Workshop 22 Feb

Wednesday, 22 Feb 2017 – Day 3 (Workshop)
Venue: Global Learning Room (GLR), Active Learning Room, Seminar Room 2, Seminar Room 3 &
SCALE Conference Room, Education Resource Centre (Level 2)
Break: Open Courtyard (Level 1)

Time Detail Speakers Venue
9am – 12.30pm Agile modeling with Sysdea Kim Warren SCALE Conference Room
Introduction to Stella Bob Eberlein Seminar Room 2
Lessons That Move Pre-College Mathematics and Science Students Towards Complex Systems Analysis Diana Fisher Seminar Room 3
Multi-Stakeholder Decision-Making for Wicked Problems – A Systems Thinking Lab Kambiz Maani Global Learning Room
The System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc) Ignacio Martinez-Moyano Active Learning Room
10.30am – 10.45am Break Open Courtyard (level 1)
12.30pm – 2pm Lunch Open Courtyard (level 1)
2pm – 5.30pm Introduction to Business Strategy Using Management Game and Systems Modeling: Fishbanks® Riichiro Oda Seminar Room 2
2pm – 3.30pm Modeling Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course Diana Fisher Seminar Room 3
3.30pm-3.45pm Break Open Courtyard (level 1)


Time: 9 am to 12.30 pm

[toggle title=’Agile modeling with Sysdea (By: Kim Warren)’]
Building models has until recently been challenging for new-comers to system dynamics, but we now have both procedures and tools that make this far easier. It is now easier, faster and more reliable to build quantified working simulation models of time-based challenges and plans than it is to do a less-useful model using spreadsheet tools.

This workshop will demonstrate the ‘Agile SD’ process [see], using the super-easy and accessible browser software, Sysdea. This requires no installation and allows anyone to run any model – see for a demonstration.

Workshop Leader: Kim Warren [2013 President of the International System Dynamics Society, and 2005 winner of the Jay W Forrester Award].

Workshop slides:
Workshop slides from a previous event:


[toggle title=’Introduction to Stella (By: Bob Eberlein)’]
This workshop is aimed at introducing participants to Stella in its modern form. We will work through the basic mechanics of setting up and using the software, building a model and creating and publishing an interface. Participants will learn the mechanics of using the software including constructing a diagram and connecting everything together to create a simulating model, construction of model interfaces and the publication of interfaces to be accessible on the internet. We will explore the use of custom table and graphs as well as the built in analytics for understanding models and the use of Stella Live to gain insights into model behavior. Time permitting, we will look at the use of modules and arrays as a mechanism to encapsulate complexity and manage distributed development as well as techniques for importing and exporting data. Participants should bring their own computers, either Macintosh or Windows, and we will install the software for use during the workshop.


[toggle title=’Lessons That Move Pre-College Mathematics and Science Students Towards Complex Systems Analysis (By: Diana Fisher)’]
Technology provides a vehicle for changing some of the experiences pre-college students can have in learning math and science core concepts. It is undeniable that complex problems face the global community in its efforts to control the negative impact humans have had and continue to have on the environment and in interactions with each other, the latter apparent from the ease with which pandemics can occur. Pre-college students can gain an enormous advantage in (potentially) making better-informed decisions when they are voting adults if they are taught to use tools and analytical methodologies that help them study problems that retain a reasonable amount of complexity. Mathematics and science classes are natural environments for students to begin to use the System Dynamics modeling method to enhance their quantitative analysis skills. This workshop is designed to help pre-college (and undergraduate university) instructors learn how they might transition their courses to incorporate the System Dynamics modeling method. The software that will be used will be Stella, but the concepts apply equally well when using the Vensim software. This is a hands-on model-building workshop for teachers of secondary (and undergraduate) mathematics and science classes that will show one path that can be used to take a traditional curriculum and infuse activities that lead to complex systems analysis. The lessons start out with some kinesthetic activities followed by building relatively small simulation models. The lessons provided can be used with their students immediately. Other resources will be described for teachers who are interested in learning more about system dynamics modeling. Participants should bring a laptop to the workshop.


