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Workshop: Modeling Non-Renewable Resources Dynamics

Dr. Bellam Sreenivasulu’s recent workshop about modeling the depletion of non-renewable resources was intended to enable participants to understand the problem holistically through a systems approach. First, learned to construct causal loop diagrams (feedback loops) by applying systems thinking concepts, and then learned to develop stock and flow diagrams as models for simulations to study how a system structure generates the behavior of overshoot and collapse of non-renewable resources.

Dr. Bellam Sreenivasulu led a discussion on System Dynamics modeling with a focus on non-renewable resources. He defined a system as a group of interacting, interconnected, and interdependent elements, which can be tangible or intangible, and can be classified into subsystems based on their boundaries. Sreenivas emphasized that a system is more than the sum of its parts due to emerging behaviors. He also explained the concept of systems thinking, which involves understanding the interconnections and interdependencies among variables, and highlighted the importance of identifying feedback loops. Sreenivas suggested developing systems thinking skills by understanding the dynamic behavior of a system over time using tools such as behavior over time graphs (BOTGs). He also discussed the dynamics of systems, explaining that their behaviors are often nonlinear due to feedback loops and can manifest as exponential growth or decay, goal-seeking, oscillations, overshooting and collapsing, or oscillations like an S shape. Sreenivas stressed that understanding the system structure behind these behaviors is crucial for predicting future patterns.

 

Model Components: Feedback Loops, Causal Interactions, Stocks, and Flows

Sreenivas explained the concept of feedback loops, emphasizing the importance of understanding causal interactions between variables. He elaborated on the positive and negative influences between two variables, demonstrating how an increase in one variable can lead to an increase or decrease in another. Sreenivas also discussed the concept of link polarity, which determines the direction of the causal link. He further explained the reinforcing feedback loop, which increases in a positive direction, and the balancing feedback loop, which decreases in a negative direction. Sreenivas used examples such as population growth and stress levels to illustrate these feedback loops.

Sreenivas discussed the concept of stocks and flows in causal loop diagrams. He defined a stock as something in the system that accumulates or decreases over time, while a flow is the rate at which a stock changes. He illustrated this with examples such as water levels, blood sugar levels, and vehicle sales. Sreenivas explained the principles of accumulation in stock and flow diagrams, emphasizing that the behavior of the stock is determined by inflows and outflows. He presented a stock and flow diagram for modeling and stressed the usefulness of understanding System Dynamics using two stocks and other variables.

 

Petroleum Wells System and Population Interactions

Sreenivas discussed the petroleum wells system and the extraction process, highlighting that petroleum wells are non-renewable resources with no inflow and only outflow as reserves decrease. He explained that the extraction rate is influenced by various factors and the depletion of reserves leads to a decrease in the number of petroleum wells. Sreenivas also discussed the causal loop diagram of a population system, focusing on interactions between different age groups and feedback loops. He emphasized the importance of systems thinking, the conversion of a causal diagram into a corresponding stock and flow diagram for systems modeling, and identified stocks, flows, and flow rates.

 

Petroleum Reserves Modeling Discussion

Sreenivas discussed modeling petroleum reserves extraction wells, focusing on the effects of reservation. He also explained the concept of maximum extraction per well and its unit, emphasizing that the unit of maximum extraction per well is barrels per year. Sreenivas connected the normal closing fraction and the drilling fraction to the closing and drilling wells respectively.

He also discussed the dynamic behavior of petroleum reserves and wells over a period of 25 years, highlighting their overshooting and collapsing trends. Sreenivas also shared a model to help beginner system thinkers understand how non-renewable resources deplete over time.

 

Modeling Practice in Vensim

Sreenivas provided a tutorial on converting a casual loop diagram into a stock and flow diagram. Participants were asked to watch a video on drawing a causal loop diagram and practice using the Vensim software.

Sreenivas presented the Vensim software, explaining its features and functionalities. He demonstrated the process of constructing a stock and incorporating flows within the model using the example of petroleum wells. Sreenivas also explained how to create causal links, adjust line thickness and link polarity, and indicate the direction of the loop. He further clarified how to depict reinforcing and balancing feedback loops and how to mentally visualize the invisible connections between variables.

Sreenivas provided guidance on the construction and saving of a model, stressing the importance of setting accurate time limits and time steps for precise simulation results. Sreenivas then initiated a hands-on session and guided participants on how to work with the model, emphasizing the importance of understanding and using the provided equations.

