Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the System Dynamics field
Special Issue of System Dynamics Review “Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the System Dynamics field” has just been published. The guest editors of this issue are John D. Sterman and Nelson P. Repenning, professors at MIT Sloan School of Management.
John Sterman in his introductory article – System dynamics at sixty: the path forward – argues that the contributions of Jay Forrester, the founder of the ﬁeld of system dynamics field, are widely misunderstood. The main lesson of Forrester’s several careers does not lie in the particular tools or methods he developed, but in the need for continual innovation to solve important and difficult problems. Many in the field continue to develop models the way Forrester did in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, adhering to outdated methods for model development, testing and communication, and closing themselves off from important developments in other fields. Worse, many don’t use, or teach, the processes and practices Forrester described that are of enduring and fundamental importance. The result is a gap between best practice and what is often done. In his paper John Sterman outlines developments in other disciplines that system dynamics practitioners must embrace to close the gap and improve the rigor, reliability and impact of system dynamics research and practice. John Sterman introduces the papers in this special issue as examples of important contributions to the field on the path forward to show how great, high impact system dynamics can, and is, being done.
This special issue includes work by Felicjan Rydzak, a member of the Centre for Systems Solutions, in the area of organizational transformation (Felicjan Rydzak and Paul A. Monus: Shaping organizational network structure to enable sustainable transformation).