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Using System Dynamics to Teach and Learn about COVID-19

Using System Dynamics to Teach and Learn about COVID-19

This Webinar is free due to the generous contribution of the University at Albany and California State University, Chico

The COVID Pandemic constituted a dynamic and complex problem challenging leaders and managers to design policies facing difficult questions such as:

  • Do we still need to wear masks?
  • Should the government mandate wearing masks?
  • What happens if everyone does (or does not) get vaccinated?
  • When will the next surge happen?
  • How do we know if the pandemic is over?

Systems thinking and simulation provide tools and methods to explore these important questions with a variety of audiences. Learn how a team of experts is using System Dynamics to help different audiences to answer these questions:

  • Using a case-based System Dynamics simulation to explore policy choices in an undergraduate public policy capstone course.
  • Using a set of self-paced learning modules to build a simulation model from the ground up.

Ali N. Mashayekhi is a retired professor of management from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran where he taught System Dynamics and strategic management. He received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University and his Ph.D. in System Dynamics from MIT in Cambridge Massachusetts.

Babak Bahaddin works as an associate consultant at isee systems. Babak holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Sharif University of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Information Science, from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Daniel Gordon trained in System Dynamics at Rockefeller College, the State University of New York at Albany. He is retired from the New York State Health Department, where he spent 34 years working in health care policy analysis and HIV epidemiology.

David Andersen is Professor Emeritus in Public Administration and Information Science at the University at Albany – SUNY. He is a former President and Vice President for Finance for the System Dynamics Society as well as a winner of the Forrester Award.

Hyunjung Kim is a professor of management at California State University, Chico. She teaches strategy and management courses using system dynamics. She received her Ph.D. in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany.

Luis Felipe Luna-Reyesis a Professor of Public Administration and Policy at the University at Albany and a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow. His research is at the intersection of Public Administration, Information Systems, and Systems Sciences.

Present at the Seminar Series

The Society Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on topics of interest to the systems thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics that cross many domains while bringing together academics, practitioners, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Send your seminar proposal here

Sponsor a Seminar

The Society is actively looking for Seminar sponsors. This allows making a seminar open to all and free of charge. If your organization would like to sponsor one of these events, where you can promote your organization, firm or software, for instance, contact us at office@systemdynamics.org

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New Horizons of Systems Science

New Horizons of Systems Science

This Seminar was sponsored by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE)

Systems theory is developing to include new perspectives with a focus on integrated and inclusive transdisciplinary system approaches. This panel discusses new advances in systems science including critical systems thinking, social/socio-technical systems, and complex systems, which come together in the systems engineering principles. They also discuss where Systems Dynamics fits into this picture as well as other types of systems models.

By providing three perspectives on the discipline of Systems Engineering, the panelists shared a wide range of insights and experiences. What the perspectives shared were ways Systems Engineering practitioners and the System Dynamics community could work together going forward.  One key to making New Horizons for System Science become reality is to merge the insights and experiences of each group into a shared, and sharable, practice.

Erika Palmer (Cornell University) began with the hope that both organizations would continue to engage, learn, and innovate as part of a worldwide collaboration. The goal of the INCOSE panel is to foster an inclusive dialog on Systems Science. The purpose of the dialog is to accelerate the exchange and adoption of tools, techniques, and theories between the two sets of practitioners.

Michael Watson (NASA) shared with the attendees that the upcoming release of System Engineering Principles will include Sociology as a topic. By setting out the fifteen principles of Systems Engineering in a concise manner, System Dynamics solutions can be applied to the principles. Common patterns which apply across domains or across principles will provide leverage for other contributors.

Javier Calvo-Amodo (Oregon State University) shared insights from the perspective of building Systems Science disciplines and that students can participate with journal articles. Since System Dynamics provides a specific lens through which to view models, it can be used to validate the findings of other modeling types or to provide insights into what other modeling systems might reveal. A Systems Science map using Randomness and Complexity as the axes provided a guide to where specific System Dynamics developments can be best applied.

