From insights to action: Resilience to global problems
The International System Dynamics Conference is an annual event where people from all over the world interested in the practice of System Dynamics and systems thinking gather. Now in its 39th year, the Conference appeals to audiences across industry and academia. These conferences introduce newcomers to the field, keep practitioners aware of current developments, and provide unparalleled networking opportunities. Participants come from business, universities, K-12 education, not-for-profits, government, consulting, the healthcare sector, and beyond. This year’s conference will be held virtually – if circumstances change we may also consider gatherings in Chicago and elsewhere – stay tuned.
In this year’s conference, we will explore how System Dynamics allows us to generate insight into the drivers of problems and the design of solutions in highly interconnected dynamic systems. Some of the current problems that the world faces (such as COVID-19, climate change, poverty, etc.) are of such complexity that it is nearly impossible to build adequate insight without structured approaches like System Dynamics. The 2021 International System Dynamics Conference will include rigorous dialogue and exchange of ideas about resilience to global problems, how to design solutions to these problems, and how we might turn insight into action.
The Conference attracts a diverse list of speakers from all over the world. They share ideas and stories that inspire and empower attendees.
In the present moment, upskilling has never been more important. Join hands-on workshops that will help you develop valuable skills.
The Conference brings together professionals and organizations shaping the future of System Dynamics. Share your ideas, meet your future project partner, and seek advice from people with great experience.
Conference Plenary Speakers
Author of Business Dynamics and MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative and System Dynamics Group Director
John Sterman is the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group.
Author of Doughnut Economics, Co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab and Professor at Oxford University
Kate Raworth is an economist focused on making economics fit for the 21st century. Her book Doughnut Economics: seven ways to think like a 21st-century economist is an international bestseller that has been translated into 20 languages, and was long-listed for the 2017 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year award. She is co-founder of Doughnut Economics Action Lab, working with cities, businesses, communities, governments, and educators to turn Doughnut Economics from a radical idea into transformative action. She teaches at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and is a Professor of Practice at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Argonne National Laboratory Distinguished Fellow and Group Leader for Social & Behavioral Systems
Dr. Charles “Chick” Macal is an Argonne Distinguished Fellow and the Group Leader for Social & Behavioral Systems, where he leads teams of interdisciplinary researchers developing innovative computer simulation models in the areas of human health, energy systems, and environmental sustainability. Dr. Macal is a recognized global leader in the field of agent-based modeling & simulation, and is a principal investigator for the widely used Repast agent-based modeling toolkit. Dr. Macal holds Senior Fellow appointments at the University of Chicago and Northwestern. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, ACM, and the Society for Computer Simulation (SCS), and serves on the editorial boards of several simulation & modeling journals. He was a visiting faculty member at the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Kigali, Rwanda in 2017, where he taught courses on the mathematics of infectious diseases. Dr. Macal is currently working in modeling infectious diseases and supporting the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Illinois Governor’s Modeling Task Force in forecasting the spread of COVID-19 and understanding the effectiveness of proposed interventions.
Computational Scientist Argonne National Laboratory & Senior Scientist with Public Health Sciences Affiliation
Jonathan Ozik is a Computational Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Senior Scientist with Public Health Sciences Affiliation in the Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering at the University of Chicago, and Senior Institute Fellow in the Northwestern Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering. Dr. Ozik leads the Repast project (repast.github.io), an open-source and widely used family of agent-based modeling toolkits, and develops applications of large-scale agent-based models, including models of infectious diseases, healthcare interventions, biological systems, and water use and management. He also leads the open-source Extreme-scale Model Exploration with Swift (EMEWS) framework for large-scale model exploration capabilities on high performance computing resources (emews.github.io). EMEWS is being applied to large-scale model exploration across modeling methods, including agent-based modeling, microsimulation and machine learning and deep learning. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics Group at the University of Maryland in 2005.
Professor of Finance University of Massachusetts Amherst
Professor Mila Getmansky Sherman is a Professor of Finance at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Professor Mila Getmansky Sherman’s research specializes in empirical asset pricing, hedge funds, performance of investment trading strategies, financial institutions, systemic risk, and system dynamics. She received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and Minor in Economics from MIT and a Ph.D. degree in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management
Brian W Bush
Principal Scientist in Systems Engineering at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Brian W Bush is a principal scientist in systems engineering at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). He has led and collaborated on numerous multi-domain energy-infrastructure modeling, simulation, and analysis projects. For eight years he was the principal investigator for NREL’s Biomass Scenario Model project, a system-dynamics simulation of the biomass-to-biofuels supply chain. In his prior work as a technical staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, he directed the Critical Infrastructure Protection Decision Support
Senior Scientist in NREL Strategic Energy Analysis Center
Daniel Inman is a senior scientist in NREL’s Strategic Energy Analysis Center. His work is focused on system dynamics modeling of renewable energy technologies such as biofuels, energy storage, and waste-to-energy. In addition to this, his work is also focused on the novel application of statistical approaches to analyzing large modeling and energy datasets. His clients include the US Department of Energy, US Department of State, Shell Global, and Exxon Mobile.”