Sreenivas provided a detailed explanation on how to use data and lookup functions to generate a graph, highlighting the impacts of payroll resource and petroleum reserves on drilling fraction. Questions about data input and software capabilities were addressed, with Sreenivas confirming the software could generate a report listing all relationships depicted in the graph. Towards the end of the meeting, Sreenivas demonstrated how to use the model menu and check units, emphasizing the importance of using provided documents and data.

He demonstrated how to set equations, highlight variables, and settle units for petroleum reserves and wells. He further explained how to document the initial value and units and how to set constants like the drilling fraction and normal closing fraction. Sreenivas stressed that stock and flow variables have different types, including auxiliary variables, constants, and parameters. Toward the end, Sreenivas discussed the use of a lookup function in modeling.

 

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Download Model and Supporting Materials from the Workshop

Download the Software

This workshop involved modeling in Vensim PLE, the free version of the modeling software provided by Ventana Systems. Download here: https://vensim.com/free-downloads/

Pre-Work Tasks

Before attending the workshop, participants were asked to complete the PRE-WORK TASKS to ensure a productive learning experience:

  1. Watch the introductory segment (up to 10 minutes) of the video on ‘drawing causal loop diagrams (CLDs) in Vensim’ to familiarize yourself with the basics of CLD creation in Vensim. Access the video here: Vensim Causal Loop Diagramming Video.
  2. Practice drawing CLDs by replicating the example shown in the video. Once comfortable, save your version of the CLD in the ‘.mdl’ format with your name as the filename.
  3. Learn about constructing simple Stock and Flow Models in Vensim by watching the relevant video. This will provide foundational knowledge in creating stock and flow diagrams (SFD). Access the video here: Building a Simple Vensim Model.

About the Presenter

Dr. Bellam Sreenivasulu, Senior Lecturer and Resident Fellow at the Residential College-4 (RC4), National University of Singapore (NUS), holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and a postdoctoral fellowship from the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ASTAR, ICES). He has extensive teaching experience in chemistry and applied chemistry such as supramolecular chemistry. Currently, at RC4, Dr. Bellam specializes in systems thinking and system dynamics (ST&SD) curriculum with a focus on modeling real-world complex problems concerning energy systems- sustainable energy, renewable energy, carbon emissions, etc. He also teaches topics such as “Sleep Health for Holistic Wellbeing,” applying a systems thinking approach. His educational research interests include chemistry education, ST & SD education exploring students’ learning and misconceptions in these areas.

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Recording: Workshop Visualize and Analyze Complex Challenges the Easy Way

Kai Neumann’s recent workshop  provided a practical and in-depth exploration of modeling complex challenges using the iModeler. With over 25 years of experience in systems thinking and modeling, Neumann’s session was a treasure trove of insights and hands-on learning.

The core of Neumann’s workshop was an engaging walkthrough of qualitative modeling using the iModeler software. His approach emphasized the significance of starting with a clear target factor and systematically exploring influences and outcomes. This process highlighted the power of qualitative models in identifying key levers in complex systems.

Participants engaged in an interactive modeling exercise focusing on the creation of a qualitative model. Neumann adeptly guided the exercise, starting from the identification of a primary factor – in this case, the availability of drinking water – and progressively building a complex model. This exercise illuminated the practical aspects of modeling, such as identifying direct influences, categorizing factors, and understanding the interplay between different elements.

A standout feature of the session was Neumann’s demonstration of the “insight matrixes” technique for analyzing qualitative models. This method provides a nuanced understanding of the impacts of various elements within a model over different time frames. This analysis is crucial for pinpointing effective strategies and interventions in complex scenarios.

This workshop offered an invaluable perspective on System Dynamics modeling. By focusing on the practical aspects of creating and analyzing qualitative models, Neumann equipped participants with tools and methodologies essential for tackling complex challenges in various domains. His expertise in the field, coupled with a hands-on approach to teaching, made this workshop a great learning experience for anyone keen on learning System Dynamics.

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About the Presenter

Kai Neumann has over 25 years of experience serving as a full-time systems thinker and modeler, both as a business consultant and scientist. His expertise spans a broad range of topics, including systemic strategy development, process optimization, global energy transition, food security, and transformation. Additionally, he delves into e-mobility, artificial intelligence, welfare economics, and political strategies. His extensive experience and diverse skill set make him a valuable asset in various fields.

