By Len Malczynski, VP Meetings
In 2009, at the International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, President Erling Moxnes started his Presidential address by saying, ‘”Groucho Marx said “I refuse to be a member of any club that would have me as member.”‘
Erling got my attention with that paradox and his use of a Groucho Marx quote.*
For many of us it is time to renew that ‘club’ membership. Usually I don’t give it a second thought. Of course I renew as soon as I can. I look up my income category and reflect on what the Society does for me and, more importantly, what I can do for the Society. The later is especially important the older I get. What can I contribute to my ‘club’ members?
Having been a Society leader for quite a few years I know that my passions are the quality of system dynamics model construction and supporting our students and new members. I hope I can continue to have an influence through the Society on those things that matter to me. I have learned much and have implemented much in models by reading the SDR.
Lastly, I am constantly amazed and blessed by the friendships I have made as a Society member. So many names come to mind. Instead, here are a few encounters. Meeting someone in the SD Summer School as an SD beginner who now is a SIG leader and is active in possibly hosting a conference; helping someone struggle up a hill in St Gallen carrying luggage with his family and becoming SD friends; suggesting that someone I never met be a Plenary speaker and watching her win an award and educate us all; meeting Jay Forrester and having him ask me what to write in my copy of Industrial Dynamics; meeting my friend and current business partner many years ago at a conference; having almost weekly conversations with a member concerned about SD and the Society; and making a technical connection over the internet in a user group, embracing him when we finally met in person many years later, and creating a family friend. There are many, many more. Those things are important to me. Society membership is important to me.
I encourage all of you to experience this, practice your SD passion, and more by becoming a Society member.
* Okay, my favorite Grouch Marx quote, “Outside of a dog a book is man’s best friend; inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”