The International Society for the Systems Sciences invites scholarly papers and presentations for its 44th Annual Meeting, in conjunction with the World Congress of the Systems Sciences. To repeat, members of co-host organizations should first contact their own organization for possible participation in the co-host portion of the program. However, proposals are also invited for any one or more of our 24 current Special Integration Group (SIGS), or for various “exploratory panels,” special panels and symposia and poster session (described below).

Applied Systems and Development (Centre for Applied Development Studies) -- Dennis Finlayson, SIG Chair, Centre for Applied Development Studies, Lincoln School of Management, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, Brayford Pool, Linocln, LN6 7TS, England, Tel: 0044 1522 886252, Fax: 0044 1522 886032 --

The Special Integration Group in Applied Systems and Development invites contributions for participation in its paper sessions at the 2000 annual meeting of the ISSS in Toronto, Canada. Our mission is to develop, demonstrate and apply appropriate approaches in active association with all parties affected by or involved in development projects and programmes. Of central importance to this mission is an awareness of the subtle inter-relationships among decision processes at local, regional, national and global scales. Such ideals as sustainability, participation and partnership are easy to proclaim. Yet the realities are complex and ever-evolving. This makes the search for viable ways forward a demanding task, and the evaluation of progress against any such ideals a many-faceted process. This SIG is concerned with the application and discovery of appropriate management theory and methods for interventions so that development and funding agencies can be adequately informed. We have a particular interest in exploring issues of managing physical, economic and community development through collaborative ventures which may involve local and national government, voluntary organisations and small as well as larger business enterprises. In terms of management methods, we are interested in a range of approaches based on systems thinking; of flexible group decision support tools such as the strategic choice approach; of complementary approaches to evaluation; and of appropriate techniques for project appraisal and appreciation of local community perspectives.

Critical Systems Theory & Practice -- Ken Udas, Ph.D., 15 East 11th Street, Apt. 3D, New York, NY 10003, USA --

The Special Integration group in Critical Systems Theory and Practice invites contributions for participation in its paper session at the 2000 annual meeting of the ISSS. Critical systems theory is a truly multidisciplinary and vibrant area of inquiry and practice that is central to the meeting theme. Critical systems theory and practice is a pervasive thread of inquiry that runs through each of the social sciences with implications for research methodology, system design, public policy, and numerous other application areas that extend beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. The desire of the Critical Systems Theory and Practice SIG is to facilitate the development of a paper session that reflects the multidisciplinary and interprofessional nature of critical systems theory and speaks directly to and focuses attention on the improvement of the human condition. To this end we seek to attract a balance of literature reviews, theoretical articles, and case studies, from scholars, students, and practitioners in numerous disciplines and professions. Although the topic areas could range from comparative research methods, to the effects of international intellectual property policy on developing countries, community development, social services reform, and participatory design, each submission must relate to the conference theme. Establishing this unifying thread will help illustrate the potential and limitations of critical systems theory as an action oriented agenda for systemic study and change.


Designing Educational Systems -- Dr. Patrick Jenlink, Dept. of Educational Leadership, Austin State University, 1936 North Street, Rm 404, Nacogdoches, Texas 75962-3018, USA --

You are invited to submit papers that respond generally to the overall theme of "Crossing Boundaries to our Educational Future" and specifically to ideas expressed in one of the three following strands: 1. Preparing for Transcendence over Boundaries - Models, methods, capacities, and necessary conditions for moving across boundaries. What boundaries are being crossed? How do we know when a boundary has been crossed? Are they visible, felt, acknowledged? Does everyone need to cross at the same time? What are the ethics of change? of non-change? Coping with "crossing guards." How do transcenders and non-transcenders coexist? Are their levels of transcendence that are most appropriate for certain situations? 2. Carrying the Goods (or) The Burdens of Boundary Crossings - What is carried by boundary crossers? Is a new design carried over complete, or does it mostly take shape during/after the crossing? What should be the critical content (the design) of the future system in terms of functional, ethical, or aesthetic considerations. What is the nature of a design that lends itself to being successfully transplanted; eg. avoid rejection by the existing system. 3. After the Crosssing - Assuming that "boundary crossing" is a continuous process, what are the necessary characteristics of an infrastructure for supporting and sustaining it? We will schedule an opening general session for the SIG to present the week’s program. We want to organize the sessions so as to maximize interaction among attenders/participants. Therefore, we ask each paper presenter to include 3-5 "trigger" questions selected to promote/provoke a conversation about the presenter’s issue or premise. Presenters should limit their presentation to 10 minutes and participate in ensuing conversations. We will also plan a closing session at end of week to summarize outcomes from each strand. Participants will be encouraged to remain with one strand to maximize the quality and the connections among the related topics.


