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Learn System Dynamics Concepts from Jay W. Forrester. The founder of the field.

The Jay Forrester Seminar Series has been revamped and improved, and is now available as a more accessible, on-demand, online course! The original consists of seminar series conducted by Professor Jay Forrester in the fall of 1999 for his Ph.D. students in System Dynamics at MIT Sloan School of Management. Thanks to Susan Swett Forrester for the inspiration to record this seminar series.

Decades later, the System Dynamics Society has transformed the series into a course, making it more structured and more suitable for evaluation-based learning. This course will be self-led and self-paced without guidance from an instructor.  Enjoy this course as you learn from the founder of the field, Jay Forrester, and some of the brightest minds in the field!

Jay Forrester Seminar Series

CHECK OUT THE MINI-COURSES

Learn from a collection of Ph.D. seminar presentations at MIT on System Dynamics

Watch skilled academic conversations and multidimensional discussions in action. Develop awareness of how thought diversity and controversial perceptions and opinions become the fertile starting points for deep dives into more insightful and beneficial discussions.

Mini-Courses are FREE for Society members and $25 for non-members. Join today and unlock all benefits!

Select from 11  rich and engaging mini-courses with discussion questions to interact with other students, quizzes to test your knowledge, and selected readings to dive deeper. The first mini-course is free for everyone!

What is System Dynamics?

Forrester and seminar participants have deep-dive discussions about the foundational concepts of System Dynamics modeling. Learn More

Free

World Dynamics

A  discussion based on Jay Forrester’s 1971 book, World Dynamics and conversations around “The World Model” and the history of The Limits to Growth. Learn More

$25

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Society Membership Subscription!

Corporate Growth

Forrester uses the Market Growth model to outline and explain the dynamic causes underlying behaviors in a growing company. Learn More

$25

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Society Membership Subscription!

Group Model Building

Professor George Richardson discusses the purpose of Group Model Building, System Dynamics model building stages, and various group roles in the process. Learn More

Free

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Society Membership Subscription!

Nonlinearity

Forrester uses the Superposition Theorem to explain the mathematical difference between linearity and nonlinearity and ground future discussion about the limited applicability of linear equations in System Dynamics. Learn More

$25

Want a discount? Become a member by purchasing Society Membership Subscription!

Theory Underlying Modeling

Forrester categorizes the various System Dynamics concepts into four general types of System Dynamics theories or principles–Structural, Methodological, Behavioural, and Principles of Good Modeling. Learn More

$25

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COMING SOON

Confidence in Modeling

Forrester describes several types of tests available for building confidence in a System Dynamics model. Discussion follows about developing the modeling skill of both evaluating and communicating the significance of these test results’ relevance to the purpose of the model, and the model consumer’s needs. 

National Model

Forrester describes where he sees the National model best fitting into the historical progression of economic thought, finding its closest comparison to writings about classical economic systems which had developed over longer time periods.

Ethics in Modeling

The seminar group discusses ethics in modeling from a variety of perspectives associated with the multiple roles that professional system dynamicists assume in their relationships with clients.

Management Education

Forrester would like to see a shift of focus in existing management education programs away from static and equilibrium problem attention, toward dynamic problem attention, and also toward a much more interdisciplinary perspective from which he believes most problems arise.  He suggests extending the present business case study approach to include formal System Dynamics model simulation-based case studies.

Future of System Dynamics

Discussion begins with outlining multiple future potentialities for System Dynamics to continue to grow in the academic and public realms.  Forrester gives a broad brush summary of System Dynamics’ co-development with the computing industry and general systems thinking over the past 40 years, and its expansion into a wide diversity of applications, voices and perspectives.

Testimonials

The Jay W. Forrester Seminar Series gives you insights from conversations with some of the brightest minds in the field. Here are some thoughts of those who took the mini-courses.

The Jay Forrester seminar series course is structured to provide meaningful engagement that reinforces the learning outcome.

Kelechi Odoemena

Policy Analyst

I believe that everone who is a student of System Dynamics should watch these videos after they have taken an introductory course. The discussions among the seminar participants will enrich your understanding of the field.

Christine Tang

Ph.D Student , WPI

FAQ

Do you have questions? See some answers below.

Frequently asked questions about the Jay Forrester Seminar Series Courses are answered below. If you would like more information about a specific topic, direct your questions to office@systemdynamics.org

What learning platform is used?

The Thinkific platform is used for this course series. There are videos, transcripts, readings, quizzes, discussion features among others available for this course. Access expires after 6 months.

How many mini-courses are there?

A total of 11 courses are available. The first one is free for everyone and the remaining 10 are free for Society Members or can be accessed individually for $25 each.

How much does the mini-courses cost?

Mini-Courses are FREE for Society members and $25 for non-members. Join today and unlock all benefits!

Who should take the course?

Students and professionals can take these online courses and come from diverse backgrounds, professions, and age groups. With these courses, you can advance your System Dynamics knowledge or reflect on the discussion of important topics in the field. These online courses are a flexible way of learning about the System Dynamics methodology from leaders in the field.

How do I contact technical support during the course?

For technical support, please email office@systemdynamics.org, Monday – Friday. We are ready to help!

Do I need to buy textbooks?

All the suggested reading materials you are required to access are included with your course.

What next after completing my course?

You can brag about your System Dynamics knowledge from the Jay Forrester seminar series courses by sharing your certificates online or taking some other courses on the Thinkific platform or as found on the course catalog.

How long is each course?

The videos are on average 10min long and a quiz is available to test your knowledge for each of them.

Jay Forrester Seminar Series

Learn from Leaders in the field

Become acquainted with the earlier thoughts, questions and concerns of some of today’s influential and experienced System Dynamics academics while they were PhD students and young professors.

Jay Forrester’s Books

Jay W. Forrester’s books are a classic in the System Dynamics field. Members enjoy a 10% discount.