1. Please suggest resources that would be particularly useful for those new to the systems field (and please indicate category to which they would belong). For example, can you think of the first reading/conversation/website that introduced you to systems science?




Название1. Please suggest resources that would be particularly useful for those new to the systems field (and please indicate category to which they would belong). For example, can you think of the first reading/conversation/website that introduced you to systems science?
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Questions:

1. Please suggest resources that would be particularly useful for those new to the systems field (and please indicate category to which they would belong). For example, can you think of the first reading/conversation/website that introduced you to systems science?


 Responses for Question 1:

1. http://www.afscet.asso.fr

2. I discovered systems sciences through the permaculture movement. I think a practical and grounded application in systems thinking made the theory, philosophy, and methodologies very clear to me. I know integrate my academic study with practice.

3. I think readings on Niklass Luhmann would be a good start for me. They would provide me with a nice review of his outstanding work for Sociology and other disciplines in general. I would also love to read more about the applications of James G. Miller's Living Systems theory.

4. I became interested in systems thinking and systems science as an IT trainer at Texas Instruments. We had three DEC VAXes named Bach, Godel, and Escher. While book browsing one day, I came upon Doug Hofstadter's (1977) book about the Eternal Golden Braid: Bach, Godel, Escher, which I found intriguing. The Capra (1990) film, MindWalk, also prodded my interests in systems thinking in terms of not only scholarly interests but in becoming a practitioner.

If ISSS is interested in including Complex Adaptive Systems in the scope of its topics, here are some suggestions:

Introductory:Mitchell, M. (2009). Complexity: A Guided Tour. New York: Oxford University Press.Byrne, D. (1998). Complexity Theory and the Social Sciences: An Introduction. London: Routledge.Miller, J.H. & Page, S.E. (2007). Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Life.Bennett, A. & Bennett, D. (2004). Organizational Survival in the New World: The Intelligent Complex Adaptive System. Oxford: Elsevier.Gunderson, L.H. & Holling, C.S. (2002). Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Intermediate:Holland, J. (1995). Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity. Reading, MA: Helix.Kauffman, S. A. (1993). The Origins of Order: Self-organization and Selection in Evolution. New York: Oxford University Press.Walker, B. & Salt, D. (2006). Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Advanced:Gunderson, L.H. & Pritchard, Jr., L. (2002). Resilience and the Behavior of Large-Scale Systems. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Useful Links:The Resilience Alliance at http://www.resalliance.org/1.phpThe Canadian Resilience Alliance at http://canresalliance.org/The Santa Fe Institute at http://www.santafe.edu/Mon, Aug 23, 2010 10:02 AMFind...

5. Systemic Frameworks for IT Governance; Systemic Information Security Management


6. I'm a really old member of the ISSS (first joining in 1998), and was introduced to the systems sciences at that point by the Primer Project, and the Principia Cybernetica at http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ . Both have been relatively inactive in recent years. I came into the systems sciences through Russell Ackoff's work, first reading his books, and then attending a few events where he was featured (starting with an Institute for Management Sciences meeting near Boston, and then the ISSS 1998 meeting).


7. C. West Churchman's book "The systems approach".

8.I think systems are inspired by illuminating conversations with people connected to the legacy. Its not just another discipline. I also recall that certain inspiring articles made a huge difference - such as those on Co-Evolution Quarterly (Bateson and Mead).

9.Courses in Comparative Systems Analysis from Len Troncale at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. CSAwiki (this is students' repository of research on systems concepts and isomorphies, student book reviews about Systems studies) It is userid and password protected so Dr T. would need to give you access. http://bioweb.win.csupomona.edu/hhmi/csawikiISSS website and conferences, the proceedings and membership mailing lists.UKSS website and conferences, proceedings.I often use scholar.google.com to find articles and books on systems concepts or authors and wikipedia for definitions and for URLs to related sites.Jackson's 2000 Systems Approaches to Management, Midgley's Systemic Intervention.Ph.D. degree in Systems Studies at Hull University.

