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Forrester's Lecture Notes continued


The Attractiveness Principle
Why do people move in or out of a city? For any class of persons living in a city, the city is in balance at all times. The attractiveness of a city pulls in more people. A rising population brings down its attractiveness. Factors that contribute to a city include employment, housing, open spaces, Reduced Crime, An effective police force, reduced pollution and less taxes.

There are tradeoffs that have to be made to keep the city in balance. Increasing one of the factors described above can bring down the rest. Decreasing one of them will increase the others. Urban planning must focus not just on what to improve but also on what to diminish. Some social economic structures are suitable for a city. Others are not!

Before we get to a good model, we get surprizing results. This may not be a good model but surprizing results tell us something is wrong with our assumptions. As this process is continued, the model gets better.

Forrester realized that Detroit had the highest unemployment rate but also had the largest number of job training programs. Forrester asked the trainning people if they noticed that job trainnning programs actually increased unemployment. One replied that they did and when the realization came, they just went to another city.

How does one sell the System Dynamics view to others?
You do it gradually. Realize that the top does not have authority to change the system. It cannot change social structures. You must start with the public.
Dont tell people you are doing it. Just appear smart!

How widely is System Dynamics accepted today?
System Dynamics is doing as well as medicine or engineering did in the 1870s. To go mainstream, it will take another 50 to 75 years. Most SD practitioners are pioneers. They are either rewarded or reprimanded.
It has not caught on in congress, in corporations but seems to be used in the military. A lot of classified and unclassified projects use system dyanmics.
A lot of System Dynamics work is invisible. A European exec. told Forrester that he could not divulge his System Dynamics work.

*****Still more to come*****

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