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 expanding our Seminar Series, developing Learning Resources, expanding the Career Link, improving the Bibliography, improving the Covid-19 Resource Page, marketing the field, and increasing the capacity of our Mentorship Program. 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. With enough funding we can make great progress toward realizing our vision for a Society that provides strong centralized support for the field worldwide.
- Logo prominently displayed on the relevant page and sponsors will have the opportunity to shape the next iteration of the service.
DescriptionThese initiatives are described more fully below:
- 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 technology platform will help us to accomplish this.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.