10. Platform for Change by Stafford Beer about systems thinking in the world today; Meaning of the 20th Century by Kenneth Boulding; Beyond the Stable State by Donald Schon and Holistic Management: Managing What Matters for Company Success by William F Christopher cuts through all the verbage and gets right to the point of managing large organizations (or small) using systems science.

11. Banathy, A systems view of education (education) Boulding, K. (1956). General systems theory: The skeleton of science. Management Science, 11(3), 197-208.

12. A brief outline of the significant theories, reasons for their importance and applications on the real world.

13. Blogs. Classical information like: GST Bertalnffy. VSM Stafford Beer. Important conferences materials.

14. As a tentative example, please find hereafter my own contribution (more or less “historical”) to  such kind of information:  Books: The science fiction novel book “The world of non-a” , by A. van Vogt, which I did read in 1950,  was the “thread” which led me finally to my first contacts with “systemics”.
       “Non-a” meant “non aristotelician” (i.e. not limited to the classical binary logic). 
       In a more or less casual footnote, van Vogt referred himself to the then recently created Society for General Semantics,  wherefrom van Vogt obviously had found his – quite distorted - inspiration  .  I became a member of this society and started to read its Bulletin in which I came to discover the existence of the incipient systems mouvement, under the leadership of James Miller.The Journal “Behavioral Science”, already existing, was reoriented to become the first leading systems journal under the new title “Systems Research and Behavioral Science”.


2. Please suggest resources that would be of interest to those more experienced in the field.


Responses to Question 2:

1. A multi-languages site -not only in English but also in French, German, Spanish- (with a sufficient REQUISITE VARIETY) like does the Wikipedia multi-languages site.

2. Please see the previous breakout. I would also strongly suggest dialogue with ISSS's Tim Allen (U Wisconsin at Madison) about hierarchy theory and its implications to complex adaptive systems. Any discussions about self-organization and emergence should include Ashby's work.


3.Systemic culture management; Cybernetic approach for Information Systems; A systemic approach for Computer crime.

4. I think people stay within their own tribes too much, and need to look at sources outside their preferred methodologies and domains. I do not know of any great general purpose resources or sites - like many in the field, I prefer to go to original sources and do a lot of literature searches. This may call for an unmet need, for a consolidated single site for systems papers and archives from Ashby to Leonard.

5. I've recently been trying to tap into streams of research that are alive (i.e. systems sciences post 1985). The two most obvious sources are journals and web sites. In journals, I've been looking at Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Systemic Practice and Action Research, and various others around Ecological Complexity and Ecological Economics. In web sites, I use Twitter and social media sources, so I've been looking into the ISEE (USEE and CanSee), and the Resilience Alliance. I also listen to podcasts from Econtalk, which leans towards the Austrian school of economics (and I would like to appreciate better).


6. C. West Churchman's "The design of inquiring systems" (1971).

7.ISSS proceedings are really useful. The online resources at ISSS.org (you really have to explore around to find them, though). The Hull U. Ph.D. in Systems Studies.

8. In management, the comprehensive over view is: Creative Problem Solving: Total Systems Intervention (1991) by Robert Flood and Michael Jackson is a catalogue of systems management tools, with description, analysis and pragmatic evaluation; and the theoretical complement: Liberating Systems Theory(1990), by Robert Flood is a more far reaching thoughtful exploration of the potential to create a systems philosophy.

9. Systems dynamics, and mathematical models.


3. What methodologies should we include? Please include category and any relevant literature.


Responses to Question 3:

1. All.


2. Grounded Theory (Constructivist); Systemic Intervention and Systemic Evaluation; Participatory Action Research

3. Soft systems methodologies, Stafford Beer's viable system, artificial intelligence, neural networks methdologies.


4. If you are interested in systems research methodologies, former ISSS President, Gary Metcalf, is delving into this area. Inductive research methods, such as Grounded Theory (Strauss & Corbin) may make sense for social systems inquiry. Another potential method is Reperatory Grid Technique, which uses personal constructs theory developed by George Kelly (1955, 1963). For those conducting social systems research that include interviews to build case studies, the qualitative data analysis software (QDAS), atlas.ti, may be useful in organizing, coding, and analyzing large volumes of data. Questions about QDAS can be directed to me, Mary Edson at coaching4success@msn.com.