Associate Professor of System Dynamics at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Hazhir Rahmandad is an Associate Professor of System Dynamics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Hazhir’s research applies dynamic modeling to complex organizational and public health problems, from strategy to pandemics. His methodological work contributes to parameter estimation methods for dynamic models and aggregation of prior statistical findings.
Tse Yang Lim
PhD candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management
Tse Yang Lim is a PhD candidate at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Partial scholarships are available for paying conference registration fees.
Scholarships are based on a statement of financial need and a review of written work. They are not limited to students.
To request a scholarship, log into the Web Portal Submission system, and on your User Menu page, click on “Award and Scholarship Information”.
Deadline, May 20
Warm-Up for the Conference!
Join us for a fun social event while providing needed support to grow the next generation of System Dynamicists.
Runners from all over the world will join together to run/walk, race, and cheer each other on every step of the way.
50% of the proceeds from contributions up to $2000 and thereafter 100% of the proceeds will accrue to the Student Chapter to support their activities including the annual Student-Organized Colloquium at our conference.
Saturday, July 24th, 2021 @ 10-11 am New York | 3-4 pm London | 10-11 pm Beijing
Can’t make the time? No worries, you can participate anytime within 24 hours after the race.
2021 Submission Window
January 27 – March 25
Countdown to Paper Submission Deadline!
CALL FOR PAPERS, WORKSHOPS & CONTRIBUTIONS
From insights to action: Resilience to global problems
The 39th International System Dynamics Conference will explore how System Dynamics allows us to generate insight into the drivers of problems and the design of solutions in highly interconnected dynamic systems. Some of the current problems that the world faces (such as COVID-19, climate change, poverty, etc.) are of such complexity that it is nearly impossible to build adequate insight without structured approaches like System Dynamics. The 2021 International System Dynamics Conference will include rigorous dialogue and exchange of ideas about resilience to global problems, how to design solutions to these problems, and how we might turn insight into action.
The program will include invited as well as contributed sessions. Submissions are welcomed on all topics pertaining to System Dynamics, regardless of whether they easily fit within one or more of the conference threads defined below. We welcome all research and documented consulting activities in System Dynamics including applications of the methodology to solve real-world problems, new technical and software developments, and productive integration of complementary methodologies. Presented papers will include both quantitative and rigorous qualitative work on dynamic problems emphasizing feedback structure and the manner in which it generates behavior. We also welcome different analytic and computational approaches beyond stock and flow modeling, including discrete representations such as agent-based modeling with a focus on system behavior.
In addition to the traditional research paper, we also encourage submissions of practitioner applications and work-in-progress. Previously published work may also be submitted with the permission of the Program Chairs. Special proposals for plenary or parallel sessions, panel discussions, roundtables, and other pre- or post-conference activities are encouraged. Proposals for workshops and tutorials are also welcome. If you have ideas for sessions and workshops focused on addressing practical issues in specific commercial or scientific fields, please contact the program chairs.
- COVID-19 (NEW!)
- A.I. & Data Analytics
- Human Behavior
- Information and Knowledge
- Learning and Teaching
- Public Policy
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Structural Racism (NEW!)
The 2021 conference will include a special COVID-19 thread. This thread will cover all aspects of the pandemic and its consequences, including disease dynamics, economic impacts, human behavior, business impacts, resource and security implications, social disruptions, and other related topics.
Thread Chairs: Mohammad Jalali and Hazhir Rahmandad
The Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics thread features issues or methodologies related to the application or integration of System Dynamics with: Automated Intelligence, Big Data, Data Science, Predictive Analytics or Machine Learning.
Thread Chairs: Billy Schoenberg and Chintan Vaishnav
The Business thread features applications of System Dynamics in businesses and organizations including profitability, marketing, competitive dynamics, product launches, project dynamics, and accounting.
Thread Chairs: Scott Rockart and Warren Farr
The Economics thread features papers improving understanding of economic dynamics including macroeconomics, microeconomics, trade, business regulation, economic development, economic policy, insurance, and risk management.
Thread Chairs: Oleg Pavlov and Dave Wheat
The Environment thread emphasizes dynamics of and policy for the environment including climate change, pollution, environmental regulation, and ecology.
Thread Chairs: Allyson Beall King and Jake Jacobson
The Health thread applies System Dynamics to issues related to health and health care including health policy, health services research, population health, and physiology.
