Abstract for: Essential Skills for System Dynamics Practitioners - A Delft University of Technology Perspective

There is little consensus on the skills set required of a system dynamics practitioner. In this paper we use the teaching approach and learning goals of the system dynamics courses at the Delft University of Technology as a starting point to explore the development of system dynamics modeling skills. System dynamics is embedded in the curriculum of students at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) of the Delft University of Technology. The staged approach by which real world complexity is introduced in the system dynamics curriculum is first explained and the learning goals of the system dynamics education at TPM are described. The role of the quadruple jump approach to system dynamics education in achieving the learning goals of the curriculum is then illustrated using the case of urban dynamics. Finally, we compare the results of the teaching approach, as exemplified in the learning goals, with the skills needed by system dynamics modelers as derived from literature. We conclude that the question of which skills can be taught and which need to be learnt in (professional) practice remains open.