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Sonoma 2006 > Sonoma 2006 Planning

ISSS Planning Meeting \\ at Sonoma State University | December 1, 2005, 10am – 3pm


Tiffany von Emmel, Debora Hammond, Todd Johnson, Alexander Laszlo, Kathia Laszlo, Josh Levine, Doug McDavid, Gail Taylor, John Tarling, Art Warmoth


Kathia Laszlo, edited by Debora Hammond. Notes based on agenda questions submitted by Kathia in preparation for the meeting.

0. What are the features that we want present throughout the week?

  • Access to the internet for recording what is happening
  • Murals in the Red Thread room for participants to capture graphically their thoughts
  • Request panelists to participate at least the day before and the day after their panel. Of course, the ideal is if they can stay for the whole week.
  • What should be included in conference packet/materials to set tone (i.e. multidimensionality of conference; conference as a marketplace)?
  • Another idea was to include identifying labels (e.g. from Miller’s living systems model) on nametags.

1. Welcoming reception

What is the mood and style that we want to create?
How do we create the conditions for openness, community, creativity, and collaboration?
What are the activities to accomplish an orientation and welcoming to the conference?
What are the logistical implications?

  • Ask the participants what kind of system they are in as an ecosystem. They can draw it (set a table with paper and colors) and we can use it as input for the social systems design session.
  • Ask them to share the question that is guiding their work

2. Plenaries:

What are the questions for the panel of presenters?
What is the format and guidelines for dialogue among participants?
What are the logistical implications for plenaries?

  • Panelists identify themselves as a part of the whole (where they fit).
  • Should we identify a moderator for each panel?

The progression of the plenaries over the week will move from:

  • What Is to What Could Be
  • Learning conversations to strategic conversations
  • Experiencing what ISSS has been about in the past to what ISSS could be about in the future


Panel with 4 people: R. Abraham; Y. Bar Yam; G. Richardson; G. West
(J. Spohrer, potential moderator)

9:00 – 9:15 : Announcements
9:15 – 10:30 : Open panel (Identify where they fit; Their mini-presentation)
10:30 – 10:45 : break (change the language!)
10:45 – 12:00 : Dialogue with participants (small groups)
What are the examples in your lives where complexity is making a difference?
One idea - Park Bench: Dialogue among panelists and participants – synthesis and reflections. Debora wants to bring it up with the panelists (e.g., Ralph has experience with trialogues, etc.)

Possible questions:
What is complexity?
What are the current questions that you are grappling with?
What is the contribution of complexity research to creating a sustainable and equitable future?

Context: 50 years, enabling change in the world
5-10 minutes (maybe 10-15, dh) each panelist to talk about these questions
Share among themselves what they want this panel to look like


H. Maturana, O. Oyama
P. Bunnell & J. Brown, potential moderators

From Pille:
a) The presenters would prepare the foundations upon which a provocative question can be substantially and meaningfully explored by the participants. This would be in the form of evocative presentations on evolution - which is after all a concept derived from biology.
b) The participant's question would be something like “What is at the heart of social evolution?” They would address this at world cafe roundtables, and offer the results of their deliberations to the whole group.
c) The speakers would respond to what the round tables have offered, refocusing their own work to the core question and the input from the cafe.


Panel: M.C. Bateson, R. Norgaard, H. Lovins (tentative); Pete Richardson?
9:15 to 10:15: Panel
10:15 to 10:30 Break
10:30 to 12:00 open space:

15 minutes to set it up
15 minutes to propose topics
Cluster in different spaces throughout the room
45 minutes for conversation
15 minutes for sharing pop-corn style


Panel: V. Barabba. J. Broadbent, M.C. Jackson, A&K Laszlo
(B. Vogl – Kathia, I don’t think her name came up in discussion, although she would be a good addition – dh)

Gail and Todd: part of the design and facilitation
Use imagination, what is possible given what we know
Envisioning the ideal/back casting

2020: looking back, from a time when an understanding of complex systems is part of the culture, and is what has transformed the culture.
Work with the boxes for people to ship a product:
How did that transformation happen?
How did we use the knowledge available in 2005?
And then, have the panel to respond and interact around what happened in the room.

9:15 - 10:15: To back-cast and produce the artifact (20 minutes for the artifact)
10:15 - 10:30: Coffee break
10:30 – 11:15: Reports
11:15 – 12:00: Panel: reflecting and connecting the dots to our work today


9:15 - 9:45: Jim Kijima (President elect) ISSS 2007 (Debora to introduce, pass the torch)
9:45 - 10:15: P. Bishop: the future of ISSS [I changed the time here to ½ hour – dh]
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 – 11:00 E. Laszlo
11:00 - 12:15: Synthesis with the creative inquiry/red thread team

Laurence Wilkinson also mentioned as possible speaker.

3. Break out sessions

What are the formats (e.g., SIGs) accepted? What are the requests for integration and coherence that we want to make to the coordinators of breakout sessions? What are the logistical implications? Doug also wanted clarification on what is available for proposals; I think that is clear on the final call, that people can submit abstracts for individual papers, or proposals for additional panel sessions.

Symposiums (4:00 – 6:00 pm):

  • Each day, a larger break-out session that could involve plenary speakers
  • Each one will have its particular flavor
  • If the topic is related to a SIG, the scheduling of the SIG and symposium should not overlap
  • There can be one or more SIGs sponsoring each symposium

Monday: Complexity
Tuesday: Systems biology?
Wednesday: Climate change?
Thursday: Complementary Economics?

4. Red Thread

Who will be part of the Red Thread Team?
What are the functions and activities of the Red Thread Team?
What's happening at the Red Thread Room throughout the conference?
What are the logistical implications for implementing the Red Thread?

Josh Holcomb has offered to produce a videotape of the event [need to discuss costs] Also photographs.

Creative inquiry process throughout the whole week, participating in all the activities of the conference. On Friday the red thread team will help facilitate a process to share the pattern that emerges (music, images, movement)

5. Other ways of knowing

Which ways of knowing can we make explicit?
Since this has been traditionally an academic/intellectual conference:
How do we weave the arts throughout the conference?
What opportunities for artistic and creative expression can we offer to the participants?
What are the logistical implications?

“Artists on call” Social sculpture possibilities Learning and strategic conversations

6. Closing

What is the mood and style that we want to create? How can it be an opening for ongoing learning and collaboration on democracy and sustainability? How can this conference leave a legacy for the future of ISSS?

Council of all beings was mentioned. However, the creative inquiry participatory synthesis was adopted with excitement.

Next steps:

Conference calls with panelists to co-design their sessions
Next meeting: December 15, from 10:00 to 3:00 at Alexander & Kathia Laszlo’s place in the Presidio

sonoma_planning_meeting_20051201.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/27 15:38 (external edit)