Thread Chairs: John Ansah and David Lounsbury
The Human Behavior thread explores the dynamics in the social environments of families, communities, organizations, culture, and society including individual and social psychology.
Thread Chairs: Shayne Gary and Erika Palmer
The Information and Knowledge thread includes the dynamics of knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research & development, invention and innovation.
Thread Chairs: Len Malczynski and Sara Metcalf
The Learning and Teaching thread explores the manner in which system skills are taught and learned including pedagogy, learning experiments, curriculum development, workshop.
Thread Chairs: Diana Fisher and Saras Chung
The Methodology thread welcomes contributions of System Dynamics, modeling and simulation including model development, model analysis, validation, graphical presentation formats, and computational techniques.
Thread Chairs: Jeroen Struben and Yutaka Takahashi
The Operations includes business and other process operations including capacity management, quality control, operations management, supply chains, workflow, queuing, and workforce planning.
Thread Chairs: Burcu Tan and Ed Anderson
The Resources thread addresses the understanding and management of resources including energy, electricity, fuels, food, metals and other renewable and nonrenewable resources.
Thread Chairs: Todd BenDor and Bobby Jeffers
The Public Policy thread covers issues including governance, social welfare, equity, justice, political science, urban dynamics, infrastructure, and transportation.
Thread Chairs: Rod MacDonald and Karim Chichakly
The Security thread investigates issues related to security including defense, conflict, military, insurgency and counterinsurgency, social unrest, disaster management, crime, policing and incarceration.
Thread Chairs: Ignacio Martinez-Moyano and Saeed Langarudi
The Stakeholder Engagement thread emphasizes engaging and influencing stakeholders through participatory activities such as group model building, facilitation, facilitated modeling, games and management flight simulators with emphasis on assessing the impact of the engagement.
Thread Chairs: Etiënne Rouwette and Susan Howick
The Strategy thread focuses on the development, communication and implementation of strategy, including strategic thinking, goal definition, and outcome measures for public and private organizations.
Thread Chairs: Brad Morrison and Nici Zimmermann
Held the week before the annual conference, Summer School provides a unique opportunity to learn (or review) System Dynamics while getting exposure to real-world applications of the method. Seasoned instructors and teaching assistants provide in-depth instruction in this intensive course covering all aspects of System Dynamics simulation modeling. Both introductory and intermediate tracks are available to suit different learning levels.
A one-day event organized by the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society held on the first day of the Conference. It 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.
Held after the conference, seasoned mentors provide authors with one-on-one guidance and expertise in the development of their manuscript for submission to top academic journals in their chosen field. Expert mentors offer help in identifying appropriate journals, navigating the publishing process for their research, and improving their papers to increase the odds of strong reviews and acceptance for publication.
Seasoned mentors offer conference participants the opportunity to obtain one-on-one coaching on specific System Dynamics modeling questions. Questions may relate to a System Dynamics model that you are thinking about, studying, or developing. All levels of modeling background are welcome, from beginner to advanced. This is the perfect opportunity to get help from experts in the field.
So, should you share your model? Definitely! Authors who are presenting model-based work will have an opportunity to show their model to others and let them interact with it. The Model Expo is a chance to talk to people about how the models work, get important comments, and just show off.
Ideal for networking. Meet peers from different Special Interest Groups, Chapters, Committees, and other groups.
Want to schedule a meeting for your group? Contact us!
Organizing & Program Chair
Work in Progress Coordination
Publishing Assistance Workshop Organizer
Modeling Assistance Workshop Organizer
Modeling Assistance Workshop Organizer
Student-Organized Colloquium Chair
Student-Organized Colloquium Chair
We will again be hosting the conference virtually via Zoom. It will always be our priority to serve the Society’s members. We deeply care about the health and safety of all who make our community so bright. The uncertainty of the situation does not allow us to ensure the safeness that a live event like the International System Dynamics Conference requires.
The organizers are currently working to deliver a diverse, rich, and enjoyable experience for all participants. And while the current reality does not allow us to be there in person, we will be there virtually. We hope to see you in person soon and we are considering alternatives once it becomes safe to host you live.
The International System Dynamics Conference is coming to Frankfurt in 2022!
Researchers at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in partnership with the German Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, universities and businesses established in Germany, are enthused to bring the 40th International System Dynamics Conference to Frankfurt!
Save the date!
July 17-21, 2022
July 17-21, 2022
2020 bergen | virtual
Our first virtual Conference with over 600 attendees from all over the world. Learning from the Past to Inspire the Future was the theme of our 38th International System Dynamics Conference.
Resilience and sustainability in a changing world was the theme of our 37th International System Dynamics Conference. Sandia National Laboratories was our gracious host while in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Icelandic System Dynamics Center and School of Engineering at the University of Iceland warmly welcomed us in Reykjavík for the 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society.