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Sonoma 2006 Front Page > Sonoma 2006 on ProjectsISSS > Sonoma 2006 Letter From The President

November 30, 2005

Dear ISSS Members and Friends,

It has been both an honor and an exciting challenge to serve as your President during these past few months following the 49th annual conference in Cancun. And it is my great pleasure to invite you to attend the 50th annual conference, to be held next July at Sonoma State University, located in Northern California about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. It is a beautiful campus, with easy access to redwood forests, oceans, and wineries.

In the statement I wrote when I was nominated as a candidate for this position, I noted that I would focus on building stronger ties with other systems-oriented groups, that I would invite representatives from these groups to the annual meeting, and that I would do my best to carry forward the vision of the society’s founders, whose work has informed and inspired my own research and teaching, in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State.

I am happy to report that the program for next summer’s conference, as it has evolved in the intervening months, far exceeds the goals of my initial intentions. This is largely due to the tremendous support of the extended organizing committee, to whom I remain most grateful. Both the American Society for Cybernetics and the International Conference on Systems Thinking in Management (ICSTM2006) will be holding their annual meetings in conjunction with this 50th anniversary conference. Fritjof Capra will give the opening keynote on Sunday evening, July 9, so we hope you will schedule your arrival accordingly. Capra has served as my primary mentor in the theory and practice of systems, and I am pleased that he will be setting the tone for the week in his opening remarks. Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Ralph Abraham (Professor Emeritus, Mathematics, UC Santa Cruz; General Evolution Research Group)
  • Yaneer Bar Yam (New England Complex Systems Institute)
  • Vince Barabba (Chair, Market Insight Corporation)
  • Mary Catherine Bateson (Institute for Intercultural Studies)
  • John Broadbent (University of Technology, Sydney)
  • Mike C. Jackson (Dean, Hull University Business School, UK)
  • Alexander and Kathia Laszlo (Syntony Quest)
  • Ervin Laszlo (The Club of Budapest)
  • Hunter Lovins (Presidio School of Management; Natural Capitalism, Inc.)
  • Humberto Maturana (Instituto de Formación Matríztica)
  • Richard Norgaard (Energy and Resources Group, UC Berkeley; Millenium Ecosystem Project)
  • Susan Oyama (Developmental Systems Theory, John Jay College & CUNY Graduate Program)
  • George Richardson (George Washington University; System Dynamics Group);
  • Geoffrey West (President, Santa Fe Institute)

In his invitation to last year’s conference, Enrique Herrscher (ISSS President, 2004-2005) wrote that he hoped to encourage “dialogue, round table discussions, symposia organized by interested parties and joint discussion of related papers organized by SIG [Special Integration Group] chairs.” Following his example, the organizing committee for the Sonoma conference is planning to integrate more interactive formats into both the morning plenary and the afternoon breakout sessions, while still honoring more traditional papers presentations where SIG chairs deem that style appropriate. We have asked the SIG chairs to identify the format they intend to follow in the SIG calls for papers, which should be posted on the ISSS web site soon, where you can watch the evolving plans for the meeting. In addition to the established Special Integration Groups, we are planning some additional afternoon and evening sessions on economics, the arts, terrorism & peace, climate change, and local initiatives, along with a Bateson Forum. In addition, we are working with members of the Mexican and Latin American Systems Societies to develop a Spanish-speaking strand.

I would like to acknowledge the members of the extended organizing committee with sincerest appreciation for their collaborative efforts:

  • Jennifer Wilby, ISSS Vice President for Administration
  • Gary Metcalf, ISSS Vice President for Membership and Conferences, 2005-2006
  • David Ing, ISSS Vice President of Communication and Systems Education, 2005-2007; Acting Webmaster
  • Pille Bunnell, Past-President & ISSS Liaison, American Society for Cybernetics
  • Johnnie Pourdehnad, ISSS Liaison, Ackoff Center for Advancement of Systems Approaches & the Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania

Local Organizing Committee:

  • John Adams, Saybrook Graduate School
  • Geoffrey Bowker, Santa Clara University
  • Juanita Brown, World Café Community Foundation
  • Larry Davis, Sonoma State University
  • Tiffany von Emmel, iLabs
  • Urusa Fahim, California Institute of Integral Studies
  • Deborah Grace, Sonoma State University
  • Josh Holcomb, Perennial Partners
  • Todd Johnston, Tomorrow Makers
  • Georgia Kelly, Praxis Peace Institute
  • Eugene Eric Kim, Blue Oxen Associates
  • Alexander & Kathia Laszlo, Syntony Quest
  • Doug McDavid, IBM
  • Gregory Mengel, California Institute for Integral Studies
  • Rashmi Singh, Sonoma State University
  • Michael Stone, Center for Ecoliteracy
  • Gail Taylor, Tomorrow Makers
  • Art Warmoth, Sonoma State University
  • Jackie Wells, University of California, Berkeley

The 50th anniversary conference promises to be a memorable event and I look forward to greeting you there.


Debora Hammond
ISSS President, 2005-2006

sonoma_2006_letter_from_the_president.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/27 15:38 (external edit)