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ECCR 1B55 [clear filter]
Sunday, July 24
 

2:00pm MDT

Living Systems Analysis Workshop
2948

Living systems analysis includes both qualitative and quantitative sciences.

Qualitative living systems are treated well in James Millers Living Systems.

Philosophers have been trying since the 18thcentury to develop a science of society based on laws of nature. The physical sciences are based on (1) the identification of universal phenomena, the relation among them and their measures (quantification).

The universal phenomena of things that live are: matter, energy, information, and knowledge.

These phenomena have been identified and quantified.  The quantification of living systems phenomena and their relations provide the basis of quantitative living systems analysis 

The universal phenomena of knowledge and information are recent discoveries.

Quantification of knowledge and information are currently at the cellular level.  The task before us is quantify knowledge and information at all levels from the cell up to and including humans and their organizations.   

Chairs
Sunday July 24, 2016 2:00pm - 5:00pm MDT
ECCR 1B55
 
Monday, July 25
 

1:30pm MDT

The Thinking Space: the Enactment of a Platform for Critical Systems Practice
2799 This paper focuses on describing the process of enactment of a ‘platform’, namely, The Thinking Space (TS), as a device for Critical Systems Practice CSP. This is part of a research project that generated a series of findings contributing to the study of the process whereby different systems methodologies, methods, tools and techniques are used in combination. This process is known as Critical Systems Practice (CSP). The study yielded ‘defensible generalisations’ from a series of research themes explored. These defensible generalisations or contributions relate to three research issues relevant to CSP, namely, (a) pluralism, (b) improvement, and (c) the role of the agent. The learning derived from these research themes led the researcher to formulate the ‘transferable problem solving capability’ of the study: the enactment of ‘platforms’ as devices for operationalising CSP. Platforms are defined as ‘organisational and intellectual spaces’ enacted by actors and evolving with the changing nature of actors’ moment-to-moment interactions, by means of engaging in a continuous mutual research endeavour and of engaging in enhancing collective competence, in order to pursue an informed practice (to pursue CSP). The study is the result of reflection and debate, which was reciprocally enriched by theory and practice. It presents the findings of an organisation-based action research project, where the researcher entered into a real-world situation and aimed both at improving it and acquiring knowledge about the experience. He became, for a period of three years, involved in the flux of ‘real-world problems’ within an engineering company that invited him to do research by using systems ideas in practice. This paper thus recapitulates on the contributions that this research endeavour had on the three research themes focusing on the emergence of a particular ‘platform’, the Thinking Space (TS), as a device for operationalising CSP; the fourth ‘emergent’ research theme. Concerning the ‘transferable problem solving capability’ of the study, the TS is one particular device considered to provide evidence for proposing the research theme of ‘platforms’. Keywords: platforms; Critical Systems Practice; transferable problem solving capability, pluralism; improvement; role of the agent This paper focuses on describing the process of enactment of a ‘platform’, namely, The Thinking Space (TS), as a device for Critical Systems Practice CSP. This is part of a research project that generated a series of findings contributing to the study of the process whereby different systems methodologies, methods, tools and techniques are used in combination. This process is known as Critical Systems Practice (CSP). The study yielded ‘defensible generalisations’ from a series of research themes explored. These defensible generalisations or contributions relate to three research issues relevant to CSP, namely, (a) pluralism, (b) improvement, and (c) the role of the agent. The learning derived from these research themes led the researcher to formulate the ‘transferable problem solving capability’ of the study: the enactment of ‘platforms’ as devices for operationalising CSP. Platforms are defined as ‘organisational and intellectual spaces’ enacted by actors and evolving with the changing nature of actors’ moment-to-moment interactions, by means of engaging in a continuous mutual research endeavour and of engaging in enhancing collective competence, in order to pursue an informed practice (to pursue CSP). The study is the result of reflection and debate, which was reciprocally enriched by theory and practice. It presents the findings of an organisation-based action research project, where the researcher entered into a real-world situation and aimed both at improving it and acquiring knowledge about the experience. He became, for a period of three years, involved in the flux of ‘real-world problems’ within an engineering company that invited him to do research by using systems ideas in practice. This paper thus recapitulates on the contributions that this research endeavour had on the three research themes focusing on the emergence of a particular ‘platform’, the Thinking Space (TS), as a device for operationalising CSP; the fourth ‘emergent’ research theme. Concerning the ‘transferable problem solving capability’ of the study, the TS is one particular device considered to provide evidence for proposing the research theme of ‘platforms’. Keywords: platforms; Critical Systems Practice; transferable problem solving capability, pluralism; improvement; role of the agent