 

About Consideo iModeler

Consideo iModeler is a cutting-edge software tool designed to visualize and analyze complex situations, making it easier for users to plan, make decisions, and communicate more effectively. This software stands out for its unique Insight Matrix feature, which provides a revolutionary way to handle complexity. It allows both qualitative and quantitative modeling, including System Dynamics for scenario modeling.

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Machine Learning and System Dynamics: a Threat or an Opportunity?

The recent webinar presented by Hesham Mahmoud, an experienced professional in the fields of multinational corporations, academia, and the United Nations, focused on the intersection of Machine Learning (AI) and System Dynamics. This post summarizes the webinar’s key points, including the Q&A session, offering insights into how these two methodologies can be effectively integrated.

Presenter Background:

Hesham Mahmoud, currently a Junior Lecturer and Machine Learning Researcher at Radboud University, brings a wealth of experience from his roles in various sectors, including his tenure at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. His expertise in Economics and Political Economics, combined with his professional experience, provides a unique perspective on the application of Machine Learning in System Dynamics.

Webinar Summary:

  1. Defining the Relationship between AI, Machine Learning, and System Dynamics: Mahmoud began by delineating the distinctions and connections between AI, Machine Learning, and System Dynamics. He emphasized the potential of Machine Learning to enhance the analytical capabilities in System Dynamics, moving beyond the traditional view of AI as a complex and opaque field.

  2. Addressing Bias and Ensuring Objectivity: The webinar highlighted the challenge of bias in Machine Learning algorithms. Mahmoud discussed the importance of feature selection and the role of human oversight in ensuring that machine-learning models are as objective and unbiased as possible.

  3. Data Challenges in Machine Learning: Mahmoud pointed out that both the scarcity and abundance of data present challenges in Machine Learning. He stressed the importance of careful decision-making in feature selection to avoid introducing biases into the models.

  4. Complementarity of Machine Learning and System Dynamics: The discussion underscored how Machine Learning could uncover patterns in data that might not be immediately apparent in System Dynamics models, while System Dynamics can provide a human-centric approach to guide Machine Learning analyses.

  5. Practical Applications in Healthcare: The webinar touched on the application of these methods in healthcare, demonstrating how combining Machine Learning with System Dynamics could enhance predictive models in medical systems.

Key Points from the Q&A:

  • Machine Learning as a Complement to System Dynamics: Mahmoud clarified that Machine Learning should be seen as a complementary tool to System Dynamics, not as a replacement. He emphasized its utility in providing data-driven insights that can inform and refine System Dynamics models.

  • Bias Mitigation in Combined Approaches: In response to concerns about bias, Mahmoud discussed how integrating Machine Learning with System Dynamics could help mitigate biases from both fields. He suggested that the triangulation of data-driven insights and System Dynamics models could lead to more balanced and objective outcomes.

  • Ethical Considerations in Model Design: Mahmoud acknowledged the importance of ethical considerations in the design and application of Machine Learning models, especially when used in conjunction with System Dynamics. He stressed the need for ethical frameworks to guide decision-making in these integrated approaches.

  • Technical Aspects of Integration: Addressing the technicalities, Mahmoud mentioned the availability of tools and packages in programming languages like R, which facilitate the integration of traditional System Dynamics models with Machine Learning techniques.

This webinar provided a comprehensive overview of how Machine Learning can be integrated with System Dynamics to enhance model accuracy and objectivity. The key takeaway is that these two methodologies, when combined, can offer a more robust approach to understanding and solving complex problems, particularly in fields like healthcare. The Q&A session further reinforced the idea that Machine Learning and System Dynamics are not competing but are complementary tools that, when used together, can lead to more effective and ethical outcomes.

This session is organized and led by MINDS – the student-led System Dynamics Association at the University of Bergen in Norway.

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About the Speaker

Hesham Mahmoud has working experience in Multinational Corporations, Academia, and the United Nations. Double Master’s degree holder in Economics and Political Economics with ten years of professional experience in the domains of ICT, Business Analysis, Business Development, Partnerships, Project Management, and Marketing. Before becoming a researcher at Radboud University in the Netherlands, Hesham served as Due Diligence Senior Analyst at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and currently works as a Junior Lecturer and Machine Learning Researcher at Radboud University.

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Systems Thinking Through Storytelling

 

“”The recent webinar hosted by the System Dynamics Society featured Linda Booth Sweeney and Philip Ramsey, offering an overview of the world of systems thinking and its application in education and storytelling. Linda, an accomplished educator and author, shared her journey in integrating systems thinking into various educational materials and books. Philip Ramsey, an author and senior lecturer at Massey University, New Zealand, discussed his Billy Bonk and Frankel series, aimed at teaching systems thinking to children.

