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System Dynamics Blog


Renewing my membership in the System Dynamics Society

Renewing my membership in the System Dynamics Society

by | Oct 22, 2019

In 2009, at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, President Erling Moxnes started his Presidential address by saying, ‘”Groucho Marx said “I refuse to be a member of any club that would have me as member.”‘

Erling got my attention with that paradox and his use of a Groucho Marx quote.*

For many of us it is time to renew that ‘club’ membership. Usually I don’t give it a second thought. Of course I renew as soon as I can. I look up my income category and reflect on what the Society does for me and, more importantly, what I can do for the Society. The later is especially important the older I get. What can I contribute to my ‘club’ members?

Having been a Society leader for quite a few years I know that my passions are the quality of system dynamics model construction and supporting our students and new members. I hope I can continue to have an influence through the Society on those things that matter to me. I have learned much and have implemented much in models by reading the System Dynamics Review.

Lastly, I am constantly amazed and blessed by the friendships I have made as a Society member. So many names come to mind. Instead, here are a few encounters. Meeting someone in the System Dynamics Summer School as an System Dynamics beginner who now is a SIG leader and is active in possibly hosting a conference; helping someone struggle up a hill in St Gallen carrying luggage with his family and becoming System Dynamics friends; suggesting that someone I never met be a Plenary speaker and watching her win an award and educate us all; meeting Jay Forrester and having him ask me what to write in my copy of Industrial Dynamics; meeting my friend and current business partner many years ago at a conference; having almost weekly conversations with a member concerned about System Dynamics and the Society; and making a technical connection over the internet in a user group, embracing him when we finally met in person many years later, and creating a family friend. There are many, many more. Those things are important to me. Society membership is important to me.

I encourage all of you to experience this, practice your System Dynamics passion, and more by becoming a Society member.

* Okay, my favorite Grouch Marx quote, “Outside of a dog a book is man’s best friend; inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

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