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/


Job Opportunity: Funded PhD studentship – Sustainability and Health Transformation of the Urban Built Environment

Category : Job Opportunities

UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

28 May 2020

UCL are accepting applications for a funded PhD studentship aiming to support collaborative and system-wide decision-making, with a focus on organisation studies, sustainability and health in the built environment. Global uncertainties such as climate change pose complex challenges for the urban built environment, environmental sustainability and people’s health. Ill-designed strategies frequently cause unintended consequences. A multiplicity of interdependencies makes decision-making on the urban built environment highly complex. Existing models and tools are inadequate to deal with such complexity. This project will help transform decision-making in the urban built environment towards a more collaborative and system-wide approach. 

Further details: see the advert for the studentship.

Applications welcomed until 18 June 2020. As the studentship primarily targets European students, you need to comment on your eligibility to the studentship in your application.


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


System Dynamics meets COVID-19

Category : Events , Recent

An online event show-casing applications of SD modelling in response to the current pandemic.

Hosted by the UK Chapter of the System Dynamics Society, and incorporating its AGM

9:30 for 10am start on 28th May 2020 with the AGM at 12:15pm

Please sign up at Eventbrite

The event is free

The event will briefly describe how system dynamics is suited to the modelling of an epidemic and a generic approach that will be reflected in three key contributions:
 
Kim Warren, Strategy Dynamics Ltd, will describe his work with Maurice Glucksman with the Pan-African Network for Rapid Research, Response & Preparedness for Infectious Diseases Epidemic (PANDORA) entitled Local outbreaks and local issues need local models.

Mark Gregson, Consultant with the Whole Systems Partnership, will outline his work in the Kent & Medway system entitled Reflections on developing a whole system demand and capacity model for an Integrated Health and Care System in the UK.

Erik Pruyt, Center for Policy Exploration Analysis and Simulation in the Netherlands, will speak on 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.


2020 Conference Presentations

Category : Conference , Presentation

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. The slides and videos for this online conference are now available:

2020 conference

If you want to revisit the talks you heard, or, if you missed our meeting, watch for the first time, please use the above link to access the YouTube videos.

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 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


UK Chapter, 2020 Online Conference Thursday, April 2nd

Category : Conference , Recent

The UK chapter’s online conference takes place on 2 April 2020. The full programme is available at http://systemdynamics.org.uk/annual-gathering/.

The webinar will start from 09:30 for participants to login and test their connection, with the getting started with SD session with Kim Warren taking place in the morning, and the afternoon programme of speakers commencing at 13:30.

Donations are welcome from participants to cover the running costs of this event via Eventbrite: 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uk-chapter-system-dynamics-society-2020-online-conference-april-2nd-tickets-99833416436

Join the webinar using this link:
 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2873516870384126476

Participants will be asked to provide their name and email address when joining (the same email address used to register on Eventbrite)


Postponed UK Chapter Conference: Online Event 2nd April 2020 and Rescheduled Conference for 2021

Category : Conference , Events , Recent

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was taken to postpone our annual conference, which was planned for 2nd and 3rd of April in Glasgow. We are delighted to be able to announce that we have rescheduled the event to take place at the University of Strathclyde on Thursday, 25th and Friday, 26th  March 2021. Further information follows:

  • If you have booked a ticket to the event, you are entitled to a full refund – please contact treasurer@systemdynamics.org.uk to arrange.
  • If you do not seek a refund, you can use the purchased ticket for the 2021 conference.
  • We plan to run an online event on Thursday, 2nd April, which will feature a selection of presentations that were planned for the Strathclyde conference. If you have booked a ticket for the conference, you will be sent a link to the event, whether or not you seek a refund. We would appreciate a small donation if you do attend the online event to cover the costs of providing it. Donations can be provided through Eventbrite HERE, either before or after the online event has taken place.
  • If you would like to attend the online event and you have not already booked a ticket, then making a donation through the Eventbrite site  HERE will result in you being sent a link.


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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