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Multisolving: Working With Complexity and Interconnection

August, 31 at 11 am New York | 4 pm London | 11 pm Beijing (check your local time) Climate change. Biodiversity loss. Racial, gender, and economic inequity. Global pandemic and other health crises. Each of these challenges is serious on its own, but they also interact. Inaction on one crisis can erode gains in another, as when climate impacts threaten gains in health, well-being, or development. And sometimes an apparent solution to one crisis can worsen others, as when environmental protections were loosened in some countries to try to counteract pandemic-related economic slowdowns. But the same interconnections that lead to cascading crises also open up the possibility of synergistic solutions. Multisolving focuses on these possibilities – instances where the same intervention can yield multiple benefits. This one-hour webinar will share bright spots of multisolving from around the world. We’ll also explore the obstacles to multisolving, and how systems thinking and systems tools can help people overcome these obstacles. The webinar will also introduce the Multisolving Institute, which was launched earlier this year, and may be familiar to some members of the System Dynamics Society from its roots in the Multisolving Program at Climate Interactive.

About the Speaker

Elizabeth Sawin is the Founder and Director of the Multisolving Institute. Beth is an expert on solutions that address climate change while also improving health, well-being, equity, and economic vitality. She developed the idea of ‘multisolving’ to help people see and create the conditions for such win-win-win solutions. Beth writes and speaks about multisolving, climate change, and leadership in complex systems for both national and international audiences. Her work has been published widely, including in Non-Profit Quarterly, The Stanford Social Innovation Review, U. S. News, The Daily Climate, and System Dynamics Review. She has trained and mentored global sustainability leaders in the Donella Meadows Fellows Program and provided systems thinking training to both Ashoka and Dalai Lama Fellows. Since 2014, Beth has participated in the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, a continuing dialogue on issues of climate change and sustainability among a select group of humanities scholars, writers, artists, and climate scientists. Beth is also a member of the advisory board of the Kresge Foundation’s Climate Change Health and Equity Program. A biologist with a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Beth co-founded Climate Interactive in 2010 and served as Climate Interactive’s Co-Director from 2010 until 2021. While at Climate Interactive, she led the scientific team that offered the first assessment of the sufficiency of country pledges to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2008. Beth also led Climate Interactive’s efforts to integrate measures of equity, health, and well-being into decision support tools and computer simulations. Beth trained in system dynamics and sustainability with Donella Meadows and worked at Sustainability Institute, the research institute founded by Meadows, for 13 years. She has two adult daughters and lives in rural Vermont where she and her husband grow as much of their own food as they can manage.

Focus on Climate Change

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education.  All seminars and recordings are free for both members and the general public.

Now What?

How an environmental science course was developed at IACS high school, some of the lessons used, and how the tools of system dynamics were integrated. I will quickly cover a few examples of how systems thinking and system dynamics tools were applied to other topics, especially in middle school.

Al Ticotsky

Retired middle school science teacher. Systems thinking and system dynamics modeling mentor at Carlisle Elementary School and Innovation Academy Charter School. Author/Co-Author of The Shape of Change, Now What? A Call to Action, and four other books on science education. Plans to establish a blog on the Creative Learning Exchange website that will address environmental systems, current events, K-12 systems education topics, and generally provide a platform for sharing work on systems thinking and system dynamics. His goal is to post about two entries per month and to include others’ work to build up our network, as well as keeping Now What? as current as possible..

Exploring Climate Change with System Dynamics

Climate change is largely being driven by the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. System dynamic modeling is an excellent way to represent the imbalance in the carbon cycle produced by industrializing human activities. In this presentation, I will demonstrate a simple system dynamics model I have students create and explore questions about possible interventions. I always start with this model to introduce my students to system dynamics modeling, so I use this opportunity to not only have students learn about climate change but also learn the very basics of system dynamics modeling.

Jon Darkow has taught a variety of biology courses at the high school and college level for the past 18 years at Seneca East High School in and through Bowling Green State University. Currently, Jon teaches AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, and Physics. Jon has diverse academic training with a B.A. in Sociology from Ohio State University in 2000. He has a post-bachelors in Life Science Education and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University. Additionally, Jon has been completing graduate courses in the Department of Biological Science at Bowling Green State University. Jon has developed a robust set of online system dynamics models for students to explore biology and ecology at

 Environmental Education with Systems Thinking and the World Climate Game

An educational programme, which applied systems thinking methodology on climate change and environmental education whilst also using the simulation game “World Climate” as a tool will be presented. The programme was implemented in three parts from September to December 2021 with the participation of eighth grade students as an after-school programme. The first part was introduction of population, migration, economy and greenhouse gas emissions dynamics at both country and global levels aiming to prepare students for their roles that they will be playing in the second part. In the second part, students played the “World Climate” simulation game developed by Climate Interactive. In the third and final part of the programme, systems thinking tools were be used to see the foundational structures that create the problem.

