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Registration open daily from 8am - 6pm.  Please join us for the #ISSS2015 #Roundtable at 7.45am each morning.

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Theme: Second-order Science and Systemic Design [clear filter]
Tuesday, August 4
 

16:00 CEST

Action Research as a Research Method in Architecture and Design

This paper discusses the use of action research as a research method in architecture and design. It addresses the question of how academic work in the fields of architecture and design can pursue research through methods that are appropriate to the nature of design processes. This question is relevant to much research work done in architecture and design, which tends to revert to conventional research methods oriented either towards the sciences or to the humanities in order to be academically acceptable. Action research is introduced as a research method that has much in common with applied design processes, and which allows designers to develop research in the spirit of designing. This paper aims to inform those seeking to preserve the applied nature of designing and the involved nature of the observer/designer while pursuing a higher level of academic rigour.

 


Tuesday August 4, 2015 16:00 - 16:30 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany
 
Wednesday, August 5
 

07:45 CEST

RoundTable Discussion
Everyone is invited to the daily reflection RoundTable. We will meet every morning for an hour before the plenaries, Monday through Friday. Join us every day, or whenever you like.

Our RoundTable purposes are to open a space for daily reflection on our ideals, what we want to learn and create; to increase time for each of us to talk from about what we are thinking and learning now; and to be listened to by others, enjoying and learning with each other in a new way.

 Our format is:


  • We spend 5 minutes listening to short readings.

  • We then spend 50 minutes on individual reflections or learning reports, time distributed equally among all present (e.g. 26 people = about 2 minutes each).


 Our suggested topics for the first morning will be:


  1. "Linking this year’s theme, Governing the Anthropocene, to your specific field of expertise, what do you see as our greatest challenges and hopes?”   AND/OR

  2. "What situations and projects did you leave behind to come here, and what could happen here that would be valuable to you in your work and life back home?”



Each day, a different topic will be suggested by a different volunteering facilitator in attendance.

Folk wisdom and compelling research indicate that participants experience surprising benefits from this activity after about four sessions. Our own experience with this format has resulted in the following theory: Just as we break the sound barrier when we travel faster than the speed of sound, we break the communication barrier when we hear 25 authentic viewpoints in 50 minutes.

Looking forward to experiencing this with you all.

Moderators
avatar for Susan Farr Gabriele

Susan Farr Gabriele

Educator, GEMS: Gabriele Educational Materials and Systems
SIG Chair: ISSS Round Table (see below)Susan Farr Gabriele, PhD, taught for twenty years in Los Angeles schools, including assignments as mentor teacher and department chair. Later, studying systems methods for education under Bela H. Banathy, she earned a PhD in human science: social... Read More →

Wednesday August 5, 2015 07:45 - 08:45 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

09:00 CEST

Keynote: The Ranulph Glanville Lecture Prof. Michael Lissack - Ambiguity is Real: Climate Change as a Subject of Second Order Science
Prof. Michael Lissack is the current President of the American Society of Cybernetics & Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence.

Speakers
avatar for Prof. Michael Lissack

Prof. Michael Lissack

President, American Society of Cybernetics (ASC)
President, American Society of CyberneticsExecutive Director, Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence (ISCE)ISCE Professor of Meaning in OrganizationsVisiting Fellow, Hull University Business SchoolAffiliate Member, Center for Philosophy & History of Science, Boston UniversityMichael... Read More →



Wednesday August 5, 2015 09:00 - 09:45 CEST
Aurora 2 & 3 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

09:45 CEST

Panel and Discussion: Second-order science in the Anthropocene
Speakers
avatar for Prof. Michael Lissack

Prof. Michael Lissack

President, American Society of Cybernetics (ASC)
President, American Society of CyberneticsExecutive Director, Institute for the Study of Coherence and Emergence (ISCE)ISCE Professor of Meaning in OrganizationsVisiting Fellow, Hull University Business SchoolAffiliate Member, Center for Philosophy & History of Science, Boston UniversityMichael... Read More →
avatar for Prof. Karl Mueller

Prof. Karl Mueller

Head, Steinbeis Transfer Center New Cybernetics
Karl H. Müller is currently head of the Steinbeis Transfer Center New Cybernetics in Vienna which aims to develop a new perspective for cybernetics within the context of second-order science.  He is also a Board Member of Constructivist Foundations (CF), an international peer-reviewed academic... Read More →
avatar for Prof. Stuart Umpleby

Prof. Stuart Umpleby

Professor, George Washington University
ISSS Retired



Wednesday August 5, 2015 09:45 - 10:30 CEST
Aurora 2 & 3 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

10:45 CEST

Tea/Coffee break and Poster Viewing
Please take the time to look at the poster presentations in Aurora 2 & 3 during breaks, discuss and connect with one another or speak to one of our "Get social" specialists at the reception desk to get help with the conference technology.

Wednesday August 5, 2015 10:45 - 11:15 CEST
Coffee Break Area Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

11:00 CEST

Panel and Pecha Kucha Discussion: Systemic Design Panel
(inter)actors’ Pecha Kucha

Chaired and moderated by Prof. Gary Metcalf

Panelists

  • Prof. Michael Hohl



  • Prof. Liss C. Werner



  • Katri Pulkkinen



  • Stefan Blachfellner







80 slides for 1600 seconds

a conversation

It is undeniable that systemic design approaches almost all disciplines and hence offer potential for a similar understanding (a general system) of how to design, which behavioral, technical or structural rules to follow, to take on board or to create. The panel takes on the role of a ‘crisp’ conversation between a variety of  ‘design’ perspectives in different disciplines, driven by and focusing on the challenges the anthropocene brings. Aim is to present short varying pitches ranging from innovation to material resilience, the relevance of geo-tagging or the necessity for education in design thinking. Pitches are to clarify and to confuse, to trigger and to embrace, to innovate, to criticize and to shake up.  

The format of the panel acts as interface and as systemic design methodology in itself. 5x15 slides, presented for 20 seconds each describe the blueprint for an agile construction.

Contact:  Liss C. Werner
lisscwerner@tactile-architecture.com

More information on the format : http://www.pechakucha.org/faq

Moderators
avatar for Gary Metcalf

Gary Metcalf

OS faculty, Saybrook University
President, International Federation for Systems ResearchGary S. Metcalf received a PhD in Human Science in 2000 at the Saybrook Graduate School. His doctoral research was conducted under the mentorship of Béla H. Bánáthy, focused on Social Systems Design and Organizational Development.Metcalf... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Mag. Stefan Blachfellner

Mag. Stefan Blachfellner

SIG Chair: Socio-Ecological Systems and Design, Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science
https://about.me/bstefan
avatar for Prof. Michael Hohl

Prof. Michael Hohl

Designer, teacher, researcher, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences
Professor Michael Hohl is a designer, teacher and researcher working with digital media. He likes making things, thinking about things, how we do them and what they mean to us. His research is mostly practice-led with interests including trying to better understand how technology... Read More →
avatar for Katri-Liisa Pulkkinen

Katri-Liisa Pulkkinen

Researcher, Teacher, Aalto University
In 2014 the organiser Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Sytems Science sponsored again a special competition for outstanding research by doctoral students, co-organized with the International Academy for Systems and Cybernetic Sciences (IASCYS).  Katri-Liisa Pulkkinen with her... Read More →
avatar for Prof. Liss C. Werner

Prof. Liss C. Werner

Principal, Architect, Tactile Architecture - office für Systemarchitektur
Prof. Liss C. Werner is a registered architect based in Berlin and founder of Tactile Architecture – Office for SystemArchitektur.  She is adj. assoc. Professor at Taylor’s University near Kuala Lumpur, Dr. phil. [abd] and  George N. Pauly, Jr. Fellow 2012/13, visiting professor... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:00 - 11:45 CEST
Aurora 2 & 3 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

11:45 CEST

Keynote: Prof. Peter Jones - Designing a future for humans to flourish: Reframing the long crisis of the Anthropocene
We now find ourselves as a systems thinking community inquiring into planetary governance for climate and ecological politics. The Anthropocene demands a planetary response, and yet we often find even our fellow travelers tethered to discourses of technological management, cultural change, and right action. Perhaps we might now advocate a strong role for social systems design as a process for continual engagement of citizens as stakeholders, as advocated by Christakis, Ulrich and others.

As we have seen power (economic and political) separate from its cultural histories, and become globalized, we may find ourselves in trajectories of action with marginal power to effect societal outcomes.  We are faced with a dual mandate of restorative system design, recovering human needs in our communities, and policy system design, restoring the long historical arc toward democratic governance. And as these are both designable contexts, systemic design can integrate ecological, technological and design thinking to guide policy in more productive ways.

Speakers
avatar for Prof. Peter Jones

Prof. Peter Jones

Associate Professor, SFI Graduate Program, sLab (Strategic Innovation Lab), OCAD University
SIG Chair:  Systemic DesignPeter is a US citizen that moved to Canada to discover new movements in socially-responsive innovation. He was a founding faculty in the SFI program and maintains connections to international research and design communities of practice, which he hopes to... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 11:45 - 12:30 CEST
Aurora 2 & 3 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

12:30 CEST

Lunch
Please take the time to look at the poster presentations in Aurora 2 & 3 during breaks, discuss and connect with one another or speak to one of our "Get social" specialists at the reception desk to get help with the conference technology.

Wednesday August 5, 2015 12:30 - 13:30 CEST
Scandic Restaurant 3rd Floor Hotel Scandic Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin

13:30 CEST

Designing Scientific Research into Design Team Dynamics

This presentation offers an interim report of a research-into-design study between its pilot stage and its main stage. The study is an empirical investigation of the degrees of congruency between
perceptions of “creative direction-giving” amongst collaborating (as opposed to co-operating) designers. One ambition of this project is to investigate designing scientifically, while doing justice both to the paradigm of empirical natural science and to the practice of design, as it is reflected in cybernetic design theory. Another ambition is to consider the experimental approach from a design perspective. The presentation will be contextualized with an outline of some underlying assumptions shared by cybernetics and design research that are incompatible with the ideals of natural science. These assumptions are: circular causality, non-determinism, and the subjective, included observer. The experimental design of the study, which aims to bridge the aforementioned incompatibility, will be presented, including the design of a novel data acquisition apparatus, and related data analysis methods. Results obtained during the pilot study indicate low congruencies between perceptions of “creative direction-giving” amongst collaborating designers, possibly due to designers’ lack of sensitivity towards their team dynamics. Some possible methodological and design-experimental changes are being considered for the upcoming main stage of the study. These possible changes will be presented and offered for discussion.


