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Banquet Talk

By Jay W. Forrester

Abstract

This evening I have been asked to give not a technical talk but a very personal recollection of how I came to develop the field of system dynamics. There are two threads that ran through the history. First, everything I have ever done has converged to become system dynamics. Second, at many critical moments, when opportunity knocked, I was willing to walk through the open door to what was on the other side. Let me discuss this combination of past experience and the turning points that led from one stage to the next. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Nebraska in the middle of the United States. A ranch is a cross-roads of economic forces. Supply and demand, changing prices and costs, and economic pressures of agriculture become a very personal, powerful, and dominating part of life. Furthermore, in an agricultural setting, life must be very practical. It is not theoretical, it is not conceptual without purpose. One works to get results. It is full-time immersion in the real world. In high school, I built a wind-driven electric plant that provided our first electricity. That was a very practical activity. When I finished high school, I had received

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.135.4072
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