Sena Yıldız Değirmenci earned her Master’s Degree from University of Oulu, Finland on Learning, Education and Technology. With a physics teacher background, she worked as a science teacher in Darüşşafaka Middle School. A teacher and learning specialist, her research interests are systems thinking and learning through technology. 


You can watch the recording here

Using System Dynamics to Teach and Learn about COVID 19

This Webinar is free due to the generous contribution of the University at Albany and California State University, Chico


The COVID Pandemic constituted a dynamic and complex problem challenging leaders and managers to design policies facing difficult questions such as:

  • Do we still need to wear masks?
  • Should the government mandate wearing masks?
  • What happens if everyone does (or does not) get vaccinated?
  • When will the next surge happen?
  • How do we know if the pandemic is over?

Systems thinking and simulation provide tools and methods to explore these important questions with a variety of audiences. Learn how a team of experts is using System Dynamics to help different audiences to answer these questions:

  • Using a case-based System Dynamics simulation to explore policy choices in an undergraduate public policy capstone course.
  • Using a set of self-paced learning modules to build a simulation model from the ground up.

Ali N. Mashayekhi is a retired professor of management from the Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran where he taught System Dynamics and strategic management. He received his BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University and his Ph.D. in System Dynamics from MIT in Cambridge Massachusetts.

Babak Bahaddin works as an associate consultant at isee systems. Babak holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Sharif University of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Information Science, from the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Daniel Gordon trained in System Dynamics at Rockefeller College, the State University of New York at Albany. He is retired from the New York State Health Department, where he spent 34 years working in health care policy analysis and HIV epidemiology.

David Andersen is Professor Emeritus in Public Administration and Information Science at the University at Albany – SUNY. He is a former President and Vice President for Finance for the System Dynamics Society as well as a winner of the Forrester Award.

Hyunjung Kim is a professor of management at California State University, Chico. She teaches strategy and management courses using system dynamics. She received her Ph.D. in Public Administration from the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany.

Luis Felipe Luna-Reyesis a Professor of Public Administration and Policy at the University at Albany and a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow. His research is at the intersection of Public Administration, Information Systems, and Systems Sciences.

New Horizons of Systems Science


Systems theory is developing to include new perspectives with a focus on integrated and inclusive transdisciplinary system approaches. This panel will discuss new advances in systems science including critical systems thinking, social/socio-technical systems, complex systems, which come together in the systems engineering principles. We will also discuss where Systems Dynamics fits into this picture as well as other types of systems models.

Erika Palmer is a Senior Lecturer in the Cornell Systems Engineering Program. She is the founder and chair of the Social Systems Working Group (SocWG) at the International Council for Systems Engineering (INCOSE); the Americas lead for Empowering Women Leaders in Systems Engineering (EWLSE) at INCOSE and represents Cornell on INCOSE’s Academic Council.

Michael D. Watson is the chair of the INCOSE Complex Systems Working Group and chair of the Systems Engineering Principles Action Team. He is the Technical Advisor in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office. He graduated with a BSEE from the University of Kentucky in 1987 and obtained his MSE in Electrical and Computer Engineering (1996) and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering (2005) from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Javier Calvo-Amodio is an Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering at Oregon State University; Chair of the Systems Science Working Group at INCOSE and Deputy Editor of Systems Research and Behavioral Science Journal. His research focus is on developing a fundamental understanding of how to integrate systems science into industrial and systems engineering research and practice to enable better engineering purposeful human activity systems.

The Food Packaging Problem: A Food System Problem, not a Packaging Problem

7 pm New York | 12 am London | 9 am (April 07) Sydney (check your local time)

The reliance on packaging in food systems is a global challenge.

The increased use of food packaging is causing several negative environmental impacts, such as ocean pollution, freshwater, and land contamination. Improved waste management and recycling schemes remain the main response to this challenge. Whilst useful, current efforts overlook the importance of a systemic understanding of the problem. Current interventions fail because they tackle the symptoms of the problem and not the drivers.