Duality Theory -- Vitaly Dubrovsky, School of Business, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699-5795, USA, Tel: 1-315-268-1314 --

In the general systems context, duality (polarity, complementarity, dialectics, trialectics, symmetry, opposition, contrariety, unity, etc.) can be viewed in at least three different ways: (1) as a fundamental isomorphy observed across variety of systems studied by different scientific disciplines; (2) as a basic theoretical construct and a fundamental logical principle common to all historical times and cultures; and (3) as an integral attribute of self-reflection. You are invited to participate in an attempt to build theory of duality, and thus, to contribute to articulation of the general systems theory. Papers on any topic related to the duality theory are invited. The following topics are preferred topics emphasize two general themes of the meeting, unification of science and improvement of the human condition: 1. Examination of examples of duality in different disciplines and appropriate generalizations; 2. Relationships of duality and other systems isomorphies (e.g. hierarchy, evolution, and emergence); 3. Taxonomies of dualities; 4. Relation of duality theory and general systems theory or its aspects; 5. Logical and philosophical issues surrounding duality; 6. History of duality ideas in science, philosophy, and theology; 7. Duality and human consciousness; 8. Ways of dealing with duality and/or overcoming duality.

Familiarity with the following previous work may be helpful: Troncale, L. R. and Voorhees B. H. (1983). Towards a formalization of systems linkage propositions. General Systems, Vol. XXVIII, pp. 187-195. Contributions to Duality sessions. (1985). In B. Banathy (ed.) Proceedings of The International Conference of Society for General Systems Research, Los Angeles, May 27-31. Intersystems Publications, pp. 136-199. Voorhees, B. H. (1956). Towards duality theory. General Systems Bulletin, Vol. XVI, No 2, pp. 58-62.


Evolution and Complexity (Epic of Evolution Society) -- Larry Edwards, 1855 Branciforte Dr., Santa Cruz, CA 95065, USA, Tel: 1-831-425-2079, Fax: 1-831-460-0204 --

While the role of complexity, including self-organization, self-emergence, and chaos theory, as a factor in the evolution of physical, biological, and sociological systems is now accepted by many scientists, its importance is still widely debated. This Special Integration Group (SIG) within the ISSS is devoted to exploring various points of view and various theoretical and empirical approaches to this debate. Diversity is welcomed and a free and open discussion is encouraged. For the 2000 annual meeting in Toronto, we are specifically seeking well-focussed and informed papers/presentations from a variety of members for the formal panels and informal evening workshop/discussion sessions following the panels. We invite you to submit an abstract for consideration for either of the panels that we will be organizing on this subject: 1. The Epic of Evolution - the understanding of the evolutionary process as providing the context for the emerging ecological culture of the 21st century; a special focus will be the question of the most appropriate and effective means of transmitting the new paradigm of the system sciences to the broader public. 2. Evolution and Political Systems - the evolution of political organization from primates to global government.


Evolutionary Learning Community (ELC) (Syntony Quest) -- Kathia and Alexander Laszlo, 1761 Vallejo Street, Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94123-5029 --

