Category Archives: Events

2022 Annual Mike Jackson Lecture on Systems Thinking

Category : Events , News

The Fifth Discipline:
Making the Future a Friendly Place for Humankind

Dr Peter Senge

The Centre for Systems Studies, 5/4/22

The Centre for Systems Studies is delighted to announce the 2022 Annual Mike Jackson Lecture on Systems Thinking, which will be delivered by Dr Peter Senge, the internationally acclaimed thought leader, named by the Financial Times as one of The World’s Top Management Gurus.

Read more and sign up

Webinar – System dynamics/systems thinking as a potential research methodology for doctoral research

Category : Events , Networking

Dr. Gimhan Godawatte

Wednesday, March 16th @ 9 am (GMT)

The UK chapter of the SD society is presenting a webinar exploring the potential for SD as a research methodology for doctoral research.

Sign up at Eventbrite

This webinar will focus on:

  • Using SD/ST as a research framework for complex problems
  • Familiarising yourself with the stages of the modelling process
  • Data collection techniques for SD/ST
  • Analysis of data and how qualitative and quantitative data are used in SD/ST


Dr Gimhan Godawatte is an Assistant Professor in Quantity Surveying at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Quantity Surveying, a master’s degree in Construction Project Management, a master’s degree in Quantity Surveying, and a PhD in Construction Management. His current research focuses on the applications of system dynamics and systems thinking for complex issues such as cost overruns, rework, technology adoption in project management

Webinar on Transport and Health

Category : Events , Papers

UK Chapter & Transport SIG SD Society

The UK Chapter and the Transport Special Interest Group of the System Dynamics Society will be co-hosting a webinar on ‘Transport & Health’ in late 2021 and are looking for presenters.

We intend to programme 2-3 presentations of 30 minutes followed by a panel discussion.

Expressions of interest to present from anyone applying system dynamics techniques to practical or theoretical applications related to the interactions between transport and health can be send as a short (c.200 words) summary of your work to by Sunday 31st October.

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.

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 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.

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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)

The Day System Dynamics Came to Edinburgh

Category : Events , Presentation

Douglas McKelvie

The Venn diagram intersection of Edinburgh, System Dynamics and Social Work remarkably has at least two members. And the field of System Dynamics in Scotland has experienced double-digit growth in the past two years; admittedly, causal analysis suggests that this results from John Hayward’s recent move from Wales to Aberfeldy. You can imagine our excitement when the excellent Dartington Service Design Lab invited Professor Peter Hovmand, of the Social Systems Design Lab in St. Louis, to present a lecture in Edinburgh (my home town) in September. This event attracted unprecedented interest for any System Dynamics gathering in Scotland, with around 150 people registered. Then Storm Ali struck, not realising that we don’t do extremes in Edinburgh. Umbrellas were respectfully furled, all trains stopped, flights were cancelled, and Edinburgh-bound colleagues such as Brian Dangerfield were diverted to Glasgow(!) where they joined the longest bus queue in the world, as shown on the BBC News. See if you can spot Brian here:

Nevertheless, Peter’s lecture went ahead, and his explanation about how to use System Dynamics in the context of participative group model building to make sense of a wide range of stakeholder perspectives on children’s social services was well received. Haste Ye Back, Peter. And huge thanks to Tim Hobbs and Dartington for their pioneering work. This is just the beginning.

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2nd Annual Workshop on System Dynamics in Transportation Modelling

Category : Events

The System Dynamics Society Special Interest Group in Transportation (SDS T-SIG) are pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual Workshop on System Dynamics in Transportation Modelling will take place at the University of Leeds, Institute for Transport Studies, UK on April 11th – 12th 2019.

Following from last year’s successful event in Vienna, Austria, this free workshop will consist of a mix of presentations, practical sessions and network / sharing / collaboration building opportunities as well as the SDS T-SIG Annual Meeting. The intention of the workshop is to showcase the range of research and practise being carried out in transport studies and planning using system dynamics (SD) as a modelling method, and it is designed to continue

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Call for Papers, European Transport Conference 2019, Dublin Castle, 9-11 October 2019

The Association of European Transport is delighted to publish the call for papers for ETC 2019 at Dublin Castle.

The Association is keen that the papers presented at the Conference address themes of relevance to the transport policy agenda in Europe and worldwide – from a research, policy or practice angle.

Papers that fit within programme committees’ areas of interest are very welcome. A new Programme Committee on Data was set up for ETC 2018.  This proved popular and we expect further interest in this all-encompassing subject.  The Programme Committees in place for the 2019 conference, and their mission statements, can be found on the Programme committee web page.



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