John Sterman

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


John Sterman John D. Sterman’s research centers on improving managerial decision making in complex systems. He has pioneered the development of “management flight simulators” of corporate and economic systems. These flight simulators are now used by corporations and universities around the world. His recent research ranges from the dynamics of organizational change and the implementation of sustainable improvement programs to experimental studies assessing the public’s understanding of global climate change. Sterman‘s research includes systems thinking and organizational learning, computer simulation of corporate strategy, and the theory of nonlinear dynamics.

He is the author of many scholarly and popular articles on the challenges and opportunities facing organizations today, including the book, Modeling for Learning Organizations, and the award-winning textbook, Business Dynamics. His articles on the innovative use of interactive simulations in management education and corporate problem solving have appeared in Fortune, the Financial Times, BusinessWeek, as well as other newspapers and journals. He has been featured on Public Television’s News Hour, National Public Radio’s Marketplace, and CBS television.

Sterman twice has been awarded the Jay W. Forrester Prize for the “Best Published Work in System Dynamics.” He also has won a 2005 IBM Faculty Award as well as the 2001 Accenture Award for the “Best Paper of the Year” published in the California Management Review (with Nelson Repenning). Five times, he has won awards for “Teaching Excellence” from the students of MIT Sloan, and was named one of MIT Sloan’s “Outstanding Faculty” by the 2001 BusinessWeek Guide to the Best Business Schools.

Faculty Media

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] What Does the Trump Administration Mean for Climate Change Efforts?

    "For every conservative who dreams about ripping up the Paris Agreement, there's a company executive who wants to stay in."

  • [Innovation@Work Webinar] The Dynamics of Climate Change—from the Political to the Personal

    In this free webinar hosted by MIT Sloan's John Sterman, explore the dynamics of the climate interactively and suggest what we can do both professionally and personally to build a safer,...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Taking #OurAccord Personally for Earth Day

    People often think of climate change as a policy issue, one that is best dealt with through legislation and mandates, and not as an individual.

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] A Unique Framework to Address Complex Challenges: System Dynamics

    Many executives in today's complicated business world are finding they no longer have the tools and techniques needed to address complex problems. MIT Sloan Professor John Sterman says there is a...

  • [Innovation@Work Blog] Mapping Risk with the Beer Game

    As MIT Sloan Professor John Sterman told MIT Technology Review, “there’s no actual beer in the Beer Game.” Instead, it’s an exercise for MIT Sloan students that simulates the supply chain of the...

  • Here’s Why Trump Probably Won’t Ditch The Paris Climate Deal

    On the campaign trail, Donald Trump vowed to cancel the Paris agreement on global warming. But his senior advisors will likely urge him to stay in. Pulling out of such a flexible agreement, as one...

  • The Paris Agreement is Bigger than Trump ... Isn't It?

    Bye-bye, dirty fossil fuels. The clean-energy era is here. Right?

  • Companies Remind Trump: What’s Good for the Planet can be Good for Business

    “We’re trying to hike up a mountain that has become a lot steeper, and now there’s a huge headwind in our faces,” says John Sterman with the MIT Sloan School of Management.

  • Paris Climate Agreement on Track for Early Start

    s many as 170 countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change Friday in a symbolic triumph for a landmark deal that once seemed unlikely but now appears on track and ahead of...

  • White House Surprised by U.S. Supreme Court Stay of Carbon Rule

    "The court's stay, although procedural, clearly signals trouble for the clean power plan", said John Sterman, an MIT professor who created an intricate computer model that simulates the effects of...


Contact Information

Office: E62-436
Phone: 617-253-1951
Fax: 617-258-7579
Support Staff
Name: Jocelyn Climent
Phone: 617-258-5583

The Dynamics of Climate Change—from the Political to the Personal

Explore the dynamics of the climate interactively and learn what we can do both professionally and personally to build a safer, sustainable world. Sterman presents C-ROADS, this award-winning modeling software has been used by more than 15,000 people, including policy makers and negotiators, in 53 nations around the world, and is freely available to participants in the webinar.

John Sterman: System Dynamics

In this video, Professor John Sterman talks about systems dynamics—a technique invented by MIT Sloan's Jay Forrester—to better understand dynamic problems arising in complex systems.

John Sterman and Jason Jay: #OurAccord

John Sterman and Jason Jay discuss how you can contribute your ideas on how to fight climate change. Share your ideas on social media using #OurAccord.