The Evolutionary Learning Community (ELC) SIG invites the creative exploration of Evolutionary Systems Design (as philosophy, theory, and practice) by action-oriented systems thinkers of today who wish to engage in the creation of the conditions under which partnership cultures may emerge tomorrow. Through papers and conversation, this objective will be followed down a path of inquiry framed in a normative evolutionary perspective. The ELC SIG approach to bringing forth a partnership culture is founded on the principles that underlie the patterns of change described by the dynamics of all complex adaptive systems with a throughput of information and energy. As such, a sustainable partnership culture is conceived to emerge when conditions for individual and group empowerment are consciously created in a framework that incorporates evolutionary understanding. With its focus on the development of evolutionary competence, the Evolutionary Learning Community serves as the vehicle of choice for such action-research. By engaging in participatory processes of learning how to learn in harmony with the dynamics of its physical and socio-cultural milieu, the ELC does not adapt its environment to its needs, nor does it simply adapt to its environment. Rather, it adapts with its environment in a dynamic of mutually sustaining evolutionary co-creation. Through such a process, individuals and groups can self-empower for creation of responsible ecosystemic transformation in whatever community they choose to join. When one or more Communities of ELCs (or ELC Ecosystems) begins to appear, this in effect, marks the emergence of an authentic Partnership Culture. As part of ISSS praxis, the development of an operational model of ELC could help make the difference that makes a difference. Although essentially abductive in methodological style, the two lines of design inquiry to be pursued to facilitate ISSS offerings will be essentially deductive and inductive, respectively: the former will proceed through discussion of theoretical analyses relating to the principles and constructs required for a community to be both evolutionary and learning oriented; and the latter will proceed through presentation of observations of, and interactions with, existing communities that demonstrate evolutionary competence or the potential for it. Since these two approaches are co-dependent and mutually inform issues of systems science and quality of life, they will form the backbone of the ELC sessions. Please develop a one page extended abstract along either of these lines. Related themes to be considered include ‘Designing Healthy Authentic Communities’ and ‘Evolutionary Guidance Systems’ both in relation to the emergence of Partnership Culture and the improvement of the human condition.


Futurism and Change -- Curt McNamara, 4010 Hayes St. NE, Mpls., MN 55421, USA --,

The Futurism and Change Special Integration Group of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) welcomes submissions for our 2000 meeting. Futurism has been described as the creation of possible future states. These states may or may not be desirable, so the practice of futurism requires tools to move systems towards or away from them. Systems science contains these tools, as well as tools to examine, analyze, and create possible futures that have pattern integrity. It has been said that change is the only constant. The systems sciences inform us that all systems change, yet it is the nature of a system to resist change. Using the science of systems to study and inform change will be a hallmark of the 21st century.


Hierarchy Theory -- Prof. Pierre Auger, UMR CNRS 5558, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1 43. Boulevard du 11 Novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne cedex, France --

Biological systems are hierarchically organized. They can be divided into sub-systems that can themselves be subdivided into further smaller subsystems. The different levels of the Hierarchy correspond to different levels of observation, from macroscopic to microscopic and consequently to different time and space scales. The hierarchical internal structure allows one to aggregate and to look for emerging properties at a global level. Aggregation corresponds to the reduction of the dimension of a dynamical system (the microscopic system) which can be replaced by a reduced model for a few number of global variables (the macroscopic system). Emergence corresponds to the couplings between the different hierarchical levels of the system leading to the emergence of global properties in the aggregated model. The session is devoted to hierarchy theory and its applications for the study of the dynamics of biological systems with a special emphasis on aggregation and emergence methods in relation to hierarchy. Papers relating on hierarchy theory as well as to applications in Biology, but also social systems are welcome.


Human Systems Inquiry -- Arne Collen, Ph.D., P O Box 4950, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, USA, Fax: 1-925-930-9779 --

The purpose of the SIG is to provide an arena for ISSS members to present, exchange, and discuss: 1) ideas and viewpoints concerning issues in systems research relevant to human beings and the human condition; 2) applications of systems ideas about research to systems practice in human contexts; 3) innovations in systems methodology; and 4) systemic case studies conducted in, with, or by human activity systems. We welcome submissions connecting human systems inquiry to the conference theme. We invite your contribution to present and discuss your ideas and research applying systemic concepts and principles through forms of human inquiry.


Information Systems Design and Information Technology -- Bela Antal Banathy, 38 Seca Place, Salinas, CA 93908, USA, Tel: 1-831-375-7614 --

During the past three decades we have made spectacular advances in communications and computing technologies. It is clear that in the next century, communications, storage, and processing capacities, as well as the human-machine interface will be developed to levels that are at present unimaginable. In effect, we will greatly increase the surface area of human-machine contact. Perhaps more importantly, we will try to elevate the contact to increasingly higher abstraction. With many of the technical problems that constrained the information systems design efforts of the past having been solved, we can focus more clearly on the systemic foundations of the design task. Papers addressing this general topic are invited. To lend more focus to the sessions, three themes are proposed: 1) The conceptual foundations that inform the partitioning of tasks between human beings and machines; 2) Information systems as a means of extending the existing biological infrastructure of information processing in organizations; 3) Power and the internet. These topics can be addressed at the level of an individual human being, that of a group, a community, the larger society, or combinations of these. In each case it is of particular importance for us to ask fundamental questions involving the epistemological and ontological aspects of human-machine interaction


Living Systems Analysis -- James R. Simms, 9405 Elizabeth Ct., Fulton, MD 20759, USA, Tel: 1-301-498-5927 --

The Living Systems Analysis SIG is interested in general systems theories, principles, and properties of life. Cells, organs, organisms, groups, organizations, societies, and supranational systems are recognized levels of living systems. Papers dealing with characteristics or phenomena that can be generalized across two or more of these levels are welcome, as are papers that employ principles and theory of living systems to analyze or synthesize systems or components at a particular level. Papers linking living systems theory to other science and bodies of theory (e.g., biology, physics, chemistry, hierarchy theory, duality theory, accounting theory, economics, behavioral theories) are encouraged. We are especially interested in papers that help unify the sciences and that treat basic principles and theories for making complexity more understandable. Unification of science is a major goal of the ISSS. Understanding complexity is the theme of the 44th conference. We hope that to have joint sessions with other SIGs. If your paper has links to other SIGs such as Business and Industrial Systems Application, Hierarchy Theory, Legal and Political Systems, Information Systems Design, Education, or Medicine and Health care, please note that in your cover letter and on the title page. We will endeavor to organize a joint session with any SIG for which we have multiple linking papers. We are making an effort in the paper solicitation process to extend the area of living systems analysis even further than it has been in the past. It is felt that an ever greater range of papers would help improve the meeting. Thus we are making a special plea for papers which would extend the limits of LSA. Also, specifically we would like to include sessions on subsystems, applications, and single case studies.


Medical and Health Systems -- Professor György Járos, PhD, Department of Anaesthesia, The University of Sydney, 2006 NSW, Australia. Tel: +61-2-9351-5573, Fax: +61-2-9519-2455. E-mail:, website:

SCIENCES Medical and Health SIG caters to a truly multidisciplinary area of inquiry and practice and addresses concerns dealing with the improvement of the human condition. It aims to utilise systems thinking to problems of health promotion and disease prevention and management and it promotes the crossing of traditional discipline-based boundaries according to which traditional medicine operates at present.

Papers in basic research as well as in the clinical and social areas will be welcome. Health and disease have implications in all layers of the living universe, from the sub-molecular level, through cellular, organismic, family, organisational and societal levels to the international level. Papers that illustrate such a multilevel integration will be
specially welcome. It is hoped that members of many of the professions who are concerned with the promotion of the health of individuals, groups, communities and nations will present papers and will participate in the

Modeling and Metamodeling -- Curt McNamara, 4010 Hayes St. NE Minnapolis MN 55421, USA -

The Modeling and Metamodeling SIG invites papers which present new work on the theory and applications of the Metasystem Paradigm to all system domains. The Metasystem Paradigm (van Gigch, System Design Modeling and Metamodeling, PLENUM, 1991) postulates logic levels according to which organizational problems can be discussed and studied at different levels of abstraction. The Metasystem Paradigm is an epistemological entity which is justified by the differentiation in logic between the totality of a class(at the metalevel) and the members of the class(at the object level). The Metasystem Paradigm has proven useful to represent problems and situations where the relationship between logic levels has not been previously articulated. To date, the Metasystem Paradigm has found applications in multiple areas of endeavor and has helped to uncover gaps in organizational and system designs. The Modeling and Metamodeling SIG invites reports of theoretical advances and new applications.


The ISSS Primer Tom Mandel --

We are the Primer group, a family of writers within ISSS, online, which has designed our project to involve any and all members of ISSS. We are even inviting non-members to join us. The idea is to present the enormously difficult to grasp "system of systems" from many different perspectives. We are about “collectively” that is to say “multiperspectually”, writing a small "introduction to general systems thinking" -- a sort of ISSS mini-handbook -- a "systems primer," if you will, that will supplement the 1993 ISSS Handbook published in Spain. We consider the need for an elementary systems manual to be obvious. While our original goal was to write a primer for the general public, our goal has risen somewhat as we now are attempting a primer equal to that task of assisting the seasoned systems scientist as well as the elementary school pupil; or unfamiliar media person. We now have the tools to do just that. Perhaps it might be good to review Bertalanffy so that you might know where we are coming from. At the end of World War II, Ludwig von Bertalanffy introduced General Systems Theory as a science dedicated to finding the general principles of systems. He wrote, "In modern science, dynamic interaction appears to be the central problem in all fields of Reality. Its general principles are to be defined by systems theory." The "International Society for General Systems Research," (ISGSR) was formed in 1962 and has since evolved into the "International Society for Systems Sciences." Here we are... Organismic Systems differ from the ordinary or typical mechanistic viewpoint in that the new systemic viewpoint is relationship based, much different from but including as a special case the old entity based ontology of empirical science. Our efforts have suggested that rather than devise a universal system, we ought to have a "toolbox" into which any valid systemic tool could be placed. We have found reality is highly "diarelational," as many others have. We go a little further and suggest that simplicity and complexity are relative "diarelational" terms like "up and down." We have also accidentally discovered a "Mediating System" that may be a fruitful and enjoyable GST as well. But all this may change, as we change daily around here. We would like to show you what we have done, and invite you to join with us in what has been described as a "timely, important and exciting" project.


Processes and Human Processes (Chicago Center for Creative Development) -- Hector Sabelli, 2400 North Lakeview, Suite 2802, Chicago, IL 60614, USA, Fax: 1-312-348-4499 --

This special integration group (SIG) of the ISSS is devoted to studies of creative processes, their scientific understanding, and practical ways to foster them. An emerging world view regards natural and human processes as spontaneously creative --in contrast to the standard focus on invariant features, that portrays processes as either determined or accidental. Interactions co-create novel and complex organization, from matter to life and consciousness. Both physical and mental processes are made of the same energy, different only in the complexity of their organization. This process approach originates with Greek physiology, the foundation of science and philosophy, a comprehensive theory of natural and human processes that took living matter as a model for the spontaneous creativity of all matter. The first numerical law of science stated the relation between musical harmony and the length of chords. Correspondingly, a particular bent of our SIG has been a focus on both mathematical form and biological and psychological processes. The Process SIG was given impetus by professor Ilya Prigogine, the father of the process approach in modern physics, at the 1997 Seoul meeting of the ISSS. For the Toronto meeting we plan one panel and one paper session. Physical, chemical, social, and psychological processes are considered. We are particularly interested in studies that analyze how processes at various levels of integration interact in complex systems. We seek testable scientific theories, practical methods, and empirical data. Here we invite contributions for the Toronto meeting of the ISSS in the following areas: (1) Process Methods. Papers on analytic methods to study novelty, complexity, diversity, episodic patterns (complexes), asymmetry, and all other features of creative processes in time series and other empirical data. (2) Empirical Applications of the Process Paradigm. How can one apply the process approach in scientific research, clinical practice, organizational development, or social action? We particularly welcome contributions that include empirical data. (3) Advances in Process Theory. Process theory of processes is an evolving set of scientific hypotheses. A hypothesis is scientific when it is grounded on observation, clearly formulated (mathematically whenever possible), experimentally testable, and practically applicable. Processes must be described in terms of physical dimensions, plus additional dimensions of information and organization not included in standard physics. (4) Mathematical Models. Papers on bios, chaos, recursive equations, strange attractors, and other mathematical models of natural processes.


Research Toward A General Theories Of Systems -- Helmut (Ken) Burkhardt, Adjunct Professor of Physics, Ryerson Polytechnic University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5B 2K3, Tel: 1-416-979-5079, x7246, Fax: 1-416-698-1214 --

The Original ISSS (alias SGSR) Goal Statements are (1) to investigate isomorphy of concepts, laws and models from various fields, and to help in useful transfers from one field to another; (2) to encourage the development of adequate theoretical models in fields which lack them; (3) to minimize the duplication of theoretical efforts in different fields; (4) to promote the unity of science improving communication among specialists. In support of these goals the SIG on Research Toward a General Theories of Systems (RTGTS) has set for itself the following objectives: 1. To discover or develop a set of universal concepts and algorithms that are relevant among all the branches of science, and useful in describing all the diverse systems in nature and culture. -- Examples are: Aristotle’s categories of thinking, the concepts of energy and entropy, the algorithm of accounting, living systems theory, or chaos theory. 2. To give a rigorous definition to these notions in the physical sciences to start with; to add conceptual expansions to concepts and algorithms where necessary or appropriate in order to cover the emerging properties of more complex systems; to apply these expanded concepts systematically in the varieties of complex sciences such as cybernetics, biology, sociology and ecology. 3. To test the validity of the unified scientific theories; to demonstrate and to verify their predictive power by practical examples in each of the branches of science; to otherwise establish criteria under which the behaviors of observed and inferred systems can be reasonably evaluated.