Linda Booth Sweeney: Bridging Systems Thinking and Storytelling

Linda emphasized the importance of early exposure to systems thinking, noting that it can become a habitual way of thinking if introduced at a young age. Her approach involves using simple, yet powerful, questions to encourage children to visualize and discuss the connections in the world around them. She introduced her new book, “Apart Together,” which aims to cultivate systems literacy, a growth mindset, and resilience in children.

Key Takeaways from Linda’s Presentation:

Early Systems Thinking: Linda highlighted the necessity of introducing systems thinking to children, potentially preventing the fragmentation of knowledge as they grow older.

Curious About Connections: She introduced her methodology involving three questions – “What’s happening here?”, “What if this is connected to that?”, and “What caused what to change?” – to help children visualize and think about systems.

Access the free companion guide when you subscribe to the “Curious About Connections” Newsletter here.

Practical Implementation: Linda shared how her methodology and book can be utilized in various everyday scenarios, from family discussions to classroom settings, to instill a sense of curiosity and interconnectedness in children.

Philip Ramsey: Storytelling with Systems Thinking

Philip Ramsey’s part of the webinar focused on his Billy Bonk and Frankel series, republished recently with the help of the System Dynamics Society. These books are designed to teach systems thinking to children around age 10. He emphasized the role of storytelling in making complex concepts accessible and engaging for young minds.

Key Insights from Philip’s Presentation:

Targeted Age Group: Philip’s books are primarily aimed at children around 9-11 years old, making them a suitable tool for educators and parents to introduce systems thinking at a slightly more advanced level.

The Power of Storytelling: He underscored storytelling as an effective method to communicate systems thinking concepts, making them relatable and easier to understand for children.

Series Development: The Billy Bonk and Frankel series were developed to not only entertain but also educate children, demonstrating the practical application of systems thinking in various scenarios.

The webinar with Linda Booth Sweeney and Philip Ramsey was an enlightening exploration of systems thinking through storytelling. Linda’s approach of simple questioning to induce systems thinking in young children and Philip’s use of storytelling to teach more complex systems concepts to older children present a framework for educators and parents. These methods can be instrumental in fostering an early understanding and appreciation of systems thinking, shaping a more aware and connected generation.

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Resources

About the Speakers

Linda Booth Sweeney is an educator, writer and strategist for healthy socio-ecological systems change, Dr. Linda Booth Sweeney is internationally recognized for her efforts to make systems thinking actionable by a wide range of audiences. In her Systems Leadership Labs, Linda creates experiences for leaders to think differently, and to experiment with language, visualization tools and knowledge architecture that better mirrors the complexity they are navigating. She is co-author of The Systems Thinking PlaybookThe Climate Change Playbook, and numerous other books and journal articles. Her newly published book, Apart, Togetheris a gentle introduction to systems thinking for children.  Linda holds her doctorate from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and lives outside of Boston where she enjoys swimming in Walden Pond and amateur farming.  For more information, see:

(systems) www.lindaboothsweeney.net

(children’s) www.lindaboothsweeney.com

(metaverse) https://togglelab.com

How Children’s Stories Help Us See Real-World Patterns (on Medium.com)

PBS Learning Media Systems Literacy Pilot

Philip Ramsey is the author of the Billibonk and Frankl series, jungle-based fables aimed at teaching children systems thinking through fascinating animal adventures. Phil is a Senior lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand, where he teaches Organizational Learning, Leadership, and Teamwork. He also works as a Director of Incite Learning, a consulting company that mainly works with schools, helping school leaders apply Organizational Learning concepts to solve tough problems.

Billibonk and Frankl Series

Billibonk and the Thorn Patch Front Cover
Billibonk and the Bugs
The Floods of Knith Cover: Billibonk and Frankl Story
The Dark Jungle Billibonk Series Front Cover

Webinar Highlights and Recording: Navigating Client Dissatisfaction

Dennis Sherwood, a stalwart in the consulting industry, recently presented a webinar that peeled back the curtain on the not-so-glamorous aspect of consulting—client dissatisfaction. With over 20 years under his belt and roles in prestigious firms like Deloitte and Goldman Sachs, Dennis brought a wealth of experience to the discussion, centered around a challenging government project that spanned a decade.

