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Celebrating Women’s International Day

Over the past several decades, more women have become part of the System Dynamics field, greatly increasing gender diversity in our discipline. We have many amazing, inspiring, brilliant, and visionary female leaders. Today we highlight women in the field who have published books related to System Dynamics and systems thinking, although this list is not exhaustive.

Sustainability | Environment

Systems Thinking

Pre-College Education | Children’s Books | Teacher’s Manuals

Applied System Dynamics and Systems Thinking | Methodology | Organizational Change

Historical

  • Deborah Andersen and David Andersen: Theories of Decision Making: An Annotated Bibliography.
  • MIT Artificial Intelligence Group: John McCarthy, Robert Brayton, Daniel Edwards, Phyllis Fox, Louis Hodes, David Luckham, Klim Maling, David Park, Stephen Russel: LISP I: Programmer’s Manual
    • In 1959, Phyllis Fox and Alexander Pugh wrote the first version of DYNAMO (DYNAmic MOdels) and the system dynamics language that became the industry standard for over thirty years).

Use the button below If you’d like to add an author and/or book to our bibliography:

Donella Meadows

“We, humans, are smart enough to have created complex systems and amazing productivity; surely we are also smart enough to make sure that everyone shares our bounty, and surely we are smart enough to sustainably steward the natural world upon which we all depend.”

Donella (Dana) Meadows was an inspiring leader, scholar, writer, teacher, a Pew Scholar in Conservation and Environment, and a MacArthur Fellow, and was one of the most influential environmental thinkers of the twentieth century. After receiving a Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard, she joined a team at MIT applying the relatively new tools of System Dynamics to global problems. While Donella Meadows researched and wrote about global problems, she herself also practiced local solutions, a living personification of Rene Dubos’ famous expression, “Think Globally, Act Locally.”

Donella’s ideas, insights, teachings, environmental leadership, and belief in the capacity of humans to create a sustainable world continue to inspire and motivate us today.

Visit the Donella Meadows Project by the Academy for Systems Change to learn more about Dana’s life and work.

Donella Meadows wrote and co-authored several books, including the following: 

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A Close-Up on Our New Look We are excited to reveal our new logo and branding, embodying the System Dynamics Society’s values and vision for the future. The looped arrows with an S curve symbolize growth, change over time, and commitment to raising complex...

Celebrating Women’s International Day

Celebrating Women’s International Day Over the past several decades, more women have become part of the System Dynamics field, greatly increasing gender diversity in our discipline. We have many amazing, inspiring, brilliant, and visionary female leaders. Today...

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Thinking in Systems A Primer
Beyond the Limits by Donella Meadows. Sustainability and climate change.

Planning and Managing Performance Improvement Programs

See also a more extensive article based on this post, and watch the recording below on the topic.

Organizations of all sizes and types undertake programs of effort to improve their performance, whether it’s in the areas of health and safety, net-zero efforts, or digital transformation. But sustaining momentum for such efforts is tough, and many fail completely.

It turns out that such programs share a common structure, which can be used to assess how the program may progress, how benefits may grow over time, and the cost and effort of achieving them (figure 1).

Performance-improvement programs generally aim to eliminate or mitigate some problematic outcomes such as staff injuries, the loss of critical data, excessive energy use, and inefficient business processes. Those problematic outcomes are caused by previously unidentified problem drivers – hazards in business facilities, data vulnerabilities, inefficient or under-controlled energy-using assets, and inefficient business processes.

So the basic aim is to eliminate or mitigate those problem drivers. This essentially consists of two overlapping efforts [1] to find and quantify those problem drivers, then [2] to eliminate or mitigate those problem drivers that are found.

As benefits start to become apparent, two self-reinforcing mechanisms (R) kick in. First, the staff becomes engaged in its success and adds – often greatly – to the discovery of those unknown opportunities. This boosts leaders’ confidence, so financial savings from the program can be recycled to speed up the rate at which benefits are realized.

In due course, we run out of unknown opportunities to find, and the cost-benefit of remaining opportunities declines – two balancing mechanisms (B) that ultimately limit the benefits that can be gained.

Figure 1 – The overall structure of the system that underlies improvement programs.

 

Reviewing real-world cases revealed how the principles above actually work in practice. One example concerned a 2-year effort on energy-saving by a large ready-meals producer operating several facilities.

