THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF SYSTEMICS ON SOCIETY
Dear ISSS Colleagues:
I wish to welcome all of you, and invite you to join me at the 49th Annual Meeting of ISSS, to be held in beautiful Cancun, Mexico.
My hope for this meeting is that it will not primarily be a "paper presentation meeting". Dialogue, round table discussions, symposia organized by interested parties and joint discussion of related papers organized by SIG chairs will be favored over traditional paper presentations. These however will be duly incorporated in the Proceedings.
Within the ever-existing time restraints we foresee, among others, the following activities:
Plenary guest speakers: the program will include a number of keynote addresses by some of the most distinguished scientists. So far, Edgar Morin has in principle agreed to come. Humberto Maturana, and our past President Russell L. Ackoff have been invited, and are to be confirmed.
Discussion in small groups: time for more than just a few questions and answers will be allotted after each plenary speech.
SIG-promoted meetings: on key areas such as Education, Information Systems, Business Applications, Systems Modeling and Meta Modeling, Human and General Processes, the Primer Project, Critical Systems Theory and Practice, Impact of Weltanschauung and others, as well as cross-meetings between SIGs will be favored. Conclusions and proposals to be delivered at the final plenary.
The Latin American perspective: will be encouraged, with side meetings in Spanish.
If possible, a special meeting combining Syntegrity and Interactive Management methodologies may be organized, to inquire about ways of achieving a more meaningful democracy in Latin American countries.
A "presentation in Plenary of new SIGs" will be organized, especially the "ISSS Youth Chapter" inspired by Bela H. Banathy's work (the "20/40 group" we mentioned at Asilomar).
A special session will be held for the presentation of new books by ISSS members (in addition to the traditional display table).
Time will be dedicated to foster interaction with other institutions that all over the world approach systems from similar or different outlooks. Let us be systemic! Colleague entities and their members are encouraged to join us at this meeting, as many did in the past.
Whenever a distributed site meeting took place in between annual ISSS meetings, time will be given to hear their conclusions and proposals in a Plenary.
Two special meetings on the future of ISSS will be expected to find interested participants: one to restate ISSS identity within the framework of the objectives stated in our Bylaws, and another on strategies to increase membership. Our next President Debora Hammond will be asked to chair these meetings.
Informal early morning and late afternoon meetings (such as Sue Gabrielle's breakfasts and Len Troncale's fireplace chats) that we enjoyed in past years will again be promoted.
Poster sessions will be organized by all those persons or entities who may have some particular idea or proposal to present within the systemic outlook.
Outside of the five conference days, i.e. one day before and one day after, workshops on advanced natural sciences and social sciences and their implications on the systems approach will be organized, subject to demand. Possible conductors: Len Troncale, Hector Sabelli.
Last but not least, sessions devoted to the general theme of the meeting: THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF SYSTEMICS ON SOCIETY, will be promoted. Papers that integrate the conference theme and the subthemes you are dealing with in your work are especially invited. The very sorry state of the world, its violence, hunger, inequality, war, terrorism, intolerance, lack of generosity (all interrelated) pose a supreme challenge to the systems community. Systemists like West Churchman or Bela H. Banathy, past ISSS meetings, as well as many studies and actions of colleagues of many generations, have attended this challenge, responding to one of ISSS' key objectives as stated in its Bylaws: to "promote efforts toward the service of humanity".
You see in these different action areas for the Cancun meeting that we seek unity through a variety of approaches and activities.
As stated by members of this President's Advisory Committee, we hope to achieve a clarified profile and orientation of ISSS, continue building a solid platform for both the social applied and the natural science threads of ISSS, provide the opportunity to engage with others in dialogue and find ways to better address crucial world problems.