Wednesday August 5, 2015 13:30 - 13:54 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

13:30 CEST

A Relational View of Systems Process Theory
Speakers
JK

John Kineman

SIG Chair: Relational Science, International Society for the System Sciences
Senior Research Scientist, CIRES, University of Colorado Stellenbosch Research Fellow (2016), Stellenbosch South AfricaAdjunct Professor, Vignan University, Vadlamudi, IndiaPresident (2015-2016), International Society for the Systems Sciences ISSS SIG Chair: Relational ScienceDr... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 13:30 - 14:00 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

13:30 CEST

Action Research or Design Science Research As Methodology for the Development of a Historical Digital Graphical Novel? A Critical Systems Perspective.

The legacy of Nelson Mandela is part of the lives of most South Africans. His story inspires South Africans and people around the globe to forgive and work hard to achieve freedom from oppression and poverty. For this reason, we need to keep his story alive and teach young people about the sacrifices he made to achieve his goals. Funded by an international consortium, a project called Mandela27 was launched to educate people around the world on the life of Nelson Mandela. Part of the project involved the development of a digital graphical novel depicting life in the prison where he served a 27 year sentence.

This paper investigates action research and design science as design methodologies for the development of the digital graphical novel.  The development of the graphical digital novel was commissioned to the Serious Games Institute of South Africa (SGI-SA) based at the North-West University.  A serious game is a computer game that aims not only to provide entertainment but also to provide an educational experience to the user.  

The SGI-SA often uses design science research as research methodology when developing games. Design science research (DSR) is a methodology used mostly by engineers to develop artefacts.  It is currently receiving high scholarly attention in the field of information Systems (IS). An important journal in the IS field, Management Information Systems Quarterly, recently published guidelines for the use of DSR in IS.  DSR aims to provide scientific rigour in the process of designing, developing, and evaluating artefacts. Its epistemological stance is that knowledge is created through the making of an artefact and evaluating the success thereof.  Many different approaches are documented but most often the following cyclic phases are proposed:  Awareness of the problem, suggestion of possible solutions, development, evaluation of artefact, and conclusion.

Since these phases are comparable with typical AR phases (diagnosis, action planning, action taking, and specifying learning) the developers of the graphical digital novel had to reflect carefully on AR and DSR to select an appropriate methodology for the project. Both these methodologies use existing theory to guide the development process. Critical systems thinking promotes holistic thinking, pluralistic problem solving, emancipation, and reflection. This paper provides a reflection on the design of the digital graphical novel from an AR and DSR methodological perspective within the framework of critical systems thinking.

The paper starts with a discussion of the problem environment followed by a short literature review of theoretical concepts involved in the project.  It then proposes a DSR research plan as well as an AR research plan for the development of the artefact. These research plans are then reflected upon from the perspectives of critical systems thinking. The selection of an appropriate research methodology is then substantiated.


Moderators
avatar for Shankar Sankaran

Shankar Sankaran

Professor, University of Technology Sydney
Vice President Research and Publications, International Society for the Systems Sciences.SIG Chair: Action Research (see below for information)Shankar Sankaran specialises in project management, systems thinking and action research. He is a Core Member of a UTS Research Centre on... Read More →

Speakers

Wednesday August 5, 2015 13:30 - 14:00 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

13:30 CEST

Bridge the Gap: Spanning the Distance Between Teaching, Learning and Application of Systems Thinking in the Workplace

This paper reports on a study looking at teaching, learning and application of systems thinking ideas for the workplace. It provides suggestions for designing learning systems to enhance the application of systems thinking in the workplace.

Drawing upon a qualitative interview process and action research methodology, the research looked at experiences of mature part-time students taking distance learning postgraduate core modules for the systems thinking in practice (STiP) programme at the Open University, UK. The study also investigated the experiences of alumni (from the same programme) as employees seeking to apply the learning from their studies in systems thinking in the workplace,  alongside the experiences of employers of the alumni.

The research was undertaken by a team of  5 systems practitioners involved with the design and delivery of the postgraduate STiP programme. There were three phases to the research. Broadly speaking, the first phase focused upon experiences of learning systems, the second phase focused upon the experience of applying systems ideas in the workplace, whilst the third phase looked ahead to examine better design in the application of systems thinking.

The results of the study in relation to the experience of learning about systems thinking suggested that whilst most students valued their study, there were a range of barriers to learning.  Students experienced challenges of making time and commitment for study and contact with tutors and other students, alongside difficulties with engaging in some of the more philosophical elements of module material and problems with language and the range and scope of case study materials. There were also some specific factors that supported learning that participants identified. These enablers included the high quality of study materials, the richness and variety of voices on the programme (including those of fellow students on online forums) and the integration within module activities to work on applying ideas in practice. 

Whilst some of these experiences of learning were shared, we also found that not all students encountered these challenges and enablers in the same way or in equal measure. In trying to make sense of the variety in experiences of students, we developed some outline sketches or archetypes of systems learners that provided an interesting heuristic account of the variety in which study on the module was encountered.

When the application of systems ideas in practice was discussed, we found that most of the participants who were attempting to apply the ideas in practice were doing so in something of an under-the-radar or behind-the-scenes manner. We found that explicit use of systems thinking in the workplace was somewhat limited, with many participants tending to work with systems thinking for individual sense making or off-line design work. For some of the practitioners, such an approach seemed to be experienced as a problematic constraint on the scope of their practice, whilst for others it was a more accepted part of organisational circumstance.

We found many factors that seemed to contribute to this approach to using systems thinking: employees understanding and sense of agency, the practitioners confidence in overt application, pressure for action that is 'practical' and within current 'frames' of reference and of course the employees learning from module material. We also found that employers had differing attitudes or modes of engaging with the employees skills in systems thinking which had some influence upon how systems thinking could be used by the learners.

The synthesis of this inquiry is emerging, including proposals for better systemic design in bridging the gap between teaching, learning and application of systems thinking in the workplace; for example, through promotion of action learning amongst alumni and coaching to employers of systems practitioners. 


Wednesday August 5, 2015 13:30 - 14:00 CEST
Stockholm 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

13:30 CEST

Constructing and De-Constructing Leadership Identities

In this paper we will explore the following research questions: What is at stake when a group of leaders from different organizations construct and reconstruct their identity as leaders through narrative interviews about their challenges as leaders? How do these discursive constructions close down or open up for new perspectives and possibilities for change in their relationships, positions and daily practice as leaders? And how might these constructions contribute to or obstruct organizational change and development? These research questions will be examined through qualitative data from digital video recordings of four narrative interviews with use of outsider witnessing, which formed part of an action learning project. Our research is based on the paradigm of social constructionism and draws upon the following theoretical and analytical approaches: Positioning theory, discursive psychology and discourse analysis, deconstruction, narratives and storytelling in organizations, and relational approaches to leadership.  In the analysis of the construction of leadership identities we will focus on narratives, polyphony, discourses, and metaphors in the overall processes of relating, communicating and wayfinding as leaders in complex systems and ever shifting social and organizational contexts. Our main hypothesis is that the social and discursive construction of leadership identities by use of wordings, metaphors, and narratives, has a significant importance for opening up and closing down possibilities for development, learning and change in organizations. We will analyze narrative constructions of leadership identities and relate these to the daily practice in organizational contexts We argue that communicative, relational and narrative skills are important for leaders to construct and co-construct their identity as leaders and to co-create nurturing relationships at different levels within and outside the organization. After all, we consider these skills as crucial for the success of organizational development.

Our data derives from an action learning project 2010-2012: “Challenges in Leadership Communication”. The project was based on two dialogue conferences with the purpose of facilitating processes of reflection, learning, change and development through dialogical constructions and reconstructions of discourses, positions and organizational narratives.

The participants consisted of researchers and a group of leaders from different private and public organizations in Northern Jutland, Denmark During the dialogue conferences qualitative data was co-created through interviews and dialogues and documented by video recordings, photographs and post-it notes. In addition, participants and researches elaborated written evaluations and reflections after each conference. The combination of different types of data and mixed methods used in this project gave the advantage of both observing the processes and, at the same time, of having access to the participant’s reflections and evaluations.

A part of the research project consisted of using the method of narrative inquiry and outsider witnessing combined with follow-up-dialogues between researchers and leaders (co-researchers). Five leaders participated in this part of the project. Each narrative interview and outsider witness process took approximately 30 minutes. In this paper we explore six hours of qualitative data to examine our research question concerning the social construction of leadership identities. 

 



Wednesday August 5, 2015 13:30 - 14:00 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

13:30 CEST

Towards an Autopoietic Management of Human Activity Systems in Mexican Tourism Sector SMEs

This paper aims to contextualize the management of human activity systems (HAS) in lodging Mexican SMEs in the tourism environment, given that the management has been constrained in its ability to respond and adapt, this affects the operational dimension as well as the service provided to customers. Complementarity between methodologies and models of systems science allows to set the tourism SMEs concept through the of Warfield’s domain science model. Due to complex interactions derived from the interrelationships among actors engaged in tourism services, it seeks to unify different views about problems faced by human activity system management and establish guidelines between the being and the should of it (Soft Systems Methodology), it is proposed that the adoption of the principles of autopoietic systems can lead management to a state of order and self-organization in the human activity system to influence the efficiency of the total system. Professors and actors with decision-making power within these organizations would benefit from a new perspective in the issues treatment of the human dimension of these companies.

 


Speakers
Presenter / Artist
JE

Juan Enrique Nuñez-Rios

PhD. Student, IPN
ISSS Student
PA

Prof. Abraham Briones-Juarez

Professor, Universidad Autonóma del Estado de Hidalgo
ISSS Dev


Wednesday August 5, 2015 13:30 - 14:00 CEST
Stockholm 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

13:54 CEST

Dancing with Ambiguity

We live embedded in beliefs and premises (as indeed this statement is an example) that my be explicit or implicit and unaware.  I begin with the explicit premise that ambiguity is a concept that we have created in response to a desire for precision or control; a desire that is generally satisfied in only some situations.  My second explicit premise is that we live as participants in a systemic that we cannot fully specify or control.   Given these premises, I wonder how we continue to manage, most of us adequately for the circumstances we are in, however ambiguous they may be.  I claim that in part we continue to operate with a systemic dynamics on our part that couples with the systemic dynamics of our medium.  In part we simplify through various processes, all dependent on language, and thus create locally effective control and an illusion of certainty.

