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ISSS 2006 Conference Planning Committee Design Conversation

05 Jan 2006 @ the Laszlo’s Home, Presidio, San Francisco

10:00am – 2:00pm

We Were There: Alexander Laszlo, Katia Laszlo, Debora Hammond, John Adams, Tiffany von Emmel, Doug McDavid, Art Warmoth, Gail Taylor, Todd Johnston and Dietmar von Emmel (last 90 min).

Although these notes attribute comments to individuals, this is pure paraphrase and summary based on my listening, focused on capturing key ideas, decisions and actions. Please read with this in mind. Thanks, Todd


Debora (D): There is a new draft of the ISSS web page (home)… check it out… it is not on the web yet, so I’ll send it out to you all.

Also, today we’ll review budget and agreements as a committee. I have copies of the budget. This ties into funding and outreach. There are a couple people who are heading up the fundraising effort – Lynn R. and Martin H. Three people are leading up outreach.

If you have ideas for additional organizations to be co-sponsors, please let me know or put them in contact with me.

Tiffany (T): I’ve put together sponsorship packages and would suggest looking at “levels” of sponsorship. I’ll look at my materials and see if there is information that might be helpful here.

D: Great. And the co-sponsor page also needs to go up on the website.

Any other general comments before we get into our agenda?


Debora walks us through the major web pages that are up. Again, your input is appreciated. The program pages are all wiki pages, so you can edit them directly.

SIGs? are beginning to respond and get some content up around their issues. These pages will include format, content, etc. so that others can get a good idea what to expect.

The schedule is all in here, some of it linked to more detailed information.

The planning page has the notes.

There are pictures of SSU as well as the housing where people will be staying.

Alx&der (A): I have an issue with the ease of finding stuff… people call us with questions such as guidelines for submitting papers…

D: Those are not up yet….

That would explain it!

D: But you point is well taken. We need to get that up soon and there are questions about where to put the links and navigation.

T: I’ve been sending people straight to the Projects Page.

Me, too. It is very helpful and, it seems, easier to find information. Can we get a site map?

Katia (K): Well, that could be important, but it shouldn’t displace other updates…

D: Great – send me your comments. I’m working directly with Simon.


D: [Passes out 2-page document that was submitted to the Board]

I was under the impression that I was liable for any expenses over budget, which is not the case so long as I get Board approval.

This model is assuming 200 paying participants.

So, this ties in with fundraising and outreach.

It is departure from the past to pay any expenses of Plenary Speakers. So, there is some resistance, as the Board wants participants to be the speakers, not people coming in just to speak and then leave.

There are a lot of people who want to come but can’t afford it.

I think it makes sense to pay expenses, to encourage full participation, and not pay for their participation.

D: Bottom line, the more people we have, the more we can offset expenses and cost and can bring people into the week that couldn’t otherwise need to. We are encouraging people join the ISSS and pay those fees, too. You all can wait to register until we see how many people sign up, which will give us a better picture of what may be available to help offset those costs.

Art: Your approach makes sense. I think your estimate of 50 non-local people is low, given that this is the Bay Area, and you may be able to get people for a day or two… if we open that option up late…

It is a marginal option with upsides and downsides. If we have a partial option, there should be a premium for it.

When we distribute and share information and invitations to this, we should put as much as possible put all the information in the email – not rely on a link to a website, etc.

Gail (G): Are we still planning on doing much corporate outreach? We had talked about how corporations are beginning to embrace complexity…

Art: Each of us taking on a chunk of marketing is a good idea… there is a group in Sonoma.

Doug: My conversations with IBM have actually been more on the academic side of things…

Art: Even if we can send out most of the information as a package, there is still some critical stuff that needs to go on the web soon…

D: What I need are concrete suggestions

If the projects page could have a section that tells the path or links that you need to follow or engage in in order to get registered, submit a paper, etc.

- Alexander will take a pass at documenting key links/paths and be a conduit for suggestions.

- Input for main page should come into Deborah ASAP.



D: I’ve sent out an invitation for input and co-design to the Monday morning plenary. Ralph A. is the only person who has responded so far, but with the holidays, that is not so surprising. George Richardson offered a very nice piece of framework that I’m going to share with the others.

So, they seem onboard with them designing their own process and structure?

D: So far, not much reaction either way.


D: This is pretty well covered by Pele. It would be good to have her at our next design session.

This is really well developed – which is great – my only concern is that it is integrated into the rest of the week.


D: I’ve got about 25 minutes for each speaker, then 90 minutes for open space. If Gore comes, we’ll have to rethink this or find a time for him…

G: What about a nightcap (late night)?

Interesting idea. Could be nice.

Art: It is interesting that so much of the layout is spread-out. Can we set up a café near the Cooperage?

Who else will we be sharing the campus facilities with?

D: At this point, nobody.

One thing I found out is that there is no alcohol in the Cooperage, because it is close to the student housing.

Wi fi and alcohol seem to be mutually exclusive. (laughter) It is nice to have some place that is “home” for the conference. Will this be the Cooperage?

D: Yes, I see it as the Cooperage. But the evening sessions will probably be somewhere else.

J: Do we have any say on the vendors?

D: It will be campus vendors, but we can recommend local supplies.

Art: I think we need to show ourselves to SSU as real customer – a strong customer with certain concerns…

D: Also, I’m looking for some help from SSU and have been talking with the President about this.

We definitely want an evening meeting place.


