Category Archives: News

A Vaccine Roll-Out Planning Model

Category : News

An announcement from Strategy Dynamics

Combatting COVID-19 has moved on. Now is the pleasant task of planning to roll out the vaccines! Thousands of analysts are struggling right now to solve this with spreadsheets, but this is another local challenge best-handled with a dynamic model, like the one offered by Strategy Dynamics at http://sdl.re/VaccineRolloutDemo. This demo explains the purpose of the local COVID-19 vaccine roll-out model and how it works.  Give it a try and share it with anyone who could use it

Kim Warren (Strategy Dynamics)


4 Week Competition for Young People

Category : News , Students

Just launched! … a 4-week competition – yes, with prizes! – for any upper-school or University teams to answer for their chosen area – city, town, region –  “Lockdown-2 – how deep, how long?” 

Teams will follow the simple classes in the COVID-19 modelling course then use the localisable COVID-19 model to explain how the outbreak has progressed in their area, assess the impact lockdown-2 needs to have on contact-rates, then estimate how the outbreak may progress from there – trying to avoid a 3rd wave.

Everything is explained and linked-to in the article at sdl.re/COVIDcompetition.


Covid 19 Localisation Modelling – Background

In March in response to what seemed to be a big gap in the Government’s strategy.  We founded The Covid 19 Localisation Modelling.  We are a volunteer organisation  with about 100 contributors with multidisciplinary expertise.   We have created this course so young people can learn about Covid 19 and how to manage it in Local areas.  We believe it is very important to get young people involved so we created a free online course to teach young people how to model the outbreak in local areas.   Localisation is very important because living conditions and the progress of the viral outbreak are very different in every neighbourhood:   St Johns Wood vs Hackney;  Finchley is vs Chelsea;  Ealing vs Marylebone — all different.  And that extends across the UK:  Bristol vs Manchester; Birmingham vs York, Brighton vs Hull, etc — all different.   Because of this we believe each local can reap big benefits from having its own localised strategy.  

The complication is while Government can declare lockdowns, the effectiveness is only as good as the compliance and here in the UK compliance is, well, bad.   The most difficult cases are areas where people simply do not have the resources to stick to lockdowns, that is genuinely tragic because as we have seen the BAME communities have been most affected, partly because of the need to keep generating income and this puts them in harm’s way.   Less upsetting but equally difficult is, frankly, people are getting weary of lockdowns and all the restrictions, especially young people.   We have analysed this in detail in dozens of locations including London and young people circulating more freely is a major contributor to why we have surge in cases now and why we are in a lockdown.

What can be done about this?   We believe engaging young people in the debate and the analysis instead of just dictating to them.  The evidence is this is a very powerful lever for positive change: we have seen it happen.   We have been working constantly on an initiative to help young people understand what is happening with Covid 19 in local areas and have had much success internationally.   

  • We are working with 3 student interns at MIT in Cambridge Ma USA through the MISTI and IAP programs.  They are currently evaluating Covid 19 management plans and the issue of coordinating term schedules with other universities using the migration structures in our model.  They will be working on scale up and AI/Machine Learning later.
  • A group of University students in Mumbai just published this article under our guidance
  • We are presenting at a career development panel for Gather, the alumni network for Junior Achievement on Thursday (Junior Achievement have 100million members)
  • We have been working with other students in Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Greece, Dominican Republic, Haiti and many cities in the USA.

A notable exception has been in the UK.   Although are engaged extensively with the NHS Analyst community and we have worked with a handful of students here in the UK we have not succeeded in scaling up the way we think would really make a big difference.

We want to try to change that so we have launched a UK Covid 19 Lockdown challenge for young people last weekend.   The competition runs for 4 weeks in step with the lockdown and will be judged by a panel of experts.  Prizes are being awarded for the best analysis in two age groups:  Secondary school age and post-Secondary School age up to 24.


The Local-COVID-Course and Model

Category : News

A team of simulation modellers, supported by disease experts, has created an easy-to-use model of COVID-19 outbreaks. It can be ‘localised’ to any defined region, to answer basic questions:

What is happening around here

How might the outbreak play out?

How can the future be best-managed?  