I will explore some notions of how these two approaches could have arisen with biological evolution and with the evolution of language, inclusive of the many implications and entailments of living as languaging beings.  Language and networks of conversation result in different lineages of beliefs and premises that lead to articulation as models (both conceptual and formal) which in turn serve to guide our actions.  As each lineage of language and conversation evolves, it progressively excludes other models and actions.  Since actions have consequences to the world we live, beliefs and premises have extensive implications to further possibilities.  Without denying the value of models I will offer some conjectures on why it behooves us to also accept and dance with ambiguity as a way of enabling alternatives.


Presenter / Artist
avatar for Pille Bunnell

Pille Bunnell

Retired
I have a background in ecology and ethology. After finishing grad studies nearly a half century ago, I worked for decades as a systems ecologist who specialized in the integration and explanation of complex concerns for domain specialists, policy makers, students, and the public... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 13:54 - 14:18 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:00 CEST

A Critical Systems Approach to Business Intelligence System Development

The quality, timeliness and availability of appropriate information to appropriate decision makers determine the quality of decisions; it therefore also determines the subsequent effect of these decisions on organisations.  Organisations that make better decisions quicker than their rivals are more agile and competitive.  Well-informed decisions improve organisations’ economic results and value; it improves planning processes and enables organisations to swiftly react to ever-changing business climates.  Business intelligence (BI) systems enable organisational leaders to make decisions more effectively and efficiently.  BI is a business differentiator in a world where organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on relevant, timeous, and intelligible information to improve their operational efficiency.

Business intelligence is built on the technological infrastructure of a data warehouse (DW).  There are various approaches available to develop a DW, i.e. the Kimball lifecycle approach, Inmon’s corporate information factory (CIF), and Linsted’s data vault method.  These traditional approaches are heavily influenced by the paradigm within which traditional software development approaches emerged, i.e. the hard systems thinking paradigm.  This paradigm is dominated by deterministic problem solving methodologies such as operational research and systems engineering; they focus on optimisation and design and are suitable for well-defined problem contexts. 

Traditional approaches enable the development of a technically good and robust DW.  However, a BI system is a social artefact as well as a technical artefact; it should aim to improve the organisational context of its users, rather than merely automate existing business processes.  Successful BI requires more than appropriate architecture and infrastructure; it requires more than a data infrastructure and platform built to access existing/known information better and faster.  Successful BI system development requires a critical reflective process that improves organisational decision making capabilities beyond what is imaginable, rather than merely automate what is easily observable.     

The critical systems thinking (CST) paradigm aims to explore relevant social dimensions of a problem context and provide richer, more meaningful solutions.  CST aims to facilitate social improvement.  CST is founded in critical and social awareness; methodological complementarism; and a dedication to human emancipation.  Critical systems thinkers aim to emancipate the oppressed by exploring and removing supressing societal structures.  This study views business users with unrealised business benefits as the oppressed; non-people oriented (traditional) BI system development approaches are viewed as the suppressing structures. 

The CST paradigm does not render other paradigms, such as the hard systems thinking paradigm where BI development approaches emerged, invalid.  Rather, within the CST paradigm the epistemological debate moved from the question of selection a single problem solving method, to recognising the value of combining different methods from different paradigms.  Therefore, CSH is consequently applied to complement a traditional BI system development approach to critically determine: what is relevant; who should assist to determine it; and how to handle conflicting views amongst relevant stakeholders pertaining to the BI system being developed. 

This paper describes an action research (AR) study whereby CST principles (operationalised by critical systems heuristics (CSH)) were developed and applied as part of a BI system development project.  CSH was applied during the business requirements analysis phase.  The application of CSH resulted in a BI system that are both technically feasible and realise business benefits in meeting users’ requirements. 

The paper starts with a discussion of the problem context followed by the theoretical underpinnings of the intervention. It then discusses the action research intervention in terms of: the diagnosis; action planning; intervention; specification of learning; and reflection on the learning.

 


Presenter / Artist
CV

Carin Venter

Senior Lecturer, North-West University
ISSS Student
avatar for Roelien Goede

Roelien Goede

SIG Chair Action Research, North West University South Africa, Potchefstroom
I stay in Potchefstroom, South Africa, it is about 90 min drive South-West of Johannesburg. I'm an associate professor in Computer Science and Information Systems. I have a passion for teaching and my formal training is in Computer Science. I teach advanced programming techniques... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:00 - 14:30 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:00 CEST

Architecture and Second-Order Science

Since 1980 Glanville has put forward the argument that rather than seeing research in design as one form of scientific research, we instead see scientific research as a specific form of design. This argument, based on the way that scientific research inevitably involves design activity but not vice versa, and others like it around that time consolidate a shift within design research during the 1970s from a concern with the scientific method to the idea that design has its own epistemological foundations as a discipline.

The attempt to base design on a linear version of the scientific method failed for reasons that have been pointed out by Rittel amongst others: because design involves the creation of the new, design questions cannot be exhaustively formulated in advance. Within architecture especially this has marked a parting of the ways between design and science, coinciding with the unraveling of modernism, with architects turning towards history and philosophy rather than science for theoretical support (but in so doing often continuing to import theories external to their discipline).

Given Glanville’s argument this is not what we might expect: if science is a limited form of design, shouldn’t scientific approaches be commensurable with design even if they are not a basis for it? This disjunction is only the case if we follow the changes in design research during this period without also following the comparable changes in the philosophy of science. Both broadly parallel each other: moving from a concern with method in the 1960s (Popper; design methods) through a critique of this in the 1970s (Feyerabend; Rittel) to new foundations from the 1980s onwards (the turn in science studies towards social and material agency, e.g. Pickering; design as a discipline with its own epistemological foundations). Indeed the critiques advanced by Feyerabend and Rittel, who were both colleagues at UC Berkeley, have similar structures: given the need to deal with the new, it is not possible to formulate methods or criteria in advance (other than Feyerabend’s reductio ad absurdum “anything goes” which also appears in Rittel). Thus contemporary accounts of science as a form of forward looking search, such as those advanced by Pickering and anticipated within cybernetics, can be read as applying also to how designers work.

Using this account as a basis I explore two ways in which we might frame the contemporary relation between design and science in architecture, both of which are in contrast with the resurgent tendency towards understanding this relation in terms of technological effectiveness.

Firstly, given these ongoing connections, I think we could consider design research in its various forms as one form of second order scientific practice, where the designer is included in such a way that this self-closure allows for reflexive investigation of this research itself. This is not surprising: design research is one place where second-order cybernetics ends up, partly because of Pask’s engagement with architecture and so with Glanville, Negroponte, Price etc. but also because of the conceptual parallels which underlie this engagement.

Secondly, more speculatively, I think we might consider architecture itself in terms of second order science; that is, we might see the experience of particular buildings in terms of scientific enquiry. One example is that of Price’s Fun Palace, to which Pask contributed. I argue that it is possible to see the Fun Palace not just as influenced by cybernetic ideas but as an instance of cybernetic research and as a possible version of second-order science in practice.

 


Presenter / Artist
BS

Ben Sweeting

Principal Lecturer, University of Brighton
ISSS Two Day


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:00 - 14:30 CEST
Stockholm 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:00 CEST

Implications of a Theory of Emergent Nested Systems

Nested systems and phenomena of emergence are usually treated as separate concepts. I present a first attempt to combine them into a theory of emergent nested systems. Conceptualizing complex systems as emergent nested systems implies that there is real novelty, i.e., novelty that cannot be predicted. This has major implications, e.g., on forecasting and planning in complex systems. Some novelty may be wanted, other novelty may be undesired. How shall we deal with unpredictable novelty?

A further implication of a theory of emergent nested systems  is that nested systems change faster than nesting systems.  Discerning complex systems by their relative frequencies of their activities allows two developments. First, boundaries around ontologically real systems can be objectively drawn. Furthermore, one can see how the relative frequencies of systems relate to their position in the nested systems whole. This, in turn, allows to deduce new ways to effectively influence complex systems in three principle ways. First, one may work within the slowly-changing given rules of a nesting system, second, one may try to break up such rules by fast and alternative activities, or, third, one may try to change the rules of the nesting system directly. Conceptualizing complex systems as emergent and nested is thus relevant for discerning, understanding, and influencing complex systems. Novel approaches, in particular relevant to the applied sciences, informing activities of development in complex systems, such as urban systems, arise from this theory of emergent nested systems. For example, the theory of emergent nested systems helps to better understand the notion of innovation as well as strategies of bottom-up and top-down activities.

 


Presenter / Artist
CW

Christian Walloth

University of Duisburg-Essen
PhD Student


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:00 - 14:30 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:00 CEST

The Embedded Algedonics of Society

The embedded Algedonics of Society suggest a conceptual model for the study of social systems based on latter finding from the field of neurosciences (Kahneman et al) and the works from Niklas Luhmann.

Kahneman et al argue that the brain processes in a fast and a slow processing mode. Cognition processes information slowly in a complex way of meaning creation and sense making. The fast system is based on the algedonics of pleasure and pain.

Luhmann argues that for social systems we see the divide of politics and economy along the very sanction mechanisms of positive reward in the economy and negative reward in politics. The economy demands investment for yields, politics demand loyalty to regulations based on the monopoly of physical power. In this perspective the economy and politics resemble the fast algedonics of a fast system. All other societal sub systems like religion, science, arts and many more seem to resemble the slow system of meaning creation and sense making. In this we may want to refer to the slow processing system of society as culture.

There are two major implications. First, economy shall be based on positive sanction mechanisms. If this is not the case like in plan economy, socialism and capitalism as we have seen it in the past, it fails. Politics shall be based on negative sanction mechanisms. If political favour is based on positive sanction, like in democratism, the political systems is converted in a political actor which has a tendency for bankruptcy. Second, cultural studies have a chance to revise societal meaning creation and sense making and challenge the criteria and mechanisms of the ruling cultural systems to introduce, following Garry Marcus, functional sufficiency in contrast to truth, believe, aesthetics and others. Critical narrative inquiry then opens access for cultural exploration and impact evaluation.

Key words: Social Systems, culture, algedonics, critical narrative inquiry, impact evaluation

References:

Kahneman, D. (1973). Attention and effort. Prentice-Hall.

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow (1st ed.). Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Kahneman, D., Slovic, P., & Tversky, A. (Eds.). (1982). Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Luhmann, N. (1984). Social Systems. (J. Bednarz & D. Baecker, Trans.) (Ed. 1996). Stanford, Calif: Stanford Univ Pr.

Marcus, G. (2008). Kluge: The Haphazard Evolution of the Human Mind (Ed. 2009). Faber & Faber, London.

