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Sunday, July 24
 

10:00am

Systems Basics in Understanding System Wholeness 'Reuniting Nature and Humanity': The Oriental Systems Thinking In the Teaching of Buddha
2865 

Wholeness could be explained from an oriental point of view, but in the end it seems to coincide with modern western systems thinking. It starts from the concentration on the parts in Reductionistic thinking, to the concentration on wholeness in Systems thinking. The second step involved the combination of the observer and decision maker with the teaching of Buddha. Finally last step would be to investigate the structure of the environment.

The application of system theory requires the understanding of ourselves, each other, the nature,  the past and future possibilities in a systemic way. That is, we need to understand both the structure and dynamics of our physical body systems, and of our mental observers. Research shows that the composition of our body and that of our mind may be explained by the same system theory relating energy, matter, life and information. We employed this simple ancient system theory as taught by Buddha to investigate how our naturally systemic-structured mind artificially developed all this non-systemic and problematic thinkings.  We use our body to experience the world around us but our mind is the one who is observing and making the decisions to change the world. System theory sees the world composed of observers,decision makers, systems, the environment, the boundaries and the relationships among them. And there are two opposite forces in the world that constantly interacting with each other, creating the flow of energy, matter and information between systems and the environment. On one hand we have the disorder force governed by the second law of thermodynamics that drive everything into a equilibrium state with maximum entropy. On the other hand we have the organizational force governed by the constrains of a system that drive the system into a particular desired  steady state with a low entropy.
 
Our mind are both the observer and the decision maker with a major problem. Throughout our life we have been looking for satisfaction that brings happiness. Our government have been relying on economics to achieve this but 80% of the time we are dis-satisfied with the people and situations around us, bringing craving, aversion and ignorance into our minds and creating all sorts of problems in our society. This is called suffering in the teaching of Buddha, and he offered us with a three step solution for our mind. In this workshop we investigate the systemic view of these three steps namely self protection, concentration and purification of our mind. We also investigate a 10 days Vipassana mental healthcare program for people of all religions including scientific communities. It is believed such a program could bring happiness, peacefulness and harmony for our community. 

Death is the end of our lives or just the beginning of another new life? A system undergoes a transition of system state upon death, but will the system continue in other forms at other places? Or will it just terminate totally? What are the possible new system states and are they sustainable? In this workshop we will investigate the sustainability of Heaven, Hell, Earth and Nibbana (null). And we investigate the way to prepare ourselves to transit into these states.   

Speakers

Sunday July 24, 2016 10:00am - 12:00pm
ECCR 1B51
  • Host Organization ISSS

2:00pm

Systems Basics in Understanding System Wholeness 'Reuniting Nature and Humanity': The Oriental Systems Thinking In Traditional Chinese Medicine
2866

The systemic thinking of the unification of nature and man has been the fundamental concept in traditional Chinese culture since around 500BC. The concept is also embedded in the teaching of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The traditional Chinese system theories under investigation include the Taichi yin-yang system theory, the Five systems theory of the human mind, and the Traditional Chinese Medicine differential diagnosis-cure process. These theories are found to be related to different modern system theories compared including Viable system model.

Taichi yin-yang system theory describes the relationship between any two entities (element/process) at any level of interest. It concerns the quantitative and qualitative changes between the entities. This is related to causal loop diagram (CLD) in system dynamics which uses reinforcing loop and balancing loop. The observer is not specified in the theories, but the perspectives of the observer actually determine the entities, the unit of quantitative changes, and the ratio of qualitative changes.The Five systems theory of the human mind is one of the important concepts developed in the teaching of Buddha. The Five systems are: awareness, perspective, sensation, action and physical object. These five systems are able to describe the properties of the observer and the decision maker.

The Traditional Chinese Medicine differential diagnosis-cure process is a practical systemic process that has been used daily for more than 2000 years. It is believed that the whole macroscopic-microscopic spectrum of systems is suitable. The system state identification involves three pairs of direction-forming spectrums. The Superficial and Internal spectrum gathers information between the boundary and the system. The Cold and Hot spectrum gathers information between the form and function, or matter and energy within the system. The Deficient and Excess spectrum gathers information between the environment and the system. Strategy can then be formulated to regulate and maintain the system.

