J. W. Forrester: Dynamic Models
System Dynamics Review Vol. 19, No. 4, (Winter 2003): 329
Published online in Wiley InterScience
(www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/sdr.284
Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School
of Industrial Management
Note to the Faculty Research Seminar. From: Jay W. Forrester.
November 5, 1956
This is arguably the deﬁnitive archives paper in the history of system dy-
namics; indeed it could be described as representing the genesis of the ﬁeld.
Written two years before the commonly cited 1958 Harvard Business Review
(36:4) paper, this ﬁrst ever of the MIT ‘D-memos’ (D-memo zero) sets out the
disadvantages and difﬁculties associated with the style of (economic) model-
ling as had gone on before and signposts the future by portraying the distin-
guishing features of the methodology we are now so familiar with.
The paper has hardly dated over these past 47 years and repays a read for
those who consider themselves as competent in the ﬁeld. But the novice will
have much more to gain in understanding the rationale and world-view of the
practitioner of system dynamics.
The original, on 27 pages of closely typed script, was uncovered at MIT by
Mike Radzicki. All the readership will be grateful for his sharp eyesight and
good fortune. The System Dynamics Society is planning eventually to make
available a complete set of the MIT D-Memos on a DVD.
Brian C Dangerﬁeld