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Faculty & Research

John Sterman

  • Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management
  • Professor of System Dynamics and Engineering Systems
  • Director, MIT System Dynamics Group

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, environmental sustainability, and climate change.It ranges from the dynamics of organizational change and the implementation of sustainable improvement programs to climate change and the implementation of policies to promote a sustainable world. His research also includes systems thinking and organizational learning, computer simulation of corporate strategy and public policy issues, and environmental sustainability. 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.

He is the author of many scholarly and popular articles on the challenges and opportunities facing organizations today, including the book, Modeling for Organizational Learning, and the award-winning textbook, Business Dynamics.

Sterman has been recognized for his work with an honorary doctorate from the Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland. He has twice been awarded the Jay W. Forrester Prize for the best published work in system dynamics; has won an IBM Faculty Award as well as the Accenture Award for the best paper of the year published in the California Management Review; has seven times won awards for teaching excellence; and was named one of MIT Sloan’s “Outstanding Faculty” by the BusinessWeek Guide to the Best Business Schools.  His research has been featured in media around the world including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Public Television’s News Hour, National Public Radio’s Marketplace, WGBH, and other media for his innovative use of interactive simulations in management education and policymaking, particularly climate change and energy policy.

Sterman holds an AB in engineering and environmental systems from Dartmouth College and a PhD in system dynamics from MIT.