Keywords:
Reuniting Nature and Humanity, Buddhism, Causal loop diagram CLD, Confucianism, Five systems of human mind, General System Theory, Health and system thinking, quantitative and qualitative changes, Spirituality and Systems, System dynamics, Taichi Yin-Yang System Theory, Taoism, Buddha's teaching, Traditional Chinese Medicine differential diagnosis-cure process, Unification of nature and man, Viable system model VSM. 

Supporting Agencies:
Ancient Balance Medicine Research and Education Fund Foundation Ltd. 

Speakers

Sunday July 24, 2016 2:00pm - 5:00pm
ECCR 1B51
  • Host Organization ISSS
 
Monday, July 25
 

1:30pm

Discussion: Towards Systems Literacy - The Role of Systems Research
2886 This workshop will further develop the initiatives of the Systems Research Team (SRT), which met for the second time at the 2016 IFSR Conversation in Linz, Austria. This workshop furthers the development of the SRT’s work by integrating the 2014 and 2016 teams into a collaborative cohort of researchers, scholars and practitioners in the Systems Sciences. The combined SRT consists of: Mary Edson (team leader), Pam Buckle Henning, Tim Ferris, Debora Hammond, Andreas Hieronymi, Ray Ison, John Kineman, Louis Klein, Gary Metcalf, George Mobus, Nam Nguyen, David Rousseau, Shankar Sankaran, and Will Varey with consulting team member, Peter Tuddenham. Some of the primary goals of the SRT are to educate, inform, and invite engagement by interested individuals and institutions from diverse fields and disciplines in the Systems Sciences through Systems Research and Systems Literacy. BackgroundThe two meetings of the SRT have developed two streams of value to the Systems Sciences. The first stream, started in 2014, focused on development of systems researchers and the body of knowledge. The second stream, started in 2016, focuses on role of Systems Research in the Systems Literacy Initiative. The 2014 SRT’s focus was answering the question, “What distinguishes Systems Research from other types of research,” an internal focus intended to provide grounding for researchers new to the Systems Sciences. The outcome of this phase of the SRT’s work was the publication of a book, A Guide to Systems Research: Philosophy, Processes and Practice (Springer, 2016). The 2016 SRT’s focus is on reaching out to a broader community to provide a foundation for Systems Literacy. The team’s Conversation revolved around the question, “How can Systems Research be in service to Systems Literacy?” The team’s conversations were directed into two essential aspects, separate and integrated, of this question. In one aspect, Systems Research serves Systems Literacy by providing a credible foundation for the principles and practices of Systems Science and Systems Thinking in both systematic and systemic modes. In the other aspect, Systems Research provides a neutral frame for development of ethical applications of those principles and practices. The development of Systems Research in support Systems Literacy is the ongoing collaboration of the SRT. This workshop focuses on that development.Workshop DescriptionThe workshop will be conducted in two parts. In the first part, the SRT will review and revisit the team’s work to date, creating a foundation for development during this session. Two of the three hours of this workshop will be a working session devoted to unpacking the eight critical factors identified during the 2016 IFSR Conversation. These factors will serve as a basis for a Knowledge Base (KB) and an Investment Portfolio (IP) for Systems Literacy (SL). This portion of the workshop will be guided by David Rousseau (KB) and Ray Ison (IP). A Systems Analysis, guided by George Mobus, will further define and distinguish these critical factors as part of a SR/SL KB and IP. Further details of this process are provided in the following description (see Background). In the second part (the third hour) the SRT invites students, as well as researchers and other interested participants, to join a discussion about the newly published, Guide to Systems Research (see above). In this part of the session, how Systems Research contributes to establishment of a reliable KB from which SL can create a set of foundational principles will be explored, as well as identify systemic sensibilities for a broader audience.Why: Systems Research in Service to Systems LiteracyMotivation for development of a KB through SR for SL comes from theoretical and practical sources. The SRT recognizes the exigency in development of foundational principles of Systems Science and Systems Thinking that can be effectively adopted and disseminated through Systems Literacy. The team’s narrative begins with an understanding the urgency for application of Systems Sciences and Systems Thinking to wicked problems (Malik, 2016; Churchman, 1967; Rittel, 1973) and messes (Ackoff, 1974/97). Systems Research is typically a