Category Archives: Past Events

Past Event: 2013 Conference

Category : Past Events

Annual Conference 2013

THEME : Planning for Uncertain Futures
VENUE: London South Bank University
DATE: Thursday 7th February  – Friday 8th February

Topics and Speakers:

Assessing risk and return: the case of an innovative lending product.
Santiago Braje (ING)

Dynamic Modelling of Telecommunication Service Delivery
Michael Lyons (BT)

Robust workforce planning: dealing with uncertainty.
Andrew Woodward and Graham Willis (Centre for Workforce Intelligence) and Siôn Cave (Decision Analysis Services Ltd.)

The dynamics of waste prevention: building evidence to support policy making at Defra.
Rachel Freeman (Sustain/University of Bristol), Maria Angulo (DEFRA)

Modelling pastoral policy development to alleviate poverty in rural Kenya. Sally Brailsford and Saidimu Leseeto (University of Southampton)

Group model building workshop.
Etiënne Rouwette (Radboud University Nijmegen)

The European Masters programme in system dynamics.
Etiënne Rouwette (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Previous Events

 


Geoff Coyle Event: Videos

Welcome to the Geoff Coyle Commemorative Event
Kim Warren, President International System Dynamics Society

Welcome on behalf of Department of Earth Science and Engineering
Professor John Monhemius, Roy Wright Professor of Mineral and Environmental Engineering

The Pioneering Work of the Bradford Group
Professor Eric Wolstenholme

The Diaspora of People Inspired by Geoff
Jonathan Coyle

The View from One of Geoff’s Students
Dr Bob Cavana,  Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Encounters with Geoff and His Work: Samples from a Timeline
Dr John Morecroft, London Business School

Contributions from the floor
Professor Graham Winch, Professor Brian Dangerfield, Mike Kennedy, Tony Troy

 

 


Report from the 2012 Annual Gathering

Annual Gathering 2012

THEME : Exploring Alternative Futures.
VENUE: London South Bank University
DATE: 9th/10th February 2012

The 14th Annual Gathering of the UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Chapter was held on February 9th and 10th at London South Bank University on the broad theme of ‘Exploring Alternative Futures’.  With an increased attendance from the previous year, there were three main speakers on the afternoon of Thursday 9 February 2012, followed by the Steer Davies Gleave prize presentation.  After an evening meal enjoyed at a nearby Italian restaurant, the Friday sessions included an interactive seminar and a series of short presentations by software vendors, followed by a student colloquium and the AGM.

Modelling a sustainable economy.
Emanuele Campiglio of the New Economics Foundation described work in progress to build a macroeconomic model of the UK economy in order to explore alternatives to existing economic paradigms.  The aim of the project is to explore how a modern developed economy might produce high employment without compromising environmental sustainability.  The concept has been based on Peter Victor’s low-growth system dynamics model of the Canadian economy.  The system dynamics model has been built around a core using conventional economic theory (standard production functions and aggregate demand relationships). Currently the model covers only the UK economy. Future work could include 1) application to other countries 2) explicit inclusion of the banking sector and international trade 3) more detailed modelling of relationships with stock-flow structures to avoid over-use of auxiliary variables.
Modeling a Sustainable Economy

Connecting SD with Strategy and Finance
Richard Stevenson of Cognitus gave his views on why he thought attempts to popularise system dynamics with mainstream management using ‘systems thinking’ and ‘strategy dynamics’ have fallen short.  He believes system dynamics has remained relatively obscure because it has not connected with the hard business realities of value creation and standard financial measurement.  Addressing this gap, the Business Value Cycle is proposed as a universal business model.  Strategy is then viewed as a balanced management of resources to create financial value.  The concept of the Business Value Cycle draws together insights from strategy dynamics, valuation and balanced management. One key idea Richard advocated was to generate outputs from SD models that are directly compatible with reports that finance people are used to seeing.  Richard  illustrated the application of the Business Value Cycle with a case study from the pharmaceutical industries where his approach had helped to make a major disinvestment decision.
Modeling Strategy and Business Value

Place your bets: what’s happening to gold?
Maurice Glucksman and Bianca Granara of Hamilton Ventures conducted real-time research with the audience based on their experience of advising a client on the gold investment market.

The price of gold has been increasing markedly over recent years. Investors often express widely divergent views on how the price might change in future based on speculative and intangible factors but rarely recognise  the long term drivers of supply and demand.