 


Presenter / Artist
avatar for Louis Klein

Louis Klein

SIG Chair: Organizational Transformation and Social Change, louis.klein@segroup.de
Vice President Conferences (2015), International Society for the Systems Sciences SIG Chair:    Systems Applications in Business and Industry SIG Chair:    Organizational Transformation and Social ChangeLouis Klein is an internationally recognized expert in the field of systemic... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:00 - 14:30 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:00 CEST

Towards a Systemic Business Model for SMEs Professional Congress Organizers in Mexico

During the last decades, Tourism has been one of the fastest growing economic sectors across the world, reverting importance by the governments as a key factor in socio-economic progress due to the revenue by the activity, employment and infrastructure investment.

Derived from the phenomenon of globalization and the relevance of the activity, tourism experiences a continuous expansion and diversification, for that reason, and the need of organizations to hold events in which information could be updated for their industries, MICE Tourism emerged in the late 1950s, consisting in the organization of Meetings, Incentive travel, Conferences and Exhibitions. The MICE Tourism highlight very specific characteristics: (a) interdependence between the various stakeholders; (b) extent of the phenomenon; and (c) the event and its inter and multi-disciplinarity, which requires knowledge of the economic, social, cultural and environmental context within a systemic vision.

In Mexico the number of companies engaged in MICE Tourism has increased; however, many have been created as a market opportunity, without reference to the requirements of the segment and a structured business model that allows their long-term growth and generate value for all the stakeholders; in addition, most companies that make up this sector are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which have many deficiencies generated by various factors, which does not allow them to develop more and in some cases can lead to its demise, reason why their study is relevant, not only to prevent the failure of these enterprises but accelerate growth and level of global competition.

It is for the above explained that this research describes how building a systemic business model can generate value for Professional Congress Organizers. Because of the magnitude and interdisciplinarity that involves the operation of Tourism SMEs, the research develops a holistic view from the systemic approach due to their ability to study the system as a whole and covering its complexity, allowing the study not only of the intern problems of the company, but the external factors that affect it. Specifically in this research, is used the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) by Peter Checkland.

The diagnostic of the Professional Congress Organizers in Mexico using the SSM and Strategic Management was developed as preliminary results of the research, showing the current situation of these enterprises, their strengths and weaknesses, the elements of the system and the approach of the Business Model according to the diagnostic.


Presenter / Artist
PR

Prof. Ricardo Tejeida-Padilla

Professor, IPN
ISSS Dev


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:00 - 14:30 CEST
Stockholm 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:18 CEST

The Fine Art of Goal Formulation: A Model of Naturalistic Theatre as Second Order Behavioural Science

Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:18 - 14:42 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:30 CEST

Allegories of Storytelling: The Workings of Story Production in Organizational Sense Making Processes
Presenter / Artist
AM

Asbjørn Molly

Aalborg University
ISSS Student


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:30 - 15:00 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:30 CEST

Building Interactive Learning Ground as Basis for Knowledge Co-Production: Reflection on a Collaborative Industrial Action Research Project

An important dimension of collaborative university-industry projects is the various learning which involved participants can co-generate, from personal insights to contribution to the answer of scientific research questions and instrumental knowledge of ways to improve industrial practices. Co-creation between academia and industry requires structures and processes of exchange so that learning is enhanced in the interface and interaction between the parties. It has less to do with ordinary project structure and more with the way learning can be enabled between involved parties through building interactive learning grounds linking the parties in an organization for learning. The paper is based on experience and reflection on a case involving collaboration between participants from ABB, Ericsson and Mälardalen University in studying and improving industrial service innovation management pursued through a collaborative action research oriented approach. (Reason &Bradbury, 2008, Lindhult, 2005).

The purpose of the paper is to clarify the character of such learning ground with groups of participants from different organization co-generating learning, and identify challenges in building a sustainable platform for learning. Challenges involve e.g. developing a common ground of visions, goals and commitments as well as norms for interaction, integrate and combine different learning interests and motivations to participate, finding and creating time and resources for interaction, space for reflection and developing mutual understanding and language, achieving fruitful exchange between diversity of professional experience and positions academic as well as industrial, adapting the processes to emerging changes in organizational contexts and conditions for participation, and create continuation of interaction beyond formal termination of projects. The theoretical background used is experiential learning theory (Kolb, 1984) as well as of organizational learning and learning organization, and particularly pragmatic theory of inquiry (Dewey, 1938), collaborative inquiry (Heron, 1996), and participatory action research and interactive research (Reason&Bradbury, 2008, Aagaard Nielsen&Svensson, 2006, Svensson, Ellström&Brulin, 2007, Johannisson, Gunnarsson&Stjernberg, 2008). Methodologically the experiential and empirical basis is ongoing dialogue and reflection on organization of the collaboration and outcomes in terms of learning. Empirical material is both formative and summative, particularly follow up discussions at project meetings, and summing up learning experience in final project phases. A focus is on clarifying the various kinds of learning of participants, in what situations they occur, and how existing conditions are enabling or restricting learning. Additional cases of collaborative research and development projects of participants is used as enriching and comparative material. The result is a case description and reflection on various learning effects and in what way it has occurred, as well as a model of interactive learning platform including sources of challenges in enabling of such a platform. It is particularly contributing to a more systemic and emergent view of learning and knowledge generation in co-creation processes and the challenge of combining a plurality of experiences, participants and perspectives in achieving high quality, co-generative learning.


Presenter / Artist
avatar for Erik Lindhult

Erik Lindhult

Mälardalen University
ISSS Two Day


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:30 - 15:00 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:30 CEST

Complex Systems Biology and Hegel's Philosophy

In this study I will argue that Hegel’s philosophy has similarity to the self-organization theories of Prigogine and Kauffman and complex systems biology of Kaneko, and is therefore an idea in advance of its times.

In The Philosophy of Nature, Hegel’s interest is in how nature evolves through the mechanism of self-organization. He was writing before Darwin proposed the theory of evolution, and his dialectic is aimed at analyzing and describing development in the logical sense. The important feature of this work is their analysis of the fundamental structures by which order is generated.

Hegel struggled to produce the concept of life from that of matter. He proposed that matter should develop into organism, but only in a logical sense. Nature itself is a system of producing spontaneous order through the random motion of the contingent.

Then Hegel tackles living things. He would like to say that the basis of life is the non-equilibrium self-referential structure. In more modern terminology, we could interpret this as meaning that the first organism emerged from interaction between high polymers. Living creatures exhibit flexibility and plasticity through fluctuations in these elements. Complex systems biology uses a dynamical systems approach to explain how living things acquire diversity, stability and spontaneity.

First, simple single-celled organisms arose through interactions between proteins and nucleic acids. These are the archae-bacteria in modern terminology. Next, the development of eukaryote cells from the prokaryotes is explained by symbiogenesis or endosymbiotic theory.

Then, multicellular organisms appeared. These were networks of cells or systems of selves. They reproduce sexually and necessarily die. The process of individualization is complete. This is just a return to universality. The dynamism between universality and individuality is self-referential. Universality (the first simple prokaryote) becomes individuality (the complex animal), and it then returns to universality (human beings with spirit). Here, it is important to observe that spirit emerges from nature. Nature has the purpose of producing organism from matter and then spirit from organism. It is teleology without theology depending only on contingent and complex systems biology.

Keywords: Hegel, natural philosophy, complex systems biology, the theory of evolution


Presenter / Artist
MK

Mr. Kazuyuki Takahashi

professor, Meiji University
ISSS Regular


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:30 - 15:00 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:30 CEST

Toward Ecologizing as a Systemic Design Approach for Planetary-Scale Problematiques

The problematique of the Anthropocene – climate change effects, oceanic and terrestrial deformations, planetary ecological disruption, massive human and species migration - presents humanity with the largest-scale design problem ever faced by human societies.  Effective human responsibility toward this problem system requires coordination of political, business, civil society, and scientific leaders and constituents over extended periods of time. The only problem systems similar in scale and urgency historically addressed by massive coordination of human and mechanical/artificial resources have been wars and space missions, and to some extent urban development. We might further reckon that these activities have been mobilized in their own eras by new modes of planning and forms of anticipatory and system design. We face an even greater urgency in this contemporary problematique, yet our sciences and practices seem ill-equipped to respond with definitive proposals and methods. As Bruno Latour (2013) writes in Modes of Existence, “between modernizing and ecologizing, we have to choose.” Choosing ecologizing, then, requires a coordination effort on the scale of our previous modernization projects. Yet the values of ecologizing are largely at odds with the rational, classically scientific, hard systems modes of such projects.

This presents our community with a compelling opportunity and ready-made vision for applications of new general systems theory across human, social and natural systems. We have numerous and perhaps competing systems models for approaching these problems, but unfortunately for the type of “engaged problematique” we face, most of these methods result in elegant analyses, not the most compelling antecedents for action. When we apply traditional GST modes of thinking to today’s multicausal systemic problems, we often proceed toward an inevitable paralysis of action, as we constantly find our agency and decisions trapped within disciplinary and institutional silos.

Systemic design has been developed in these most recent years as a response to social and institutional complexity, developed independently from systems sciences as a design-led approach to inquiring and mapping complex services and social systems as if they were highly complex industrial design models. As known systems principles were discovered in these design processes, it became apparent that systems-oriented design shared much in common with systems practice, but had innovated new forms of visual representation and collaborative participation in sensemaking activities. At the same time, thinkers in the design field (Harold Nelson, Ranulph Glanville, Hugh Dubberly) informed an advanced design theory from the systems body of knowledge.

Systemic design and systems practice share many similar processes. Both share a concern and interest for boundary negotiation (framing) and for attending to deeper action contexts than “problems as given” (problematizing). Both advocate social and participatory research to understand variety and to identify opportunities for transformation (or leverage points). Both advocate methodological pluralism to ensure different stakeholders are engaged, and that solutions are envisioned through multiple conceptualizations. Both aim for a sufficient satisfaction of a solution’s fit to its environment. While these practices may not share traditions of epistemology, use and types of evidence, aesthetics and style, or theories of change, these appear as areas for fruitful co-development.

Systemic design methodology has been developed as a rigorous field of practices based on direct social, action and design research.  Design research and design science enjoy traditions of transdisciplinary perspectives, as the design fields have developed in concert with a wide range of domains and applications. Systemic design has advanced as a multi-epistemological practice informed by ethnography, participatory design and action research, and foresight research. It is also aligned with formal methodologies such as dialogic design science (Christakis and Bausch, 2006), sensemaking methodology, and service design.  A precedent article (Jones, 2014) established an axiomatic and epistemological basis for complementary principles shared between design reasoning and systems theory. Systemic design is concerned with higher-order socially-organized systems that encompass multiple subsystems in a complex policy, organizational or product-service context.  By integrating systems thinking and its methods, systemic design brings human-centered design to complex, multi-stakeholder service systems as those found in industrial networks, transportation, medicine and healthcare. It adapts from known design competencies - form and process reasoning, social and generative research methods, and sketching and visualization practices - to describe, map, propose and reconfigure complex services and systems.