 

Watch the recording below

Erika Palmer is a Senior Lecturer in the Cornell Systems Engineering Program. She is the founder and chair of the Social Systems Working Group (SocWG) at the International Council for Systems Engineering (INCOSE); the Americas lead for Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering (EWLSE) at INCOSE and represents Cornell on INCOSE’s Academic Council.

Michael D. Watson is the chair of the INCOSE Complex Systems Working Group and chair of the Systems Engineering Principles Action Team. He is the Technical Advisor in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office. He graduated with a BSEE from the University of Kentucky in 1987 and obtained his MSE in Electrical and Computer Engineering (1996) and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2005) from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Javier Calvo-Amodio is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Oregon State University; Chair of the Systems Science Working Group at INCOSE and Deputy Editor of Systems Research and Behavioral Science Journal. His research focus is on developing a fundamental understanding of how to integrate systems science into industrial and systems engineering research and practice to enable better engineering purposeful human activity systems.

Present at the Seminar Series

The Society Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on topics of interest to the systems thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics that cross many domains while bringing together academics, practitioners, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Send your seminar proposal here

Sponsor a Seminar

The Society is actively looking for Seminar sponsors. This allows making a seminar open to all and free of charge. If your organization would like to sponsor one of these events, where you can promote your organization, firm or software, for instance, contact us at office@systemdynamics.org

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The Food Packaging Problem. A Food System Problem Not a Packaging Problem

The Food Packaging Problem. A Food System Problem Not a Packaging Problem

Starting with the five components of the supply chain for food packaging, the presentation proceeds to describe a process for adopting System Dynamics. The process describes and uncovers the visible and invisible challenges to making the food packaging industry less dependent on single-use plastics. While the visible challenges are often identified through research and market analysis, the invisible challenges need to be uncovered by interviewing subject matter experts, government regulators, and those who operate in the food distribution supply chain, itself.

As the process unfolds, the search for a more sustainable solution led to the adoption of the System Dynamics causal loop diagram as a modeling tool. The practice of using semi-structured interviews and Connection Circles enabled non-academics to explain their own insights into how the food packaging systems operated. By combining the causal loop diagram with the information obtained from the interview process, a composite of food packaging market dynamics was developed.

System methods were applied from the study of events and outcomes down to creating new mental models.

The work done to apply System Dynamics to the pressing issues of Food Packaging and global sustainability cannot be praised enough. This webinar explores from a system perspective the role that food packaging plays in modern society. The growth-driven globalized food economy and time-deprived society are responsible for the dependence on food packaging. The presentation sheds light on the mental models driving the system and leverage points able to reduce modern food packaging addiction.

“After exploring existing and proposed solutions, it was discovered that there was no connection between the drivers of the use of plastic and the existing solutions” Sabrina Chakori

Learn more about the Seminar Series.

Watch the recording below

Whoops, this recording is available for members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Purchase a membership here. If you're not a member but have purchased a ticket to this webinar, please contact us at office@systemdynamics.org

About the Speaker

Sabrina Chakori holds a BSc. in Biology (University of Geneva), and an MSc. in Environmental Economics (The University of Queensland), and she is currently finishing an interdisciplinary Ph.D. research that explores food packaging reduction in food systems. Sabrina is a passionate systems modeler (systems thinking, System Dynamics, network analysis). She believes that systems approaches are crucial to understanding and tackling current socio-ecological wicked problems.

For more than a decade, Sabrina has been advocating for a more sustainable society, leading numerous collaborations in various countries across Europe, Kenya, Ecuador, Mexico, and Australia, including an initiative with Queensland’s Environment Minister to introduce the law banning single-use plastic bags. Sabrina is convinced that to solve the interlinked social and ecological crisis we need to change the roots of our economy, shifting away from the growth-driven system. To translate into practice her knowledge and vision, in 2017, she founded the Brisbane Tool Library, a social enterprise that encourages people to borrow tools, camping gear, and other equipment. This community-driven circular economy model reduces productivism and consumerism. The Brisbane Tool Library is Australia’s first and only ‘library of things’ to be located within a public library – State Library of Queensland.

