ANNOUNCE Meadows Award Endowment fund drive

John Sterman
Junior Member
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 3:39 am

ANNOUNCE Meadows Award Endowment fund drive

Post by John Sterman »

To all supporters of system dynamics:

We need your help. The System Dynamics Society announces a fundraising
drive to permanently endow the Dana Meadows Student Award, given for
the best work by students presented at the annual conference of the
Society. Through the generosity of a diverse group of Dana's colleagues,
former students, and supporters of the Society, your donation will be
fully matched, doubling the value of your gift, until we reach the
overall goal of $60,000. Help us permanently endow the Award and support
the future of the field of system dynamics-the students.

Background: In 2001 the System Dynamics Society created a new award
to recognize the best student work presented at the annual conference.
The prize honors the late Dana Meadows, an inspiring and devoted teacher,
by encouraging and recognizing the work of students, the future leaders
of the field (below is a description of the award).

The Meadows Award has been a great success. At the 2004 conference in
Oxford there were 40 submissions, about 10% of all participants at the
conference! The quality of the students' work has also increased
dramatically. Even more important, the award is catalyzing growing
participation and interest in the field of system dynamics by students
from all over the world. It is empowering the newest generation in our
field to become more active in the Society and profession, a wonderful

Up till now, Jane and Allen Boorstein have generously funded the Award.
We are indebted to the Boorsteins for their strong and continuing support.
However, Jane and Allen have urged the Society to put the Award on a more
sustainable financial footing. In response, the Policy Council of the
Society unanimously and enthusiastically voted to authorize the creation
of the endowment fund and fund drive, and urges all supporters of the
Society and field of system dynamics to give what they can. Our goal
is $60,000. To help reach it, a group of Dana's colleagues, former students,
and supporters of the Society have pledged to match your donations, until
the overall goal of $60,000 is met. Through the generosity of these donors,
every dollar you give will be doubled.

Now it's up to you. Please contribute whatever you can to make this tribute
to Dana sustainable. It would be wonderful to announce that we have met our
goal at the 2005 conference, but the campaign remains open at least until we
meet our goal.

All contributions are tax deductible (in the US). You can contribute by check,
credit card, wire transfer, and online through: ... ntForm.htm,
The FAQ below provides details relating to the Award, fund management, and

Many thanks!

John Sterman, Roberta Spencer, Michael Radzicki, Drew Jones, and John Morecroft

Frequently Asked Questions
How is my contribution matched?

A group of Dana's colleagues, former students, and other supporters of the
System Dynamics Society have pledged to match all donations to the endowment
fund, until we reach the overall goal of $60,000. Every dollar you give has
double the impact.

Is my contribution tax deductible?

Yes. The System Dynamics Society is a non-profit educational institution.
All contributions are tax deductible in the United States. Tax laws in other
nations vary.

Who selects the Meadows Award winners and sets policy related to the award?

The award committee, appointed by the Policy Council and now chaired by John
Morecroft (London Business School), will continue to be responsible for the
award competition, judging, selection of winners, and award related policy
such as possible changes in eligibility criteria or judging procedures.
Following the 2004 conference in Oxford the panel of judges was expanded
both to provide greater gender, regional and institutional diversity.

Who manages the endowment fund?

The ownership of the fund will be vested with the System Dynamics Society,
a not-for-profit organization based in the United States. The Society office
will manage the fund, with input from the finance VP and our accountants. The
fund will be invested with the goal of maximizing income while preserving principal.

How may the fund be used?

To the extent possible, the expenses associated with the Award will be paid out of
the income generated by the endowment fund. To ensure the goal of the endowment
and the Society that the fund remains viable in perpetuity, the principal will
not be used to pay Awards or other expenses. Earnings in excess of expenses will
be reinvested in the endowment fund. The income from the endowment fund may be
used for the prize and travel stipend awarded to the winner(s), and for other direct
expenses such as the cost of plaques or certificates given to the winner(s) and
runners-up. However, fund income is not to be used to cover administrative or other
expenses incurred by the Society, Award committee or judges. Final authority with
respect to issues relating to the administration of the fund rests with the Policy
Council. The purpose of the fund is to honor Dana Meadows by encouraging the
participation of students in the field of system dynamics. In the event that
the income from the fund grows to exceed what may reasonably be spent to do so,
the Society may, with the approval of the Policy Council, Award Committee, and
VP Finance, reallocate the income from the fund to other uses that benefit the
Society and field of system dynamics. It is expected that such reallocation would
occur only in unusual circumstances, and only after the income from the fund grows
beyond what may reasonably be required in the future to increase the Award,
travel stipend, and endowment principal to keep pace with inflation and other
changes in circumstances.

Yes! I want to double my impact! How can I contribute?

You can contribute by check, wire transfer, credit card or online. Make your check
(in US Dollars drawn on a US bank) out to the ""System Dynamics Society"" and send
it to Roberta Spencer, The System Dynamics Society, Milne Hall 300, Rockefeller
College, 135 Western Avenue, University at Albany, Albany, NY 12222 USA. Visit ... ntForm.htm to
use the secure online payment form. Information about the Award and how to contribute
can be found on the System Dynamics Society website. Questions? Email Roberta Spencer

On behalf of the Society, we thank you in advance for your generous contribution!


(From the call for nominations prepared by John Morecroft, chair of the
Award committee)

The Dana Meadows Student Award symbolizes the System Dynamics Society's commitment
to students in two ways. It brings recognition to the very best student work. It
also honors, in an enduring way, the life and work of Dana Meadows. For the purpose
of the award, a student is anyone enrolled in an accredited program of study, in
any subject. The winner receives a certificate, a cash award of $500, and up to
$700 toward registration and travel for the conference at which the paper is
presented. In addition three papers are selected for honourable mention and the
authors receive a certificate. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the
conference and present their work. However, under exceptional circumstances the
winner or runners-up may be recognised without attendance. A winner who is unable
to attend will still receive the cash award but will not receive travel or
registration expenses.

Dana Meadows is remembered as an eloquent sustainability advocate and environmental
writer. But she was also, and arguably foremost, a teacher -- one exceptionally
committed to her students and their development not only intellectually but in
all ways. Honoring Dana through this award recognizes her work as an inspiring
teacher and mentor of young people, and sets a standard for what good modeling is.
The award will help develop the next generation of systems thinkers and modelers
according to her ideals. Her unusually high level of integrity in all things
extended to high standards for modeling, for documentation, and for exposing
assumptions. The words of two of her (now distinguished) former students embody
the spirit and intention of the prize:

""On occasions when I might be tempted to cut corners in modeling work (what modeler
hasn't faced these), envisioning Dana across the table, posing her gentle but
piercing queries, was one of the things that helped keep me honest.""

""Dana knew better than most of us that the leverage points for changing a system
often lie far from the symptoms of difficulty. She would understand that an
application of system dynamics to issues apparently not connected to sustainability
might very well promote her goals, not only her goals of creating a sustainable
and just society but of promoting integrity and honesty in our analysis of problems,
whatever and wherever they may be.

For more information, including a list of the past winners, please visit: