The System Dynamics modelling paradigm was originally developed by Jay W. Forrester at MIT and later applied across a wide variety of contexts in the public and private domains. System dynamics addresses interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral, complex, dynamic problems, employing rigorous science in the form of modelling, simulation, and analysis. It is an operational approach to problem solving that informs strategy development, policy design, and decision making in complex, dynamic domains.

With System Dynamics, problems are defined as unfavourable, experienced or expected dynamic developments over time. The modelling task at hand is to identify the causal systems structure that is responsible for the problem and to identify and assess, through simulation, structural modifications that may change the dynamics in a favourable manner.

System dynamics modelling informs how a system’s underlying structure produces dynamic behaviour, and how that structure may be modified to generate desired future outcomes.