A project of ecologizing recalls Ozbekhan’s (1970) aim of orienting social systems toward “ecological balance.”  Ecologizing would entail a sustained attempt across human cultures and jurisdictions to restore human systems to agreed criteria consistent with ecological balance, a project that would necessarily require many years and significant coordination of social and technological projects. Such a project, with its social engagement and re-invention of services and their delivery, requires us to conceive of nothing less than a massive human-centred and environmental design project. Ozbekhan’s original thrust proposed that the Club of Rome engage a similar audacious reinvention of social systems to intercept the global problematique of his time.  We now live in the most precarious outcomes and effects of the problematique, of the interconnected forces and systems he envisioned in the late 1960’s. We are faced with a design project we might reference as ecologizing. It is therefore incumbent on our generations and collective values, resources and ingenuity to reframe, reimagine and redesign societal and political frameworks to facilitate our best design programs consistent with restoring or recreating an ecological balance for the flourishing and even survival of humanity and the life on our planet.

References

Christakis, A.N. and Bausch, K.C. (2006). How people harness their collective wisdom and power to construct the future in co-laboratories of democracy. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Jones, P.H. (2014). Systemic design principles for complex social systems. In G. Metcalf (ed.), Social Systems and Design, Volume 1 of the Translational Systems Science Series, pp 91-128. Springer Japan.

Latour, B. (2013). An inquiry into modes of existence. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ozbekhan, H. (1970.) The Predicament of Mankind. New York: Club of Rome.

Keywords: Systemic design; Human-centered design; Design methodology; Dialogic design; Social systems design

 


Presenter / Artist
avatar for Prof. Peter Jones

Prof. Peter Jones

Associate Professor, SFI Graduate Program, sLab (Strategic Innovation Lab), OCAD University
SIG Chair:  Systemic DesignPeter is a US citizen that moved to Canada to discover new movements in socially-responsive innovation. He was a founding faculty in the SFI program and maintains connections to international research and design communities of practice, which he hopes to... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 14:30 - 15:00 CEST
Stockholm 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:42 CEST

15:00 CEST

Open
Wednesday August 5, 2015 15:00 - 15:30 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

15:00 CEST

Open
Wednesday August 5, 2015 15:00 - 15:30 CEST
Stockholm 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

15:00 CEST

Open
Wednesday August 5, 2015 15:00 - 15:30 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

15:06 CEST

Psychohistory for our Time: An Introduction, Bringing Freud and Piaget Into the Twenty First Century

It has become increasingly apparent that a deep and proper understanding of the present time, the past and a sense of what the future may bring requires  a keen historical sensibility concerning how people, nations and institutions function, coupled with the deeper insight into the mind/brain that the twenty first century revolution in the psychology and neurophysiology of humans yields. That is, psychohistory, based on the phenomenological work and insights  of Freud and Piaget ( with their errors clarified by our present understanding of the mind/brain) will give us a new understanding of history for our time.  I will bring Freud and Piaget into the twenty first century. Historical analysis will have a scientific, empirical basis which will also help to validate psychoanalytic and Piagetian theories.  


Presenter / Artist

Wednesday August 5, 2015 15:06 - 15:30 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

15:30 CEST

Afternoon Break
Please take the time to look at the poster presentations in Aurora 2 & 3 during breaks, discuss and connect with one another or speak to one of our "Get social" specialists at the reception desk to get help with the conference technology.

Wednesday August 5, 2015 15:30 - 16:00 CEST
Coffee Break Area Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:00 CEST

Global Systems Modelling and the Club of Rome: Future Directions?
Presenter / Artist
avatar for Robert Hoffman

Robert Hoffman

President, whatIf? Technologies Inc
- systems modelling: Canadian Energy Systems Simulator, Australian Stocks and Flows Framework, Global Systems Simulator- new economic theory World Academy of Art and Science- member, Club of Rome- trustee, American Society for cybernetics


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:00 - 16:24 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:00 CEST

Apithology of Humanity Psychology: Humanity as a Generative System
Presenter / Artist
avatar for Will Varey

Will Varey

Principal, Apithologia
William Varey (PhD) works as a systems science researcher with a focus on sustainable social systems. His area of specialist contribution is in the systemic approach to the formation of generative potentials. He is a lecturer in systems approaches to systemic change management, sustainability... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:00 - 16:30 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:00 CEST

Complexity and Environmental Sustainability in Socio-Ecological Systems: The Case of the Winton Wetlands in Victoria, Australia

Sustainability in socio-ecological systems is a complex matter, not only because it deals with the interactions among social, ecological and economic dimensions but also because of the varied perspectives and motivations that different stakeholders have of different aspects of sustainability. The aim of this paper is to discuss the systemic nature of environmental sustainability by analysing the varied perspectives and motivations of different stakeholders around the restoration project in South-eastern Australia, the Winton Wetlands  project. In this paper, sustainability is studied in a holistic way even though only one dimension of sustainability, such as the environmental one, is specifically queried. This is due to the interactions between social and economic aspects that are revealed in the stakeholder’s interpretations of environmental sustainability. To address this, 502 people were surveyed about their perspectives and values regarding the environmental sustainability of the Winton Wetlands restoration project. The answers were coded for themes. Stakeholder values about environmental sustainability were analysed in terms of other underlying social and economic dimensions of sustainability implied from the responses. The breadth of values, perspectives and knowledge about environmental sustainability in the Winton Wetlands and their interactions with ecological restoration goals and outcomes reflect the features of complexity in that these interactions are non-linear and experience time delays, among others. This result suggests that even when dealing with one dimension of sustainability (environmental) there are important social and economic implications. Hence, more targeted actions can be developed when analysing or addressing sustainability in a systemic manner, regarding the elements and interactions set in place as well the features of complex systems reflected.   


Presenter / Artist
LH

Luisa Helena Perez Mujica

PhD Candidate, Charles Sturt University
ISSS Student


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:00 - 16:30 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:00 CEST

Designing E-Commerce Organizations

Commerce is arguably one of the dominant forces driving social change on a global scale today, and within this e-commerce represents a significant component.  The retail e-commerce ecosystem can be viewed as pivotal in this arena, providing a bridge between the evolution of service technology and service-driven social change. 

The past few years have seen enormous changes in the retail industry.  Customers now expect a seamless and consistent experience from a retailer or brand as they move between stores, computer, mobile devices and social media, potentially buying from one location and returning items to another, sometimes even across geographies. This can only be achieved with a shift from a traditional product-focus to a new customer-focus, a shift that has a powerful impact on entire organisations and business models.  Many branded manufacturers who previously only distributed wholesale are starting up direct-to-consumer operations, and retailers who previously only operated physical stores now have online shopping websites driving a significant proportion of their business.  More interestingly, new generation retailers are realising that customer-centricity can only be achieved with engaged and committed employees, and this is driving an emerging employee-centricity that, to my mind, constitutes a promising new force for change.

In parallel, e-commerce software providers are changing with the emergence of software-as-a-service and supporting business models.  Demandware is an interesting example of this, offering a revenue-share payment model to retailers that leads to an unusually strong business partnership where both parties’ goals are aligned around revenue growth.  Working with nearly 400 retailers worldwide, Demandware is in a good position to take a more systemic view of the dependencies between people, processes and technology, and is highly motivated to help its clients address their broader organizational challenges.  A core part of the offering is shared expertise and evolutionary learning across the client community, facilitated through formal events, clients self-organising, cross-client research, and  included consulting services.

In this context, I have been developing a consultancy programme to provide organisational design and change planning guidance tailored for ecommerce retailers.  An early need was to develop a common language that could allow for comparison across vastly different organisations, so that general lessons could be extracted.  For this purpose I developed a visual, high-level e-commerce process model canvas inspired by the business model canvas from Osterwalder et al.  A focus on process avoids many of the issues arising from differences in terminology, titles and roles, and differences in organisational composition and structure.  The canvas provides a framework for capturing and comparing different types of organisations, and for identifying both business and technology factors that influence how processes scale. 

The partnership context allows me to work iteratively with clients so that my tools evolve through practical use while being expanded and refined.  I have found the e-commerce process canvas to be valuable for framing wide-ranging discussions and exposing aspects of a situation that might not otherwise emerge.  I will show some examples of the canvas in use, and describe the types of conversation it stimulates. I will also outline some of the ways this programme might develop, and would welcome comments from other participants on challenges, pitfalls and opportunities of such programmes.

 


Presenter / Artist

Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:00 - 16:30 CEST
Stockholm 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:00 CEST

Dialogue on Systemic Design
Presenter / Artist
avatar for Prof. Peter Jones

Prof. Peter Jones

Associate Professor, SFI Graduate Program, sLab (Strategic Innovation Lab), OCAD University
SIG Chair:  Systemic DesignPeter is a US citizen that moved to Canada to discover new movements in socially-responsive innovation. He was a founding faculty in the SFI program and maintains connections to international research and design communities of practice, which he hopes to... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:00 - 16:30 CEST
Stockholm 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:00 CEST

Governing the Anthropocene; A Question of Accountability

Institute of Technology, 1900 Commerce St., Box 358426, Tacoma WA 98402, gmobus@uw.edu

The natural world of life is replete with examples of systemic governance subsystems that operate to sustain the continuance of those systems. Every cell, organism, population, and ecosystem demonstrates various self-regulation and environmental coordination mechanisms that have evolved to ensure the long-term viability of that system. A formal approach from systems science that is built on these natural governance subsystems may provide some guidance to our understanding of human social systems and their governance. The emergence of higher levels of organization in the origins and evolution of life can be seen to be the story of increasing sophistication in governance subsystems as disparate complex adaptive systems coalesce into “societies” of interacting entities (super-molecules to primitive protocells, prokaryotic cells to eukaryotic cells, those to multicellular organisms, those to communities, etc.). At each stage in this on-going emergence of higher levels of organization the one consistent aspect is how hierarchical cybernetic structures have contributed to the stabilization of functional relations among the component entities leading to sustainable super-entity structures. The progression is from simple cooperation of multiple entities to intentional coordination emerging to manage complexity. Information processing and decision subsystems (agents) that took responsibility for logistical coordination among components and others that managed tactical coordination of the whole system with external (environmental) entities, resources, and threats evolved to keep increasingly complex biological entities able to maintain their existence and reproduction. Now the governance of human social systems that seek to exist in some kind of harmony with the Earth’s ecology (what I call the Ecos) has emerged in the last 100k years or so and evolved over that time frame to produce the modern socio-economic systems in existence today. But it (characterized here as the neoliberal capitalistic democracy) is not as evolved as, say, the mechanisms of metabolic regulation. There are numerous reasons to believe that the modern governance subsystem is, in fact, moving human societies toward the opposite of sustainable existence. A systems examination of the theory of governance subsystems (hierarchical cybernetics) suggests pathways toward a more functional governance subsystem for human societies. The theory covers the regulation of economic flows as well as the legal superstructure and moral/ethical aspects of culture that collectively constitutes the governance subsystem of a human society embedded in a meta-system, the Ecos.