Chairs
avatar for Jennifer Wilby

Jennifer Wilby

Vice President Admin, ISSS
From 1978 Jennifer started working in urban planning, followed by database programming and textbook publishing until 1993. In 1989, moving to San Jose, Jennifer graduated in 1992 from the MSc in Cybernetic Systems at San Jose State University. Moving back to the UK in 1993, she worked... Read More →

Monday July 25, 2016 1:30pm - 2:00pm MDT
ECCR 1B55

2:00pm MDT

Taking Advantage of Systems Thinking to Improve a STEM Project to Promote Regional Development
2748 Taking Advantage of Systems Thinking to Improve a Stem Project to Promote Regional Development Luis Arturo Pinzon-Salcedo, Erika Van den Bergue Patiño & Angélica María Castaño-Herrera Email address: lpinzon@uniandes.edu.co, e.van10@uniandes.edu.co, am.castano263@uniandes.edu.co Between 2014 and 2016, a group of researchers from three different universities and a social innovation park, developed a STEM Project to promote regional development in three areas from the province of Cundinamarca, Colombia. The project was financed with public funds and supported the official regional plans. The intervention was carried out by a group of almost thirty researchers using several systemic and non-systemic approaches. The involvement of researchers from diverse disciplines who believed in very different paradigms, as well as the participation of communities with dissimilar interests and problems, posed serious challenges to the project. During the research inquiry the participants experienced the difficulty of integrating elements from apparently incommensurable paradigms from the social sciences, the natural sciences, and several engineering disciplines. This experience, as well as others that involved the promotion of regional development by taking advantage of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, served to propose a systemic model of intervention that we consider might be helpful in developing future STEM projects to promote regional development. The aforementioned intervention drew upon several systems thinking principles, methodologies and techniques, such as boundary critique, soft systems methodologies, critical systems heuristics, Midgley’s creative design of methods, and system dynamics. The model proposed for new regional STEM interventions takes advantage of several systemic methodologies, principles and techniques, and proposes a new multi-paradigm multimethodolgy that aims an improving the efficacy and effectiveness of regional interventions. The model includes several key elements that we consider particularly relevant: the promotion of community capacity to guarantee a sustainable future, community development at different levels (cultural, social, economic, etc.), training that involves both individual and social learning, and continuous evaluation. This paper also illustrates the important role that computer supported collaborative learning and other information and communication technologies can play in these interventions, as well as the relevance of the communities of practice theories to address diverse issues but particularly identity, power and learning issues.

Chairs
avatar for Jennifer Wilby

Jennifer Wilby

Vice President Admin, ISSS
From 1978 Jennifer started working in urban planning, followed by database programming and textbook publishing until 1993. In 1989, moving to San Jose, Jennifer graduated in 1992 from the MSc in Cybernetic Systems at San Jose State University. Moving back to the UK in 1993, she worked... Read More →

Monday July 25, 2016 2:00pm - 2:30pm MDT
ECCR 1B55

2:30pm MDT

Developing a Systemic Framework for Evaluation Models and their Applications
2755 The following paper presents the development of a systemic framework for the classification of evaluation models, based on the reflective process that takes place when selecting an evaluation model and the study of processes of marginalization. For such purposes, several classifications proposed by various authors for systemic methodologies are taken into account. We should begin by stressing the importance of the concept of assessment or evaluation as it allows us to make judgments about the performance of organizations, projects, programs, staff and activities at different levels enabling the implementation of activities or actions to reduce the gap between the current state of a system and its desired state. These activities not only seek a gap reduction but are also oriented to process and human group sustainability through the achievement of best practices that will bring benefits in the long term. When selecting an evaluation model, the evaluator is usually based on the best-known features, such as the methods used, the research questions that it follows, and the kind of problems that could be targeted. However, as evaluation is entirely based on judgments, each assessment model necessarily has a set of underlying values that are rarely taken into account and should be aligned not only with the purpose for which the evaluation is done but also with the moral characterization of the problems it tackles. Such judgmental nature, implies that any judgment must be based on a set of guiding principles, standards or ideals that determine the position of the object evaluated with respect to such values. An individual, which in this case is the evaluator, must carry out a reflective process to establish this set of elements. For this reason, this paper describes the development of a systemic framework that seeks to classify the various models of evaluation of projects, policies and programs according to the values underlying each of them considering their deontological and methodological bases. In this paper deontology comprises the ethics and principles underlying the evaluation profession and specifically in the conducted evaluation process, while methodology is seen as the basis that validates a set of procedures and tools. For the development of this framework we took into account the framework for the classification of systemic methodologies proposed by authors such as Banathy and Burrell & Morgan, as well as the theory of “knowledge-constitutive interests” proposed by Jurgen Habermas and the context classification of a problem. The development of such a classification allows the individual that is conducting the evaluation to be able to select an appropriate and accurate methodology in accordance with the purpose for which the assessment will be carried out.