Sabrina is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and, in 2021, she has been selected as Post Growth Institute fellow. Winner of the 2020 Create Change: 7 News Young Achiever Award (QLD) and recipient of the Emerging Female Leader bursary from the National Council of Women of Queensland (2020), Sabrina is a multi-award social entrepreneur, researcher, educator, and most of all activist. Sabrina is fully invested in creating systemic change that would build a more socially just and ecologically sustainable post-growth society.

Present at the Seminar Series

The Society Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on topics of interest to the systems thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics that cross many domains while bringing together academics, practitioners, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Send your seminar proposal here

Sponsor a Seminar

The Society is actively looking for Seminar sponsors. This allows making a seminar open to all and free of charge. If your organization would like to sponsor one of these events, where you can promote your organization, firm, or software, for instance, contact us at office@systemdynamics.org

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The Dark Side of Projects: Delays, Disruption, and Disputes

The Dark Side of Projects: Delays, Disruption, and Disputes

When a project moves from the honeymoon phase to finger-pointing and distrust, you have reached the dark side of Project Management.  Whether a dispute gets to the level of legal action or not, the process of disputing workflows or work product content is a costly part of project management.

“We’ve all heard “This project is different.’” Kenneth Cooper

What is needed is a way to forecast the impact of change requests and find ways to mitigate the effects those changes cause later on in a project.  An example given by Kenneth Cooper is that changes in engineering documents affect how construction teams planned to accomplish their part of the project. The impact of unplanned events and conditions has been studied for decades so there are examples today’s modelers can use as starting points.

“Undiscovered rework is the source of snowballing downstream costs.” Kenneth Cooper

From the presentation, we gained insight into the project management process, itself.  While what can go wrong might not always go wrong, every project has the potential to get over budget, to get delivered late, and then to cause morale to deteriorate. Being able to plan around and through change requests is one key advantage of system dynamics applications to projecting management.

            “Simulating the future to examine mitigating actions elevates project quality.” Kenneth Cooper

The five components of dispute cost

  • Attorney and analyst fees
  • Work to document the issues under dispute
  • Staffing the dispute effort
  • Every level of management having its focus diverted to the dispute
  • Business relationships that are damaged or ruined

               

Watch the recording below:

Q&A

Replies to questions from Ken Cooper

1. Do you think new methodologies to manage projects incorporate some of the lessons you provided over the years?

Yes. Some of the most impactful methods & tools for project management and performance have been in Engineering, which has such a highly leveraged impact on Construction performance. This is particularly true of new methods that improve either (a) Engineering “Quality” (in the Rework Cycle, quality is simply the fraction of work being done that will not require subsequent rework) or (b) the time it takes to discover needed rework. The numerical value of Quality obviously drives the amount of revision work that will be needed, thus cost and schedule a performance in Engineering. The “rework discovery time” drives how long a time that any necessary rework remains unknown, or as-yet Undiscovered Rework. The more Undiscovered Rework persists for a longer time, the much greater the knock-on impact on later stages of Engineering, as well as on the productivity (& rework) in Construction. An excellent example in this arena is 3D CAD systems that enable avoidance of rework (thus Quality), as well as the more rapid discovery of rework–for example, physical interferences being identified much earlier, rather than being discovered later, or even during the build process. 

2. Do you think that the bulk of your work has been taking that superb model and making it work in real cases?

Yes, the bulk of work I’ve led has been applying (and improving) the model for hundreds of real-world projects. The modeling has occurred at every stage of the project life cycle, from pre-bid to post-completion retrospective, and for purposes ranging from bid support to real-time management, to policy improvement, to dispute resolution. The real cases in my own experience include large complex projects such as shipbuilding, aircraft, satellites, missiles, major tunnels, refineries, power plants, and more.

3. What aspects of the model have changed?

The core structure of the model we developed originally is mostly unchanged (i.e., the Rework Cycle, productivity and “quality” effects that work in multiple feedback loops, and multiple work stages that are affected by precedent work…), but there have been continual improvements made as we learned from more and more real-world project applications. In my own experience, those improvements have been in virtually every sector of the model. Some were made to accommodate peculiarities on a specific project, but I would say that most of the detailed changes I know about have been made to improve the clarity, accuracy, and elegance of formulations. Of course, many other modelers have worked on adaptations of the project model, and some of those changes are visible in publications.

