The 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA
July 13-18, 2008
ISSS2008: Systems that Make a Difference
Location: University of Wisconsin, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin
The title for this conference borrows from Gregory Bateson’s definition of information as “a difference that makes a difference.” The question for systems researchers and practitioners is, “what difference are we making?”
The modern systems movement draws upon a rich tradition developed by some of the best and brightest minds of the 20th and 21st centuries. Systems and cybernetic concepts have filtered into much of the scientific literature of the past five decades, and the common media of today is infused with systems-inspired words such as feedback, input/output, regulation, and interdependence. And yet, the systems tradition itself appears to remain largely invisible as an actionable, practical body of knowledge to many of the scientists, academics, politicians and businesspeople who are making the decisions that deeply impact our collective social, economic, and ecological future. The low profile of systems thinking as a discipline among the influential leaders of our time represents a crucial opportunity for the systems community to make a difference in the world in ways that may matter most. The questions naturally arise: • How can we as a community make systems concepts more accessible to decision makers and researchers in the larger global community? • How can members of the systems community apply the existing, rich knowledge base of systems concepts and methodologies toward making a positive, sustainable difference within our own spheres of influence? Toward Making a Difference
The 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences will bring together professionals on the cutting-edge of the systems movement with influential decision makers facing far-reaching, real-world complexities on a daily basis. While we must continue to make systems theories and approaches ever more rigorous, to remain relevant we must also connect our work with the dilemmas in the world for which people are seeking solutions right now. The objective of ISSS 2008 is to further build much-needed bridges between rigor and relevance in systems work. Speakers and authors are invited to present who can address any part of this spectrum, from better methods for systems research to clarifying the nature of real-world problems in need of resolution.
We encourage those interested in attending the conference to register today and begin working with us in creating this important event.
Major content for this page will include (from December 5, 2007):