John D. Sterman

Faculty

John D. Sterman

About

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. His work 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. 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 is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received 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. He received the Best Application Award from the System Dynamics Society for his work on climate change policy. At MIT, he has been recognized with the Samuel E. Seegal Faculty Prize, given to a professor who “inspires students in pursuing and achieving excellence,” the Jamieson Award for Excellence in Teaching, numerous other 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, Washington Post, Boston Globe ,Public Television’sNews Hour, National Public Radio’s Marketplace, WGBH, and other media for his innovative use of interactive simulations in management education and policymaking, particularly in 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.

Honors

Outstanding Service Award Goes to Sterman

Sterman elected as AAAS Fellow

John Sterman’s paper wins ARCS People’s Choice Award

Sterman wins Seegal Prize

Publications

"A Model Simulator: The Lives of Jay W. Forrester."

Lane, David C., and John D. Sterman. Journal of Simulation. Forthcoming.

"Jay Wright Forrester."

Lane, David, and John D. Sterman. In National Academy of Engineering Memorial Tributes, Washington, DC: National Academies Press, Forthcoming.

"Special Issue: System Dynamics at Sixty."

Sterman, John D., and Nelson Repenning (Eds.). System Dynamics Review, Forthcoming.

"Supply Constraints and Waitlists in New Product Diffusion."

Keith, David R., John D. Sterman, and Jeroen Struben. System Dynamics Review. Forthcoming.

"Combining Role-Play with Interactive Simulation to Motivate Informed Climate Action: Evidence from the World Climate Simulation."

Rooney-Varga, Juliette N., John D. Sterman, Eduardo Fracassi, Travis Franck, Florian Kapmeier, Victoria Kurker, Eleanor Johnston, Andrew P. Jones, and Kenneth Rath. PLOS ONE Vol. 13, No. 8 (2018): 1-28. Press.

"Ratcheting ambition to limit warming to 1.5 °C–trade-offs between emission reductions and carbon dioxide removal."

Holz, Christian, Lori S. Siegel, Eleanor Johnston, Andrew P. Jones, and John Sterman. Environmental Research Letters Vol. 13, No. 6 (2018): 1-11. Download paper.

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Is the key to sparking climate action a game?

81% of participants in a role play simulation increased motivation to combat climate change, regardless of political orientation

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Media Highlights