Meet the Modelers: What you always wanted to know about simulation and systems science

By Angelika Schanda
Located in Vienna, Austria
Founder at Art of Cooperation – Institute for Impact Partnerships
European Master in System Dynamics graduate (Class 2013-2015)

The systems science and computer modeling communities are diverse and widely dispersed all across the globe. Therefore, it has always been the mission of this blog to connect people beyond classrooms, organizations, regions and disciplines. We are constantly looking for new ways to create meaningful connections, which is why we are excited to announce the start of a new series of participatory live stream interviews with our authors: “Meet the Modeler”!

In these interviews, your interests and input counts! We’ll be asking Read more ›

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Don’t fall in love with your models, no matter how beautiful they are

By Jonathan Nichols
Located in Lisbon, Portugal
European Master in System Dynamics candidate

In studies using a system dynamics approach, we often build computer models to seek explanations for complex dynamic problems and search for leverage points where we might target our interventions. If our models can reproduce the problematic behaviour we’re interested in, and our model structure is a justifiable approximation for how things work in the real world, we’re off to a good start. However, building a computer model is an iterative process of trial and error, requiring creativity, dedicated research, analytical prowess and the courage to expose the assumptions we might be staking everything on. It is a highly rewarding process, but along the way Read more ›

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New series: “The size of your model doesn’t matter and other deep insights”

By Jonathan Nichols, Igor Oliveira, Khaled Gafaar, and Henrique Beck Valdivia
Located in Lisbon, Portugal / Palermo, Italy
European Master in System Dynamics candidates

“The size of your model doesn’t matter and other deep insights” is a new series beginning this March on the Young Modeler blog. In monthly releases, candidates from the European Master in System Dynamics program will be sharing some of their challenging ideas on modeling and system dynamics. These articles will invite discussion in the run up to the 2018 System Dynamics Conference taking place in Reykjavík, Iceland this summer. Start participating now by subscribing to the blog, sharing this post on your social media platforms, and keep a look-out for the first release! Read more ›

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Making Business Models Dynamic

By Guido Noto
Located in Pisa, Italy

Post-Doc at Institute of Management, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies

Business Models, intended as formal conceptual representations of how an organization functions, are designed to offer a static perspective of value creation processes. This prevents start-up entrepreneurs from framing the complexity, uncertainty and unpredictability of the business sectors in which they operate, Read more ›

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The 34th International System Dynamics Conference

By Bramka Arga Jafino
Master Candidate in Engineering and Policy Analysis
Delft University of Technology

Being introduced to and having fallen in love with System Dynamics back in 2013, I’m excited that I finally will manage to attend the International System Dynamics Conference, #ISDC16, for the first time this year. The conference will be held from July 17 to July 21, 2016 in Delft, The Netherlands. The main theme of the conference is “Black Swans and Black Lies: System Dynamics in the Context of Randomness and Political Power-play”. Academics, consultants, practitioners, students, managers and policy makers from across the globe will discuss their work, especially with regard to how System Dynamics is applied in systems that are full of uncertainties and how the approach is orchestrated in a multi-actor, political context. You can see the numerous works that will be presented in here and the tentative schedule here. Read more ›

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System Dynamics and Strategic Management: love at first sight

By Guido Noto
Located in Palermo, Italy
PhD candidate, Department of Political Sciences and International Relations, University of Palermo

System Dynamics (SD) has been proved to be a useful methodology to support both understanding and learning processes of complex systems and phenomena. Since its origin, SD has been successfully applied to many different fields of studies (e.g., climate change, physics, engineering, environmental sciences, economics, management, and so on). Among these, Strategic Management (SM) has a particular relevance as testified by several streams of research that originate from the combination between SD modelling and SM. Read more ›

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A saber-toothed cat is sitting in your front yard. What will you do next?

By Angelika Schanda
Located in Lebanon, New Hampshire (USA)
European Master in System Dynamics, Class 2013-2015 / isee systems

How humans react when facing an immediate canstockphoto4946198threat is programmed deeply into our brains. The response of humans today is the same as that of humans who – let’s say – faced a saber-toothed cat thousands of years ago. This example is often referred to as a symbol for our deepest instincts. Fear can drive our body and mind to maximum performance and swift action, securing our survival.

But how about more abstract problems such as climate change? They are nothing like meeting a saber-toothed cat. And yet, it seems that last year the abstract challenge has morphed into a more direct threat, as several crises throughout the globe shook us in 2015. Does this closeness evoke a simple fight-or-flight response, or can it become a wake-up call for dealing with global challenges more sustainably? Read more ›

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33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society

By Kay Kim
Master in Public Administration in International Development
Harvard Kennedy School, 2015


Kay Kim (fittingly holding a ‘shrunken earth’ when graduating)

This year, various academics, consultants, practitioners, policymakers and students from around the world will gather in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the 33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts from July 19-23, 2015. They will discuss their research and real-life applications of System Dynamics. Around the theme of “Reinventing life on a Shrinking Earth” participants will explore frameworks to understand business and societal challenges arising from increased interconnectivity. See details in the conference program. Read more ›

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Are we trained to criticize everything?

By R. Maximilian Happach
Located in Stuttgart, Germany
Ph.D. Student, Institute for Diversity Studies in Engineering, University of Stuttgart

European Master in System Dynamics, Class 2010-2012

After finishing the master program in system dynamics and starting working as a Ph.D. student, I recognized that I am quite often trying to find weak spots of theories, research articles, even news and television shows. It is almost like an addiction, I cannot stop focusing on it and I am asking myself if this is normal? In the following, I am presenting a study as one example of many and I chose it because, I had several arguments against this research in mind. I thought I would share the results with you.

I have recently listened to a podcast of the Freakonomics Radio called “Why do people keep having children?”. Read more ›

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New peaks, new perspectives

By Angelika Schanda
Located in Nijmegen, Netherlands
European Master in System Dynamics, Class 2013-2015

After studying systbeginningems thinking for a few years in several guises, I finally got the feeling that I was on to something. Then, on the very last day of the year, I discovered this dusty old book on a friend’s bookshelf: Systems Approaches to Management, Michael C. Jackson (2000). 10 out of 400 pages on system dynamics, as part of a much broader field in which there is still so much to discover. For me this was yet another reminder to bring more diverse perspectives to the blog … good that the year has just started and that there is new inspiration on the horizon! Read more ›

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Upcoming Events
  • 62nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences July 22, 2018 – July 27, 2018 Corvallis, OR, USA Read more:
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  • 10th congress of the European Union for Systemics (UES2018) October 15, 2018 – October 17, 2018 Brussels, Belgium A SYSTEMIC VISION OF THE CRISES: From optimization to change strategy? Read more