System Dynamics Summer School
16-18 July 2014 @ TUDelft, Delft, NL


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International System Dynamics Summer School


Overview: A 3-day System Dynamics Summer School will be hosted (July 16-18 2014, Delft) at the venue of the International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC) right before the start of the conference (July 20-24 2014, Delft). The summer school will be taught at three different levels: there will be basic, intermediate and advanced classes for SD students and practitioners. There will also be supervision. The summer school will be taught by an international team of excellent System Dynamics professors and practitioners. Although summer school participants are not required to attend the conference, they are strongly advised to register for the ISDC too, and participate in the PhD colloquium and the post-conference workshop days. This 3-day pre-conference System Dynamics summer school, the 1-day pre-conference PhD Colloquium, the 3-day International System Dynamics Conference, and the 2-day post-conference workshops and master classes provide unparalleled opportunities to introduce newcomers to the field, keep practitioners aware of current advanced developments, and build and expand professional networks. Don't miss miss this opportunity: register as soon as possible!



  • The summer school will be 3 full days ahead of the International System Dynamics Conference (ISDC): from Wednesday 16 July (early morning) until Friday 18 July (evening). See the schedule. On Saturday (19 July) there will also be a half-day social activity for all SDSS participants.
  • The summer school will be taught by an international group of excellent System Dynamics professors. The core teaching team consists of: John Morecroft, Andrew Ford, Yaman Barlas, Hazhir Rahmandad, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, Christian Kampmann, Len Malzinsky, Gonenc Yucel, Wil Thissen, Tusith Islam, George Papachristos, and Erik Pruyt.
  • Since this summer school is non-profit and sponsored in kind by the TUDelft, we are able to offer the summer school at an extremely low registration fee. In addition to the three summer school days with lunches included, the registration fee also covers a joint dinner (Wednesday evening) and a social activity on Saturday 19 July, an additional session during the conference and a half-day session during the post-conference workshop days, participation in the exam and retake exam. Not included are transportation, hotel expenses, dinners during the remainder of the workshop days, nor any other type of expenses.
  • All participants will receive a participation certificate. In addition, there will be an exam / project presentation (at the end of the 3-day summer school) and a retake exam / presentation (during the workshop days of the ISDC) for those who want to earn more than just a participation certificate. Note that credits need to be requested separately.
  • The summer school will offerat three different levels for three different target audiences in four different tracks (see below):
    1. BASIC LEVEL: Newcomers to the System Dynamics field who want to quickly acquire the necessary basic/intermediate System Dynamics modeling skills to get started and/or need good advice/supervision to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls can participate in one of two tracks (SD101 or OpSPol). After participating in one of these basic courses, participants will be able to make and use their own System Dynamics models and will know which common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.
    2. INTERMEDIATE: Those with basic SD skills can join the Intermediate Project Track (SD102) or the Basic/Intermediate Track in Operations, Strategy and Policy (OpSPol). Those in need of intermediate supervision (e.g. regarding their PhD research) can be supervised by experienced supervisors.
    3. ADVANCED: System Dynamicists or students in System Dynamics who want to take advanced topics in System Dynamics and/or are in need of supervision/intervision regarding their SD research (PhD or otherwise). During this 3-day summer school, participants will be able to take a series of advanced System Dynamics modelling classes (see Summer School Schedule) and (if needed) can be supervised by experienced supervisors.


The Tracks

There are 4 different tracks:

  • The Basic SD101 Track: this track is for novices and those who want to dust their modeling skills.
  • The Intermediate SD102 Project Track: this track is for participants with basic SD skills who lack experience building their own models under supervision / on the job (which is a critical skill one needs on top of basic SD modelling and simulation skills).
  • The Basic/Intermediate SD for OpSPol Track: this track is for those interested in modeling business and industrial Operations, Strategy
  • and Policies.
  • The Advanced SD Track: this track is for those interested in advanced SD topics.

Download the overall schedule here in xlsx or jpg.

How to choose a track:

  • MA, MSc, PhD students and others interested in, but new to, the SD method who want to learn basic/intermediae modeling skills should either go to the Basic Track SD101 or to the Basic/Intermediate OpSPol Track. The latter focusses specifically on industrial/business problems whereas the former deals with issues from 9 different themes (Health Policy, Epidemiology & Drugs, Environmental & Ecosystems Management, Resource Dynamics & Energy Transitions, Safety, Security & Risk, Policing & Public Order, Housing Policy & Urban Planning, Education & Innovation, Economics & Finance, Management & Organization).
  • MA, MSc, PhD students and others with basic SD knowledge (i.e. who are able to make pre-specified SD models) but lack experience building their own models should either go to Project Track SD102 or to the Basic/Intermediate OpSPol Track. In Project Track SD102, pairs of participants are supervised by very experienced modellers on a model/topic of their own choice. Note that you do not need to team up beforehand. The Basic/Intermediate OpSPol Track is a normal track (that is, not a project track) which focusses specifically on industrial/business issues.
  • Those with a solid background in SD can either choose the Advanced SD track or the Basic/Intermediate OpSPol Track. Note that the topics are really advanced. Those who think the topics are too advanced after the first day can still switch to the Basic/Intermediate OpSPol Track.

Switching between tracks:

  • All Basic/Intermediate students will take an entry test. This test will help to choose between the levels/tracks and may help you to switch between tracks on Wednesday... Students who choose the Advanced Track are not tested: note however that the advanced track is really advanced!
  • Between Wednesday and Thursday, a small number of Advanced Track participants may also switch to the Basic/Intermediate OpSPol Track if the level in the Advanced Track is too high.


  • Supervisionis provided during the lunch breaks by experienced supervisors. Please book one of the time slots with one of the supervisors on the paper lists at the faculty. Note that supervisory sessions are short and focussed. They do not replace normal (thesis) supervision. Those who really need supervision / coaching on the job may opt for the Intermediate Project SD102 Track instead.