Spirituality and Systems -- Axel Randrup, Byg. 24B, Svog., Dk-4000 Roskilde, Denmark --

Over the years our SIG has touched many aspects of the vast subject of spirituality. We have emphasized discussion, or rather exchange and have had sessions and workshops with really positive interaction. I think that this is in agreement with both spirituality and systems behaviour, a session can act collaboratively as a system, and in the process spirit many develop. Interaction takes time, however, and for the 2000 meeting I will suggest a session or workshop dedicated wholly to general discussion. In recent years, our SIG has enjoyed more general attention in the ISSS, and this summer I have received suggestions to discuss the subjects ethics, religion, environment, perhaps in joint sessions with other SIGs.


Systems Application to Business and Industry Enrique G. Herrscher, Dean, Graduate Business School, IDEA (Management Development Institute of Argentina), Moreno 1850, (1094) Buenos Aires, Argentina, Tel: +54-1-372-7667, x205/239, Fax: +54-1-373-6944 --

A call for papers on “Social Organizations in the 21st Century: The Challenge of Complexity”. Continuing what we did in Atlanta 1998 and Asilomar 1999, papers referring to the following theme tracks will be presented by way of joint discussion groups in the following three symposia: a) The 21st century corporation and the dilemma between efficiency and stakeholder wellbeing; b) The 21st century business and social organization and the issue of unemployment; c) The 21st century organization and the ethical problems of corporations and society. All ISSS members, and particularly SIG members and past meetings attendees, are encouraged to submit as soon as possible. Abstracts will be posted in the SIG page of the ISSS website. All interested persons are encouraged to join us in discussing these issues, through a listserv to be established to permit an e-mail interactive forum. In order to assure that at each of the three symposia we all “speak about the same subject” (and their systemic connections), we ask that abstracts, papers, statements or proposals addressing specifically those themes are identified as “track” a, b, or c. All other papers will be shared with interested parties in “black tie poster sessions.” Faculty of York University of Toronto, with which IDEA’s Business School has strong academic ties, are encouraged to join us in these dialogs. Bill Shireman of Global Futures Foundation is setting up a round table on business & systems related issues, and we should join forces participating in that slot in the program, as well as welcoming that group in the above activities.


Systems Modeling and Simulation -- Dr. Robert A. Orchard, Prof. Computer Science, City University of New York, at College of Staten Island, New York, and Institute for Advanced Systems, P. O. Box 640, Indian Rocks Beach, Fl. 33785, USA, Tel/Fax: 1-727-593-2181 --

A call for papers on understanding complexity through systems modeling and simulation. The principles behind modeling complex systems in order to make them tractable vary from practitioner to practitioner. Hopefully by observing enough validated models one can start to ascertain the meta-principles behind good modeling. Papers and models which elucidate these meta-principles and therefore make complex issues more tractable are invited, as well as papers that reason through complexity to formulate simpler models.


Systems Philosophy and Systems Ethics -- Dr. Sytse Strijbos, Faculty of Philosophy, Vrije Universiteit De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam 1081 HV, The Netherlands, Tel: +31-20-4446692/4446620 (Office Univ.), +31-346-580695 (Office Home), Fax: +31-842-137061 --

A distinguishing feature of today’s world is that science and technology has built the house in which humanity lives. Airplanes, television, and especially computer networks and information technologies have enveloped a diversity of cultures and societies. The most important aspects of technology lie not in their apparent content but in the systemic changes that they catalyze on a global scale. Technology is no longer simply a matter of objects in the hands of individuals but has become a very complex system in which our everyday lives are embedded. This systemic character of modern technology and the information age confronts us with relatively new questions and dimensions of human responsibility. Besides contributions that deal with the systemic foundations of our world of technology, papers are invited that explore fundamental ethical and philosophical issues of the systems sciences.


Systems Psychology and Psychiatry -- Dr. Robert A. Orchard, Prof. Computer Science, City University of New York, at College of Staten Island, New York, and Institute for Advanced Systems, P. O. Box 640, Indian Rocks Beach, Fl. 33785, USA, Tel/Fax: 1-727-593-2181 --

A general call for papers on the complexity of psychological processes, mechanisms, problems and solutions. Papers from all modalities of psychotherapy (i.e., Gestalt, TA, Rogerian, NLP, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy, Brief short term therapy, Family therapy, etc.) and both Jungian, Freudian and other schools are invited. Of special interest are those simple elegant solutions to a perceived complex presenting problem. Papers dealing with understanding of the complexities of the social environment and policies vis-a-vis juvenile mental health issues are welcome. All papers submitted must contribute to an understanding of complexity and help in making complexity more tractable.