slow generation of results; however, the body of knowledge gained through this process can be confidently used to address complexity in timely ways. The criticality of the need for salient approaches to complexity is shown in a graphic representation of some possible trajectories of applying or not applying these Systems principles in practice. The ApproachThe choice of how we respond to these issues relates to a process model that can be applied. Through understanding the relationship of the process model to the trajectory, the team directed its focus to developing a MindMap of eight essential aspects or features of how Systems Research can support Systems Literacy. These include: Systems Science knowledge base, roles and personas, maturity models, role profile, ontology/vocabulary, perspective/framing choice, frameworks, and political ecology. Each of these eight has its own process of unpacking, which was demonstrated to the Conversation participants using the knowledge base. The eight relate to unpacking the Systems landscape in a coherent but loosely coupled investment portfolio (economic, social, and relational) for building systemic sensibility in such a way as to be dis/aggregated for different audiences.  After identifying eight, critical factors or components that form the structural aspects of the process our team decided to explore these factors further. The team developed a mind map of the critical factors (or ways of knowing) and developed separate mind maps of each of the factors. These factors need further unpacking (clarification, definition, and distinction), as well as systems analysis, to refine the process model that was developed during the Conversation. The purpose of this process is not about increasing the amount of systems books and papers in the KB, but to connect the relevance of this KB in supporting SL toward effecting change in the world as ethically determined through stakeholder engagement. As a natural result of this discussion, a cascade of more questions emerged such as, “How can we bridge the perceived gap between academic knowledge and real-world practice,” and “What are the necessary intermediary factors from insight to impact?”
Systems Landscape and Systemic SensibilitiesRay urged the team to frame the next steps of the contribution of the SRT (or rebranded as  the ‘Landscape of Systems Knowing Inquiry’) as we devised a ‘first-cut’ model (Figure 2 and Table 1) of an ‘investment portfolio’ as a device to aid on-going inquiry by us, as well as a means to organize and report on our work and that of other groups committed to supporting transitions to systemic literacy (systemic sensibility + [systems science + systems thinking in practice or STiP]) (Blackmore, C., Reynolds, M., Ison, R. & Lane, A., 2015).  We understand investment to include financial, individual, intellectual, group, organizational, philanthropic, among other characteristics or attributes, and the ‘portfolio’ to be designed drawing on concepts of self-organization, open-source protocols, and easy refinement for different purposes/investors.  As outlined earlier we identified eight elements of a possible system to enhance the quality of systems knowing, though the possible systemic relations among these eight are yet to be established, understood and articulated (e.g. there may need to be more or less). We suggest that in a 'first-cut' portfolio design each of these eight elements needs to utilize/complete the following template:• What is the element - characterize it?• Why is it important?• What is a story (narrative) or case study about it - of need, failure, success, etc.?• Suggest possible 'investment' agendas or pathways - who; how; when?Monitoring and evaluation systems against agreed, yet adaptable, measures of performance are needed ‘in service’ of moving towards systemic literacy. Controlling action will also be needed. These ‘systems’ will also require a conducive institutional/organizational platform from which to operate and thrive.Conclusions and RecommendationsThe SRT’s Conversation focused on the question, “How can Systems Research be in service to Systems Literacy?” To reiterate, discussions were coalesced into two essential aspects. First, Systems Research serves Systems Literacy by providing a credible foundation for the principles and practices of Systems Science and Systems Thinking in both systematic and systemic ways. Second, Systems Research provides an impartial, dispassionate frame for development of ethical and effective applications of those principles and practices.In the team’s view, successful programs in Systems Literacy will be grounded in Systems Research encompassing: 1.) a history of systems thinking (context, sources, and development of key ideas – principles expressed in clear language); 2.) literature of systems (a canon of essential theory, results of practice, and criticism); and 3) tr...

