Resources for Learning
If you are new to Systems Thinking or System Dynamics, we recommend the following resources to get you started.
Systems Thinking for Social Change by David Peter Stroh, 2015, Chelsea Green Publishing. This is the best book we
have found that covers that basic concepts of Systems Thinking, including how to apply it. It covers the method
developed by Michael Goodman and David Peter Stroh over a number of decades and is filled with rich, detailed
descriptions or actual consulting engagements using this approach. You can read the review
Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows, 2008, Chelsea Green Publishing. This is an excellent and well-written
introduction to Systems Thinking, including a gentle introduction to stock and flow modeling, needed to build
System Dynamics models.
System Dynamics Modeling
Introduction to Systems Thinking by Barry Richmond, 2004, isee systems, inc. This is by far the easiest to read and
most understandable introduction to the concepts of Systems Thinking and System Dynamics modeling. If you are mostly focused
on business applications, pick up the Business Edition.
Modeling Dynamic Systems, 3rd ed. by Diana M. Fisher, 2017, isee systems, inc. Diana developed this book for her high school
students. If you want a comprehensive introduction to modeling with many exercises and projects, this is the book for you.
A license for the save-disabled version of Stella® Professional is included.
Modeling the Environment, 2nd ed. by Andrew Ford, 2009, Island Press. If your focus is Environmental Science or Ecology,
this is a great follow-on to Introduction to Systems Thinking. It covers the basics of modeling (similarly to Modeling
Dynamic Systems) and includes many environmental examples and exercises.
Strategic Modelling and Business Dynamics, 2nd ed. by John Morecroft, 2015, Wiley. If your focus is business or strategy,
this is a great follow-on to either Introduction to Systems Thinking or Modeling Dynamic Systems. There are many business
and strategy examples, carefully explained with many sample models. A license for the save-disabled version of iThink® is included.
System Dynamics Modeling Reference
Business Dynamics by John D. Sterman, 2000, McGraw-Hill Education.
This is the definitive reference on System Dynamics modeling. If you have any questions about anything, you will likely find the answer here.
This is an intermediate modeling book with some great examples and exercises. Once you are comfortable modeling, use sections of this book to
deepen your knowledge and practice.
Dollars and Sense: Stay in the Black: Saving and Spending by Jeff Potash and John Heinbokel (illustrations: Nathan Walker), 2011, Creative Learning Exchange.
Dollars and Sense: Stay in the Black: Saving and Spending, geared toward students as young as 10 (on up to adults!), progress from simple lessons in saving toward goals,
to saving and spending and finally to saving with interest.
Dollars and Sense II: Our Interest in Interest by Jeff Potash (illustrations: Nathan Walker), 2013, Creative Learning Exchange.
Dollars and Sense II: Our Interest in Interest uses engaging computer simulations to teach managing personal finances to students in middle and high school.
The Shape of Change by Rob Quaden, Alan Ticotsky, and Debra Lyneis (illustrations: Nathan Walker), 2015, Creative Learning Exchange.
In The Shape of Change, students engage in games and other classroom activities (teamwork, hands-on, learner-centered learning) to explore what
changes over time.
Systems Thinking Practice by Michael Goodman and David Peter Stroh are based on the material
in Systems Thinking Practice by David Peter Stroh. Together, Michael and David walk you through their experiences in applying
Systems Thinking to a wide range of issues.
Applying Systems Thinking and Common Archetypes to Organizational Issues by Michael Goodman is a self-paced
introduction to Systems Thinking with detailed readings and exercises (no video).
Leveraging Systems and Facilitating Systems Understanding: An
introduction to how to apply Systems Thinking in your organization.
Systems Dynamics Modeling
From Systems Thinking to Dynamic Modeling: This 6-course bundle gently takes you from the concepts of Systems
Thinking to building detailed System Dynamics models. The six courses are also available individually.
Advanced Modeling Series: Once you are comfortable modeling, this series helps you apply what you have learned to
specific problems in different application areas. The first two courses in the series are:
Strategic Business Development: An overview of key strategic issues in business development and how to model them.
Modeling Projects: An introduction to modeling and managing projects.
Building Model Interfaces
Learning Environments: Details how to build learning environments that meet your stated goals.
Building Products with Impact: A survey of the different ways to engage and communicate to your audience.
Introduction to Dynamic Modeling and
Intermediate Dynamic Modeling: At different times of the year and in different locations, we offer
introductory and advanced modeling workshops.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers both a Graduate Certificate and a Master of Science in System Dynamics through their online program.
They also offer both in System Dynamics and Innovation Management. A PhD in System Dynamics, which can be completed mostly online, is available as well.