Systems Studies of Climate Change -- Fred Bernard Wood, 2346 Lansford Ave., San Jose, CA 95125, USA, Tel: 1-408-723-7818, Fax: 1-408 723-7045 --



Thermodynamics and Systems Theory (Institute for the Study of Complex Systems), --Peter Corning, Ph.D., ISCS 119 Bryant Street, Suite 212, Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA, Tel: 1-650-325-5717, Fax: 1-650-325-3775 -- Organizer for 1999-2000: Eli Berniker --

The relationship between thermodynamics, information and evolution has been much debated over the years -- ever since the publication of physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s landmark book, What is Life? (1944). Our Special Integration Group is devoted to exploring various points of view and theoretical approaches to this subject. Diversity is welcomed and a free and open discussion is encouraged. For the 2000 ISSS Annual Meeting we are specifically seeking well-focused and informed papers/presentations from members of different theoretical "schools," and we will facilitate two formal panels and an informal evening workshop/discussion session following our panels. We invite you to submit an abstract for consideration for either of the two panels that we will be organizing on this subject: (1) Thermodynamics and Evolution, I -- Autocatalytic and Self-Organizing Processes; (2) Thermodynamics and Evolution, II -- Functional, Selectionist Approaches.



Artificial Systems Research -- Professor Len Troncale, Chairman, Department of Biology, California State Polytechnic University, 3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768, USA --

Introductory statement: Artificial systems research (ASR) is a method of studying the development and operational characteristics of complex systems by adapting and extending techniques gathered from the artificial life community. Artificial life (AL) research uses techniques to evolve and adapt artificial entities that act in ways that we attribute to tactual life. Artificial life techniques make it possible for thousands of years of simulated evolution to occur on computers in days. In this way otherwise intractable causes and effects can be studied. Artificial systems research will use similar techniques along with systems science concepts to develop entities that act in ways that we attribute to actual systems. The benefits of this approach are three-fold. First, it will force us to think in detailed terms about systems science research, when much of what is termed “systems science” is characterized by lack of details. Second, by emulating and simulating real, natural systems, ASR will help us to experimentally study and empirically refine our systems models to gain very specific insights into how natural systems work. Third, ASR will produce tools and techniques that we can use to understand and predict the effects of various stimuli on natural systems. This effort constitutes the foundation of a new specialty with unique potential. This proposed SIG will sponsor “collaborative” research that extends AL and related tools such as genetic algorithms, neural net programming, test tube evolution, mechanisms of variation, and “artificial” selection to conduct actual experiments on alternative general systems models. “Collaborative” in this context means that research hypotheses, tests, and models as well as communications about them will be shared across many natural sciences and many institutions using shared or linked computer facilities. ASR will select for the most robust systems models using AL-type computer-enabled compaction of time needed to accumulate vast increases in the number of trials for each alternative model. This SIG will focus on the first-time computer simulation of natural systems case studies using the Linkage Proposition General Systems Model to enable comparisons between very detailed systems models with slight variations in structure and interaction between systems isomorphies. By leaving out or altering one isomorphy per systems model, the above described time compaction will enable three significant developments. First, it will advance our understanding of systems theory by demonstrating how isomorphies work and what each one contributes to the whole. Second, it will contribute to systems methodology by providing several new systems analysis tools. Third, it will inform and refine systems applications by providing examples of desirable and undesirable effects learned from outcomes of similar interventions in artificial systems.