[toggle title=’Multi-Stakeholder Decision-Making for Wicked Problems – A Systems Thinking Lab (By: Kambiz Maani)’]
Today, local problems and global challenges cannot be viewed and solved with reductionist mind-sets and disciplinary approaches. In this connected and dynamic world, complex decision making involves engaging with multiple stakeholders representing diverse domains with competing interests, often under uncertain and adversarial conditions. Worse, systemic delays and feedback cycles embedded in complex systems muddle decisions and their anticipated outcomes, causing unintended consequences. Leaders, managers and decision makers need to understand complexity and how to deal with it in the multi-stakeholder multi-agency scenarios that predominate today. In the words of the Australian Public Service Commissioner: “Tackling wicked problems requires thinking that is capable of grasping the big picture, including the interrelationships among the full range of causal factors underlying them. They often require broader, more collaborative, and innovative approaches.” Yet, despite sophisticated technology and seasoned managers, business and government decisions everywhere are fraught with failures and unintended consequences. These decisions have impacted our economy, the environment, society, and communities – locally and globally. There is a clear absence of scientifically-based tools for decision making in complex scenarios. This workshop presents a systems thinking approach for multi-stakeholder decision making, drawing from workshop leader’s decades of experience with business and government leaders around the world and more recently in the Asia Pacific region. The workshop introduces the 7 pitfalls of decision making and contrasts them with systems based principles of multi-stakeholder decision-making. The workshop is interactive and includes an overview of Systems Thinking practical tools as well as group activities and UNESCO sponsored case studies in Australia and Asia.

Click here for session slides.

[toggle title=’The System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc) (By: Ignacio Martinez-Moyano)’]
In order to encourage model transparency through enhanced documentation and assessment, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) developed the System Dynamics Model Documentation and Assessment Tool (SDM-Doc) that enables modelers to create practical, efficient, HTML-based model documentation and that provides customizable model assessments. The model documentation created by the SDM-Doc tool allows modelers to navigate through model equations and model views in an efficient and practical way creating documentation of the model sorted by variable name, type of variable, group, view, module, module/group/name, and variable of interest. Additionally, model tests are performed allowing modelers and reviewers of models to gain confidence in fundamental characteristics of model structure. The latest version of the documentation and assessment tool, its use, and the different assessments included in the tool will be presented and explained. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptops to be able to use the tool during the workshop. A copy of the software will be distributed to participants at the workshop (the tool is accessible at



Time: 2 to 3.30 pm

[toggle title=’Modeling Dynamic Systems: Lessons for a First Course (By: Diana Fisher)’]
It provides a set of materials that enable educators at the secondary and college levels to teach a one-semester or one-year course in System Dynamics modeling. These lessons are also useful for trainers in a business environment. Developed for beginning modelers, the lessons contained in this book can be used for a core curriculum or for independent study. Systems thinking software like STELLA offers an opportunity to create visual models that actively engage students in the study of a wide variety of problems. Creating a model allows for “real-time” analysis of dynamic behavior and a more stimulating environment in which to glean insight. The lessons include some of the classic System Dynamics problems (population change, resource sustainability, drug pharmacokinetics, spread of an epidemic, urban growth, supply and demand, and more). Developed over 20 years, the lessons in this book provide an easy-to-use set of teaching materials that are paced gently enough for novice modelers. Students learn to create progressively more sophisticated models, testing their structures as they proceed. Feedback analysis is integral to the lessons. Guidelines for an independent project and an outline for a technical paper explaining the creation process and structure of the final model, together with scoring guides for both the model and the paper, are included. A set of student lessons, a teacher’s guide with all the answers to the student lessons (and additional comments to the instructor), as well as a CD containing all of the model, is provided with the book. Participants in the workshop will have a chance to build some simple models and gain a sense of the progression leading to a more sophisticated model. Student work will be demonstrated and can also be viewed at


Time: 2 to 5.30 pm

[toggle title=’Introduction to Business Strategy Using Management Game and Systems Modeling: Fishbanks® (By: Riichiro Oda)’]
How can you improve the quality of decision making and business strategy?

By playing the Fishbanks®, or one of the most popular management roleplay games, participants will discover and learn how to sense behaviors of systems in a seemingly simple yet complex business environment. Through reflections of the role play and an introduction to systems modeling, participants learn systems insights and practical lessons to improve decision making and strategy processes. Lessons include how business can integrate financial and non-financial capitals to sustain its performance.