From insights to action: Resilience to global problems
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 39th 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.
In this year’s conference, we will explore how System Dynamics allows us to generate insight into the drivers of problems and the design of solutions in highly interconnected dynamic systems. Some of the current problems that the world faces (such as COVID-19, climate change, poverty, etc.) are of such complexity that it is nearly impossible to build adequate insight without structured approaches like System Dynamics. The 2021 International System Dynamics Conference will include rigorous dialogue and exchange of ideas about resilience to global problems, how to design solutions to these problems, and how we might turn insight into action.
The Conference attracts a diverse list of speakers from all over the world. They share ideas and stories that inspire and empower attendees.
In the present moment, upskilling has never been more important. Join hands-on workshops that will help you develop valuable skills.
The Conference brings together professionals and organizations shaping the future of System Dynamics. Share your ideas, meet your future project partner, and seek advice from people with great experience.
Paper Submissions Due
Presenter Registration Deadline
Author Notification Deadline
June 1 | Publishing Assistance Workshop – Application Deadline
2021 Submission Window
January 27 – March 25
Countdown to Paper Submission Deadline!
From insights to action: Resilience to global problems
The 39th International System Dynamics Conference will explore how System Dynamics allows us to generate insight into the drivers of problems and the design of solutions in highly interconnected dynamic systems. Some of the current problems that the world faces (such as COVID-19, climate change, poverty, etc.) are of such complexity that it is nearly impossible to build adequate insight without structured approaches like System Dynamics. The 2021 International System Dynamics Conference will include rigorous dialogue and exchange of ideas about resilience to global problems, how to design solutions to these problems, and how we might turn insight into action.
The program will include invited as well as contributed sessions. Submissions are welcomed on all topics pertaining to System Dynamics, regardless of whether they easily fit within one or more of the conference threads defined below. We welcome all research and documented consulting activities in System Dynamics including applications of the methodology to solve real-world problems, new technical and software developments, and productive integration of complementary methodologies. Presented papers will include both quantitative and rigorous qualitative work on dynamic problems emphasizing feedback structure and the manner in which it generates behavior. We also welcome different analytic and computational approaches beyond stock and flow modeling, including discrete representations such as agent-based modeling with a focus on system behavior. In addition to the traditional research paper, we also encourage submissions of practitioner applications and work-in-progress. Special proposals for plenary or parallel sessions, panel discussions, roundtables, and other pre- or post-conference activities are encouraged. Proposals for workshops and tutorials are also welcome. If you have ideas for sessions and workshops focused on addressing practical issues in specific commercial or scientific fields, please contact the program chairs.
- COVID-19 (NEW!)
- A.I. & Data Analytics
- Human Behavior
- Information and Knowledge
- Learning and Teaching
- Public Policy
- Stakeholder Engagement
The 2021 conference will include a special COVID-19 thread. This thread will cover all aspects of the pandemic and its consequences, including disease dynamics, economic impacts, human behavior, business impacts, resource and security implications, social disruptions, and other related topics.
Thread Chairs: Mohammad Jalali and Hazhir Rahmandad
The Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics thread features issues or methodologies related to the application or integration of System Dynamics with: Automated Intelligence, Big Data, Data Science, Predictive Analytics or Machine Learning.
Thread Chairs: Billy Schoenberg and Chintan Vaishnav
The Business thread features applications of System Dynamics in businesses and organizations including profitability, marketing, competitive dynamics, product launches, project dynamics, and accounting.
Thread Chairs: Scott Rockart and Warren Farr
The Economics thread features papers improving understanding of economic dynamics including macroeconomics, microeconomics, trade, business regulation, economic development, economic policy, insurance, and risk management.
Thread Chairs: Oleg Pavlov and Dave Wheat
The Environment thread emphasizes dynamics of and policy for the environment including climate change, pollution, environmental regulation, and ecology.
Thread Chairs: Allyson Beall King and Jake Jacobson
The Health thread applies System Dynamics to issues related to health and health care including health policy, health services research, population health, and physiology.
Thread Chairs: John Ansah and David Lounsbury
The Human Behavior thread explores the dynamics in the social environments of families, communities, organizations, culture, and society including individual and social psychology.