Environmental Systems (American Society for Cybernetics) -- Dr. Ely A. Dorsey and Dr. Pille Bunnell, Co-Chairs, Howard University School of Business, The Institute for the Study of Industrial Ecology, Environmental Justice and Cybernetics Systems, 2600 Sixth Street, N.W., Room 453, Washington, D.C. 20059, USA, Tel: 1-202-806-1603, Fax: 1-202-806-1642 --,

A call for papers on "Environmental Justice and Social Transformation". The Parity Principle of the Environmental Justice Movement reads, "The right to participate as equal partners at every level of decision-making including needs assessment, planning, implementation, enforcement and evaluation...[and] the strict enforcement of the principles of informed consent." We are calling for papers that address disparity in environmental policies, practices and business. We are looking for insights and conversations about the sources and consequences of rendering one group privileged over another group when environmental initiatives are actualized. Whether it is one ethnic group over another, or one country over another, or one region over another, our focus is on the disparity and the systemic implications of the disparity. Papers should address specific issues of disparity or be posed as studies of potential disparities. The work may derive from Environmental Justice, Risk Assessment, Risk Communication, Concurrent Engineering, Industrial Ecology, Measures of Information Asymmetry, Public Health, Environmental Policy, Competition and Globalization, Sustainable Development, Learning Theory or other relevant fields. Though we are concerned with all the systemic issues and aspects of Environmental Justice, we are particularly interested in the application of second order cybernetic perspectives. We anticipate that the conversation will contribute many insights into the meaning of Sustainable Growth and Development. We invite explorations through conversations. Our aim is to enable a theater for societal transformation that becomes a path for justice.


Foundations of Information Science -- Søren Brier, Ph.D., Session Chair, Landbohøjskolen Inst. for Oekonomi, Skov og Landskab Sektion MOP olighedsvej 23 st. th. DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark --

An Exploratory Session on the Question: Is there a way beyond the conflict between the mechanistic-logical and the phenomenological-semiotic view of science and cognition? The mechanistic approach to science looks for universal laws and logical structures uniting physicochemical nature, the living, cognition, intelligence, and society. But it has created a big divide around the problem of semantics and signification in bio-socio-cultural systems. On the one side, phenomenological and linguistic views have tended to ignore the biological nature of the observer and communicator, seeing the problem of meaning only as socially and individually constructed. While on the other side, the classical approach to information science, derived from information theory and computer sciences, has seen the problem of meaning under the light of "representation" and "syntax", merely attempting an extension of the mechanistic world view into the socio-cultural realm. Is there a possible non-reductionist unification of the two views from some kind of new Foundations of Information Science? Or do we have to live with the full blown version of both information paradigms in a sort of complementarity philosophy (N. Bohr)? Indeed the present "information age" represents a powerful stimulus to attempt the synthesis of a unified information discipline. A historical parallel with the emergence of thermodynamics after the onset of the industrial revolution may be in order.


What is Life/Living? -- John J. Kineman, CEO, Bear Mountain Institute, 1101 Bison Dr., Boulder, CO 80302, USA, Tel/Fax: 1-303-443-7544 --,

Controversy abounds in the study of life, which has been pursued mostly from the perspective of an independent observer. Meanwhile, many branches of science are being forced to consider non-physical, experiential phenomena in dealing with, for example, human systems, our understanding of the mind, evolution, and quantum "observership." This suggests a new worldview where life is an active and participatory agent, expressible in no terms other than its own. This situation has resulted in an epistemological crisis: Is our scientific concept of reality and life complete if it leaves out the mind or represents it in terms of physical factors alone? Many arguments have been put forward that explaining the mind in material (spatio-temporal, computational, mechanical) terms either does not yet or cannot ever work. In this panel discussion we will investigate the possibilities for new scientific foundations that include both the "objective" (What is life?) and the "experiential" (What is living?) perspectives. Approaches that now seem unacceptable include those frameworks (philosophy/epistemology) that preserve the material or mechanical limitations of science, as a description of only a part of "reality" (resulting in duality); and the "monistic" view that attempts to reduce all of reality to material explanations. We wish to explore the alternative possibilities for expanding the scope of modern science to formally include non-materiality within our view of life, and thus within our view of reality in general. Our approach emphasizes two principles: 1. Integration of assumptions in disciplinary science as a means for achieving a more fundamental and trans-disciplinary "worldview." 2. Relevance between the scientific perspective itself and what we know from experience. This dual agenda is necessary because of the great disparity that exists between many traditional scientific views and everyday experience -- a disparity that colors many of our social systems and personal psychology. There is no greater service that science can provide to society today than to resolve the difference between the "3rd-person" perspective on life, and the "1st-person" perspective on experience. There will be a panel presentation focused on the integration of two major perspectives: 1. What is life from a descriptive point of view? 2. What is living from an experiential point of view? Invited speakers will present their ideas following which there will be a facilitated discussion between the panel and attendees. There will be a paper stream to provide further elaboration of this topic. Contributed papers on closely related topics are welcome.