Chairs
avatar for Mary Edson

Mary Edson

President, maredson.s3@gmail.com
Mary Edson is President of the International Federation for Systems Research.  As a Scholar/Practitioner whose major interests are in Complex Adaptive Social Systems, she teaches courses in Executive Leadership, Strategic Project Management, and Talent Management including Diversity... Read More →

Monday July 25, 2016 1:30pm - 3:00pm
ECCR 139 Engineering Building, University of Colorado

3:30pm

Discussion: Towards Systems Literacy - The Role of Systems Research
2886 This workshop will further develop the initiatives of the Systems Research Team (SRT), which met for the second time at the 2016 IFSR Conversation in Linz, Austria. This workshop furthers the development of the SRT’s work by integrating the 2014 and 2016 teams into a collaborative cohort of researchers, scholars and practitioners in the Systems Sciences. The combined SRT consists of: Mary Edson (team leader), Pam Buckle Henning, Tim Ferris, Debora Hammond, Andreas Hieronymi, Ray Ison, John Kineman, Louis Klein, Gary Metcalf, George Mobus, Nam Nguyen, David Rousseau, Shankar Sankaran, and Will Varey with consulting team member, Peter Tuddenham. Some of the primary goals of the SRT are to educate, inform, and invite engagement by interested individuals and institutions from diverse fields and disciplines in the Systems Sciences through Systems Research and Systems Literacy. BackgroundThe two meetings of the SRT have developed two streams of value to the Systems Sciences. The first stream, started in 2014, focused on development of systems researchers and the body of knowledge. The second stream, started in 2016, focuses on role of Systems Research in the Systems Literacy Initiative. The 2014 SRT’s focus was answering the question, “What distinguishes Systems Research from other types of research,” an internal focus intended to provide grounding for researchers new to the Systems Sciences. The outcome of this phase of the SRT’s work was the publication of a book, A Guide to Systems Research: Philosophy, Processes and Practice (Springer, 2016). The 2016 SRT’s focus is on reaching out to a broader community to provide a foundation for Systems Literacy. The team’s Conversation revolved around the question, “How can Systems Research be in service to Systems Literacy?” The team’s conversations were directed into two essential aspects, separate and integrated, of this question. In one aspect, Systems Research serves Systems Literacy by providing a credible foundation for the principles and practices of Systems Science and Systems Thinking in both systematic and systemic modes. In the other aspect, Systems Research provides a neutral frame for development of ethical applications of those principles and practices. The development of Systems Research in support Systems Literacy is the ongoing collaboration of the SRT. This workshop focuses on that development.Workshop DescriptionThe workshop will be conducted in two parts. In the first part, the SRT will review and revisit the team’s work to date, creating a foundation for development during this session. Two of the three hours of this workshop will be a working session devoted to unpacking the eight critical factors identified during the 2016 IFSR Conversation. These factors will serve as a basis for a Knowledge Base (KB) and an Investment Portfolio (IP) for Systems Literacy (SL). This portion of the workshop will be guided by David Rousseau (KB) and Ray Ison (IP). A Systems Analysis, guided by George Mobus, will further define and distinguish these critical factors as part of a SR/SL KB and IP. Further details of this process are provided in the following description (see Background). In the second part (the third hour) the SRT invites students, as well as researchers and other interested participants, to join a discussion about the newly published, Guide to Systems Research (see above). In this part of the session, how Systems Research contributes to establishment of a reliable KB from which SL can create a set of foundational principles will be explored, as well as identify systemic sensibilities for a broader audience.Why: Systems Research in Service to Systems LiteracyMotivation for development of a KB through SR for SL comes from theoretical and practical sources. The SRT recognizes the exigency in development of foundational principles of Systems Science and Systems Thinking that can be effectively adopted and disseminated through Systems Literacy. The team’s narrative begins with an understanding the urgency for application of Systems Sciences and Systems Thinking to wicked problems (Malik, 2016; Churchman, 1967; Rittel, 1973) and messes (Ackoff, 1974/97). Systems Research is typically a slow generation of results; however, the body of knowledge gained through this