Abstract for: Four Grand Challenges for System Dynamics

In 2007 Jay Forrester challenged the field of system dynamics to address the big issues. This paper discusses four "big issues" as "Grand Challenges" in the DARPA sense, which meet the criteria of 1) impacting lives or livelihoods of millions or billions of people, 2) currently being governed by mental models that are seriously flawed, and 3) being addressable by system dynamics and seemingly few other disciplines. These are: 1. Insurgency, governance and political stability 2. Acting on global warming 3. Global financial stability 4. Harmonious Chinese growth For each of these, the paper discusses the flaws in governing mental models, briefly indicates the scope of analysis needed, and gives a representative causal diagram showing some of the loops that are complicating and obscuring a correct and widespread understanding of each issue.