5. Viable system model; Soft Systems methodology; Critical systems thinking.

6. Methods, models and tools are entangled, so it's sometimes hard to separate them. Methods should include SSM and interactive planning. Open Systems Theory (Merrelyn Emery), Global Agoras with Structured Dialogic Design (Christakis et al.), generative conversations (Banathy), Syntegration (Beer) tend more to organizations. Models include VSM (Beer), Living Systems Theory (Miller), the Design of Inquiring Systems (Churchman, leading to Barabba). Tools have advanced recently with the rise of computer technologies, e.g. the OMG SysML language from the systems engineering community has become certified as an industry standard, and is supported by Model Based Systems Engineering and Model Driven Systems Design.

7. The sources should be exhaustive if at all possible. There are a finite, in fact fairly small number of validated and references systems methodologies. They could be organized by purpose and application, rather than method and author, to be most useful. For example:Community and urban planning1. Dialogic Design / SDD (Christakis) 2. Interactive Management (Warfield) 3. Syntegrity (Beer)4. Values Sensitive Design (Friedman)5. Purposive Design (Ackoff)This could be matrixed or duplicated. I would not have a problem with seeing the same methods duplicated, but I think for systems thinking to become adopted widely, it needs to be lifted away from academic sourcing and toward applications, so people can relate the methods to their concerns.Sun, Aug 22, 2010 12:44 PMFind...

8. Learning how to do research teaches that you don't learn just one or a few methodologies and then go about using them everywhere (that's what is called imperialism), you choose a methodology that suits the problem at hand. For example, methodologies that suit scientific inquiry are not suitable for resolving disputes between people who have different points of view. I believe we should learn about the four Systems paradigms. Each paradigm has a variety of methodologies that all work with that particular world view: Functionalist, interpretivist, critical/emancipatory, and postmodern. Students are usually drawn to certain methodologies when they are introduced this way. So I believe we should allow the student to pick his or her own. Our SIG discussions then can be about what methodologies we've learned and how we're applying them.

9. I think "soft systems" of Checkland is a false dichotomy.The Viable Systems Model, with its levels of recursion, basically allows the investigator to1. define the system in focus2. call its environment incredibly dynamic3. If you are looking at some level of "hard" system, subsequent recursions UP are increasingly "soft"

10. Bayesians models, Bertalanffy book's math models with simulations.


4. What other tools? Models?


Responses to Question 4:


1. All.

2.Take them from strategies in urban planning, architecture, permaculture landscaping, wholistic management (agriculture broad acre), alt. financial systems i.e. LETSAll of this is applied systems thinking to tackle daily problems in real people's lives. These things could act as a hook to draw people into an academic discourse and challenge their scientific approaches to issues including climate change research, biodiversity conservation, energy and resource economics, renewable energy economics, food security esp. organic and GMO debates, peak oil, human migration, access to water & healthy soils, etc etc.

3. Stella, Vensim for System Dynamics.

4. Panarchy - Complex Adaptive Cycles by Gunderson & Holling (2002) It includes four phases for ecological systems - Exploitation, Conservation, Release, and Reorganization plus Nested Adaptive Cycles. For complex adaptive social systems - Steve Carpenter (UWisc at Madison) and Frances Westley (U of Waterloo, CA) may be helpful resources about the application of CAS to human systems and ecological systems management.

5. VSM; Syntegration model.

6. (Answer in previous question)

7. Current and archived results of modeling and simulations would be helpful. Seeing the data, interpreted findings, and some reports that we can share among practitioners and scholars.

