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Thursday, July 28

2:30pm MDT

Homeostats, Recursions and Time Scales: A Viable System Model Enquiry
2827 The Viable System Model is a broadly applicable organizational model originally developed by Stafford Beer in the steel industry and includes a number of homeostats, including the one between the attention to the present and to the future (the three/four homeostat monitored by System Five), the vertical authority/horizontal autonomy homeostat and the homeostat between the system (systems one/two and three). Also important are the many homeostats that connect the system with its present contractual and contextual environments and the ones oriented toward varying aspects of future time. The Viable System Model is recursive: that is that each system is embedded in a number of other more comprehensive subsystems ranging from authority relationships to community and regulatory ones. These are not authority relations in the strict sense as, although a community has standards and norms, and a regulatory body its rules, these apply primarily within strict boundaries or parameters. These homeostats and recursive relationships do not follow a normal ordinal pattern or straightforward time scale. A lower level of recursion may be (e.g. the ‘grass roots’ where the most far reaching potential innovations are explored while the more comprehensive level may be constrained to pursue mainly those ‘possible futures’ that are acceptable to the full range of their members. They may have shorter or longer feedback cycles and they may be working within frameworks that are anywhere from hundreds of years old to yesterday. This can and sometimes does lead to systems pathologies as well as new opportunities for integrated approaches. In this presentation, I will illustrate some of these homeostats and their implications for progress on environmental, social and organizational fronts. Keywords: Viable System Model, homeostasis, recursion, time scale


Thursday July 28, 2016 2:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
ECCR 245

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