Chairs
avatar for Jennifer Wilby

Jennifer Wilby

Vice President Admin, ISSS
From 1978 Jennifer started working in urban planning, followed by database programming and textbook publishing until 1993. In 1989, moving to San Jose, Jennifer graduated in 1992 from the MSc in Cybernetic Systems at San Jose State University. Moving back to the UK in 1993, she worked... Read More →

Monday July 25, 2016 2:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
ECCR 1B55
 
Tuesday, July 26
 

1:30pm MDT

How Teaching Cybernetics, in any Discipline, Can Bring Forth Systemic Change
2836 One way educators can work toward meaningful change in socio-ecological systems is to foster transformative change in students’ thinking. Since today’s students are tomorrow’s decision-makers, it can be argued that we have a responsibility to help students develop an understanding of how knowledge is constructed so that they might take responsibility for how they make sense of our world and see the connection between knowing and acting. Specifically, the reform in thinking needed is from our culturally conditioned habits of reductionism, duality, and linear thinking to more relational, systemic thinking. Educators are largely responsible for shaping the minds, values, and perceptions of students. We hope to inspire more educators to take their responsibility to heart and foster the kind of complex thinking that students will need to address the increasingly complex problems of our pluralistic world. In this presentation we will share our experiences, as teacher and student, in Creative Systemic Studies, an online doctoral program founded on the principles of cybernetics and systems thinking. Since epistemological change is transdisciplinary, it does not matter what discipline we teach in when we attempt to change minds. The Creative Systemic Studies program was designated a non-clinical Marriage and Family Therapy degree, yet students’ transformative learning experiences were not discipline-specific; they were triggered, in part, by learning cybernetics. In fact, students frequently testified that cybernetics changed their personal relationships and how they attended to the issues they were involved in, including homelessness, coaching youth, missionary work, grassroots organizing for social change, and therapeutic practices. Using a few concepts from cybernetics as examples - control, feedback, and distinctions - we will show how the principles of cybernetics can be creatively presented and integrated into any course of study. And we will show how these concepts influenced the way students think and know. We will also use these examples to highlight the fundamental principle of second order cybernetics which is that the observer is inextricable from - and responsible for - her observing. After introducing students to the subjective nature of interpretation and engaging this topic from multiple perspectives, students begin to see how their biases, values, and past experiences influence how they make meaning. Our knowing is necessarily self-referential and participatory. Cybernetics, General Systems Theory, chaos and complexity theories each have differences and a range of interpretations yet they are unified in that they all indicate a way of thinking that is intrinsically different from the reductionist/objectivist/deterministic orientation of modernist, rational thought. We use cybernetics as our exemplar for teaching students to think differently because we like it so much, but any of these theories would represent, and foster, epistemological change. We assert that changing minds has profound consequences because habits of mind become habits of action. Furthermore, every way of knowing contains an ethical trajectory. The ethical trajectory of cybernetics includes knowing that since we construct meanings, we are responsible for them - and we must respect this responsibility in others. Inspiring and developing in students a paradigmatic change from objectivity to a self-referential, participatory epistemology fundamentally concerned with responsibility is a nontrivial way that educators can foster meaningful change in socio-ecological systems. Additionally, it makes teaching even more exciting and satisfying.