The presentation invited the audience to make predictions to mirror those made on “prediction markets” and then to bet on the future price of gold, using real money. This yielded a distribution of the predicted future price in 2014 that was approximately Normal.  An assessment based on some system dynamics modelling of the industry was then presented and the same question was posed to the audience, who were again invited to bet with real money.   With new information available, the result was a downward skew in the audience’s range of price predictions.  Winners were decided and their winnings collected, but it remains to be seen if their cash will be invested in gold.
What’s happening to gold? Place your bets

Steer Davies Gleave prize presentation:

Symmetric Partnership / Department of Health
The Steer Davies Gleave system dynamics prize is awarded annually for the best application of system dynamics modelling to a topic of wide public interest.  The winning entry this year was from the Symmetric Partnership, for their work on the “Alcohol Systems Model”, carried out for the Department of Health.  The prize was accepted by Douglas McKelvie on behalf of Symmetric Partnership, after which he gave a presentation describing the work.  At its heart was a four stock model that simulated how people move between different states of alcohol dependency, with various costed interventions available to slow down or reverse their transition to increased alcohol use. Douglas showed how the model can be used to assess intervention strategies, comparing outcomes against costs.  Although a spreadsheet model had been available previously, the new model included explicit dynamic relationships, and was capable of showing how there can be delays between initial investment and the resulting benefits, such as savings from fewer hospital admissions.  The model is now available for use by Primary Care Trusts.

Managing strategy in the asset-intensive utilities industry.
On  Friday morning, Bob Thurlby presented work on a four stock model of aging assets based on his extensive experience in the utilities industries.  Managing assets is a matter of balancing the allocation of resources between maintenance, refurbishment and replacement policies while also complying with external regulatory targets for performance.  The audience was invited to experiment with a microworld simulation to attempt to achieve a maximum net cash flow within regulatory constraints.  The session ended with a discussion on emerging threats and the tasks of managing risks and achieving resilience in the face of climate change, cyber-attacks and terrorism.
Risk and Resilience of the Critical National Infrastructure

Presentations by software vendors
Next came a series of presentations from SD software vendors to show how their products are evolving.   The vendors included Insight Maker, Sysdea by Strategy Dynamics Ltd, Goldsim, AnyLogic and Powersim. A paper flyer was distributed describing the new features available in isee Systems’software: ithink and Stella version 10.  An interesting theme was the growing availability of web-based modelling systems requiring no software installation.

Student colloquium
Along with poster presentations by other students, Matt Montgomery of Halcrow presented his work as part of his Engineering Doctorate at the Bristol University Systems Centre on systems-based sustainable design, construction and maintenance in the engineering and infrastructure industries. The “HalSTAR Systems” process enables users to efficiently and effectively identify context specific sustainability related issues and identify their indirect, secondary and cumulative effects. It allows causal loop diagrams to be produced, highlighting systemic behaviour and allowing negative effects to be mitigated and synergies to be enhanced. HalSTAR Systems is being designed into a piece of software which allows inter-project learning and the sharing of knowledge and risks between project teams
UKSD event – A system dynamics approach for sustainability


2012 Gathering; Presentations

Annual Gathering 2012

THEME : Exploring Alternative Futures.
VENUE: London South Bank University
DATE: Thursday 9th February commencing 12.00 – 10th February

Topics and Speakers:

Modeling a Sustainable Economy
Emanuele Campiglio, New Economics Foundation

Modeling Strategy and Business Value
Richard Stevenson

Risk and Resilience of the Critical National Infrastructure
Bob Thurlby

Modeling Business Prospects for Investors
Maurice Glucksman


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Construction Industry Event Presentations

System Dynamics in Construction

“From theory to practice – how the application of system dynamics in construction projects can save time and money”

The UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Society organised a short series of talks looking at the experience of the application of system dynamics to construction projects within the built environment and an introduction to ongoing research and novel applications. Further event details

Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor: Kim Warren

An introduction to how Fluor, a business that takes on the toughest challenges in construction and project management, have applied system dynamics to minimise rework through an understanding of the dynamics of changes to designs and programmes and the associated cost savings that this can bring.   Ken Cooper Fluor summary

Ken Cooper has not only agreed to making his full slide-set available, but also provided a couple of other important papers:

Managing_Projects_at_Fluor

Four Failures in Project Management– Kenneth Cooper

Practical lessons of system dynamics: Ian Sinclair

Practical lessons learnt from the application of system dynamics approaches to major construction projects. Ian is a Director of Navigant Consulting and is a Quantity Surveyor with over 40 years in the construction industry. Amongst other projects Ian has been involved with the Channel Tunnel project and London 2012 Olympics.  Presentation to SD Society December 2011

Building Infrastructure Resilience with System Dynamics: Matt Montgomery

How system dynamic theory has been utilised to identify how sustainability issues are related allowing risks and potential benefits to be managed to build resilience in infrastructure systems.  UKSD event – A systems approach for improving infrastructure


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Event: System Dynamics in Construction

System Dynamics in Construction

Date: 6th of December 2011
Venue: Halcrow, Elms House, 43 Brook Green, Hammersmith, W6 7EF
Time: 6:00pm start, arrivals from 5:30pm for tea and coffee, talks finished by 7pm.

Wine, nibbles and networking to close.

“From theory to practice – how the application of system dynamics in construction projects can save time and money”

The UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Society invites you to a short series of talks looking at the experience of the application of system dynamics to construction projects within the built environment and an introduction to ongoing research and novel applications.

Originally developed in the 1950s to help corporate managers improve their understanding of industrial processes, system dynamics is currently being used throughout the public and private sector for policy analysis and design.

