Prize winners

At its annual gathering in London The UK System Dynamics Society awarded the Steer Davies Gleave prize for the best example of applying systems modelling to address a real-world problem. The award went to the Symmetric Partnership for their work on reducing harm associated with alcohol consumption.

The panel of judges commended the work for its relevance to a major social issue of our time: the damage caused to individuals and society by alcohol abuse, and the effectiveness of measures to reduce the harm.

Symmetric Partners Douglas McKelvie and Steve Arnold accepted the prize. Douglas McKelvie said, “the work addressed a very difficult and visible topic, and demonstrated the value of using a whole-system approach when tackling complex problems in the public sector; in particular it shows the real benefit to of using a System Dynamics approach”.

Steve Arnold said, “Our method of working involves a wide range of stakeholders. This enables the model to reflect best practice and inform NHS commissioning plans across the country”. John Swanson, of Steer Davies Gleave, and past President of the UK System Dynamics Society, said the prize is important because it helps to publicise some of the very good work being done using system dynamics in areas of widespread public interest, and draws attention to the possibilities this approach offers many people struggling with similar problems in the public sector.

1. Contact - Douglas McKelvie, The Symmetric Partnership, e-mail:; tel: 0131 557 0559
2. The Symmetric Partnership is a leading UK proponent of systems thinking in the health and social care sector. A download of the presentation can be accessed at