 Management appointed an energy manager, who soon brought monthly reports to the executive team, itemizing savings opportunities and specifying their impact, cost, and implementation steps. Those opportunities brought further benefits, such as lower maintenance costs and production downtime. The visible benefits led to staff adopting energy-saving behavior and finding still more opportunities. In under 2 years, the program saved 40% of the organization’s energy use – with no significant capital investment. Future investment will drive down energy use still further.

 The structure in figure 1 can be quantified and modeled,  then used to manage the program over time (A demonstration model is available at sdl.re/EnergySaving1, and a simple guide for its software is at sdcourses.com/silico-guide).

Background

The figure 1 framework and the working models that prove its value emerged from work for the British Standards Institution (BSI). BSI publishes internationally-recognized “ISO” management standards on a very wide range of topics. BSI commissioned a series of “serious games” to show the key choices and impact of adopting Standards – explore the first few games here, all built on working models of figure 1. BSI also wanted a game to encourage small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), to drive down greenhouse gas emissions. See The NetZero Challenge.

Figure 2 –The results screen of the NetZero Challenge game

Watch the recording below

Whoops, this recording is available for members and ticket purchasers only. Please login to verify. If you’re not a member, purchase a membership here. You can also buy a ticket to watch the recording here

About the Speaker

Kim Warren is an experienced strategy professional, teacher, and publisher of online courses and teaching resources on business modeling – fast becoming a mainstream capability for executives, consultants, and business students. He was awarded the Jay Wright Forrester Award by the International System Dynamics Society in 2005 and was the Society’s President in 2013.

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Celebrating Women’s International Day

Celebrating Women’s International Day Over the past several decades, more women have become part of the System Dynamics field, greatly increasing gender diversity in our discipline. We have many amazing, inspiring, brilliant, and visionary female leaders. Today...

Upcoming Events

Recent Business cases

Twinings Uses System Dynamics Games to Enhance HR Capability

Twinings Uses System Dynamics Games to Enhance HR Capability “Realistic simulation is a powerful approach to building capability. The business simulation developed [by Dashboard Simulations and Lane4] gave [Twinings staff] an experience that called for them to develop...

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Achieving a Polio-Free World Through System Dynamics Simulation

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How To Review for ISDC 2023

Reviews provide valuable feedback for authors, offering new perspectives and posing insightful questions to help them improve their work. They can inspire authors to think more deeply about their research, while also exposing reviewers to new ideas and honing their critical evaluation skills. Helpful reviews can also motivate newcomers to the field and foster a sense of belonging within the System Dynamics community. Through the use of reviews, the program committee is able to thoughtfully place work within the broader conference program, allowing for authors to engage with their peers and build a sense of community among those working on similar topics. Conference attendees can then benefit from attending more cohesive and engaging sessions, ultimately leading to a more productive and fulfilling conference experience.

Do you want to become a conference reviewer or improve your reviews? Here are ten tips to write a great review.

Ten Reviewing Tips

1. Don’t be intimidated by the review process. It’s a terrific experience that can help you develop your own critical evaluation skills and expand your knowledge of the field.

2. Start early and don’t rush through the work. Take your time to read and evaluate the paper thoroughly so you can provide constructive feedback to the author.

3. Remember that reviews are not about accepting or rejecting work; they’re about providing feedback and suggestions to help the author improve their work.

4. Be courteous and respectful in your review. Start with a positive comment, summarize the paper, and offer constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. If you have a different view of the paper, explain your perspective in a respectful way and provide additional resources that might be helpful to the author.

5. If you find yourself struggling to understand a section of the work, don’t assume it’s your fault. Ask the author to clarify the section or explain it in simpler terms for a broader audience.

6. When evaluating the work, pay attention to the assumptions, feedback structure, and parameter values. If it’s not clear how structure relates to behavior, ask the author for more clarification.

7. If your strength lies in theory or practice rather than modeling, your unique perspective will be a great contribution to the author. Consider adding notes to the program chairs to let them know what your strengths are.

8. Make sure you’re familiar with what was asked of the authors in the submission instructions. This will help you evaluate the paper more effectively.