The Struggle for Educational Reform: Dennis dove into the intricacies of a flawed examination grading system he audited, which affected countless students’ futures. Despite his comprehensive analysis and solution-oriented approach, he encountered stiff resistance from the powers that be, illuminating the daunting task consultants often face when their findings and client expectations don’t align.

Advocacy in the Face of Resistance: His unwavering commitment to rectify the grading system, even after being turned away, highlights a consultant’s duty to pursue the truth and advocate for change. Dennis’s call to action rallied lawyers, educators, and policymakers to join the fight for transparency and fairness in education.

The Takeaway: Dennis Sherwood’s “Navigating Client Dissatisfaction” session is a testament to the perseverance needed in consultancy, especially when advocating for societal change against entrenched systems. For those inspired by his dedication, Dennis remains open to dialogue and can be reached for further insight at dennis@silverbulletmachine.com

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About the Speaker

Dennis Sherwood has championed organizational innovation and creativity for over 20 years through his UK-based consultancy. A fervent advocate of systems thinking, Dennis’s vast experience ranges from being a consulting partner at Deloitte to holding pivotal roles at establishments like Goldman Sachs and SRI Consulting. An acclaimed author, Dennis has authored 15 books on topics spanning innovation, creativity, and systems thinking, with titles such as “Seeing the Forest for the Trees” and “How to Be Creative: A Practical Guide for the Mathematical Sciences.” Join us as Dennis unravels the nuances of client relationships, providing invaluable insights from his distinguished career.

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Webinar Highlights & Recording: Digital Twin Business Models for Strategy and Operational Management

We had the opportunity to delve into the world of business model simulations with industry experts Kim Warren, founder of Strategy Dynamics, and Martin Lycko, Customer Success Manager at Silico, this webinar provided invaluable insights into strategic planning and operational management using System Dynamics.

The concept of a “Digital Twin” is a dynamic virtual model of a business or part of a business. The transformative potential of digital twins lies in their capacity to closely mirror actual performance and predict the evolution of broader systemic influences. Lycko highlighted Silico’s role in implementing effective digital twin architectures that can significantly improve organizational performance.

The participants were walked through examples where System Dynamics and digital twins had been leveraged to optimize business performance and drive competitive advantage. These examples underscored the expansive scope and adaptability of these business tools, validating their efficacy and viability.

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, the utilization of System Dynamics and Digital Twins presents a compelling approach to strategy and operational management. This enlightening webinar underscored the importance of these tools in enabling organizations to better understand their systems, optimize their performance, and drive competitive advantage. As we look to the future, it’s clear that these innovative models will play an increasingly vital role in business planning and strategy.

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Resources

About the Speakers

Kim Warren is the founder of Strategy Dynamics, helping organizations improve their planning and strategy implementation. Kim spent 15 years in senior strategy roles in business before joining the Strategy faculty at London Business School, where he taught MBA and Executive programs. Realizing limitations with existing strategy methods, he developed powerful strategy dynamics frameworks. Kim is the author of several books, including Competitive Strategy Dynamics and Strategic Management Dynamics, and has collaborated with leading consulting firms to extend the scope of Strategy Dynamics’ impact. His work has also been directly applicable to issues in international development. Kim has an engineering background, an MBA, and a Ph.D. from London Business School. He was awarded the Jay Wright Forrester Award by the International System Dynamics Society in 2005 and was the Society’s President in 2013.

Martin Lycko is a Customer Success Manager at Silico. Silico’s simulation platform empowers organizations to create Digital Twins that span teams and functions. With the ability to connect these Digital Twins to real-time data from across the organization, businesses can simulate the impact of decisions virtually in a Digital Twin of the Organisation.

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Webinar Highlights & Recording: System Dynamics Modeling with R.

System Dynamics is a powerful approach to understanding complex systems in various fields, such as public health, ecology, and economics. Prof. Jim Duggan, an expert in applying System Dynamics and data science methods to public health, recently hosted a webinar on System Dynamics Modeling with R. In this session, Prof. Duggan provided insights into R’s capabilities for data analysis, visualization, and manipulation, as well as building and running Ordinary Differential Equation (ODE) models. Additionally, he discussed using R’s Shiny framework for creating interactive web apps and the prospect of forming a joint digital science tools group for R and Python users.

Exploring R’s Capabilities

Prof. Duggan showcased R’s potential by introducing packages such as ggplot2 and dplyr for data manipulation and visualization, deSolve for building models, and Tidyverse for data analysis. Moreover, he demonstrated creating interactive web apps using the Shiny package.

