As we are in the holiday season and approaching the New Year, I want to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts with you regarding all that the System Dynamics Society accomplished in the past year.
2018 was a milestone transition year in the history of the Society. Over the last twelve months, we:
- Partnered with Capitol Hill Management Services, an association management firm, setting up a new paradigm for the operation of the Society.
- Launched a new website and online conference submission system.
- Conducted an international search for a new Executive Director, with a Search Committee comprised of System Dynamicists from across the globe.
- Selected Dr. Mark Nelson, a nationally-known association professional, as our new Executive Director.
- Held the very successful 36th Annual International System Dynamics Society Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland.
- Successfully closed out our operations at the University at Albany.
- Opened our new Society Office under the direction of our new Executive Director.
- Recognized our former Executive Director, Roberta Spencer, for her years of service to the Society.
Our transition plan was definitely ambitious; many thought it was too much to attempt. Although the transition has taken a great deal of work, and will continue requiring effort going into 2019, our collective commitment allowed us to achieve success.
I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the volunteer officers and members of the Policy Council who put in countless hours to make 2018—this milestone transition year—a success. I especially want to thank our Vice President for Finance, Eliot Rich, who was on the ground in Albany serving as the Policy Council’s liaison for the transition, and Bob Eberlein –Chair of the Administrative Committee– and Len Malcynski, –the Society’s immediate Past President– for their counsel and guidance during this effort. I am also grateful to the members of the Transition Committee, the Executive Director Search Committee, the staff that was based at UAlbany, and the new staff and collaborators at CHMS.
As I pass the President’s responsibility to my successor, Martin Schaffernicht, I look forward to continue working with our new President and with our President-elect Birgit Kopainsky, in serving the Society. Martin and Birgit are exceptional leaders with strong track records in the field. Martin, Birgit, and I have been meeting regularly with Executive Director Mark Nelson in assessing and addressing the Society’s needs and in delineating a path toward the future. Important issues such as increased transparency, legal compliance, and improved governance are at the top of our agenda. We are working hard to open up more opportunities for volunteers, clarify leadership succession plans, and to increase the level of transparency in operations, decision-making processes, and reporting.
It is indeed an exciting time to be involved in both the System Dynamics Society and the System Dynamics Field. It has been a privilege serving as President during 2018 and I look forward to all the great things happening in our future thanks to your continued engagement and support. I ask you to help spread the word and invite colleagues and friends to join the Society so we can grow even stronger in 2019.
Let us welcome and embrace 2019 and the challenges and rewards it will have in store for our Society and our community!
Ignacio Martinez-Moyano, Ph.D.
2018 President, System Dynamics Society