Cherie Dirk. It is also an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world and have a lot of fun.

Angel Advisor

All successful Student-organized Colloquium poster/paper applicants who are invited to present get a chance to be a part of the Angel Advisor Programme. It involves matching the presenter (a generally less experienced, junior system dynamicist) and an experienced (senior, mentor) system dynamicist according to research areas. Before the Student-organized Colloquium, the senior will review the presenter’s paper/poster (this may also include specific System Dynamics questions). The presenter and the senior get an opportunity to meet and discuss the work. The Angel Advisor Programme provides a unique opportunity for constructive criticism and modelling advice from an expert. This programme has been working since 2015 and we hope we can get more senior system dynamicists involved each year.