4. What areas of model and usage process are in need of work today?

As noted above, almost every one of the hundreds of real-world project applications I’ve led contributed some degree of improvement to the project model. I’m sure that will continue.

Beyond the area of model formulation, there has been substantial improvement in the tools that assist modelers and clients, such as those developed to aid feedback loop analysis, explanatory diagnostics and graphics, and numerical validation. All of these areas will benefit from even more work.

Key point: In addition to improving analyses, there needs to be more effective “selling” of models and findings to potential and current clients—an often under-emphasized area that would benefit from more development and skill-building. An important contributor to “selling” will be publications that reach out beyond the SD community, in trade and project management journals. This should be a major focus.

5. Can you provide advice to other modelers who want to successfully take a specific type of model and generalize it for sale to others? Like Pugh Roberts does? We haven’t managed to do this in many areas.

 An excellent question. My experience developing and championing the project management application of System Dynamics suggests that this takes many years of persistence and “selling” in the face of understandable inertia and natural resistance to change. In my case, it was even a battle within my own firm at the start. That said, there are a few things that I think are necessary for successfully “genericizing” a model for selling to clients—

1) A problem recognized by many potential clients, to be important, perhaps a problem that is seen to have major financial consequences.

2) A problem that is widely acknowledged to need “a better way”.

3) Connecting with organizations that could be early adopters.

5) Connecting with a senior individual who is influential (or even decision-making) in an organization, who is willing to champion an initial use, and to continue championing repeated use. In my career, I have seen how just a handful of senior executive champions have made the “genericized” project modeling successful.

6) Ideally, early uses of the model that has large visible (& publicized) impacts, one or more uses that “make a splash” in the target market.

7) In what should go without saying…working with a highly talented team that brings together a portfolio of skills—modeling & technical, commercial managing, client relations, and presentation and selling, of course.

6. The outbreak of COVID19 and subsequent lockdowns resulted in project schedule reviews. How many of these reviews would have been used to slip in additional slippage? 

 See reply to question on “Forces Majeure” below

7. Are there any experiences using System Dynamics to improve budgeting and planning “pre-project”? 

 Yes. Because many projects build off a base of prior similar projects (new versions of ships, aircraft…), once there has been at least one model developed and proven on a project in an organization, there can be pre-project planning uses on upcoming similar projects. Examples from my own personal knowledge —

1) Shipbuilding. Two broad situations here, one for subsequent ships within a single program (e.g., CG-47, then CG-48, CG-49…), as well as for brand new program ships (e.g., the CG cruiser ships were loosely based on prior destroyers in reality and in our modeling— which we used to test, for example, cost-schedule tradeoffs during the pre-project bidding and planning process).

2) Aircraft development. For example, the modeling of the F/A18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft began before the defense contract was awarded to our contractor client. We worked closely with the program manager conducting “what if” analyses of different plans and conditions, to test in advance good impact mitigation practices. The program was later recognized by the Defense Department as one of the most successful aircraft programs ever.

3) Missile programs. Multiple missile programs at one client benefited from our modeling of the likely performance and bidding plans of competitors. Every known difference in conditions for the main competitor was injected into models, to foresee what the range of project bids by the competitor was likely to be. This led to multiple successful bids for our client. Of course, doing this requires an extremely well-proven model to start with.

4) Fluor Corporation. A notably special example comes from Fluor, with whom we worked for many years, first helping settle large disputes, but then moving on to pre-project planning to help avoid disputes (see “Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor). We built a system to enable widespread use of a Fluor-specific model before projects started, or very early in their process. The work was documented as saving hundreds of millions of dollars and was the winner of the System Dynamics Society Applications Award 2009-2010, and an Edelman Award Finalist in 2011.

8. The project model is a very interesting metaphor to address industrial disputes. How to deal with class action disputes, like health impacts, environmental impacts, etc.?