Presenter / Artist
avatar for John Vodonick

John Vodonick

SIG Chair: Systemic Ethics, Exploratory Group: Business Systems Laboratory, Two Ravens Consulting
I teach, write and consult in the areas of corporate social responsibility, change management, organizational design and social ethics. Most organizations come to a place in their evolution when the needs of the stakeholders are not being met and if that continues to be the norm the... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:00 - 16:30 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:24 CEST

Reflection in Action on 'Second Order Science'

The paper intends to put forward my perspective on Second Order science not in the mode of ‘tell it like it is (no one wholly and unequivocally knows what it is. This expression is beautifully elucidated in von Foerster, H. (2013, p.2) “The Beginning of Heaven and Earth Has No Name: Seven Days with Second-Order Cybernetics”. Edited by Albert Müller and Karl H. Müller, Fordham University Press.

However, there are praise-worthy, pioneering efforts and research in this regard (see Umpleby, 2014; Riegler and Mueller, 2014; Mueller, 2014; Lissack, 2014). Rather, I attempt to observe it as I see it. Second Order Science, in a sense, is seeding and sprouting, even if the idea of Second Order Cybernetics has been around for about five decades. Why this sudden interest in Second Order Science? Why is Second Order Science being discussed only in the cybernetics fraternity? What are the relations between the Second Order Science and the Second Order Cybernetics? For me, Second Order Science starts not with first Order Science but with Science per se. I do not see Second Order Science as some extension of first Order Science, rather it is Science; that is to be seen, that is being seen from the ‘second order’ from the start. 

Hayek (1979) points out that all science starts with the classification. In the physical sciences, objects are classified by unchanging characteristics that are both measurable and distinguishable by controlled and objective tests. But not in the social sciences. The social sciences, including economics are the study of ‘human action’, and humans are not programmed robots or automatons. In fact, economics ought to be more about the Homo sapiens and not Homo economicus. The standard Arrow-Debreu world of perfect information, perfect knowledge is a chimera, in many real cases and circumstances.

The essential point of science or scientific theories is its explanatory power; its power to enhance understanding. Also, the power of prediction is one of the virtues of science though it has its peculiarities and problems. And there is difficulty in forecasting too far into the future that leaves having ‘pattern predictions’ as a good enough second best solution in many situations. Hayek observed that ‘during the first half of the nineteenth century the term science came more and more to be confined to the physical and biological disciplines which at the same time began to claim for themselves a special rigorousness and certainty which distinguished them from all others. Their success was such that they soon came to exercise an extraordinary fascination on those working in other fields’. However, there has been a mechanical and uncritical application of physical sciences to social sciences (Hayek, 1942). Even now there is rampant belief and practice that the methods of the physical sciences—observation, experimentation and measurement- are applicable also to the study of society.

In the twentieth century, many modern disciplines, notably economics, and management science, triumphed to earn physics-like scientific status. But still, there is much to be achieved socially with respect to the understanding of many ‘social phenomena’, including the origin or unfolding of crises, be they financial, social, economic or socio-economic, cultural and political. Currently, we explain or see the patterns in these, mostly in hindsight.

Stuart Umpleby explains the ‘philosophical principles underlying Second Order Science’ as follows:  ‘Cybernetics has added two dimensions, not to a single scientific field, but rather to the philosophy of science, thereby expanding science for all fields.  The two dimensions are: 1) the amount of attention paid to the observer and 2) the effect of a theory on the system of interest. Adding these two dimensions to the contemporary philosophy of science would constitute a scientific revolution in the philosophy of science. The new philosophy of science becomes a more adequate guide to the development of scientific knowledge, particularly in the social sciences’. While taking the ‘the radical constructivist view of science’ Glasersfeld (2001) observes that ‘to most traditional philosophers, true knowledge, is a commodity supposed to exist as such, independent of experience, waiting to be discovered by a human knower. It is timeless and requires no development, except that the human share of it increases as exploration goes on'. But, all science intends “to co-ordinate our experiences and to bring them into a logical order” (Einstein, 1955, as quoted in von Glasersfeld, 2001).

Without an observer being part of the system, and without having ability and willingness to be in and out of the system; during observation and ruminations; in the multi-observer experiential world; it’s difficult to co-ordinate our experiences. Through the present paper, I am trying to reflect on Second Order Science, reflecting in action; with my curiosities, questions and confusion that might meaningfully expand the realm of the discussions. Specifically, I shall argue that Second Order Science is the body of knowledge that is emerging to study complex socio-economic phenomena with its own building blocks, methods, models and management frameworks. I can see that the Second Order Science has the potential to take the ‘understanding of understanding’ of the social or socio-economic phenomena; particularly all complex phenomena to an elevated level. The present paper is an explorative initiative in this regard.

References:

Einstein, A. (1955) “The meaning of relativity”, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton U. Press.

Hayek, F. A. (1942) "Scientism and the Study of Society", Economica, vol. IX, no. 35.

Hayek, F. A. (1979) “The Counter-Revolution of Science”, 2nd edition, Indianapolis: Liberty Press.

Lissack, M. (2014) “Second Order Science: Putting the Metaphysics Back Into the Practice of Science”

Mueller, K. (2014) “Towards a General Methodology for Second-Order Science,” Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, Vol. 12 (5), 33-42

Riegler, A. and Mueller, K. (2014) “Second-order science. Special issue.” Constructivist Foundations Vol. 10, No. 1.

Umpleby Stuart A. (2014) “Second-order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods”, Constructivist Foundations, Vol. 10, 1, 15-23

von Glasersfeld, E. (2001) “The radical constructivist view of science” Foundations of Science, special issue on "The Impact of Radical Constructivism on Science", edited by A. Riegler, 2001, vol. 6, no. 1–3: 31–43.


Presenter / Artist

Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:24 - 16:48 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:30 CEST

A Systems Approach to Sustainable Forest Management in a Changing Climate

Climate change is expected to have widespread and unpredictable effects to the forest ecosystems on which we depend. The U.S Forest Service manages almost 80 million hectares with a mission of sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of the National Forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Given the uncertainty of climate change effects and interactions, the Forest Service will need to be anticipatory, responsive, flexible, and nimble. This paper draws upon foundational systems thinking to inform a framework for sustainable forest management on National Forest System lands in the United States.

Keywords: climate change adaptive management, ecosystems, complexity, U.S. Forest Service


Presenter / Artist
avatar for Dr. Allenna Leonard

Dr. Allenna Leonard

Principal, Complementary Set, Cwarel Isaf Institute
Allenna Leonard is an independent consultant in Toronto who worked with Stafford Beer from the early eighties to his death in 2002. She works with non-profit and business organizations applying cybernetic approaches and models, primarily although not wholly those of Stafford Beer... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:30 - 17:00 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:30 CEST

Drawing Upon a Levinasian Ethics in Systemic Interventions

Systems thinkers have been interested in different problem contexts including organizational and social contexts. Multiple systems approaches have been considered relevant to understand and tackle problems in these types of contexts. These systems approaches are underpinned by different ontological, epistemological, and ethical assumptions. In this paper we offer an alternative conception of what a systems approach might be by drawing upon the work of Emmanuel Levinas. This alternative conception is grounded on the notion that the relationship between the Same and the Other is the locus where both knowledge and ethics are involved. Ethics is conceived as the rise of responsibility that emerges in the encounter with the “face of the other”. “Face”, which does not mean here “human face”, involves a particular encounter with infinity. The latter is something beyond knowledge, an alterity irreducible to totality. The desire to consider the Other as part of a totality with the Same frequently implies reducing the Other to the Same and failing to embrace the Other’s alterity. Some professional interventions study and deal with organizations and social phenomena ignoring or trying to counteract the alterity of the Other. The notion of intentionality implicit in these interventions reveals to the observer a world that is constantly his/her own possession. With the denial of alterity the unity of reason as comprehension and knowledge imposes itself. The rationalities of others are rejected. We argue against these interventions that impose upon the world the products of my mind, that subsume the Other under the hegemony of the ‘I’ and ethics under the notion of knowledge. Our rejection of privileging the totality of being is also a rejection of the unity of reason. Drawing upon a Levinasian ethics we argue in favor of systems approaches that conceive the world as a multiplicity rather than a totality, and that are moved by a desire towards that which transcends me and my categories, that strives towards alterity. We encourage systems approaches that foster the responsibility that arises in the face of the Other, that encourage the ‘I’ to be taught by the Other, that call the identity of the systems thinker into question. We propose systemic interventions guided by a metaphysical desire that tends toward the other, but without producing the disappearance of distance. This preservation implies a difficulty in reuniting under one gaze the Same and the Other, a difficulty that poses ethical problems to the ideal of total comprehensiveness that is common in many systems approaches. The aforementioned difficulty arises when we conceive a system exclusively as a totality. Although we think that this notion has to be preserved we argue in favor of also preserving the notion of infinity. To cope with these two notions in a single systemic intervention, we propose using a logic of “both/and” rather than a logic of “either/or”. Hence the systems approach that we propose aims at preserving both totality and infinity as well as Same and Other. We illustrate our ideas by presenting a systemic intervention that uses them to design a conflict resolution program for young people that is being used in rural areas of Colombia.


Presenter / Artist
LP

Luis Pinzon-Salcedo

Associate Professor, Universidad de los Andes
ISSS Dev


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:30 - 17:00 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:30 CEST

Toward the Definition of the Local Development System in Tourism

The local development is an interpretive concept, which is generated by the definition that individuals and groups make on it. However, in general it helps to reduce poverty by expanding the people's capacity to generate productive activities that have an impact on the social and individual wellbeing. Tourism is a relevant activity for this type of development, because it allows either people or communities to interact with other actors in order to get bases to support its own development and the development of the environment. This function begins with understanding the use of the livelihood means and the relationship among the different environments that make up the local development. In this study a theoretical proposal is presented about local development through the systemic view in order to generate new ideas that support the local development of communities through tourism activity in Mexico.