The developers want to ‘democratise’ COVID policy by putting this model in the hands of millions of citizens, especially young people, so that anyone can answer those questions. A short online course at

covid-19-localisation-modelling.thinkific.com 

designed by young people who actually used the model for their communities – explains basic epidemic principles and how to use the model. Please take a look and if you think it could be useful, please share it, tweet it, Facebook it … 

 The model (at sdl.re/COVIDmodel):

relies on published research evidence, 

has been matched to models used by Governments, 

has been calibrated to a wide range of localities –

from cities like Jakarta and New York to smaller towns to city-slums and their surrounding regions. 

is totally transparent – every item is shown as time charts and every element can be seen and checked.

The developers are working with Foundations, NGOs, Healthcare Organisations, Governments and Commercial organisations to complement other pandemic-strategy efforts and understand issues relating to local areas that national models can’t address. 

The course and model are free for personal use. For any commercial need, please contact localisationvolunteer.mg@gmail.com.

Thank you : Kim Warren and Maurice Glucksman

Tel:+44 7802 485869 | LinkedIn profile

The local-COVID-course and model
Dynamic modeling course | Sheetless modeling software | YouTube Channel


UK Government Systems Thinking Blog

Category : News

Systems Thinking is the blog of the Systems Unit in the Cabinet Office. The Systems Unit wants to help people across the public sector apply systems thinking to complex problems. To find out more about how the team is exploring this approach to improve people’s lives visit https://systemsthinking.blog.gov.uk/


Summer Newsletter 2020

Category : News , Recent

System Dynamics meets COVID-19

On the morning of the 28th May the UK Chapter of the SD Society held an AGM with a difference by turning it into an opportunity to showcase modelling work in support of COVID-19 responses.  After a brief demonstration of how a stock and flow model provides a natural basis for the spread of a virus, over 80 participants in the online session were introduced to three examples of applied SD modelling in the context of COVID-19. Speakers: 

  • Kim Warren, Strategy Dynamics Ltd;
  • Mark Gregson, Consultant with the Whole Systems Partnership;
  • Erik Pruyt, Center for Policy Exploration Analysis and Simulation in the Netherlands.

Watch all the presentations
Read the report and access PowerPoint slides.


UK Chapter Annual Conference 2020

On April 2nd this year, the chapter held a very successful online conference, replacing the two-day one that had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you want to revisit the talks you heard, or, if you missed our meeting, you can watch the conference on YouTube. Individual talks can also be accessed on our YouTube channel.

Details of conference

Although we were disappointed not to hold the Glasgow meeting this year, the good news is that next years’ conference will be at the same venue: Strathclyde University on 25-26th March 2021. We look forward to seeing you next year in Glasgow.


Outstanding Contribution Award

At the 2020 conference, Kim Warren was awarded for his outstanding contribution to system dynamics in the United Kingdom.

Kim Warren is an experienced strategy professional, teacher and writer. He has held senior strategy roles in business and academic positions at the London Business school for over 20 years, teaching on MBA and Executive programmes.

Read more …


System Dynamics meets COVID-19: Report

Category : Events , News

On the morning of the 28th May the UK Chapter of the SD Society held an AGM with a difference by turning it into an opportunity to showcase modeling work in support of COVID-19 responses.  After a brief demonstration of how a stock and flow model provides a natural basis for the spread of a virus, over 80 participants in the online session were introduced to three examples of applied SD modelling in the context of COVID-19.  The talks took us from Manilla, via the garden of England in Kent down the Greenwich Meridian (roughly) to Namibia and then to Peru!  

In each case the presenters described the rapid adoption of SD modelling to support decision making, highlighting the importance of local models that pick up both the distinctive nature of demographics and the policies open to leaders.  Other themes to emerge included the highly sensitive nature of epidemic models, particularly in the early stages of spread and when the precise characteristics relating to infectivity and spread and novel, which made it vital to use an approach such as system dynamics in which there is the opportunity for rapid iteration of model versions and the transparency of model structure and behaviour to ensure engagement of key decision makers.

The talks are now available below along with pdf copies of the presentation material.

Video of meeting

Kim Warren, Strategy Dynamics Ltd. Local outbreaks and local issues need local models. SLIDES

Mark Gregson, Whole Systems Partnership. Reflections on developing a whole system demand and capacity model for an Integrated Health and Care System in the UK. SLIDES

Erik Pruyt, Center for Policy Exploration Analysis and Simulation in the Netherlands, Aggregated Systems Models towards Integrated Assessment Models linking COVID19 Epidemics, Economics, Livelihood across National, Regional and Local Scales: the Cases of Namibia, the Netherlands, and Peru. SLIDES


Outstanding Contribution Award 2020

Category : Awards , News , Recent

Kim Warren

At the 2020 conference, Kim Warren was awarded for his outstanding contribution to system dynamics in the United Kingdom.

