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Resources for Learning

If you are new to Systems Thinking or System Dynamics, we recommend the following resources to get you started.

Books

Systems Thinking

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 here.

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. There are some great examples and it also includes exercises. However, do not attempt to learn how to model from this book. Once you are comfortable modeling, use sections of this book to deepen your knowledge and practice. A second edition is anticipated for 2020.

Online Training

Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking Concepts and 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:

Basic Model Building: An introduction to some common modeling applications.

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.

Public Workshops

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.

Formal Training

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.

Looking for online training?

Phone: (603) 448-4990 Email: info@iseesystems.com

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