Interacting Over Time

Quezon City, Philippines.

The cover-image presents the highly-aggregated System Dynamics Model of the world, which was used in “The Limits to Growth“, a controversial 1972 book that fearlessly explored the predicament of humankind for the next hundred-years. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and commissioned by the Club of Rome it was first presented at the St. Gallen Symposium. Its authors were Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III. The book used the World3 model to simulate the consequence of interactions between the Earth’s and human systems. More…

While the field of System Dynamics a.k.a. Systems Thinking was a breakthrough in policy-/ strategy-approach dating back as early as 1970s, but it remains at the ivory tower and failed to reach the critical-mass of policy-/ strategy-makers; and to secure adequate understanding and acceptance thus, slowing-down the expected technology-diffusion.

I was introduced to the field while taking my masters degree at the Asian Institute of Technology- Bangkok (AIT) back in 1981, by Professor Khalid Saeed who eventually rose to become President of the prestigious System Dynamics Society-USA; and it did changed the way I look at things. However, up until now, there is still a great need for me to deliver an elevator-speech on the subject if/ when somebody ask me about System Dynamics. While efforts were not lacking in addressing this shortcoming i.e., Systems-Thinking by Peter Senge, Thinking-On-Systems by Donella Meadows etc.; but these words/ phrases still sound too technical, even to an engineering masteral-student.

Come to think about it, the relevant terms are as follows: 1. System – a set of connected things or parts forming and interacting as a complex whole to achieve certain objective(s); 2. Dynamics – is a branch of applied mathematics (specifically classical mechanics) concerned with the study of forces and torques and their effect on motion, which changes over time.

In the midst of this complexity, I have identified common terms which I believe should facilitate understanding of what system-dynamics is all about without much ado; and they are the words INTERACTION (of components) and their cause and effect over-a-period-of-time or simply, OVER-TIME..

Wanting to simplify things and make them more understandable to as many people as possible, I titled my Facebook-page and proposes an alternative name (for SD or ST or TOS) “INTERACTING OVER TIME”. Relevant posting in that page can be viewed by clicking here.

Published by Ramon H. Enriquez MIE&M, RME

Ramon "Mon" Hojas Enriquez is a retired business executive who now spends his available time sharing the wisdom that he gained from his graduate academic preparations and more than 35-years of hands-on industry practice here (Philippines) and abroad; as an Independent Management Consultant for various industrial-firms, and as a Professional Lecturer/ Resource Speaker of leading Higher-Ed/ Training institutions in Metro Manila. He now focuses on management consulting, education and training---for the proper management of Supply-chains, Strategy-execution, and Decision-support. His affiliations with relevant leading global industry associations keeps him informed and updated on the current and future developments in the above-mentioned fields of interests. They include, among others: The Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), Project Management Institute (PMI), Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), American Society for Quality (ASQ), Institute for Supply Management (ISM), System Dynamics Society (SDS), and Climate Interactive (CI)---and has been advocating Sustainable Development and Climate-action since 2000. Mon is a lifelong Systems Thinker and an avid micro-Blogger. His hobby includes Photography and the Graphics-arts, Singing, Guitar-playing, Songwriting; and Audio recording, mixing and mastering. When not traveling or visiting Clients, he normally spends his time at his QC-office cum studio or, at home with his Wife and dog.