This webinar explores from a system perspective the role that food packaging plays in modern society. The growth-driven globalized food economy and time-deprived society are responsible for the dependence on food packaging. The presentation sheds light on the mental models driving the system and leverage points able to reduce modern food packaging addiction.

About the Speaker

Sabrina Chakori holds a BSc. in Biology (University of Geneva), an MSc. in Environmental Economics (The University of Queensland), and she is currently finishing an interdisciplinary Ph.D. research that explores food packaging reduction in food systems. Sabrina is a passionate systems modeler (systems thinking, System Dynamics, network analysis). She believes that systems approaches are crucial to understanding and tackling current socio-ecological wicked problems.

For more than a decade, Sabrina has been advocating for a more sustainable society, leading numerous collaborations in various countries across Europe, Kenya, Ecuador, Mexico, and Australia, including an initiative with Queensland’s Environment Minister to introduce the law banning single-use plastic bags. Sabrina is convinced that to solve the interlinked social and ecological crisis we need to change the roots of our economy, shifting away from the growth-driven system. To translate into practice her knowledge and vision, in 2017, she founded the Brisbane Tool Library, a social enterprise that encourages people to borrow tools, camping gear, and other equipment. This community-driven circular economy model reduces productivism and consumerism. The Brisbane Tool Library is Australia’s first and only ‘library of things’ to be located within a public library – State Library of Queensland.

Sabrina is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and, in 2021, she has been selected as Post Growth Institute fellow. Winner of the 2020 Create Change: 7 News Young Achiever Award (QLD) and recipient of the Emerging Female Leader bursary from the National Council of Women of Queensland (2020), Sabrina is a multi-award social entrepreneur, researcher, educator, and most of all activist. Sabrina is fully invested in creating systemic change that would build a more socially just and ecologically sustainable post-growth society.

Systems Thinking for Pre-College Education

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education.  All seminars and recordings are free for both members and the general public.

“A Strategy for Infusing Systems Thinking into K-12 Education”

In this short presentation, two models for infusing Systems Thinking into K-12 Education will be presented. The first model is a simple numerical simulation of infusion of systems thinking into K-12 education in Turkey. Based on this model a generic conceptual model will be introduced. This generic model is expected (actually hoped) to start a discussion on infusing systems thinking in pre-college education in the world. Both of the models show only the physical and institutional structure of the system we are trying to build. They lack the decision rules of the agents. The policies of the models will be presented as a separate layer over these models. Fundamental principles of policy levers are that the ST/SD infusion should: be open, free to teachers and schools, teacher oriented, curriculum adaptable, stock-flow based, with iterative learning. Policy levers will be discussed with examples from Turkey.

Emre Göktepe is a retired Industrial Engineer working for infusion of ST/SD into K-12 education. He is one of the founders of the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey. Beginning in 1988, his knowledge of systems thinking and system dynamics are mostly self-taught.

 “Strategy Implementation for Schools in Turkey”

The System Thinking Association in Turkey has worked to infuse the systems thinking approach into K-12 education since 2014 across different subjects. The strategy developed for infusion is applied by using an iterative approach. In the presentation the systems thinking infusion cycle, as well as lessons learnt from the cycle (which includes teacher training and mentoring, curriculum development and implementation, and experience sharing) will be introduced.


Meltem Ceylan Alibeyoğlu studied mathematics and she became a teacher. After working 5 years as an academic coordinator, she is now working in the same school as the R&D Coordinator for the middle and secondary school. She is a Ph.D. candidate in environmental sciences at Boğaziçi University, İstanbul. She is working in her school to implement a system thinking approach into the middle school curricula via numerical modeling. She is a member of the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey.

“Strategy Implementation for Faculties of Education in Universities in Turkey”

Within the strategic plan of the System Thinking Association – Turkey, one critical part is the inclusion of systems thinking courses in the education teacher training programs of education faculties at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
In this section of the webinar, a systems thinking course designed and implemented for three years in an M.A. program in Learning Sciences will be introduced.

Ülkem Yararbaş, a professor of nuclear medicine, serves on the medical faculty at Ege University. She is one of the founders of the Systems Thinking Association in Turkey. In addition to the elective systems thinking courses she gives to medical school students, she voluntarily supports the activities for the infusion of ST/SD in the education system conducted by System Thinking Association-Turkey.