9. Avoid providing unhelpful feedback in your review. Don’t simply summarize the paper without offering any suggestions for improvement. Don’t attack or threaten the author, and don’t be rude or condescending. Systems thinking based papers should be treated as complete papers and not regarded as lesser work for lack of simulation. Slamming the door on the author is not productive; if the paper is not a good fit for the current conference, the author can improve for next year’s conference.

10. Can you volunteer to review a paper if you’ve submitted one of your own? Absolutely! You will not receive your own paper to review. Further, the review process is blind, so you won’t know any author’s identity.

For other conference review questions, contact the conference team.

Student-Organized-Colloquium (SOC) reviews are processed separately. To review for SOC, sign up here.

Watch the recording below

About the Speakers

Allyson Beall King, John Pastor Ansah and Saras Chung are ISDC 2023 Program Chairs.

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Celebrating Women’s International Day

Celebrating Women’s International Day Over the past several decades, more women have become part of the System Dynamics field, greatly increasing gender diversity in our discipline. We have many amazing, inspiring, brilliant, and visionary female leaders. Today...

Upcoming Events

Recent Business cases

Twinings Uses System Dynamics Games to Enhance HR Capability

Twinings Uses System Dynamics Games to Enhance HR Capability “Realistic simulation is a powerful approach to building capability. The business simulation developed [by Dashboard Simulations and Lane4] gave [Twinings staff] an experience that called for them to develop...

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Join us

Student-Organized Colloquium 2023

The Student-Organized Colloquium is a free, two-day online (Wed, July 19th) and hybrid event (Sun, July 23rd) organized by the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society held before and on the first day of the International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC). The Student-Organized Colloquium 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.

The format of the event consists mainly of breakout sessions in which doctoral, masters and undergraduate students, as well as practitioners, professionals and academics in any field who are new to System Dynamics (less experienced, mentees, juniors) can discuss their ideas and concerns, and get mentored by more experienced system dynamicists (mentors, seniors).

For more information, please visit the Student-Organized Colloquium Webpage.

Starting January 24th, you will be able to submit your papers.

Please join us when (and where) you are able!

*Participants who require a visa to enter the United States need to register for an in-person ticket to ISDC 2023.*

2023 International System Dynamics Conference

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 41st 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 businesses, universities, K-12 education, not-for-profits, government, consulting, the healthcare sector, and beyond. The ISDC2023 will be a hybrid event, with virtual access for all attendees and opportunities for authors to present work virtually or in Chicago.

LIVE tickets include:

  • Access to the full program in Chicago, including all workshops;
  • Light refreshments;
  • Banquet;
  • Access to all recordings until September 30, 2023.

ONLINE tickets include:

  • Access to the full program, including plenaries, parallel sessions, virtual workshops, and roundtables.
  • Access to all recordings until September 30, 2023.

If you’re bringing one or more guests to the ISDC2023 banquet on July 24 in Chicago, please register them by purchasing the ticket “BRING A GUEST” above.

Theme

The 2023 Conference theme is “Adapting in the Face of Change”. The disruptions caused by the global pandemic, climate change, social and racial inequities, nationalist politics, and a rapidly urbanizing population leave us facing a future that calls for adaptation and intervention in complex systems.

Location

The 2023 Conference It will take place at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, a beautiful and historical venue at the heart of downtown Chicago.

 

 

Frequently Asked questions (faq’s)

What is your refund policy?

Registration may be changed from in-person to online without penalty until May 30, 2023. A partial refund will be given for the difference between the price paid and the price of the online conference. After May 30, 2023, no refund will be given.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes. Scholarships are available for waiving conference registration fees. We do not provide financial support for travel or accommodation. They are given based on a statement of financial need and a review of written work and are not limited to students. Learn More

Can I buy a ticket for one day only?

No. Single-day tickets are not available. The registration includes access to the full program of the conference.

Where is my member discount?

If you’re logged in, you should see the discounted prices for members. If you’re not seeing the member price, contact us using the chat function in the bottom right of the screen.  Please be sure to include your name and login email address so we can better assist you.

Does the LIVE ticket include food?

It includes a banquet with a buffet-style setup that includes gluten-free options. However, it’s important to note that only drinks will be served during breaks.

Do you offer bulk ticket purchase discounts?

No. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer bulk discounts at the moment.