Visualizing Data with ggplot2 and GGCloud2

Ggplot2, a library from the Tidyverse, enables users to create graphs in R. Prof. Duggan demonstrated creating scatter plots with different visual properties, such as color, using the ggplot function with specific arguments. He also highlighted GGCloud2 as a flexible visualization tool that adds a fourth dimension to a plot using the facetwrap function.

Tidying Data in R

Prof. Duggan emphasized the importance of tidying data for easier processing in R. He showcased the use of pivot_longer for converting wide data into a tidy data format and dplyr as a powerful package for summarizing data. Techniques like grouping, summarizing, and data transformation can be performed using Tidyverse tools.

Building and Running ODE Models

R can be used to build and run ODE models, as Prof. Duggan demonstrated by defining stocks using vectors and generating models automatically with the deSolve package. He also discussed how Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) can be used to calibrate data using System Dynamics models, helping to find parameters from a dataset.

Interactive Web Apps with Shiny

Shiny, R’s framework for creating interactive web apps, was another key focus of the webinar. Prof. Duggan explained how Shiny’s reactive programming automatically updates outputs based on input changes, requiring minimal HTML, CSS, and JavaScript knowledge. The server function links inputs to outputs and generates new graphs based on input changes.

Conclusion

Prof. Jim Duggan’s webinar on System Dynamics Modeling with R provided valuable insights into the capabilities of R for data analysis, visualization, manipulation, and ODE model building. The session was an excellent resource for those interested in exploring R’s applications in System Dynamics and data science.

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About the Speakers

Prof. Jim Duggan’s research focus is the area of applying System Dynamics and data science methods to public health. This includes using System Dynamics to support pandemic preparedness and response, modeling scenarios of infectious disease outbreaks and applying agile software design methods to develop a safety planning mobile app to address suicidality in young people attending community mental health services in Ireland. Prof. Duggan is a Managing Editor for the System Dynamics Review and a member of the World Health Organisation’s Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN).

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From Bergen to Global: UiB’s System Dynamics Group

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Exploring Careers in System Dynamics

The Exploring Careers in System Dynamics webinar, held on March 29, 2023, was an engaging panel discussion featuring experts Sharon Els, Eduardo Romanenko, and Georg Pallaske, moderated by Shane Carnohan. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the career journeys of these three System Dynamics experts, as well as their personal experiences and views on the field.

Sharon Els, with over two decades of experience in business modeling and simulation, provided insights into her extensive client work, which includes predicting market changes, optimizing corporate resource allocation, and improving project performance. She has advised corporate executives and government leaders on complex strategy, policy, and program challenges at various organizations. According to Sharon, “You want to simplify as much as you can. You don’t simplify the System Dynamics modeling itself. But you simplify your messages and you focus on what they need to solve and their challenges.”

Eduard Romanenko, a System Dynamics expert with a Ph.D. from the University of Bergen, highlighted the relevance and transparency of System Dynamics as a tool, which he believes will remain important in the future. He has been working as a full-time SD modeler and researcher for the past 3.5 years, providing insights into complex issues related to various projects.

Georg Pallaske, a System Dynamics expert and project manager with a passion for sustainability, shared his experience working closely with clients to develop customized analyses to support government decision-making. Georg is also pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Bergen, focusing on integrated sustainable development policies. According to Georg, “If we talk about scarce resources, inequality, greenhouse gas emissions & climate change, we cannot address these things in isolation. We need people who are able to use System Dynamics and systems thinking, and to actually support them.”

The panelists discussed the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field of System Dynamics, as well as the challenges and opportunities that come with it. Attendees gained valuable insights into addressing complex business challenges and integrating System Dynamics into real-world professions.

Whether you’re a student exploring your career options or a seasoned professional looking to broaden your understanding, the “Exploring Careers in System Dynamics” webinar provided an excellent opportunity to learn from experts in the field.

Watch the recording below

Whoops, this recording is available for members and ticket purchasers only. Please login to verify. If you’re not a member, purchase a membership here. You can also buy a ticket to watch the recording here.

About the Speakers

Sharon Els is an expert in business modeling and simulation with over two decades of experience. Her extensive client work includes predicting market changes, optimizing corporate resource allocation, and improving project performance. She has advised corporate executives and government leaders on complex strategy, policy, and program challenges at various technology, aerospace, finance, gaming, and government organizations. Sharon’s insights and expertise have been instrumental in providing actionable recommendations and solutions to her clients. She currently works at Sage Analysis Group, where she continues to help organizations navigate complex business challenges.