You can watch the recording here

The Dark Side of Projects: Delays, Disruption, and Disputes

This webinar is free due to the generous contribution of Cooper Associates

The Dark Side of Projects: Delays, Disruption, and Disputes.

Using System Dynamics modeling to resolve high-stakes legal cases

The original author of the project Rework Cycle model and a pioneer of its application to high-stakes legal disputes will present materials and lessons drawn from dozens of successful dispute cases. “The Dark Side of Projects” examines the phenomena of project cost overruns, contractor-customer disputes, and “disruption”, the most contentious (and often largest) part of those disputes.

The “disruption” impacts that dominate so many contract disputes historically have been notoriously difficult to quantify and present persuasively to fact-finders (courts, boards, arbitrators). This in turn leads to significant under-recovery of the real damages. In the course of leading large dispute cases worth billions of dollars, the presenter has seen more equitable resolutions secured, with financial benefits to clients that have been quite large relative to the cost.

For modelers, we introduce the basics of conducting System Dynamics based analyses for project dispute resolution; this is one of the most commercially successful areas of practice for modelers. For business (company and project) leaders who have been (or might yet become) involved in a dispute over project cost responsibility—as well as the attorneys who advise them—we introduce how to employ model-based analyses to more effectively analyze, explain, and recover disruption cost impacts.

About the Presenter

Ken Cooper led the largest consulting practice focused on system dynamics for over twenty years and founded two more companies applying System Dynamics. He has won several best-in-world awards, such as the System Dynamics Society’s Applications Award, and was named an Edelman Laureate (twice) for his work in dispute resolution; The Franz Edelman Award (from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science) recognizes the best practice from among all forms of management science in the world. The first Edelman Laureate awarded Ken’s work on the seminal “Ingalls Shipbuilding case”, the first application of System Dynamics to a major project, and the first System Dynamics use for a large project dispute. This was the first of many successful SD-based dispute analyses Ken has led for executives of major defense and commercial contractors.

Cooper has led hundreds of applications of system dynamics modeling and led the renowned commercial system dynamics consulting practice at MIT spinoff Pugh-Roberts Associates for over 20 years. In 2011 Ken became the only two-time Edelman Laureate for his work, which began with his pioneering work in project modeling and dispute resolution and continued over four decades. The Franz Edelman Award from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) recognizes the best and highest-impact applications of all management science in the world. In 2009 the System Dynamics Society also unanimously selected his work for their Applications Award, recognizing the impact of his successful project modeling at Fluor Corporation with this global award for best application of system dynamics.

Ken was President of Pugh-Roberts Associates, then the largest consulting firm in the field, and Managing Partner of PA Consulting. There he pioneered the use of system dynamics in large-scale project management, and in particular the resolution of very large contractual disputes.  Ken has led the modeling of hundreds of projects and programs, including dozens of naval ships in the US and UK, the B2 stealth bomber, the F18 E/F fighter, the AMRAAM missile, the Peace Shield air defense system, the Cross-Channel Tunnel, power plants, refineries, and many other mega-projects. In all, Ken has led the modeling of over one-quarter trillion dollars of projects and programs.

Ken also has led major consulting assignments to solve high-stakes problems and guide corporate strategy for senior clients in several industries, including aerospace, automobiles, banking, bioscience, construction, shipbuilding, and telecommunications. His clients have included executives at MasterCard, Raytheon, Boeing, Fluor Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Ford Motor Company, IBM, and many others.

Ken’s work on business applications of system dynamics has been published extensively and recognized with numerous global awards. Ken was named by the System Dynamics Society as their first Vice President, Professional Practice. He is now semi-retired, working on select consulting cases.

Ken graduated from MIT, where he studied System Dynamics and received his Master’s degree from Boston University.

Applied System Dynamics for Students and Beginners


Several guidelines on the System Dynamics modeling process are found in the literature. While these are rigorous, we have experienced challenges in the use of these existing guidelines in practice, especially where implementation based on the modeling results is critical. In this seminar, we will take you through an integrated system dynamics modeling process which is based on the customized process followed by Eskom SOC with specific elements from the Sustainable Development Programme at Stellenbosch University and Dynamic Strategies. We will also cover the do’s and don’ts when it comes to validation and calibration.