Kim Warren is an experienced strategy professional, teacher and writer. He has held senior strategy roles in business and academic positions at the London Business school for over 20 years, teaching on MBA and Executive programmes. He has held visiting positions at several international academic institutions and has written over twenty publications and books.

Initially graduating with a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London, he subsequently obtained an MBA and a PhD in Strategic Management at the London Business School. In 2005, he won the prestigious Jay Wright Forrester Award for his book Competitive Strategy Dynamics.

Kim has been actively involved in Systems Dynamics for many years. He served on the policy council of the UK chapter of the System Dynamics Society from 2007 to 2011, becoming president in his last year. He has presented over twelve times at the chapter conference. He was president of the International System Dynamics Society in 2013, serving on its policy council for five years. Kim has been director of Strategy Dynamics Ltd since 1994 and has taught numerous practitioners using his Sysdea software, an innovative tool for agile SD model development. His introduction to system dynamics continues to be a popular feature of the UK Chapter conference.

Kim has asked us to reproduce his thanks for receiving this award:

Dear UK-Chapter members. 

I was so surprised by the Award that I totally forgot to say something very important. Not only has it been a great pleasure knowing and working with the great people in the UK Chapter over past years, you all have taught me so much too. 

To start with, it’s all John Morecroft’s fault that I got into system dynamics at all 🤗 – thanks John. And rather than risk leaving anyone out of the long, long list of people I have learned from over the years, including newcomers to the field, please just consider yourself duly thanked.

Best wishes to all in these difficult times. 

Kim


POSTPONED: UK Chapter Conference 2-3 April 2020, Glasgow

Category : Conference , News , Recent

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the UK Policy Council of the System Dynamics Society has had to postpone our annual conference planned for Glasgow this year. You will be entitled to a refund of your conference fees (please contact treasurer@systemdynamics.org.uk). We are exploring the possibilities of a shortened online conference to be held on Thursday 2 April 2020 at a reduced cost which could be taken from your refund should you wish to participate. More details will be announced by Thursday March 19th.


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Winter Newsletter 2020

Category : Conference , News , Recent

SD UK Chapter Conference 2-3 April 2020

This conference has been postponed. Please read the statement: http://systemdynamics.org.uk/postponed-uk-chapter-conference-2-3-april-2020-glasgow/

Technology and Innovation Centre

Book Launch, Edinburgh 12 Feb 2020

Eric Wolstenholme and Douglas McKelvie invite you to the launch of their new book, “The Dynamics of Care” (published by Springer, 2019). Please join them from just after 5.00pm on Wednesday 12 February at The Melting Pot, 4th Floor for 5.30 start. Read more here…  Also, read about their workshop: The Courage to Hold Unconventional Opinions at the same venue at 2pm.


Policy Council Vacancies

The policy council is responsible for the day-to-day running of the UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, our conference, networking events and the promotion of the system dynamics methodology in the United Kingdom. We currently have two vacancies for policy council members. Could this be for you? Do you feel you could help us fulfil the aims of the System Dynamics Society in the UK? 

Policy council members are volunteers, with a wide range of backgrounds in industry, consultancy, public service and academia. You do not need to be an expert practitioner. We have council members with different levels of experience and different approaches to the methodology.

If interested, please contact us on info@systemdynamics.org.uk for more information.


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Book Launch: The Dynamics of Care – Understanding People Flows in Health and Social Care

Category : Events , News , Recent

Edinburgh, 12/2/2020, 5.00 for 5.30pm

Authors: Eric Wolstenholme & Douglas McKelvie

Venue: The Melting Pot, 4th Floor, Thorn House, 5 Rose Street, EDINBURGH EH2 2PR .

Date & Time: Wednesday 12 February 2020, 5.00 for 5.30pm

Book Launch Invitation

Eric Wolstenholme and Douglas McKelvie invite you to the launch of their new book, “The Dynamics of Care” (published by Springer, 2019). Please join us from just after 5.00 on Wednesday 12 February at The Melting Pot, 4th Floor. We will start with some refreshments then, shortly after 5.30, Eric and Douglas will be joined by Donald Scott to introduce some themes from the book, with time for discussion. The formalities should be over by 6.30, and you are welcome to stay until 7.00. Copies of the book will be on sale and we will be happy to sign these, or bring any copies you have already purchased and we will sign these too!