Using a simulation model to help deal with other kinds of disputes would be entirely feasible in some circumstances, so long as—

1) The model of the system’s historical behavior can be shown to be accurate.

2) There are specific and documentable “direct impacts” that are included in the historical simulation. These direct impacts will be the sources of “secondary” feedback-driven broader impacts.

3) The objective of the analysis is to quantify and explain the full amount of “damages”, which can be done by removing the “direct impacts” to execute a simulation of the system’s performance in the absence of those impacts. The quantum of difference between the historical case and the “would-have” case is the number of damages to which the damaged party would be entitled.

9. Less experienced staff leads to a higher risk of safety incidents. Safety incidents can escalate to the point where work has to be stopped for the safety issues to be addressed. 

 Fair point, although, fortunately, I have seen only minor instances of this.

 10. Would the COVID epidemic be considered an exemplar of “Force Majeure” and reasonably lead to a re-thinking approach to a project(s) and then to re-estimating? Or, would you consider COVID (et al) a “normal cost of business?” 

 Acknowledging first that I am not an attorney, COVID seems almost unparalleled in the annals of Forces Majeure. There are of course the effects of the virus illness itself on, for example, staff availability.  In addition, the business disruptions from government responses, lockdowns in particular, have certainly led to delays in work conduct, availability of design information, availability and cost of supplies, and more. These areas of impact seem like they would be worthy of designation as Forces Majeure. 

Present at the Seminar Series

The Society Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on topics of interest to the systems thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics that cross many domains while bringing together academics, practitioners, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Send your seminar proposal here

Sponsor a Seminar

The Society is actively looking for Seminar sponsors. This allows making a seminar open to all and free of charge. If your organization would like to sponsor one of these events, where you can promote your organization, firm or software, for instance, contact us at office@systemdynamics.org

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How to Publish in the System Dynamics Review

How to Publish in the System Dynamics Review

In this webinar, we had an overview of the System Dynamics Review – the journal of the System Dynamics Society. We learned about its growing positive performance and impact. We reviewed the process of submitting, revising, and eventually publishing your manuscripts in the Journal, including some tips on what works and what doesn’t work. Andreas answered several questions about the process.

“If you’re a system dynamicist, the System Dynamics Review is your Journal.” Andreas Größler

We had over 150 attendees from around the world which reflects the high interest of our community to disseminate high-quality System Dynamics work through the System Dynamics Review.

Since its beginning thirty-eight years ago, the Review has covered advances in systems thinking and System Dynamics domains.  Today, the editorial staff and reviewers are providing enhanced levels of support for new and experienced contributors. The flow chart for publication in the Review was discussed in detail during the presentation, and there are several ways for those interested to provide material.

During his discussion on contributions to the System Dynamics Review, Andreas provided the following tips about your work when submitting it to the System Dynamics Review

  1. It should be relevant to the System Dynamics community and its principles, its debates, and the existing literature.
  2. Include elements of System Dynamics or discuss System Dynamics from a methodological perspective.
  3. System Dynamics Review papers support a profession and its development. The System Dynamics Review is not a place for social media content.
  4. Before submitting a paper, review the documents covering related or similar materials to learn from past contributors.
  5. Plan to invest time in the submission process as there could be constructive criticism requiring rework on a document throughout the process.

The Journal staff provides guidance to any practitioner interested in contributing using four tips for authors. These tips were covered in detail by Dr. Grossler in the webinar.

The System Dynamics Review welcomes contributions from anyone working with qualitative and quantitative System Dynamics-related work. Get guidance and learn more about the Journal here.

“This is a peer-reviewed journal where editors and reviewers provide constructive criticism for authors.” Andreas Größler

Andreas Größler is a full professor at the Operations Management Department at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, teaching in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Andreas is the Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review and holds several other leading positions in academic associations, including in the European Operations Management Association, the System Dynamics Society, and the Society for Business and Social Cybernetics. His research focuses on operations strategy, behavioral operations management, and System Dynamics.

Q&A

Questions answered by Andreas 

1. Do you have any tips for qualitative model papers?

“Qualitative” papers are welcome (as also indicated by an upcoming special issue on the topic) but should follow the same rigor as papers applying quantitative models (regarding argumentation, documentation, and the like).