Chairs
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 →

Tuesday July 26, 2016 1:30pm - 2:00pm MDT
ECCR 1B55

2:00pm MDT

The Illusion of Technology: A Generational Perception on the Need for a Human-Centered Approach in Dealing with Developments of Science and Technology
2842 We are at the turning point of an era with a huge potential of change in which humanity can decide to finally address the failures of our economic, social, governance and belief systems. However the current narrative build around the hopes of being saved by science and technology is getting more and more traction into a society in which digitalization, the illusion of zero marginal costs, sharing economies and big data seems to be the answer to our most pressing problems. This is ironical, since science and technology (S&T) have been not only central to the development model followed by human societies in the last centuries but often very effective instruments of mass destruction, environmental degradation and social exclusion. S&T have been definitely part of the problem, a key component of our model of economic development, and not only an exogenous factor as considered by mainstream economics, which anyway recognize their crucial role to improve productivity and sustain long-term growth. But they are also deemed to be the core of the solution, a paradoxical vision grounded in the idea that finding a technical fix is a good way to avoid the less comfortable question of how power and wealth are distributed in society and with what consequences. In particular the younger generation seems to be distracted by the excitement about technological and scientific new developments and its untapped potential. Addressing the systemic underlying root causes which are the real drivers of our problems is too complex compared to building the new app and the social enterprise that goes with it. While for previous generations changing the world for the better would require also political and social innovations, now it seems that S&T has even displaced every other source of hope. The launching of the latest digital artifact creates a widespread frenziness, but also a true and exciting entrepreneurial spirit is mobilized by the potential of technologies to address human challenges. In a sense, we put S&T at the core of societal evolution, or to say the least we do not conceive any transformation without them playing a significant role, and this is also why we think they should rescue us from all disasters, even those provoked by ourselves. In light of these developments I would like to emphasize the following questions in my contribution to ISSS 2016: How can we go beyond a paradigm of “S&T solutionism” and channel the huge potential these developments will bring? How can we change the route towards a future in which humanity has to adapt to digitalization and its consequences, instead of putting digitalisation at the service of humanity?

Chairs
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 →

Tuesday July 26, 2016 2:00pm - 2:30pm MDT
ECCR 1B55

2:30pm MDT

A Categorization of Socio-Technical Systems Approaches based on Context and Purpose
2889 Socio- technical systems are systems where humans interact with technology (hardware or software) towards the achievement of a goal. Because of the presence of the human behavior and the constant change and evolution of technology, such systems are constantly changing and are difficult to define. Various approaches exist to analyze and understand socio-technical systems’ behaviors, however many of these approaches analyze socio-technical systems from a certain discipline’s weltanschauung, problem context, and purpose of the system. Therefore, the proposed approaches only provide partial definitions that are difficult to generalize. The objective of this research is to provide a categorization of socio-technical systems based on their context and purpose, within the functionalist systems paradigm(s). The resulting categorization will serve as a foundation for a socio-technical systems framework to assist analysis select and/or design the right socio-technical intervention approach based on context and purpose. Keywords: Socio-Technical systems, Critical Systems Thinking, Problem Context, Methodological Purpose, Systems Thinking

Chairs
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 →

Tuesday July 26, 2016 2:30pm - 3:00pm MDT
ECCR 1B55

3:30pm MDT

Opening the Field of Linguistic Design for Thrivability
2819 Language functions as a complex adaptive system. With time and circumstance, both its building blocks—the words that comprise it—and the guidelines according to which those blocks can be arranged—its grammar—are subject to evolution. Perhaps because it is often considered a function of culture, the question of how such linguistic evolution might be acted upon with intention is rarely considered. Yet language is no more a function of culture than culture of language. The two act interdependent and interdeterminant. And the manner in which disparate elements such as academic developments, political correctness, and pop culture drive linguistic change is both uncoordinated and acting on relatively weak leverage points. The foundational concern of this paper will be the ways in which the structures of language affect human behavior. It will employ existing research from the field of comparative economics to suggest the importance of approaching linguistic evolution from an idealized design perspective arguing that sustainability and thrivability are outcomes which, to be realized, must be supported by the language employed in their pursuit. Though this paper will, to some extent, address the role of neologisms in linguistic evolution, its focus will be on the more foundational aspects of language—on grammatical structures such as verb tense, possessives, pronouns, and article usage—and the behaviors they most readily facilitate. Just as a systems approach to organizational behavior must look beneath events and patterns for the structures and mental models that underlie them, this paper is intended to serve as the starting point of large scale inquiry into the mental models that are embedded in the linguistic structures of English and how they might be altered to better support human wellness. As the first global language, English is not only a convenient central test case for the inquiries of this paper, it is also an impactful one. In investigating the structures of English and the mental models they embody, the field of comparative linguistics will be pertinent providing points of comparison from other languages. By seeing what variations of language have evolved elsewhere, the project of envisioning an idealized version of English will provide itself with a range of possibilities upon which to draw. In that language is adaptive and contextual, it will not be possible for this paper to prescribe a final version of what is being proposed. Rather, the goals of the paper will be to propose the importance of this design question alongside suggestions about possible directions responses to it might take. In that its central argument will be that linguistic design is a field to which time and effort should be dedicated, this paper will also have to address the question of whether the changes proposed are realistic. In arguing that they are, evidence of how this approach has already been successfully employed and a summary description of how existing resources and networks might be employed in its realization will be presented.