Putting a panel that will work well together. Plus we begin with interactivity and then the panel responds – which is a reversal from others.

So, we’ve got Vince Barabba from the Ackoff Center and John Broadbent who is into Evolutionary Systems Studies – the whole field. He is very astute and lots of fun.

G: That is so important. It is not about experts sharing, it is collective, evolutionary conversation.

Yes. And our moderator, Mike Jackson, will both bring out and provoke the panel and audience.

K: Building on what Gail and Todd put together on the Backcasting Exercise, I would like to add questions about their social systems – schools, communities, etc.

G: Yes. And they also need to take into account what goes on earlier in the week as well as world events.

G: On the ISSS Wiki, can I add things? Could I post it?

D: If you do it will be public.

G: OK, let’s leave it off for now, at least.

G: We should get Rudolph Steiner Foundation in involved in this. Maybe Bernard could go to them and see if they will back him.


D: What would be on agenda for our next meeting?

G: Bringing all these strands back together…

We’ll have cast a net and want to see what we’ve caught by then.

G: Can we have artists and students here to work the Red Thread?

D: That might be a separate piece… sometime in March. I have Todd & Nick leading that… but for our next committee/design…. What works for everyone?

March 1st at SSU, 1 – 4 pm.

D: There is supposed to be time for a business meeting…

And a membership meeting, and a board meeting…

D: The board meeting can be separate and the business and membership meeting are the same (I believe). And there is the Vicker’s award, which usually gets a plenary…

J: There is potential for the Business Meeting to be during lunch earlier in the week.

D: I like that – I’ll play with that. What about the Vicker’s award? Is it possible to do 20 minutes from Jim, 20 for the Vicker’s and 20 for Peter?

T: He’s pretty open. He will have a future orientation… he has a big bag of tricks to pull from, but is looking to us for ideas.

G: Could he take the Red Threads and take them forward?

D: Let’s do Vicker’s Wednesday Evening…


9:15 – 9:45 Jim 9:45 – 10:30 Ervin + interaction 10:30 – 10:45 break 10:45 – 11:15 Peter 11:15 - 12:30 Closing


[Dietmer joins the conversation]

T: [Reviews handout]

First let’s just reconfirm the intent and get your ideas and themes that you’d like this to draw out… (Tiffany captures these comments). These will help shape the score.

D: Jumping down on your handout to where you talk about expectations of artists to register and participate in the whole event… I want to stress that we do really want folks who are going to be there for the whole thing.

T: Well, it is unclear how many artists we’ll get… everyone will do it pro-bono, but having expenses is too much to ask.

I agree – that doesn’t seem right. They are more like plenary.

Art: I think we can provide them 1 meal a day.

D: As long as we have enough people coming, this won’t be a problem!

T: We have 10 – 12 artists that are interested and I think will come, probably for the entire conference.

Art: The critical mass for the entire conference is critical. Then we can make an arrangement for lunch if they are there all week, for example.

D: Yes, for example I need to get Jennifer on board with this.

G: Artists have been doing artwork throughout the week…

Art: So, we are working with the assumption of no registration fee and lunches for those who participate all week.


[Conversation references a handout Tiffany provided]

T: Some context – Dietmar and I met 8 years ago at the Halprin’s and their work has been a central basis of our work.

[Show and tell of books by Lawrence and Anna Halprin]

When I say “dance,” I mean that everybody that is there is participating. It is about creating community, moving forward and evolving with the arts.

The scoring or design method we use is influenced by natural systems. It is process and time based art.

We work with whatever is in the moment to be alive in the moment.

D: Is there a community we can tap into?

T: Yes, Dietmar and I are a part of it. It is a global network, community. The Tamalpa Institute

D: Would they be interested in co-sponsoring?

T: Possibly. As an in-kind sponsor.

What about students? There is a student SIG that I want to get you in touch with that brings an energy that would be great for this.

D: I’ll take that on and contact Nick and others on the Red Thread…

and include me in that too. I’ve mentored Nick a lot on running a SIG.

G: We can use the Cubes we have talked about… they can be more than just for the Thursday morning session.

T: Yes.

One of the reasons we thought about doing it outside is that we can set up a tent, thus people can be out in or around the green.

D: We do have plans to have a tent…

Art: There are students in the art therapy and expressive therapy that may be interested in being a part of this.

T: OK. I think there is already some crossover, so is likely a fit.

On to the Score… [Referring to handout]

Storytellers and Image Sculptors design together. Throughout the week, people write down ideas, quotes, etc. on notecards. These are the basis of these stories.

K: What about budget, getting materials, supplies, images?

T: At first, I sent a detailed description to Deborah, but realized it was getting too far ahead. But as we develop this we will work through those issues.

K: Put together a “wish list”

T: Will do. Also, we’ll look for outside sponsorship for this.

K: What is the connection with the Art Gallery?

D: Turns out, the gallery is much more expensive than we originally thought, so it is probably out.

T: We would like to create a gallery space that grows over the week. It could be an outdoor/indoor thing.

How much are you working with Lezlie?

T: I’ve introduced the idea, she said run it by Deborah… there are few people in Lezlie’s SIG that have said they are interested.

At a few minutes past 2 pm, the design session wrapped up. Next session scheduled for:

Wednesday, 01 March 2006, Sonoma State

10:00 AM – Noon Red Thread Design Session

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM Planning Committee Design Session

sonoma_planning_meeting_20060105.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/27 15:38 (external edit)