2. If I am intending to submit a research paper to the upcoming International System Dynamics Conference, but also considering publishing it in the System Dynamics Review (maybe 1-2 months later, and with a few improvements), what is the recommended procedure?

Papers submitted to apply for the conference are not public, so no problem here. After the conference, you’ll be asked to put your paper in the conference record. If you intend to submit your paper to any journal (including the System Dynamics Review), I suggest uploading an extended abstract or a clearly abbreviated version of the paper only.

3. Can the submitted paper only include a Causal loop diagram and be considered for publication in the System Dynamics Review?

In principle, yes but see my comment about qualitative papers above.

4. In the past, the System Dynamics Review seemed less interested in practitioner perspectives, insisting on well-researched and citation-rich submissions. Has that changed?

We do encourage the submission by practitioners. But also for these papers, we would clearly like to see the novelty and quality that we require for academic papers. However, there’s no such thing as a minimum number of citations, for example.

5. How long will it take to publish a journal in the System Dynamics Review? (reviewers to review, getting feedback)

This depends a lot on the topic and the work of the reviewers (but also on the authors’ turn-around time for revisions). I would guess, half a year is a minimum, maybe with some exceptions for “fast track” papers.

6. I’ve been a practitioner of System Dynamics in supply chain management for a few years and modeled many inventory and replenishment policies but I think it’s hard to propose a brand new methodology in terms of academic development. What would be the criteria in terms of publications in his view?

You don’t need to propose a methodological innovation but, for instance, need to clarify how your policies are “better” than those usually discussed in SCM, or how you can do something with System Dynamics that usually isn’t done in SCM.

7. When you say it needs to be about System Dynamics, it doesn’t mean it needs to be a “methods paper” on System Dynamics, right? (So the scope is any paper using System Dynamics as a methodology?)

Yes, correct, it doesn’t need to be a paper about the System Dynamics methodology but it should use it in another domain.

8. If a paper is rejected, and we decide to do a major revision on our own, can we attempt re-submitting it?

Sure. Technically, it will be a completely new submission. Anyhow, might be good to indicate that it was submitted before and what was changed.

9. Is there any template we can use?

No. We are quite flexible when it comes to the formatting of the initial submission (exact formatting can come later). However, this doesn’t mean it can be full of typos, unclear references, etc.

10. If our paper is accepted, can we also submit it to another journal as well in an unrelated field?

No, not the exact same paper as it might be considered plagiarism. But you might consider writing two papers based on one research project.

11. It would be great to see some examples of practitioner papers that the System Dynamics Review has previously published – any chance that could be put together and sent out as an email or something? The discussion around practitioner papers always ends up sounding very vague

Well, there is no general answer, unfortunately. We had some quite practice-oriented papers about online modeling sessions recently, for example. Homer’s 2019 paper about best practices in System Dynamics modeling might be another good example.

12. The submission system states that main articles should be approximately 5,000 words (some years before, we were asked to resubmit below this limit). In your presentation, you have mentioned that it should be less than 10,000 words. Could you kindly clarify better about the article limit?

We are currently overhauling the information about paper types. Please remember that I said, the shorter it is the more likely a paper will be accepted.

13. What is the System Dynamics Review publication frequency?

Four times a year (every quarter) but accepted papers are published online continuously.

14. Other than the length, what is the difference between notes and insights vs the main paper?

Main article: clearly explaining a novel phenomenon; N&I: often a descriptive account, without the intention to explain fully.

15. Architecture is a specific area and discipline, but there is no topic for this except the Urban category. Is it a chance or not for publishing in a journal and also in a conference presentation?

Yes, why not, no general restrictions.

16. What do we know about the spread/balance of topic areas published, also the geographical and discipline mix of authors?

In principle, quite widespread. The System Dynamics Review is listed in the “Management” and “Social Sciences/Mathematical Models” journal categories; this should give an indication.

17. In which quartile is the System Dynamics Review currently?

The first issue of 2022 should be published these days.

18. “2022 Qualitative aspects” – could you send a link to the call, please?