Keywords.- Local Development, Tourism, Systems thinking


Speakers
Presenter / Artist
EC

Erika Cruz

Teacher, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo
ISSS Dev
PA

Prof. Abraham Briones-Juarez

Professor, Universidad Autonóma del Estado de Hidalgo
ISSS Dev


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:30 - 17:00 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:30 CEST

Understanding Systems Engineering Project Development – A Traditional and Complex Adaptive Systems View

Systems Engineering projects often fail to meet expectations in terms of timescales and cost. Project plans, which determine cost and deadline expectations, are produced and monitored within a reductionist paradigm. This assumes that the cumulative activities, and their corresponding durations, that comprise the developed solution can be known in advance, and that monitoring and management intervention can ensure satisfactory delivery of an adequate solution, through implementation of this plan.  

An ongoing research effort within Thales UK investigates the influence of complexity in the development of systems engineering solutions, and the impact that complexity may have in the ability of organisations to meet delivery expectations. 

This paper presents a case study that examines the systems engineering function within a Thales UK business line.  The focus is the organisation, in particular how it supports the technical development of projects - what it does, how it works and why. The research is exploratory. It gathers evidence through participant-observation, interviews, documentation, and archival records. It considers two perspectives; a ‘traditional’, predominantly reductionist perspective, and a novel CAS perspective. Evidence is analysed in light of both perspectives to consider how each is able to explain the observations.

Research that considers an organisation as a CAS is predominately theoretical, rather than empirical. No reports of empirical research that consider organisations performing complex system development as CAS were found in the literature.  Research that considers the delivery performance of systems engineering projects is predominately reductionist. This paper contributes by viewing a systems engineering development organisation as a CAS, and considering the novel insights this perspective brings to the issue of satisfactory project delivery.

Keywords: Systems Engineering Development; Reductionist; Complex Adaptive System; Empirical Research.

 


Presenter / Artist
avatar for Dawn Gilbert

Dawn Gilbert

Research Engineer, University of Bristol
EngD in Systems Student - Research covers theory and interventions surrounding problems faced by systems engineering practitioners in an industrial setting. I am an embedded researcher within Thales UK.


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:30 - 17:00 CEST
Stockholm 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:30 CEST

Systemic Design Workshop
An interactive workshop on systemic design for general and open attendance.  Following an introduction to principles and processes, small groups will form to construct design models in application areas of interest to participants (e.g. urban ecology, healthcare systems, political governance, sustainable business ). The workshop is largely based on the 10 Systemic Design principles (Jones, 2014) and Methods (http://systemic-design.net/rsd3-proceedings/theories-methods/

Presenter / Artist
avatar for Prof. Peter Jones

Prof. Peter Jones

Associate Professor, SFI Graduate Program, sLab (Strategic Innovation Lab), OCAD University
SIG Chair:  Systemic DesignPeter is a US citizen that moved to Canada to discover new movements in socially-responsive innovation. He was a founding faculty in the SFI program and maintains connections to international research and design communities of practice, which he hopes to... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:30 - 18:00 CEST
Stockholm 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

16:48 CEST

A Machian Functional Relations Perspective on Complexity and the Systems Approach

The poster discusses two related questions: where to ‘cut’ system definitions and systemic relations based on the perspective of the involved stakeholders. Both are historically related to the genetic historical /-critical, monist approach of psychophysicist Ernst Mach.

Ernst Mach transferred the then current Darwinian evolutionary conception to the epistemological discussion of the historical development of procedures and theories with implications for their ‘epistemological’ value. Scientists’ statements on the nature of reality need to be based on observations, which require an analysis of the ‘psychological worldview’ in and from which observations are identified, measured, analyzed and interpreted. The worldview of scientists influences observations, interpretations of observed facts and identification of causality in models of reality. In turn, observations lead to adaptations of the thought structure (in terms of models and causality) of scientists as much as to a selection of observations that are deemed legitimate to support or refute a hypothesis. At some point, this process necessarily involves a ‘cut’ of relations considered and analyzed. This issue is reflected in the work of Herbert Simon on system decomposition and aggregation.

 

For the analysis of (causal) interactions in complex systems (Auyang 1998), Simon and Ando (Ando and Simon 1961, see also Shpak et al. 2004) have developed the concept of (near) decomposability, based on the notion that the interactions in structured systems can be separated into groups of interactions according to the strength of interactions between elements of a system. Groups of elements (variables) among which interactions are much stronger than among other elements, are separated into specific ‘modules’ separate from elements with less strong interactions. It is assumed that most of these inter-group interactions can be neglected and intra-group interactions aggregated into single variables.

 

The obvious danger in this assumption is that interactions between groups of variables can be neglected respectively that microstate variables can be aggregated into macro-state variables over a number of conditions and / or for longer time horizons. This assumption may be correct in the short run or under normal conditions, but may also be wrong under longer terms and more unusual conditions. Thus from a ‘complexity / non-linear mathematics perspective ‘small’ effects may lead under positive feedback to the crossing of thresholds and phase transitions and then may be observed as increased stress, risk and catastrophes in a system’s development (cp. Thom 1989, Jain and Krishna 2002, Sornette 2003).

 

In human systems these aggregations in the form of system definitions and system models involve approximations and hypotheses on system behavior in the mental world of actors. These assumptions underlying mental representations of systems are likely to be proven wrong earlier or later with the further development of a (dynamic) theoretical system.

 

In order to tackle the question of where to ‘cut’ system definition, decomposition and system aggregation, the paper proposes to employ physicist-psychologist-philosopher Ernst Mach’s genetic perspective on the evolution of knowledge based on his research in the history of science (Mach 1888, 1905, 1883). Mach suggests to replace causality with functional relations, which describe the relationship between the elements of the measured item and the standard of measurement (Mach 1905, Heidelberger 2010) as functional dependencies of one appearance on the other. Measurement, system delineation and aggregation is thus based on the tools and perspective or worldview of scientists. The poster sketches the links between Bertalanffy’s and Mach’s non-positivist approaches and Simon’s formal approach to derive requirements for ‘tools’ to converse about system definition, decomposition, and aggregation (modularization) interrelated with and dependent on scientists worldviews.

 

 


Presenter / Artist

Wednesday August 5, 2015 16:48 - 17:12 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:00 CEST

Open
Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:00 - 17:00 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:00 CEST

The Value of the Frame: Painting Complexity using two Chronic Disease Models

As with all chronic diseases, it is now recognized that Type-II diabetes is a complex health issue, the etiology of which involves numerous risk factors operating at different ecological levels of analysis. However, this ecological complexity of the problem seldom manifests itself in the interventions (leverage points) for preventing the problem, which typically focus on changing behavior through universal health education, which assumes a homogeneous population. This paper examines the limitations of this way of framing the problem of Type-II diabetes, particularly its failure to capture the way in which this problem emerges as a result of dynamic interactions between individuals and their environments and how these interactions vary in fundamental ways depending upon the context within which they occur.  Specifically, the paper examines the ways in which Type-II diabetes in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) is framed (understood, interpreted, and applied) and how framing affects which systems modeling method one uses to understand the problem and to help guide policy-makers to ameliorate it.

Each systems model has a paradigm characterizing it by a set of fundamental rules and underlying concepts.  That is, each method bases on assumptions of how the model should be constructed and the knowledge obtainable from such. By assuming the model should be constructed in a certain way, the modeler (whether implicitly or explicitly) frames the problem by making assumptions about the phenomenon of interest. Choosing to develop any model asserts a model proscribes to paradigmatic assumptions for how that model would contribute something useful (of value) in some capacity (for a purpose), which is ultimately affected by understanding, interpretation, and application (framing) of the problem. Selecting a particular modeling paradigm implies part of the conceptualization process of a system modeling study is in selecting a model paradigm based on these assumptions. For example, selecting to create a system dynamics model assumes the system-of-interest is comprised of rates, aggregates or stocks, and feedback loops (at least for the model’s purpose).

The LRGV was selected as the predominantly poor Mexican American population that resides there has the highest diabetes-related death rate in Texas and, in certain areas of this region, 50% of the Hispanic population aged 35 years and older suffer from Type-II diabetes. Addressing the problem of diabetes in this area is especially problematic as it ranks among the most socially and economically disadvantaged areas of the United States. Given this high prevalence and limited economic resources, a model capturing the extent of the health problem and analyzing an array of possible leverage points could be crucial to reducing Type-II diabetes in this population.  The question is: What should such a model capture? More specifically, how does framing affect understanding of systems models of Type-II diabetes in the LRGV and the type of leverage points should it be identifying?

The paper describes how specific types of systems methods, those using agent-based models (ABM) and system dynamics models (SDM), can produce very different ways of understanding the problem of and the leverage points for Type-II diabetes in the LRGV.  Additionally, it moves beyond simply outlining the general differences in the use and applications of ABM and SDM, to presenting models demonstrating how framing of the problem  and model paradigmatic assumptions affect understanding of the problem of Type-II diabetes in the LGRV and its potential leverage points. While the examples are specific to a health problem in a specific community, the significance of such an approach is in its generalizability to how understanding social system behavior depends upon how framing the problem and the paradigmatic assumptions of the modeling method selected for modeling that social system.


Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:00 - 17:15 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:00 CEST

Facilitating Training Transfer Effects Based on Systemic Influences of Training Design, Trainees' Motivation and Work Environment - Empirical Evidence from MBA Programs in Vietnam
Presenter / Artist
avatar for Nam Nguyen

Nam Nguyen

Director (Australia and Southeast Asia, Malik) and Honorary Fellow (Systems Design and Complexity Management, UoA), Malik Management Institute, Switzerland and The University of Adelaide (UoA), Australia
Dr Nam Nguyen is a Director (Australia and Southeast Asia) of Malik Management Institute, Switzerland (one of the world’s leading organizations for holistic, system-cybernetic management, governance, and responsible leadership). He is also a Director of SysPrac Pty Ltd and a co-founder... Read More →
avatar for Professor Ockie Bosch

Professor Ockie Bosch

President, International Society for the Systems Sciences
Professor Ockie Bosch was born in Pretoria, South Africa. He first came to Australia in 1979 where he was an invited senior visiting scientist with the CSIRO in Alice Springs. After one year in Longreach (1989) he emigrated to New Zealand where he was offered a position with Landcare... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:00 - 17:30 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:00 CEST

Corporate Level Managerial Knowledge as a Complex Adaptive System

Managing a single business demands knowing about how to create and sustain its competitive advantage. Managing multibusiness firms additionally requires coordinating business diversity and capturing synergies that increases managerial complexity. Those challenges demand a different kind of knowledge. Based on a qualitative research, this paper presents a conceptual model of this knowledge as a complex adaptive system (CAS).  As a CAS, multilevel agents, synergy stimulus, adaptive responses and action systems compose this knowledge. Corporate level managerial knowledge characterizes as tacit, collective, integrative and collaborative. The research used a case study approach in a Colombian multibusiness firm, focusing on the top management team. The resulting approach helps to enhance the conception of corporate level managerial knowledge and this approach facilitates decision-making decentralization.