To register for the book launch, please use our contact form.


Workshop Invitation

From 2.00 at the same venue, Eric, Douglas and Donny Scott are organising a free workshop as part of the Scottish Government’s Firestarter Festival. The workshop is entitled The Courage to Hold Unconventional Opinions and will include the opportunity for participants to have a hands-on experience of working with some computer models. The target audience for this event is people with little background in building models and places are limited  – this is not an event for expert modellers!

Further details of workshop (including how to register)


More about Eric’s and Douglas’ Book

The book is a compendium of insights, distilled from numerous projects, to shed light on some of the most persistent issues of the day in health and social care. The work demonstrates the importance of embedding the concept of flow into everyday health and social care thinking and creates insights into people’s journeys through different conditions and treatments. It suggests that improving throughput across agencies is the way to improving the performance of health treatment, whereas increasing capacity is the key to improving the performance of social care by retaining independent living. Of course, by increasing social care capacity, we unblock and unlock bottlenecks in the health care system. We need to explore that interconnection, and system dynamics simulation is our contribution.

We argue that balancing health and social care provision can eliminate the many stressful strategies hospitals have to undertake when faced with high demands, and this is a win-win scenario in terms of patients, staff and costs.

Moreover, we show there is a need for better understanding of the dynamics of population ageing, the dynamics of health conditions, workforce planning, and the provision of better, integrated information systems. The book is intended to be a valuable resource for practitioners, clinicians, managers and academics in health, social work, public health and public policy in many countries.

Douglas adds: Eric, one of the founders of System Dynamics in the UK with an international reputation, is my mentor and friend. I learned how to think systemically and build models by working as his apprentice. I am delighted that my Scotland-based friends and collaborators will have the opportunity to meet him and benefit from his insights.

For more information, follow the link to Springer.


What people have said about the book

“A recent report in the British Medical Journal (Global Health) addressed the issue of health system modelling research, emphasising that models should capture the dynamic interactions between the main health system components and acknowledge constraints. This new book by Eric Wolstenholme and Douglas McKelvie describes a methodology (system dynamics) which eminently satisfies that call. Through a number of examples distilled from their extensive consultancy roles in health and social care, they urge a move away from considering specific departments, to a consideration of coupled health systems which transcend organisational boundaries, where inter-connections, inter-dependencies, flows and stocks become the new perspective instead. Those involved in planning for improved service delivery in health and social care can now learn how to rehearse their ideas in silico by deploying simulations which capture the nuances of health systems and can leverage counter-intuitive policy responses.” (Brian Dangerfield, School of Management, University of Bristol, UK)

“Wolstenholme and McKelvie bring two lifetimes of award-winning experience in applying system dynamics to the creation of this new book. In spite of amazing advances in all areas of medical science our medical system as a whole is facing multiple crises. These problems arise from how components of care are organized into a coherent overall system of care. Focused on flows and throughput as key analytic concepts, this new book condenses and focuses insights from over 80 empirical studies within a coherent analytical frame.  All of us interested in and concerned about the cost and quality of maintaining a health population need to read and come to grips with the points that they are making in this important new book.” (David F. Andersen, O’Leary Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York)

“This very welcome book offers the hope of sound and sustainable solutions to persistent and serious problems that not only cause untold misery to millions but also impose considerable costs in many societies. The exceptional work illustrates that it is now feasible to simulate most management and policy challenges we face. These working, quantified simulations are powerful because they mimic the observable behaviour of the systems we want to better-manage. They allow us to experiment, boldly and at trivial cost, with software facsimiles of the real world, rather than on the real world itself. This potential is now recognised in the UK Government report “Computational modelling: Blackett review”, which makes clear that every executive, advisor and policy-maker, in every field of endeavour, should understand what such simulations can do and know how to implement and exploit them.” (Kim Warren, Managing Director Strategy Dynamics, London, UK)

“Since its inception, the NHS has become one of the great unchanging features of the British landscape. The flip side of such permanence is its inability to move with the times and the great frustration of successive governments has been its imperviousness to change in the way that revolutionised air travel or manufacturing. In this timely book, Eric and Douglas peel back the mystique around care delivery. They introduce two key concepts, feedback and flow, and show why any attempt to modernise delivery will fail without carefully responding to these underlying principles. The strength of this book is in the weight of examples culled over many years and explained in the light of two lifetimes of practical experience.” (Terry Young, Professor Emeritus of Health Care Systems, Brunel University, London and Director, Datchet Consulting)


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