In the past few years the application of system dynamics to construction projects has helped Fluor and its clients save over £800m. The future applications being developed look to utilise system dynamic theory to help build resilience in our large scale infrastructure systems whilst meeting our sustainability objectives. These talks aim to give a brief introduction to highlight the potential benefits.

Talks:

Managing the Dynamics of Projects and Changes at Fluor: Kim Warren

An introduction to how Fluor, a business that takes on the toughest challenges in construction and project management, have applied system dynamics to minimise rework through an understanding of the dynamics of changes to designs and programmes and the associated cost savings that this can bring.

Practical lessons of system dynamics: Ian Sinclair

Practical lessons learnt from the application of system dynamics approaches to major construction projects. Ian is a Director of Navigant Consulting and is a Quantity Surveyor with over 40 years in the construction industry. Amongst other projects Ian has been involved with the Channel Tunnel project and London 2012 Olympics.

Building Infrastructure Resilience with System Dynamics: Matt Montgomery

How system dynamic theory has been utilised to identify how sustainability issues are related allowing risks and potential benefits to be managed to build resilience in infrastructure systems.


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Networking Event in London

System Dynamics Networking Meeting

Date: 21st November 2011
Venue: Crosse Keys
Time: 6:00pm start, presentation at 7pm.

We will be holding a networking meeting in London on November 21st from 6pm onwards. It will be held at The Crosse Keys, 9 Gracechurch Street, City of London, London, EC3V 0DR, food and cash bar available. booking is not necessary.

At this meeting we will have a presentation:

Keeping the Ship Afloat: Modeling Disruption, Risk and Resilience: – Dr Robert Thurlby

Bob is an expert in the strategic issues facing the utilities industries, notably the effective long-term management of their costly networks of physical assets. In recent years, this range of issues has seen a growing focus on major risks faced by such firms, arising from climate change, criminality, terrorism and other factors. After an extensive career within the industry, including senior positions with BT and Serco, Bob now advises large European utilities companies and industry regulators.

We hope to see you there!


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13th Annual Gathering of the Chapter

Annual Gathering 2011

THEME : How System Dynamics Can Help Get (Much) More From Less.

VENUE: London South Bank University

DATE: Thursday 10th Friday – 11th February 2011

Topics and Speakers:

Modeling for Cost Reduction in Pharmaceuticals.
Lee Jones, Ventana Systems UK

Lee discusses recent work in support of cost reduction in the pharmaceutical industry,citing a number of examples from high-level strategy to drug product manufacturing. A Product Life Cycle model is discussed in detail, and lessons learned from interacting with senior management at a large multi-national pharmaceutical company are presented.

Managing the Bathtub of Tax Debt.
Nick Whitehouse, HM Revenue and Customs

The good, honest, hard-working people of the UK owe HMRC about £20bn (yes, billion) in tax debts at any given time. Ministers have become more and more interested in getting hold of some of that cash. However, the level of understanding of how the debt balance actually works – and therefore what we can and cannot do to reduce it – was limited. To improve that, we started with some analytical basics (considering marginal impacts, not including debts that don’t actually exist), then moved on to creating an all-singing, all-dancing system dynamics model of debt. The model covers inflows, outflows, feedback, and the impacts of debt age, value & type, staff changes, process changes, and the advantages of using hired goons wielding baseball bats.

This talk explained the basics of the model, and show how to stretch an analogy to bursting point (and way beyond).

Increasing Software Development Productivity in a Major IT Corporation.
Sîon Cave Mirek Gliniecki, Qinetiq PLC

The development of software is a dynamic and complex problem. Elements of the key software development tasks can be automated to improve end quality and free up resource capacity. For example, performing software tests can be a laborious activity which if automated can be carried out quickly and without tester errors. However, developing automation takes time and is more cost effective for applications with a long shelf life. This presentation describes an innovative System Dynamics based strategy tool produced for a multinational IT corporation in order to assess the optimum level of automation to be used in the development of a software application.

Agent-based Modeling of the Economic Crisis.
Paul Ormerod, Volterra Consulting.

The main difference between agent-based and system dynamics models is that in ABMs, individuals in a popular are heterogeneous, whereas SD stocks assign equal characteristics to all members. Much work on ABMs in economics attempts to ‘fit’ the models to historic patterns, leading to very large models, whereas a more appropriate aim would be to mimic key features of events. A key feature of boom and bust cycles that an ABM can capture well is the spread or containment of optimism and pessimism among a network of connected agents.

The Steer Davies Gleave Prize:

Implementing the Comprehensive Spending Review in home care for older people
Peter Lacey, Whole System Partnership

The UK Chapter Student Prize

Understanding empty property management in a local government housing department
Rhys Lewis, Caerphilly County Borough Council


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Networking meeting held in London

In addition to networking we plan to have a discussion based on the topic “Sharing recent successes from our SD work”. On this occasion we used a discussion format and everyone contributed, leading to a lively and interesting evening.

To be informed of future events please sign up for our mailing list.


Networking meeting held in Manchester

Networking meeting held in Manchester, included presentation by Lee Jones of Ventana Systems: System Dynamics to Boost Innovation.

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