Abstract for: A mismatch between aspirations and reality: Why are we letting Black Swans pass us by?

The financial crisis of 2007-2010 was probably one of the greatest, most lustrous black-swan events that people of our generation(s) will experience – and at its heart, it was a dynamic phenomenon. It is stated in the vision of the System Dynamics Society that we aspire to transform society by influencing decision-making. Yet, it seems as if System Dynamics did not play any significant role in this crisis: we did not examine the markets, we did not provide insights to banks, and we did not warn governments or the people. In our presentation we describe the dynamics involved in a housing bubble, and describe what made the last one different. With the insights gained from this exercise we conclude that, from a System Dynamics perspective, the dimension of the financial crisis of 2007-2009 was eminently foreseeable, which will lead us to pose the following question: where were we as a field while this crisis was unfolding, why were we not active players? We present a range of potential answers to this question, hoping to provoke some reflection… and maybe even some (re)action. And we look forward to hearing your opinions about it all.