Keywords: Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), Multibusiness Firm, Managerial Knowledge, Corporate Strategy

 


Presenter / Artist
LM

Luz Maria Rivas

PhD Student, Universidad EAFIT
ISSS Student


Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:00 - 18:00 CEST
Stockholm 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:12 CEST

In Order to Create a Better, Wiser World We Need a Revolution in Academic Inquiry

We are heading towards disaster. Population growth, destruction of natural habitats and rapid extinction of species, vast inequalities of wealth and power around the globe, the lethal character of modern war, pollution of earth, sea and air, and above all the impending disasters of climate change: all these looming global problems indicate we face a grim future.  In order tackle these problems intelligently, effectively and humanely, we need to learn how to do it.  That in turn requires that our institutions of learning, our universities and schools, are rationally designed and devoted to the task.  At present, they are not.  We have inherited from the past a kind of academic inquiry so grossly irrational that it has actually contributed to the genesis of these problems.  The great intellectual success of modern science and technological research has made possible, even caused, all these global crises.  As a matter of supreme urgency we need to bring about a revolution in academia so that humanity may acquire what it so desperately needs: a kind of inquiry rationally designed and devoted to helping us make progress towards as good a world as possible.  The kind of academic inquiry we need would put problems of living at the heart of the enterprise; the pursuit of knowledge and technology would emerge out of and would feed back into, the central and fundamental activities of improving our understanding of what our problems of living are (including global problems), and proposing and critically assessing possible solutions – possible actions, policies, political programmes, ways of living.  The fundamental task would be to help people everywhere come to have a better understanding of what our problems are, and what we need to do about them.


Presenter / Artist

Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:12 - 17:36 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:30 CEST

Open
Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:30 - 17:30 CEST
Copenhagen 1 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:30 CEST

The Importance and Place of Family Farming in the World and in Turkey
Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:30 - 17:30 CEST
Reindeer Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:30 CEST

Both 'Soft' and 'Hard': Towards Integrative Approaches for Dealing with Complex Challenges in Problem-Solving and Consulting
Presenter / Artist
avatar for Andreas Hieronymi

Andreas Hieronymi

SIG Chair: Systems Applications in Business and Industry, University of St. Gallen
Andreas Hieronymi lives in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Currently he serves as the Executive Director for an international MBA exchange program at the University of St. Gallen where he also conducts research related to visual thinking and complex problem solving. He has a Major in Work... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:30 - 18:00 CEST
Stockholm 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:30 CEST

Understanding Mechanisms of the Anthropocene – Systems Science Should Meet Social Ecology !

Aiming to govern the anthropocene (Crutzen 2002) implicates to refer to an appropriate model of our global socio-ecological system (briefly: human ecosystem), that might be similar to the famous “world models” (Meadows et al. 2004). Usually, policies assume that the subsystems  nature (soil, water, air; plants animals), economy and society are deterministic machines where any system-specific input (pesticides / taxes/ law etc.) evokes a certain intended operation mode or output (e.g. “sustainability”) without considering side effects and feedbacks. In this context, any steering intervention is guided only by easily available quantitative indicators that are supposed to represent the function state of the respective system validly (comp. “big data” hype). Additionally, it is commonly believed that deterministically operating and (growing) economy is also the determining driver of human ecosystems: “If we ‘kick-start’ the economy everything changes for the better!”  In contrast, self-conditioned dynamics seems to be significant for operations of each of these systems. Therefore, understanding the interconnected but buffered dynamics between the subsystems nature, economy and society needs  the proper identification of major players in the respective and coupled systems dynamics. This knowledge must also encompass boundary conditions of the systems in order to reduce climate change and /or  keep biodiversity effectively (comp. Rockström 2009). Maybe, only with this knowledge it is effective/efficient to design and apply causally oriented intervention strategies.

However, already at the stage of modeling of regional human ecosystems, still epistemic deficiencies de-validate some usual models: theory-free collecting obtainable data across several domains (temperature, % land use, biomass & energy consumption /capita,  population size/density, DGP, Gini-coefficient etc.) and then building formal models for computer simulations without referring to theories of the respective academic disciplines   (geography, sociology, economy   etc.)  seems to be too pragmatic even if modeling methodologies of systems science are used systematically. In this context, it has to be admitted that there are not enough interdisciplinary (or better: “interfacultary”) conceptual frameworks that allow an integrated view on the world and that connect views of ecology, economy and social science. One option is the academic field of social ecology (or human ecology) that studies the  interrelations between population (or: men), society and “environment” (Hawley, Duncan,  Odum; comp. Glaser 1989, Serbser 2004) or the “societal metabolism” (Schaffarzik et al. 2014). Interestingly, the level of development of quantitative theories and models  in social ecology is  rather low (Tretter & Halliday 2012). Additionally, the methodological gap between natural and social sciences  should be minded more (Simon & Tretter 2015).

In the talk, referring to case studies several of such methodological issues are raised that might help to proceed towards a more sophisticated and epistemologically sound theoretical modeling of socio-ecological systems as a basis of ecosystems management.


Presenter / Artist
avatar for Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Felix Tretter

Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Felix Tretter

Fellow, Bertalanffy Centre for the Studies of Systems Sciences (BCSSS)
SIG Co-Chair: Socio-Ecological Systems (see below for details)This SIG Socio-Ecological Systems intends to help advance a sound epistemology and methodology for socio-ecological systems design in conjunction with socio-technological systems design. At the interface of science... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:30 - 18:00 CEST
Elk Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

17:36 CEST

Modeling with G. Spencer-Brown
Presenter / Artist
avatar for Marcus J. Carney

Marcus J. Carney

carney@gmx.com,  


Wednesday August 5, 2015 17:36 - 18:00 CEST
Copenhagen 2 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

19:00 CEST

ASC: What I learned from Ranulph Glanville
Speakers
avatar for Prof. Larry Richards

Prof. Larry Richards

Interim Vice Chancellor and Dean, Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus
Larry Richards is a long-time member of American Society for Cybernetics and regular attendee at its conferences. He served for nine years (1983-1991) as Treasurer, President and Past President of ASC, and received its Norbert Wiener Medal in 2006. He is also a past President and... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 19:00 - 19:30 CEST
Aurora 2 & 3 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

19:30 CEST

ASC: Staging Bateson's Metalogues: A Workshop Performance

Wednesday August 5, 2015 19:30 - 20:15 CEST
Aurora 2 & 3 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

20:15 CEST

ASC: Living Systems are Learning Systems
Presenter / Artist
avatar for Nora Bateson

Nora Bateson

Founder, The International Bateson Institute
Nora Bateson is a media producer and educator. Her work includes documentaries, multimedia productions, magazine columns, and developing curriculum for elementary and high school students. Central to all her pursuits is the idea of utilizing media and storytelling to encourage cultural... Read More →


Wednesday August 5, 2015 20:15 - 21:00 CEST
Aurora 2 & 3 Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany
 
Thursday, August 6
 

13:30 CEST

Application of the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) for Management of Laboratory Hazardous Wastes

Higher education institutions generate a significant amount of wastes in their laboratories. Toxic reagents can react to other chemicals and form unknown products which are dangerous to both human and environment. Despite the severity of the situation, these wastes are not always discarded properly due to either lack of awareness by students and employees or lack of follow-up inspection. As education institutions, the universities should be the best example of how to manage their wastes and therefore show concern about the environment. This work is aimed at applying the Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) for management of hazardous wastes in a laboratory at the Federal University of Uberlândia, including their storage and disposal, in order to improve the awareness by those involved in scientific laboratory research about this issue.

Keywords: Reagents, hazardous wastes, SSM, laboratories.  


Presenter / Artist
PL

Prof. Lara Bartocci Liboni

Professor, University of Sao Paulo
ISSS One Day


Thursday August 6, 2015 13:30 - 14:00 CEST
Elk Room Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany

14:00 CEST

Sustainable Practices As Dynamic Capabilities using Soft System Methodology

Environmental concerns have increased the awareness of the limitations of the modern conception of nature and its disastrous consequences.  Corporate sustainability consists of ensuring long-term economic viability and, at the same time, contributing to the socio-economic development of communities, the health of the environment and the stability of society (Ethos, 2009). The concept of corporate sustainability involves sustainable economic growth that is aligned with social development and environmental conservation. Consequently, a new development strategy emerges embodying political, economic, social, technological, and environmental dimensions. This new paradigm of a sustainable development implies the need for profound changes in the current production systems, human society organisation, and utilisation of natural resources essential to human life and other living beings (Belico et. al, 2000).  Therefore, the paradigm of sustainability implies the need for changes in the current production systems, including human society organization and utilization of natural resources essential to human life and other living beings (Liboni; Cezarino, 2014).The aim of this paper is to analyze the development of changes in operations management towards sustainability using the Soft System Methodology. The results show that Balbo company, Brazilian sugarcane industry, has developed new ways to change and adapt in a disturbing environment was able to built dynamics capabilities.  SSM is a soft methodology, which was developed from the observation that not all problems and situations faced by corporations are of a precise nature (Martinelli and Ventura, 2006, p. 163). This systemic method was “designed to assist in the resolution of soft issues, which are of complex nature and involve many human elements” (Martinelli; Ventura, 2006, p.163).  Native branch and all the changes demanded by the company’s new business were the source of development of dynamic capacities and adaptation of the company, which shifted from a stable commodity market to a dynamic, increasing market of organic food products. In order to seek a more sustainable management model, the company has developed dynamic capacities within the economic sphere focusing on efficacy, reduction and reuse of solid wastes, and cogeneration of energy; within the social sphere, the rural workers are assisted with security and quality of life programs; and within the environmental sphere, the company, through the Cana Verde project, has environmental certifications and preserves protected areas by conciliating the respect for the environment with the production processes of all areas. 


Presenter / Artist
PL

Prof. Lara Bartocci Liboni

Professor, University of Sao Paulo
ISSS One Day


Thursday August 6, 2015 14:00 - 14:30 CEST
Elk Room Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz, Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, 10963 Berlin, Germany