John D. Sterman

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John D. Sterman

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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

Sterman’s team awarded the 2023 System Dynamics Applications Award

November 15, 2023

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

Outstanding Service Award Goes to Sterman

Sterman wins Seegal Prize

Sterman elected as AAAS Fellow

Publications

"A Management Flight Simulator to Catalyze Learning About Complex Projects."

Gozluklu, Burak, and John D. Sterman. Research Handbook on Complex Project Organizing (2023): 375-382.

"Boeing's 737 MAX 8 Disasters."

Sterman, John D., and J. Quinn, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6834-23. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, January 2023.

"System Dynamics to Understand and Improve the Performance of Complex Projects."

Gozluklu, Burak, and John D. Sterman. Research Handbook on Complex Project Organizing (2023): 70-77. Download Paper.

"Improving Parameter Estimation of Epidemic Models: Likelihood Functions and Kalman Filtering."

Li, Tianyi, Hazir Rahmandad, and John D. Sterman, Working Paper. August 2022.

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Media Highlights

Press Source: The New York Times

Are flight offsets worth it?

In order for an offset to be legitimate, professor John Sterman says a project's results must be verifiable, immediate and durable.

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Executive Education

Executive Education Course

Business Sustainability Strategy

For many companies, the topic of sustainability is at the forefront of business agendas. Consumers and stakeholders are demanding greater accountability from organizations, and the regulatory environment is becoming increasingly stringent. However, pursuing the environmental, social, and governance impacts of business is often met with tension. Leaders now need to manage the misconception within business that meeting sustainability goals means compromising profits.

  • Oct 4-Nov 21, 2023
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Executive Education Course

Strategies for Sustainable Business

This innovative business sustainability program applies a unique MIT Sloan framework to the topic of environmental and socio-economic sustainability and uses an engaging mix of interactive lectures, simulation games and action learning. Participants leave with practical and impactful strategies for building consensus and making change, and are empowered to take action on sustainability from the personal through enterprise level.

  • Mar 25-27, 2024
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