Eduard Romanenko is a System Dynamics expert who holds a Ph.D. in System Dynamics from the University of Bergen (2022) and a European Master’s degree in System Dynamics (2014). He has been working as a full-time SD modeler and researcher for the past 3.5 years. Eduard has provided SD modeling capacity for various projects, including a project on urban stormwater management in Oslo and a 5-country EU-funded project on adolescent overweight and obesity. His contributions have provided insights into complex issues related to these projects.

Georg Pallaske is a System Dynamics expert and project manager with a passion for sustainability. He works at KnowlEdge Srl., where he develops customized analyses to support government decision-making. Georg is also pursuing a PhD at the University of Bergen, focusing on integrated sustainable development policies. As a project manager, he works closely with clients from inception to the presentation of results.

Recent Posts

From Bergen to Global: UiB’s System Dynamics Group

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Upcoming Events

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Have you ever wondered how we could tell a clearer story about complex systems and problems? Are you looking for a tool that can help you navigate and analyze intricate systems more effectively? If so, this webinar is for you. The South African System Dynamics Chapter...

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Fast-Track Cities Uses System Dynamics to Enhance HIV Care

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Join us

Engaging Younger Audiences in Climate Change Education

This webinar focused on engaging younger audiences in climate change education using the analogy of a bathtub. Linda Booth Sweeney, a systems educator, and author shared innovative ways to educate children about climate change and provided age-appropriate and impactful learning experiences.

We started with a poll that asked attendees about their concern over rising climate anxiety among youth, and where they would start when a young person asks why we have climate change. The poll results showed that most attendees were either extremely or somewhat concerned about rising climate anxiety among youth, and would start with emissions or our human impact on the environment when explaining why we have climate change.

Linda Booth Sweeney introduced the Think Like a Bathtub video created for the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow to explain the basics of climate change dynamics. Attendees also got to learn about an interactive, augmented reality Think Like a Batjtub app, designed as a hands-on educational tool to demonstrate understanding.

To further engage younger audiences, Linda Booth Sweeney shared experiential games from her book, The Climate Change Playbook. Attendees were also provided with climate bathtub-related resources and journal articles to further educate themselves and their students.

This webinar provided educators, parents, researchers, and concerned citizens with the tools and resources to engage younger audiences in climate change education. The analogy of a bathtub proved to be an effective way to help children understand the complexities of climate change and inspire action. With Linda Booth Sweeney’s expertise in systems education and her passion for writing children’s books, we can look forward to more innovative and impactful learning experiences in the future.

For a TLAB talk or webinar run for your group, contact Linda (linda@lindaboothsweeney.net).

Watch the recording below

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About the Speaker

Linda Booth Sweeney is a learning expert who specializes in complex systems. In her System Leadership Labs, Linda works to give leaders space to think differently, and to experiment with language, visuals, tools, and knowledge architecture that better mirrors the complexity they are navigating. Linda co-founded Toggle Labs, a metaverse education studio, in 2018 to offer people of all ages immersive, learn/do opportunities to work with complex systems and co-create healthier futures. She is co-author of The Systems Thinking Playbook, The Climate Change Playbook, and numerous other books and journal articles. Linda also has a passion for writing children’s books. Her next book, Apart Together, is a child’s first book of system thinking and will be published by Balzer & Bray in September 2023. For more on Linda’s work, see on systems visit lindaboothsweeney.net, and lindaboothsweeney.com for her work on children’s education.

Resources

1. THREE-MINUTE VIDEO: Youth-narrated Video. Explains fundamentals. Start here!

2. AUGMENTED REALITY APP (pilot): Fun, interactive AR app to engage students (ages 8 and up) in 1 of 4 key shapes of climate change — a bathtub. Students engage in thought experiments around our current rates of global warming pollution, then demonstrate their understanding with peers and adults. How to use the app video for educators here.

3. BOOK: The Climate Change Playbook.

4. EXPERIMENTAL GROUP GAME: A group game suitable for ages 8-88, and groups of up to 25. Download a free PDF of the Bathtub game instructions here

5. RESEARCH: See TLAB Pinterest page with related resources and journal articles

7. STAY IN THE LOOP: Sign up here to receive updates on TLAB and other Linda news.

8. SUPPORT: Interested in supporting this initiative? Please donate here.

CONTACTS

Dr. Linda Booth Sweeney
linda@lindaboothsweeney.net

togglelab.com (metaverse education)
lindaboothsweeney.net (systems thinking)
lindaboothsweeney.com (children’s books)

Recent Posts

From Bergen to Global: UiB’s System Dynamics Group

From Bergen to Global: UiB’s System Dynamics Group The System Dynamics Group, an autonomous research group at the University of Bergen (UiB) was established in 1971 by professor emeritus Svein Nordbotten. Inspired by the work of Jay W. Forrester, Nordbotten...