8. System models are great ways to see how a methodology is used. I'd like to see an example case study modelled: System analysis (flowchart), Beer's VSM, system dynamics (causal loops), SSM's rich pictures, etc.

9. Information and matter.

 

5. Any suggestions on how introductory content should be formatted (e.g. categories, fields, and/or interaction with site)?


Responses to Question 5:

1. Images are good. Show not tell. Graphics to connect the various research interests and disciplines to the systems sciences. Links to exposition for those who wish to explore a site. Contacts and directories. Where to study - looking for a masters/phd programme?

2. I think pdf format would work just fine, as well as power point presentations, which allow for a more interactive style.

3. Less is more (i.e. keep it simple, clear, and clean). Cluttered websites are confusing and lose newcomers quickly. Otherwise, make sure the links work and that someone is testing/maintaining it regularly.


4. Diagramming could be helpful, because otherwise the text becomes overwhelming.

5. In Design Pattern format, per C Alexander's pattern language: http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/


6.I'm thinking from the user's point of view, what do they WANT when they go to the site?Who we are as a SIG group and individuals, submit your own photo and bio, history of past conferencesWhat we do (what the SIG is for) and how do we fit into the ISSS How to get involvedPrepare for the next conferenceResourcesContact Us

7. social science, management, biology, thinking and consciousness, philosophy and comprehensive thinking, scientific methods.

8. There is a must to use a systemic model. From botton up or Top down in the best systemic approach. What I mean here is: Systems approach is suited for any group of elements. Or The system can be "split" in many ways. Stafford Beer shows some ideas.


6. Are there any other types of materials that have not already been suggested that you would like to see on the site?


Responses to Question 6:

1. I would suggest Engineering, Managament and Psychology.


2. In the U.S., Saybrook University has Master's and Ph.D. programs in Organizational Systems. For those interested in Complexity with more of a Cybernetic perspective, the Santa Fe Institute offers educational programs, but i don't think they offer academic degrees at this point. The University of Queensland, Australia, offers one of the most comprehensive systems programs in the world.


3.Systems science; Computer science; Information systems; Information Security

Cyber crime.


4. In addition to the systems science orientation (e.g. U. Southern Queensland), relationships to other fields should be included, e.g. systems engineering (Stevens Institute, U. of Central Florida), ecology (e.g. Resilience Alliance), and service systems (e.g. Tokyo Institute of Technology, Manchester U.)


5. OCAD University, Toronto, has established a core of two systems courses in the MDes Strategic Foresight and Innovation program. This may be a unique application area.


6. Hull, Saybrook, Comparative Systems Analysis (undergrad minor) at Cal Poly, Open University (U.K), University of Warwick (UK).


7. Platform for Change, page 415: Systems Education, two parts of 5 units each:

Part the First

contains a basic knowledge of the systemic universe. Its first unit deals with the concept of system. The next three units expound respectively a contemporary understanding of the physical, biological and social aspects of the world. These divisions are some concession to the way people have - erroneously - been taught to think. This makes necessary fifth unit, which integrates the first four.


Part the Second

would being with a restatement ab ovo of mathematics adequate to deal with these concepts. It would be close to Spencer Brown's 'Laws of Form'. The second unit would encompass the systems approach to management, at every level (by a logical recursion) from the community to the world entire. Thirdly, we should tackle aesthetics, design and the quality of life. This unit would invent new systems of living - including a new kind of house and new kind of city. The fourth unit would consider man's [sic] heritage, history and the classics, not with a nostalgic scholarship that clearly has a surrogate existence within the ages under discussion, but with a forward orientation that projects us onward. The fifth and final unit would put together a new philosophy, comprehensible only to students of this total work.


Stafford Beer,

Presidential Address, Society for General Systems Research, 1971Tue, Aug 17, 2010 8:16 AMFind...


8. Please be aware that according to the GST, all disciplines should be included. The idea is to get the right tree to include them.

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