For those who prefer to specify a project for their donation, we offer a few new sponsorship opportunities for your consideration in 2021. Projects include: Bibliography, Career Link, Covid-19 Resource Page, Learning Resources, Marketing the Field, Mentorship Program, and Seminar Series. Each project has been progressing, but will benefit from further funding to increase our capacity to deliver. Funding will not only further these efforts, but provide internships fo the many students and recent graduates ready, willing, and able to take them on. Sponsors will have their logo prominently displayed on the relevant page and will have the opportunity to shape the next iteration of the service. With enough funding we can make great progress toward realizing our vision for a Society that provides strong centralized support for the field worldwide. For more details about each, see the detailed description below.
For those who prefer to specify a project for their donation, we offer a few new sponsorship opportunities for your consideration in 2021. Each project has been progressing, but will benefit from further funding to increase our capacity to deliver. Funding will not only further these efforts, but provide internships for the many students and recent graduates ready, willing, and able to take them on. Sponsors will have their logo prominently displayed on the relevant page and will have the opportunity to shape the next iteration of the service. With enough funding we can make great progress toward realizing our vision for a Society that provides strong centralized support for the field worldwide.
These initiatives are described more fully below:
Bibliography:The Society bibliography is the go to source for many beginning a new project in the field. It allows them to build on the shoulders of others before them. Funding will support a student intern to further develop our bibliography to make it more accessible, useful, up-to-date, and inclusive.
Career Link: If recent graduates cannot find positions in the field, the outflow of trained modelers will thwart our efforts to grow capacity for high quality modeling. In 2020, the Society moved to more proactively identify and share open positions of interest to the community. We also made a platform shift that made it easier for job posters to enter their own listings and for job seekers to search for meaningful options within an expanded list. We hope to continue to maintain this service and to continuously improve the platform to better serve the field. This will require dedicated resources and some investment in technology, but should result in a robust jobs marketplace that will keep recent graduates in the field.
Covid-19 Resource Page: In response to the pandemic, the Society cobbled together a Covid-19 Resource page to help connect the many people modeling in this area. As we continue to be ravaged by the virus, this resource could use additional dedicated efforts to maintain and improve upon it.
Learning Resources: President Birgit Kopainsky created the Society’s Learning Committee. The first project completed was the online course catalog – a crowdsourced resource for those seeking to learn more. The team now has many more ambitious initiatives in the works including the development of a consortium of college curriculum sharing through Acadeum, a partnership with Worcester Polytechnic Institute to make their online courses more accessible, and an effort to improve accessibility to the Jay Forrester Seminar Series. This important work would progress more quickly with resources dedicated to bringing them to life.
Marketing the Field: The Society has shifted significant resources to marketing the Society and the field. This includes investment in social media, email marketing, and even this new and improved website. We hope to continue this investment and build our capacity to do even more. With the help of sponsors we hope to become even better at spreading the word about the unique benefits of a systems approach. Given more funds we would strive to improve our public relations capability and consider outreach to the media to help them be more systemic in their reporting.
Mentorship Program: A pilot program developed by Jack Homer and Gary Hirsch has been a resounding success with 34 mentorship matches. We seek to make this program more robust including marketing to mentors mentees, automation of matching, and evaluation for purposes of improving the program. Funding will allow a student intern to champion the effort to serve more in the field with this valuable learning support.
Seminar Series: In 2020, we introduced the System Dynamics Society Seminar Series. These online events have been very well received with upwards of 150 in attendance. This new member benefit has renewed interest in joining, generated additional revenues to support our mission, and provided an opportunity for attendees to learn together outside of the annual conference week. We are investing in infrastructure to expand this offering and provide more opportunities for members to convene. Funding for a dedicated resource and an improved technical platform will help us to accomplish this.
Rebecca began her career as a strategy consultant at Monitor Company, honed her skills as a systems thinking facilitator at GKA Inc, worked as VP of Affordable Housing Acquisitions for Boston Financial, and built her own Systems Thinking consultancy through which she was a key contributor to the ReThink Health Initiative, Climate Interactive’s Agritopia, and Dialogos’ work for the US Forestry Service. She has spent more than 25 years supporting corporate and philanthropic clients including Vistaprint, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, AT&T, Ford, Smithkline Beecham, Shell, Amoco, and USDA. Her expertise is using collaborative causal mapping and System Dynamics simulation models to help multi-sector collaboratives think together better. Rebecca trained in Systems Dynamics in Jay Forrester’s Pre-College Education Project and John Sterman’s class while pursuing a BS in Civil Engineering and an MBA from MIT. She has served on the Society Policy Council and been a guest lecturer at MIT, Wharton, Dartmouth, and Brown. When not working as a systems thinking evangelist, Rebecca loves to travel the world. Pre-covid travels included Mexico, Chile, Morocco, Brazil, Uganda and Iceland to spend time with school children, whale sharks, camels, street art, gorillas and waterfalls. When stuck at home, she enjoys gardening, swimming, dancing, and renovating properties.