The deadline has passed for initial abstracts. Nevertheless, you can always submit your work on a regular issue.

19. Is there a maximum length that a paper definitely should not exceed?

Papers tend to grow during the review process. So, please do not exceed the limit already for the initial submission.

20. Do you prefer active or passive voice?

Well, active but don’t try to slavishly change your text.

21. What are the parts of the paper that need to be completed before submitting? Abstract plus Introduction or it is necessary to have the complete paper and models?

For the System Dynamics Review, you need a complete submission.

Present at the Seminar Series

The Society Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on topics of interest to the systems thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics that cross many domains while bringing together academics, practitioners, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Send your seminar proposal here

Sponsor a Seminar

The Society is actively looking for Seminar sponsors. This allows making a seminar open to all and free of charge. If your organization would like to sponsor one of these events, where you can promote your organization, firm or software, for instance, contact us at office@systemdynamics.org

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Working with Loops That Matter: technique and tools to analyze feedback loops

Working with Loops That Matter: technique and tools to analyze feedback loops

In this hands-on webinar, we’ll work together to analyze System Dynamics models and learn how to discover which feedback loops are driving model behavior. We’ll use the Loops that Matter (LTM) technique and the tools embedded within Stella Architect to perform the analysis. After this webinar participants will be able to do their own LTM analyses on models of their own. They’ll know how to identify important feedback loops within their models and how to measure the contribution of those feedback loops to the behavior of their models. This workshop is intended for those who are already familiar and comfortable with System Dynamics modeling.

To download the webinar materials and software, register for an isee systems account and click here

Watch the recording below

Whoops, this recording is available for members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Purchase a membership here. If you're not a member but have purchased a ticket to this webinar, please contact us at office@systemdynamics.
org

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Dancing with Systems: Moves for Turbulent Times

Dancing with Systems: Moves for Turbulent Times

Seminar recording

Learn more about the Seminar Series.

Watch the recording below

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Systems Thinking for Pre-College Education

Systems Thinking for Pre-College Education

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education. 

“Pre-schoolers as Systems Thinkers: Testing the Water”

This study aims to cement the link between systems thinking (ST) and education for sustainability by presenting an example of systems education for young children. A learning framework was designed by developing a systems education guidebook focused on water and a learning framework based on the guidebook. The study was implemented over the course of four weeks with 32 children aged 5-6 in a pre-school in Turkey. To measure the outcomes, two ST assessment instruments (a shared reading and a concept mapping activity with interview protocols) were created. The children were pre-tested and post-tested with the assessment instruments using a mixed-method approach. The results revealed a significant development in the ST skills of the children. Children were more able to define system elements related to water and came to see invisible elements as parts of the system. The learning framework established high-quality causal relations between system elements related to water.

Şebnem Feriver earned her Ph.D. in early childhood education from Middle East Technical University. She has been working as a project manager, senior trainer, and advocacy expert for various national and international social development projects. Her research interests are systems thinking, transformative learning, teacher education, and early childhood education for sustainability.

 “Understanding Composting with Systems Thinking”

In this presentation, examples will be given of learning activities compatible with the Ministry of National Education (MONE) in Turkey and International Baccalaureate (IB)  programs that seek to encourage a systems thinking approach and to develop a new way of understanding for primary years students(6-10 ages). For this activity, behavior over time graphs, stock-flow diagrams and ladders of inference were developed and used as systems thinking tools. During the activity, it was observed that the children were capable of viewing events with the tools provided, understanding these tools, and using them to engage with the subject matter. As a result, they were found to respond more clearly to the questions contained in the International Baccalaureate inquiry program and to be enthusiastic about taking action as individuals.

Özgün Çetinkaya earned her Master’s Degree from Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey on Primary School Teaching. She worked as a Primary Years Program (PYP) Class Teacher for 6 years in Işıkkent Primary School. She is preparing to start a Ph.D. program and her research interest is Systems Thinking Approach in primary years.