A Digital Twin Business Model in 40 Hours

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Upcoming Events

Webinar on Systemigrams

Have you ever wondered how we could tell a clearer story about complex systems and problems? Are you looking for a tool that can help you navigate and analyze intricate systems more effectively? If so, this webinar is for you. The South African System Dynamics Chapter...

Recent Business cases

Fast-Track Cities Uses System Dynamics to Enhance HIV Care

Fast-Track Cities Uses System Dynamics to Enhance HIV Care EXECUTIVE Summary Low levels of viral suppression at 69% for people with HIV make it hard to believe the 95% target level will be achieved by 2030 in St. Louis, USA. As a solution, Fast-Track Cities-STL opted...

Join us

The Role of Creativity in System Dynamics and Systems Thinking

A thought-provoking discussion led by internationally renowned expert Dennis Sherwood, as we explore the concept of creativity in System Dynamics and Systems Thinking. Delve into questions such as what precisely creativity is, how it differs from related concepts, and whether it’s just a natural attribute or a skill that can be learned, practiced, and enriched.

In this webinar, we gained a deeper understanding of the role of creativity in System Dynamics and systems thinking and learned about:

  • The differences between creativity and related concepts such as discovery, invention, innovation, entrepreneurship, and design thinking
  • Whether creativity can be developed and enriched as a skill
  • The concept of “goodness” in ideas and how it relates to creativity
  • The potential impact of AI on human creativity
  • Valuable insights into the role of creativity in your projects.

Watch the recording below

Whoops, this recording is available for members and ticket purchasers only. Please login to verify. If you’re not a member, purchase a membership here. You can also buy a ticket to watch the recording here.

About the Speaker

Dennis Sherwood has been running his own UK-based consultancy, The Silver Bullet Machine Manufacturing Company Limited, for the last 20 years, specializing in all aspects of organizational innovation and creativity, including applying systems thinking and System Dynamics modeling whenever the opportunity arises! Dennis first became aware of the systems perspective when a consulting partner at Deloitte, and had the great benefit of being a student of John Morecroft at London Business School. Subsequently, Dennis was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs and Managing Director of the UK operations of SRI (Stanford Research Institute) Consulting. Dennis has written many journal articles and blogs, and is the author of 15 books, including Seeing the Forest for the Trees – A manager’s guide to applying systems thinking (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2002), Smart Things to Know about Innovation and Creativity (Capstone Publishing, 2001), How to be Creative – A practical guide for the Mathematical Sciences, co-authored with Professor Nicholas Higham FRS FREng (SIAM, 2022), Creativity for Scientists and Engineers (UK Institute of Physics, 2022) and Strategic Thinking Illustrated – Strategy made visual using systems thinking (Taylor and Francis/Routledge, 2022).

Recent Posts

From Bergen to Global: UiB’s System Dynamics Group

From Bergen to Global: UiB’s System Dynamics Group The System Dynamics Group, an autonomous research group at the University of Bergen (UiB) was established in 1971 by professor emeritus Svein Nordbotten. Inspired by the work of Jay W. Forrester, Nordbotten...

A Digital Twin Business Model in 40 Hours

A Digital Twin Business Model in 40 Hours Though long past the date when I should have ‘retired’, I just can’t resist interesting projects, like the one a new friend brought me a few weeks ago. It concerns a small but fast-growing B2B business,...

Upcoming Events

Webinar on Systemigrams

Have you ever wondered how we could tell a clearer story about complex systems and problems? Are you looking for a tool that can help you navigate and analyze intricate systems more effectively? If so, this webinar is for you. The South African System Dynamics Chapter...

Recent Business cases

Fast-Track Cities Uses System Dynamics to Enhance HIV Care

Fast-Track Cities Uses System Dynamics to Enhance HIV Care EXECUTIVE Summary Low levels of viral suppression at 69% for people with HIV make it hard to believe the 95% target level will be achieved by 2030 in St. Louis, USA. As a solution, Fast-Track Cities-STL opted...

Join us