Our annual system dynamics competition was started in 2018 by SASD Chapter Council Members: Dr Andries Botha and Corne du Plooy. The very first competition was open to South Africa and Africa but since then it has expanded to become a global event. The software and prizes are sponsored by iSee Systems and free workshops are held throughout the year to support novice system dynamicists.

6th Annual System Dynamics Competition hosted by the SASD Chapter

STREAM 1/2023

The South African Chapter of System Dynamics successfully hosted its Stream 1 competition from the 15th to the 29th of April. This engaging event was designed to promote a sustainable fishing industry, with participants taking part in various activities to enhance their understanding of the subject matter. iSee Systems graciously provided workshop licenses for the course duration, enabling exciting and exponential learning through iSee Stella, as well as the stream prize.

During the first session, attendees worked on constructing the Fish Banks simulation, which served as the foundation for the competition. In the following sessions, participants explored policies and changes to the system and shared their learning lessons with each other.

The second session of the competition focused on providing individual support to each participant, addressing their specific struggles and questions. This personalized approach fostered an inclusive and collaborative environment, enabling attendees to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and apply their learnings effectively.

The final presentation allowed all participants to share their work and their learning experiences during the competition.  Alaize Dall’Orsoletta emerged as the competition’s winner, impressing the judges with her exceptional skills and understanding of system dynamics. Alaize’s accomplishments included identifying an operational threshold for ship selling, demonstrating mastery of equations and models, and effectively using sensitivity analysis. Her ability to ask, hypothesize, test, and iterate mental and simulation models further shows her excellence. Alaize also showcased her awareness of limitations within models, embodying the famous quote by George Box: “All models are wrong, some are more wrong than others, some are useful.”. We also had terrific insights from Denver Moodley, Tesfaye Gashaw and Ahmed Amin – each of you will receive personal feedback for your work. Let us all take a moment to congratulate Alaize! You will receive your prize from iSee Systems, who will contact you shortly. Well deserved! 

STREAM 2/2023

We are delighted to announce the results of the ecological diversity simulation competition. We’ve witnessed an extraordinary display of thoughtfulness, creativity, and dedication from all of you who joined us, which made the decision extremely challenging. We want to thank iSee Systems too for their gracious provision of software (iSee Stella Architect) for each of you during this time.

Denver brought a depth of thinking into play by effectively considering the differences in male and female populations in his model. Matthew’s investigation into the predator-prey dynamics was refreshing and intriguing, with a notable focus on broader competition for resources. Tesfaye’s meticulous validation and calibration techniques and his innovative approach of visualizing population impacts of culling demonstrated a commendable level of sophistication. Lastly, Alaize’s model captivated us by cleverly incorporating multiple variables, including considerations of vegetation, water, and additional prey into the ecosystem dynamics. We extend our heartiest congratulations to our winner, Tesfaye, for his exemplary performance, and to our runner-up, Alaize, for her exceptional efforts. Congratulations also go to Denver and Matthew for their excellent contributions.

We would like to thank each one of you for the time, effort, and insights you shared during this competition. Your work not only demonstrates your deep understanding of system dynamics but also your dedication to exploring this fascinating field further.

Past System Dynamics Competitions hosted by the SASD Chapter were won by the following outstanding participants!

2022Linhou HouPei Jyun
2021Estee VermeulenZhenghua Yang
2020Yong Sebastian NyamElise Roberts
2018Yumna Parker + Andy MurandaAndries Botha

2018 – Challenge

We all do stock management everyday of our lives. Our bank balances are stocks, water sources like dams are stocks and even respect or overall customer satisfaction are stocks. All these stocks require understanding and investment to successfully manage. Build a system dynamics model to understand any stock in your environment that has at least one feedback and one delay inside of it.

2019 – Challenge

2020 – Challenge

2021 Challenge

Seeing a photo or show where people are walking outside without masks now seems weird. We know that it was in a different time. When we see people greeting with hugs and handshakes, we know, it was in a different time. When we see gatherings of thousands of people, we know it was a different time. When working from home was deemed ‘impossible’, we know, it was from a different time. Are these changes permanent or are they only a temporary outlier? Have we only changed on the outside or has there been major shifts in the paradigms and structures around us? We invite you to choose your area of interest and explore how it has changed after COVID-19. Build a system dynamics simulation that investigates how our world has changed or remained the same.