Visit the South African Chapter Website


How to Publish in The System Dynamics Review: The Society Journal

In this webinar, we’ll have an overview of the System Dynamics Review – the academic and scientific journal of our community. You’ll learn about its growing positive performance and impact. We’ll review the process of submitting, revising, and eventually publishing your manuscripts in the Journal, including some tips on what works and what doesn’t work. There should be ample time at the end of the seminar to answer the questions of the participants.

Andreas Größler is a full professor at the Operations Management Department at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, teaching in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Andreas is the Executive Editor of the System Dynamics Review and holds several other leading positions in academic associations, including in the European Operations Management Association, the System Dynamics Society, and the Society for Business and Social Cybernetics. His research focuses on operations strategy, behavioral operations management, and System Dynamics.

Systems Thinking for Pre-College Education

Pre-College SIG Seminar Series consists of periodic online meetings on K-12 education to the Systems Thinking and System Dynamics communities. These virtual activities cover a wide range of topics on K-12 education from many subjects while bringing together academics, teachers, and students together for learning and lively discussion. Our seminars aim to promote and improve skills to effectively apply systems thinking and dynamic computer simulation to K-12 education.  All seminars and recordings are free for both members and the general public.

“Pre-schoolers as Systems Thinkers: Testing the Water”

This study aims to cement the link between systems thinking (ST) and education for sustainability by presenting an example of systems education for young children. A learning framework was designed by developing a systems education guidebook focused on water and a learning framework based on the guidebook. The study was implemented over the course of four weeks with 32 children aged 5-6 in a pre-school in Turkey. To measure the outcomes, two ST assessment instruments (a shared reading and a concept mapping activity with interview protocols) were created. The children were pre-tested and post-tested with the assessment instruments using a mixed-method approach. The results revealed a significant development in the ST skills of the children. Children were more able to define system elements related to water and came to see invisible elements as parts of the system. The learning framework established high-quality causal relations between system elements related to water.

Şebnem Feriver earned her Ph.D. in early childhood education from Middle East Technical University. She has been working as a project manager, senior trainer, and advocacy expert for various national and international social development projects. Her research interests are systems thinking, transformative learning, teacher education, and early childhood education for sustainability.

 “Understanding Composting with Systems Thinking”

In this presentation, examples will be given of learning activities compatible with the Ministry of National Education (MONE) in Turkey and International Baccalaureate (IB)  programs that seek to encourage a systems thinking approach and to develop a new way of understanding for primary years students(6-10 ages). For this activity, behavior over time graphs, stock-flow diagrams and ladders of inference were developed and used as systems thinking tools. During the activity, it was observed that the children were capable of viewing events with the tools provided, understanding these tools, and using them to engage with the subject matter. As a result, they were found to respond more clearly to the questions contained in the International Baccalaureate inquiry program and to be enthusiastic about taking action as individuals.

Özgün Çetinkaya earned her Master’s Degree from Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey on Primary School Teaching. She worked as a Primary Years Program (PYP) Class Teacher for 6 years in Işıkkent Primary School. She is preparing to start a Ph.D. program and her research interest is Systems Thinking Approach in primary years.

“Teaching ‘Energy Conservation’ and ‘Household Waste’ with Systems Thinking Approach”

In 2020-2021 school year, systems thinking based on system dynamics approach and tools (behavior over time graphs and stock-flow diagrams) were introduced in Darüşşafaka Middle School in Turkey. The aim of this prototyping project was to develop and apply activities compatible with outcomes of the Ministry of National Education in Turkey (MONE). In the long term, with tried and tested activities, it will be possible to offer MoNE to include systems thinking in the curriculum of education in Turkey. After training of voluntary science and math teachers on basic systems thinking concepts using Stella Online thru the summer of 2020, topics from the national education curriculum were selected and activities were developed for 6th, 7th and 8th grade. A similar approach is used for selecting students and delivering lessons. In this presentation 2 of these activities will be presented: Energy Conservation and Household Waste. We think these two activities are good examples for an introduction to systems thinking with simple numerical models.

Sena Yıldız Değirmenci earned her Master’s Degree from the University of Oulu, Finland on Learning, Education, and Technology. With a physics teacher background, she worked as a science teacher in Darüşşafaka Middle School. As a teacher and learning specialist, her research interests are systems thinking and learning through technology.
Görkem Girgin completed his undergraduate studies in physics at Istanbul University. He has been a science teacher at Darüşşafaka Middle School for six years. He has been working on Systems Thinking at school for two years.