“Teaching ‘Energy Conservation’ and ‘Household Waste’ with Systems Thinking Approach”

In 2020-2021 school year, systems thinking based on system dynamics approach and tools (behavior over time graphs and stock-flow diagrams) were introduced in Darüşşafaka Middle School in Turkey. The aim of this prototyping project was to develop and apply activities compatible with outcomes of the Ministry of National Education in Turkey (MONE). In the long term, with tried and tested activities, it will be possible to offer MoNE to include systems thinking in the curriculum of education in Turkey. After training of voluntary science and math teachers on basic systems thinking concepts using Stella Online thru the summer of 2020, topics from the national education curriculum were selected and activities were developed for 6th, 7th and 8th grade. A similar approach is used for selecting students and delivering lessons. In this presentation 2 of these activities will be presented: Energy Conservation and Household Waste. We think these two activities are good examples for an introduction to systems thinking with simple numerical models.

Sena Yıldız Değirmenci earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Oulu, Finland on Learning, Education, and Technology. With a physics teacher background, she worked as a science teacher in Darüşşafaka Middle School. As a teacher and learning specialist, her research interests are systems thinking and learning through technology.
Görkem Girgin completed his undergraduate studies in physics at Istanbul University. He has been a science teacher at Darüşşafaka Middle School for six years. He has been working on Systems Thinking at school for two years.

 

 

 

Watch the recording below

Whoops, this recording is available for members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Purchase a membership here. If you're not a member but have purchased a ticket to this webinar, please contact us at office@systemdynamics.
org

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Roundtable: Getting System Dynamics Into Universities Programs

Roundtable: Getting System Dynamics Into Universities Programs

During the University roundtable, we explored the following question with input from all of the participants: what are the issues, opportunities, and obstacles to increasing System Dynamics penetration in universities worldwide?

This led to a very insightful, eye-opening discussion where students, professors, university administrators, practitioners, and other stakeholders shared their diverse perspectives on the topic. Participants voted on the responses that resonated most with them, and we clustered the responses into the following main categories: support for university administrators and stakeholders, teaching focus, curriculum and fit, marketing the field, teaching delivery, career pathways, partnerships, categorization and evaluation, and society membership.

At the end of the roundtable, we invited the participants to join the University Innovation Team to analyze the insights from the discussion, prioritize the strategies to implement, and support the advancement of these strategies. Our aim is to increase the adoption and implementation of System Dynamics and systems thinking in more universities worldwide and serve as a resource to help universities and faculty in this process.

Watch the recording below

Whoops, this recording is available for members only. If you have a membership, please log in. If not, you can definitely get access! Purchase a membership here. If you're not a member but have purchased a ticket to this webinar, please contact us at office@systemdynamics.
org

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Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling

Introduction to System Dynamics Modeling

We had people joining us from all over the world at the “Introduction to Modeling Process” with Leonard (Len) Malczynski

Watch the recording below to:
• Build a small quantitative System Dynamics model
• Use Studio by Powersim software for very basic quantitative modeling
• Familiarise yourself with the System Dynamics modeling process

This seminar was sponsored by Powersim Software, the developers of Studio Simulation Software. Due to their generous sponsorship, this seminar is open to the public and free of charge.

DOWNLOAD the webinar resources:

Len is a System Dynamics practitioner, micro-economist, and software engineer. His specialties are database modeling and System Dynamics Modeling. He has also worked on geographic information systems. He has built System Dynamics models of the civilian nuclear fuel cycle, world energy consumption, bio-energy supplies, water basin management, workforce management, international conflict, and international migration.

Many of these models were turned into applications. He was a member of the Office of the Chief Economist at Sandia National Laboratories from 1998-2005 and ended his career at the Laboratories in March 2017. Len was the President of the System Dynamics Society in 2017 and he’s now involved in a software specialization in Powersim Studio, Group Moderator of the international Powersim Users Group, and development of software engineering techniques applied to System Dynamics modeling. Len has also taught information systems and microeconomics at the University of New Mexico since 1988. He is teaching two System Dynamics courses at UNM starting Spring 2018. He has also taught several short courses in System Dynamics and the use of Powersim Studio. Prior to 1988, he spent 10 years as an independent information systems consultant in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

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