process can be confidently used to address complexity in timely ways. The criticality of the need for salient approaches to complexity is shown in a graphic representation of some possible trajectories of applying or not applying these Systems principles in practice. The ApproachThe choice of how we respond to these issues relates to a process model that can be applied. Through understanding the relationship of the process model to the trajectory, the team directed its focus to developing a MindMap of eight essential aspects or features of how Systems Research can support Systems Literacy. These include: Systems Science knowledge base, roles and personas, maturity models, role profile, ontology/vocabulary, perspective/framing choice, frameworks, and political ecology. Each of these eight has its own process of unpacking, which was demonstrated to the Conversation participants using the knowledge base. The eight relate to unpacking the Systems landscape in a coherent but loosely coupled investment portfolio (economic, social, and relational) for building systemic sensibility in such a way as to be dis/aggregated for different audiences.  After identifying eight, critical factors or components that form the structural aspects of the process our team decided to explore these factors further. The team developed a mind map of the critical factors (or ways of knowing) and developed separate mind maps of each of the factors. These factors need further unpacking (clarification, definition, and distinction), as well as systems analysis, to refine the process model that was developed during the Conversation. The purpose of this process is not about increasing the amount of systems books and papers in the KB, but to connect the relevance of this KB in supporting SL toward effecting change in the world as ethically determined through stakeholder engagement. As a natural result of this discussion, a cascade of more questions emerged such as, “How can we bridge the perceived gap between academic knowledge and real-world practice,” and “What are the necessary intermediary factors from insight to impact?”
Systems Landscape and Systemic SensibilitiesRay urged the team to frame the next steps of the contribution of the SRT (or rebranded as  the ‘Landscape of Systems Knowing Inquiry’) as we devised a ‘first-cut’ model (Figure 2 and Table 1) of an ‘investment portfolio’ as a device to aid on-going inquiry by us, as well as a means to organize and report on our work and that of other groups committed to supporting transitions to systemic literacy (systemic sensibility + [systems science + systems thinking in practice or STiP]) (Blackmore, C., Reynolds, M., Ison, R. & Lane, A., 2015).  We understand investment to include financial, individual, intellectual, group, organizational, philanthropic, among other characteristics or attributes, and the ‘portfolio’ to be designed drawing on concepts of self-organization, open-source protocols, and easy refinement for different purposes/investors.  As outlined earlier we identified eight elements of a possible system to enhance the quality of systems knowing, though the possible systemic relations among these eight are yet to be established, understood and articulated (e.g. there may need to be more or less). We suggest that in a 'first-cut' portfolio design each of these eight elements needs to utilize/complete the following template:• What is the element - characterize it?• Why is it important?• What is a story (narrative) or case study about it - of need, failure, success, etc.?• Suggest possible 'investment' agendas or pathways - who; how; when?Monitoring and evaluation systems against agreed, yet adaptable, measures of performance are needed ‘in service’ of moving towards systemic literacy. Controlling action will also be needed. These ‘systems’ will also require a conducive institutional/organizational platform from which to operate and thrive.Conclusions and RecommendationsThe SRT’s Conversation focused on the question, “How can Systems Research be in service to Systems Literacy?” To reiterate, discussions were coalesced into two essential aspects. First, Systems Research serves Systems Literacy by providing a credible foundation for the principles and practices of Systems Science and Systems Thinking in both systematic and systemic ways. Second, Systems Research provides an impartial, dispassionate frame for development of ethical and effective applications of those principles and practices.In the team’s view, successful programs in Systems Literacy will be grounded in Systems Research encompassing: 1.) a history of systems thinking (context, sources, and development of key ideas – principles expressed in clear language); 2.) literature of systems (a canon of essential theory, results of practice, and criticism); and 3) tr...