Thread Chairs: Shayne Gary and Erika Palmer
The Information and Knowledge thread includes the dynamics of knowledge management, information systems, social network analysis, research & development, invention and innovation.
Thread Chairs: Len Malczynski and Sara Metcalf
The Learning and Teaching thread explores the manner in which system skills are taught and learned including pedagogy, learning experiments, curriculum development, workshop.
Thread Chairs: Diana Fisher and Saras Chung
The Methodology thread welcomes contributions of System Dynamics, modeling and simulation including model development, model analysis, validation, graphical presentation formats, and computational techniques.
Thread Chairs: Jeroen Struben and Yutaka Takahashi
The Operations includes business and other process operations including capacity management, quality control, operations management, supply chains, workflow, queuing, and workforce planning.
Thread Chairs: Burcu Tan and Ed Anderson
The Public Policy thread covers issues including governance, social welfare, equity, justice, political science, urban dynamics, infrastructure, and transportation.
Thread Chairs: Rod MacDonald and Karim Chichakly
The Resources thread addresses the understanding and management of resources including energy, electricity, fuels, food, metals and other renewable and nonrenewable resources.
Thread Chairs: Todd BenDor and Bobby Jeffers
The Security thread investigates issues related to security including defense, conflict, military, insurgency and counterinsurgency, social unrest, disaster management, crime, policing and incarceration.
Thread Chairs: Ignacio Martinez-Moyano and Saeed Langarudi
The Stakeholder Engagement thread emphasizes engaging and influencing stakeholders through participatory activities such as group model building, facilitation, facilitated modeling, games and management flight simulators with emphasis on assessing the impact of the engagement.
Thread Chairs: Etiënne Rouwette and Susan Howick
The Strategy thread focuses on the development, communication and implementation of strategy, including strategic thinking, goal definition, and outcome measures for public and private organizations.
Thread Chairs: Brad Morrison and Nici Zimmermann
Provides a unique opportunity to learn (or review) the basics of System Dynamics and get exposed to real-world applications of the method. Seasoned instructors and teaching assistants provide in-depth instruction in this intensive course covering all aspects of System Dynamics simulation modeling.
A one-day event organized by the Student Chapter of the System Dynamics Society held on the first day of the Conference. It 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.
Provides authors with guidance and expertise in the development of their manuscript for submission to an academic journal. Expert mentors will offer suggestions to authors in navigating the publishing process for their research. It includes short panel presentations about the publication journey and small group discussions that focus on providing authors with practical and developmental suggestions for improving their papers.
Gary Hirsch and Rod MacDonald are organizing these activities that enable participants to obtain one-on-one coaching on specific System Dynamics modeling questions. Questions may relate to a System Dynamics model that you are thinking about, studying, or developing. All levels of modeling background are welcome, from beginner to advanced.
So, should you share your model? Definitely! Authors who are presenting model-based work will have an opportunity to show their model to others and let them interact with it. The Model Expo is a chance to talk to people about how the models work, get important comments, and just show off.
Ideal for networking. Meet peers from different Special Interest Groups, Chapters, Committees, and other groups.
What to schedule a meeting for your group? Contact us!
We will again be hosting the conference virtually via Zoom. It will always be our priority to serve the Society’s members. We deeply care about the health and safety of all who make our community so bright. The uncertainty of the situation does not allow us to ensure the safeness that a live event like the International System Dynamics Conference requires.
The organizers are currently working to deliver a diverse, rich, and enjoyable experience for all participants. And while the current reality does not allow us to be there in person, we will be there virtually. We hope to see you in person soon and we are considering alternatives once it becomes safe to host you live.
2020 bergen | virtual
Our first virtual Conference with over 600 attendees from all over the world. Learning from the Past to Inspire the Future was the theme of our 38th International System Dynamics Conference.
Resilience and sustainability in a changing world was the theme of our 37th International System Dynamics Conference. Sandia National Laboratories was our gracious host while in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Icelandic System Dynamics Center and School of Engineering at the University of Iceland warmly welcomed us in Reykjavík for the 36th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society.