Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia to sponsor 27th annual System Dynamics Society conference in Albuquerque July 26-31

Conference expected to attract 450 scientists

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — High-impact applications and research on the difficult issues at the cutting edge of the field of system dynamics will be the focus of the 27th annual System Dynamics Society conference to be held in Albuquerque July 26-31.

Hosted by Sandia National Laboratories, the conference is expected to draw about 450 internationally respected scientists.

“This will be a very stimulating six days of discussions that will reach across such disparate fields as business applications, economic dynamics, energy and resources, health, methodology, military applications, organizational dynamics, psychology/social dynamics, public policy, climate change, emergency preparedness/response, challenges of terrorism and security,” said Sandia system dynamics researcher Len Malczynski, conference chair. “We at Sandia are honored to host a symposium of this importance.”

System dynamics is a powerful methodology and computer simulation modeling technique for framing, understanding and discussing complex issues and problems. The System Dynamics Society is an international, nonprofit organization devoted to encouraging the development and use of system dynamics and systems thinking around the world.

Primary conference speakers include:

  • Dennis Meadows, professor of systems management and director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire
  • John Sterman, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management and the current director of the MIT System Dynamics Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management
  • Les Shephard, vice president of Sandia’s Energy, Security and Defense Technologies Division

Dignitaries invited to the conference include New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez and the State of Minnesota Speaker of the House Margaret Kelliher. More than 100 scientists will be presenting papers at the six-day event which includes more than 20 workshops.

Meadows is coauthor of “Limits to Growth,” a report first published in 1972 that sparked a great debate worldwide about the value of the zero growth theory that it proposed. The report was significant because it sounded an alarm about global society’s urgent need for sustainable development. Since its publication, Meadows has continued to study the causes and consequences of physical growth on a finite planet. Meadows will also give a presentation on climate change July 21 at Sandia’s Earth, Wind and Sun symposium.

Sterman, the author of “Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World,” is considered the current leader of the System Dynamics school of thought. His research focuses on improving managerial decision making in complex systems.

New to this year’s conference will be a “bonus day,” July 31 — an extra free day of workshops focusing on models of energy and climate, economic crisis, corporate environments and systems dynamics in K-12 education. In addition, on July 29, as part of the K-12 education segment, children will present posters dealing with systems dynamics.

The conference will be held at the Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town and is open to the public. Registrations are accepted at the conference website, Early bird registration ends June 19. Co-sponsors include Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Lockheed-Martin, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Paul Scherrer Institut. Conference partner is The Boeing Company.

For more information about the System Dynamics Society, see the society website at or contact Len Malczynski, conference chair, at 505-844-7219,, or Aldo Zagonel, organization chair, at 505-284-6773,

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia news media contact: Chris Burroughs, (505) 844-0948