Chairs
avatar for Mary Edson

Mary Edson

President, maredson.s3@gmail.com
Mary Edson is President of the International Federation for Systems Research.  As a Scholar/Practitioner whose major interests are in Complex Adaptive Social Systems, she teaches courses in Executive Leadership, Strategic Project Management, and Talent Management including Diversity... Read More →

Monday July 25, 2016 3:30pm - 5:00pm
ECCR 139 Engineering Building, University of Colorado
 
Wednesday, July 27
 

1:30pm

Workshop: Developing Capability using a Maturity Profile for Action Research: An International Collaboration
Background: Borne of the practical turn in social science epistemology, action research typically espouses claims of personal, team, organizational, and community improvement/ transformation. It is also widely promoted as an effective framework of empowerment and emancipation to improve a social situation or condition (Reason & Bradbury, 2008; Stringer, 2007): an intent which appeals to leaders wishing to create improvement, particularly in low socio-economic and disadvantaged communities (Sankaran 2016). Validity of such espousals has been substantially unexplored, and where evaluations have occurred they have been focused more on process than impact. A group of international researchers are engaged in an evaluative study of over 100 action research initiatives (ESAR study) using a variety of methods, tools and conceptual frameworks. The Maturity Model is one of the conceptual frameworks adopted in the ESAR study. 
Maturity models have their origins in the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) developed through research to address the poor performance of software projects delivered to the US department of defence in the 1980’s. The purpose of the CMM model was to help contractors increase capability to improve their software engineering processes from an ad-hoc state to more formal and repeatable state and eventually to optimise the processes to be able to deliver consistent outcomes. Maturity models have found their way into many other organisational contexts such as project management, knowledge management, process management, research capability and even for information systems action research project management.
A typical maturity model consists of a sequence of levels that form a path to follow to move from an initial to an advance stage of maturity. These models help organisations to evaluate their current level of maturity of a process and set goals to move towards a higher maturity level.
While maturity models often use ‘business speak’ in their definition and terms used to describe  levels of maturity the authors feel that they can be made palatable and useful to action researchers to improve the ways in which they can manage their projects to deliver sustainable outcomes. This resulted in the development of the maturity profile.
The international ESAR research team have developed a framework of process and outcome indicators to represent stages of implementation and accomplishment for AR initiatives.  Data from pilot case studies were used to develop a maturity profile for AR initiatives, representing levels of maturity and evaluative outcomes at different stages of a project.  A questionnaire has also been developed for key attributes of a maturity profile that will be used at the proposed workshop to be validated and trialled by action researchers..The proposed workshop will be conducted using a ‘World Café’ format with the following schedule (Overall 90 minutes)
• Welcome and Introductions (10 minutes)• Welcome to the workshop –• Key Question to discuss today• Introduction of the facilitators• Allocation of participants to tables• Introduction to the process – (5 minutes)• World Café Rounds (50 minutes)• Break (10 minutes)• Prioritization (15 minutes)• Close 
The results from this workshop will be compared with similar workshop s that were held at the ALARA World Congress held in Pretoria in November 2015 and a workshop proposed at the next ALARA World Congress being held in November 2016 held in Adelaide.
The data from the three workshops will be analyzed and submitted as a journal paper by the authors in Systemic Practice and Action Research.

References:
Reason, P. & Bradbury, H. (EDs.) 2008. The SAGE handbook of action research, 2nd. ed., London: Sage.
Sankaran, S. (in press). Taking action using systems research. In M. C. Edson, P. Buckle Henning, & S. Sankaran (Eds.), A guide to systems research: Philosophy, processes and practice. Singapore: Springer.
Stringer, E. T. (2013). Action research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Chairs
avatar for Pamela Buckle

Pamela Buckle

SIG Chair: Systems and Mental Health, Adelphi University
Secretary and Vice President for Protocol, International Society for the Systems SciencesSIG Chair: Systems and Mental Health (see below for more information)Pamela Buckle Henning She is an Associate Professor of Management at the Robert B. Willumstad School of Business at Adelphi... Read More →
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 →

Wednesday July 27, 2016 1:30pm - 3:00pm
ECCR 265

3:30pm

Workshop: System Wholeness and Unity In Diversity within ISSS
2905   

Chairs
avatar for Thomas Wong

Thomas Wong

SIG Chair: Health and Systems Thinking, Ancient Balance Medicine Education Centre
SIG Chair: Health and Systems ThinkingBachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours in ITBachelor of Traditional Chinese MedicineMaster of Engineering in TelecommunicationTherapist of Traditional Chinese Medicine Deep Tissue pain therapy (1991-now)Chair of Health and Systems Thinking... Read More →

Wednesday July 27, 2016 3:30pm - 5:00pm
ECCR 265