On March 31, 2005 group of 30 people convened at the Saybrook Institute (with an additional five joining via phone/internet) to discuss plans for the 50th Annual Conference of the International Society for Systems Sciences, to be held at Sonoma State University, July 9-14, 2006. The participants in this meeting were asked to share their visions of the 2006 conference, provide feedback on the President-elect�s current thinking, and consider next steps of action, participation and planning.
The meeting began with a welcome from ISSS President-elect Debora Hammond and a go-round of introductions. After this opening, Debora guided the audience through a series of presentations introducing the ISSS, setting the context for the 2006 Conference and proposing a draft conference framework for review and feedback.
The goals of the conference were articulated as follows:
For the duration of the meeting, participants followed many threads of dialogue around such questions as:
The following notes capture snapshots of this discussion to serve as a record and inform future discussion and planning.
I. What is Your Vision for the 2006 Conference?
The first question �What is your vision for the 2006 conference?� was met with a tremendous amount of interest and discussion. The discussion ranged from an exploration of potential questions that could create a unifying focus for the conference, to using the vehicles of theatre and art to convey the essence of why the systems sciences are important in the world. In addition, there was emphasis on addressing the educational systems and incorporating the voices of children and women. See figures A-C for visual snapshots of conversation maps developed during the meeting by facilitator and information mapper Nick Papadopoulos.
II. Your Feedback on the Proposed Conference Framework?
The next question focused on generating feedback on the draft conference framework (See Appendix B for this framework) as well as Nick Papadopoulos� presentation of a �Systems Art Concept� (See Appendix C) for a screenshot of this concept.
III. How Can You Participate/Sustaining Momentum & Next Steps?
Towards the end of the meeting, participants were asked to reflect on how they might participate in the 2006 conference as well as their perspectives on how to sustain momentum and next steps. See Figures D&E for snapshots of this discussion.
Appendix: Systems Art Concept by Nick Papadopoulos