Chairs
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 →

Tuesday July 26, 2016 3:30pm - 4:00pm MDT
ECCR 1B55

4:00pm MDT

How to Design All Together? The Triple Bottom Line
2833 Business´ owners want their enterprises are profitable, and that profits stay forever. In other words, they want business economic and financially sustainable. Citizens want business socially responsible, and also environmentally careful, and contribute to recover it. The liquid societies (Bauman, 2000) create and destroy markets very quickly, and shareholders demand CEOs adapts their enterprises to those changes, maintaining profitable. Corruption scandals promote strong society claims, demand ethic behaviors. There are more sights about the environment. Paris signature authorities tell “these are not enough” (Paris Climate Agreement, 2016). There are theoretical papers about each of these aspects, but there aren’t a holistic view trying to find systemic answers. How have enterprises that are simultaneously sustainable, ethically behavior in all domains, and environmentally responsible: Are enough to choose a CEO who can make the triple goals? Can move the enterprise with a consulting work to the triple ends? Must promulgate laws, with strong penalties, to force enterprises to obtain the triple line? Is it necessary to (re-) design the enterprise to put on the way to the triple results? The first three questions are not enough. To choose a CEO with those capabilities is possible only for a few numbers of organizations, if it is possible. Consulting is, by definition, limited in time, and it needs a corporation’s behavior for the entire life. And if we have laws about, they cannot explain how to do it. It’s necessary that ALL the company, their members and all around collaborate and coordinate to have a chance to arrive. In recent times there are proposals to a new way of enterprises, with linked profit business with social impact and environment, call hybrid organizations. They try to generate at the same time, economic, social and environmental value (triple bottom line). Combine the current concepts of sustainability and systemic impact on all the dimensions requires a new design. In general, it is observed that the treatment of comprehensive way concerned is omitted. It focuses from one or another aspect, emphasis on certain features, but not about taking the overall design, which makes it difficult to appear companies at the same time achieve sustainability on all fronts. Those that exist are shown as successful examples, but is veiled how they succeeded, and the small number shown not allow inferring a viable design. It is about advancing the design companies that meet all requirements and work in line with the systemic dimensions that define Sustainability. Design tools and business models wide target. How to design organizations broad objectives that are sustainable from economic, social and environmental perspective, taking into account its surroundings and prospects? Cybernetic models available, such as VSM, systemic tools developed in recent decades, as models of Ackoff, Ulrich, Jackson, Checkland, Bosch, among others, suggest that counted with enough devices to address the design of this new type of companies. It is necessary to consider the behaviors of businessmen, culture and expectations, since what is being proposed are, to some extent, a Copernican shift in the way of acting and directing companies. It is necessary to consider that it will be necessary not only explain the design, especially its possible results and advantages compared to traditional. Today, when Millennium Development Goals post 2015 seeking simultaneously to defeat the scourge of poverty, and lead humanity to sustainable development, we must make all the productive forces in each place are aligned to work simultaneously on all fronts: economic, social, environmental, etc. This requires having previously developed academic responses, otherwise treated no objectives or goals but mere wishful thinking. Perhaps this is a small step in the right direction.

Chairs
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 →

Tuesday July 26, 2016 4:00pm - 4:30pm MDT
ECCR 1B55

4:30pm MDT

Transnational Knowledge: Its Creation and Distribution Exploiting Entrepreneurship and Organisational Behaviour
2898 How can knowledge be created (incentivised) and distributed (shared socially) when it is what economists define as a public good - it is very expensive to produce, its use by any one person leaves no less for anyone else and it is generally difficult to sustain property rights over? In economic terms the marginal cost of distributing knowledge is zero and as marginal cost should equal price for optimality, price should be zero. Clearly if the price were zero there will be no incentive for anyone to produce it. So what is to be done? To charge for it on a per use basis is hard as it can be cheaply and costless transferred from one person to another. Despite this it is undoubtedly been made available in ever increasing quantities and quality. Universities were one traditional way of creating new knowledge in the public domain. These were supported out of general taxation or endowment and scholars working in them were expected to make their ideas available free to all who might be interested. Modern academic capitalism seeking to establish IPR in academically produced knowledge undermines that. These essence of creative advance in knowledge is that the ideas of all are available to all to do with what they will. If for commercial reasons sharing in this way may be undesirable and if it does not occur then a particular line of inquiry will be blocked of and in the longer term this could kill creativity.

Chairs
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 →

Tuesday July 26, 2016 4:30pm - 5:00pm MDT
ECCR 1B55
 


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