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CLE Conference

Systems Thinking & Dynamic Modeling
Conference for K-12 Education
Continue the Learning Journey

June 25 – June 27, 2016
Babson Executive Conference Center
Wellesley, Massachusetts

2016 Speakers

Tracy Benson

Systems Tools in Action: Unpacking a Complex Classroom Challenge

Tracy Benson, Ed.D. is the President of the Waters Foundation, Systems Thinking in Education. Her 30+ years of experience in PreK-20 education include teaching at all educational levels, school administration, professional development, and research. She is an internationally known consultant and speaker who has worked in education and corporate settings throughout the U.S. and abroad. Tracy is known for her hands-on approach to capacity building and shares the value of systems thinking through participatory and engaging professional learning sessions.


Peter Hovmand  

Mentoring Students: Two Different Models

Peter Hovmand is the founding director of the Brown School’s Social System Design Lab. Dr. Hovmand’s research and practice focuses on using participatory group model-building methods to involve communities and other stakeholders in the process of understanding systems and designing solutions using system dynamics models and computer simulations with a specific emphasis on promoting social justice. He and his students have worked with students from Ritenour School District in group model-building activities. Other application areas include early child and maternal health, childhood obesity, energetics and cancer, mental health, domestic violence, child welfare, household economic security, structural racism, educational equity, K- 12 education, and the implementation and scale-up of health innovations. Dr. Hovmand has conducted over 30 group model-building workshops domestically and internationally, including rural and urban India, Mongolia, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Panama, and the United States. He teaches graduate level social work and engineering courses on system dynamics and group model-building.


Brad Morrison 

Systems Tools in Action: Unpacking a Complex Classroom Challenge

Brad Morrison, Associate Professor of Management in the International Business School at Brandeis, is fascinated with the challenges people face in accomplishing what they set out to do in organizations. His research focuses on implementation, which he has studied in several contexts, such as process improvement settings and firms adopting the practices of lean manufacturing. He examines the paradoxes of building organizational capability and implementing innovations. For example, why do the actions some managers take foster the very problems they are attempting to solve? He is currently immersed in the emergency medicine community studying how people and systems cope with the challenges of chronic overload. His methods blend organizational theory with tools of system dynamics, feedback theory, mathematical modeling and computer simulation to elucidate the relationships between structure in systems and the patterns of dynamic behavior they exhibit over time.


Rebecca Niles 

ReThink Health

Rebecca Niles is a Systems Evangelist. As an independent consultant, her systemic expertise has been built upon 20 years of experience in a wide range of industries (health care, consulting, manufacturing, real estate, retail, education) and functional areas (strategy, operations, sales, finance, marketing). As a contractor to ReThink Health she is currently catalyzing system change by bringing regional leaders together around a System Dynamics model for U.S. health policy. As President of Leverage Networks she provided access to 50 years of work in the field ( As a partner at the Systems Thinking Collaborative and a consultant at Monitor Company and GKA Inc., she has helped clients including Vistaprint, Ford, Amoco, Shell, AT&T, Hologic, and Smithkline Beecham. She is a highly skilled facilitator with a well-developed methodology for collaborative problem solving, strategy development, and scenario planning all with the unique lens that a systems thinking perspective can bring. Issues addressed have included employee retention, health system reform, sustainability, economic growth in Nigeria, platinum refining, product defect reduction, drug discovery, teacher absenteeism, and nuclear power catastrophes and reporting, among others. Rebecca received her BS in Civil Engineering from MIT and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. She is currently serving on the Policy Council of the International System Dynamics Society and has taught in the MIT Sloan Executive Education and Wharton MBA programs, as well as other academic institutions.


John Sterman 

Learning for Ourselves: Interactive Simulations to Address Climate Change

John D. Sterman is the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Professor in the MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. He is also the Director of the MIT System Dynamics Group and the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative. Sterman’s research centers on improving decision-making in complex systems, including corporate strategy and operations, energy policy, public health and environmental sustainability. He uses system dynamics to study issues from organizational change to climate change. Sterman pioneered the development of “management flight simulators” of corporate and economic systems which are now used by corporations, universities, and governments around the world; many of these are freely available to educators.


David Wheat 

Mentoring Students: Two Different Models

David Wheat is an associate professor of system dynamics at the University of Bergen in Norway, where he teaches courses on the system dynamics modeling process and policy design. He is currently developing multi-industry SD-based economic models of the Eurozone, Lithuania, Ukraine, and North Dakota. He also teaches SD-based courses in economic dynamics, monetary policy, macroeconomics, and microeconomics to students in Ukraine, Lithuania, and the United States. Prior to joining academia, he was a private consultant. Long ago, he taught public school students at lower, middle, and upper levels. Even further back in time, he was a staff assistant to the President of the United States.


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