Can I upgrade my registration?

Yes. You can upgrade your virtual ticket to a live ticket at any time by paying the difference. Upgrade here.

Do I need to bring a printed ticket to the venue?

No. We will be able to check you in with your full name. 

Do you offer discounts for presenters?

No. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer discounts for presenters.

Where should I stay?

We recommend the conference venue, the Palmer House Hilton Hotel. Attendees receive a special discount. Book Now.  Save even more and enjoy the historic hotel venue by requesting a roommate.

10th South Africa Chapter Conference

To celebrate reaching a decade milestone of our system dynamics conference in South Africa – started by Eskom in 2012 – we will offer FREE REGISTRATION for this conference only!

Theme: “Transforming our World of  Systems”

16-18 November 2022

The South Africa System Dynamics Chapter (SASDC) is hosting our virtual 10th annual South African System Dynamics Conference is to create a networking platform for researchers to present novel work that contributes to data analytics, systems thinking, system dynamics (theory, methodology, or empirics), systems engineering and operations research. Abstracts and full papers should contribute to the conference theme of Transforming our World of Systems.

Topics may tackle the following subjects:

Health Dynamics/ Sustainability / Education/ Sociology and Psychology/ Finance & Economics/ Natural Resource Management/ Technology/  Policy and Governance/ Transport/ Hydrogen Economy/ Circular Economy.

Please note that approved abstracts can take one of the following forms:

  1. Full paper and presentation
  2. Presentation only (paper will not be published in the Conference Proceedings)
  3. Working paper for inclusion in a discussion forum (no presentation required or inclusion in the Conference Proceedings)
  4. Case studies to be presented and discussed in a workshop format

Registration and abstract submission: https://systemdynamics.org.za/10-sasdc-reg-form/

 DATE

DEADLINE

15-Feb

Call for Abstracts

05-May

Abstract submission deadline

26-May

Notice of Abstract submission decision to authors

26-Aug

Full paper submission deadline

28-Sep

Notice of full paper submission decision to authors

09-Oct

Author registration deadline

14-Oct

Preliminary program

31-Oct

Attendee registration closes

10-Nov

Final program & conference details

16-18 Nov

10th Annual South African System Dynamics 

 

2022 Student-Organized Colloquium

The Student-Organized Colloquium is a free, one-day online and in-person event organized by the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society held on the first day of the International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC). The Student-Organized Colloquium 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.

The format of the event consists mainly of breakout sessions in which doctoral, masters and undergraduate students, as well as practitioners, professionals and academics in any field who are new to System Dynamics (less experienced, mentees, juniors) can discuss their ideas and concerns, and get mentored by more experienced system dynamicists (mentors, seniors).

For more information, please visit the Student-Organized Colloquium Webpage.

Don’t forget to submit your papers.

Here is a time converter. Please join us when (and where) you are able!

*If you need a visa to enter Germany, then you will need to register for the International System Dynamics Conference.*

2022 International System Dynamics Conference

Upgrade your Online Ticket to a Frankfurt Ticket

 The 2022 International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC2022) 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 40th 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. Live ticket includes:

  • One-week public transport pass in Frankfurt;
  • Lunch and snacks;
  • Access to the Banquet night;
  • Access to the Practice & Impact Day.

If you’re bringing one or more guests to the ISDC2022 banquet on July 21 in Frankfurt, please register them by purchasing the ticket “BRING A GUEST” above.

International System Dynamics Conference on LinkedIn

 The ISDC2022 theme is “Diversity” and we embrace this theme in all its dimensions. Diversity in teams encourages innovation and enhances decision-making and problem-solving. Therefore, expect speakers from diverse backgrounds, submissions on topics such as gender, race or ethnicity, class, age and ability, etc., and submissions that demonstrate diverse ways of doing System Dynamics.

The 2022 Conference will take place at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. The campus offers excellent infrastructure to host the System Dynamics Society annual meeting. In addition, for those attending the Conference in Frankfurt, a one-month public transport pass is included in the ticket. The city offers a wide range of transport infrastructure and moving around is easy. For instance, the subway station Deutsche Nationalbibliothek is just a few minutes away from the main auditorium.

There are a limited number of accommodation options near the 2022 Conference site. However, we recommend staying near a subway station to make your commute easier.