User Tools

Site Tools


Tokyo 2007 Front Page > Tokyo 2007 on ProjectsISSS > Tokyo 2007 Calls for Papers

ISSS 2007 Special Integration Groups

Descriptions and Calls for Papers

The 51st annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) marks the beginning of another half-century history of interdisciplinary collaboration and synthesis of systems sciences. The ISSS is unique among systems-oriented institutions in terms of the breadth of its scope, bringing together scholars and practitioners from academic, business, government, and non-profit organizations. Based on fifty years of tremendous interdisciplinary research from the scientific study of complex systems to interactive approaches in management and community development, the 51st annual meeting of the ISSS intends to promote systems sciences as a holistic and integrated scientific enterprise.

The conference theme, guiding questions, and sub-themes serve as platforms for consideration by the various Special Integration Groups that comprise the backbone of the ISSS.

See also Special Integration Groups, which describes the ISSS-wide purpose and organization of the SIGs.
See also Vickers Award for Best Student Paper.

This page will be updated as planning for Tokyo 2007 continues…

1 SIG 1: Systems Applications in Business and Industry

SIG Chair: David Ing

Authors are welcomed to share their papers and wisdom on Systems Applications in Business and Industry in Singerian Inquiry sessions at the 2007 ISSS meeting in Tokyo.

The SABI sessions at Tokyo2007 will follow the approach that proved successful at Sonoma 2006, Cancun 2005, Asilomar 2004 and Crete 2003. The agenda not only allows each author to relate the research that he or she has recently conducted, but to also share in the development of new knowledge by drawing on the wisdom across all participants. A Singerian Inquiry, as described by C. West Churchman in The Design of Inquiring Systems, is a systemic approach that features both multiple perspectives, and the “sweeping in” of new knowledge. Authors and attendees at prior sessions have reported great satisfaction in this lightly structured, free flowing approach to conversation.

Prior to the meeting:

  • Authors may discuss their ideas about potential contributions with the SIG chair, David Ing (
  • Authors submit abstracts. Abstracts are posted on a web site for review by all. Preliminary discussions about clustering ideas into sessions are facilitated online through web forums/conferences.
  • Authors submit final papers. Papers are clustered into session of three to five papers. Preliminary discussions about ideas are facilitated online through web forums/discussions.

At the conference:

  • In each session, each author is permitted up to five minutes to present the key ideas of their papers. For the remainder of the 90-to-120 minute session (of which each speaker is the focus for about 15 minutes), an open discussion on common themes and differences between the papers gradually reveals more details about each author's thinking. Non-authors are welcomed to ask clarifying questions and contribute additional ideas, later in the session.
  • After the meeting, digests are posted on the Internet, and audio recordings may be available on CD-R. The artifacts from Crete 2003 are available at (The 2004, 2005 and 2006 artifacts are still under development).
  • Authors who require more than five minutes to present their papers should not designate their papers for the SABI stream. The chairs of the streams on Organizational Transformation and Social Change, Human Systems Inquiry and Evolutionary Development aim to work together to appropriate place papers, and work through scheduling challenges.

Presentation Format: Authors will be asked to provide very brief (i.e. five minute) summaries of their key ideas or findings. The balance of the time is devoted to discussion between authors and participants about the topics. The use of Powerpoint is extremely discouraged, and LCD projectors will not be available. A flipchart or white board may or may not be available, for those who find that diagrams accelerate audience understanding.

2 SIG 2: Hierarchy Theory

SIG Chair: Jennifer Wilby

The Hierarchy Theory SIG invites papers relating to the study of hierarchical structures and their relationships in theory and practice.

Hierarchy theory views systems as a set of ordered levels with a governing-governed relationship between the levels wherein the hierarchical levels are the sub-units of the whole system of interest. Further, the levels within the hierarchy are defined by the scale of observation chosen by the researcher (observer) and exploring this process of choice of scale is also of interest within the SIG.

Abstracts are invited from all fields of research whether natural or social systems, and research or practice. In addition, this year it would be interesting to hear from people willing to participate in discussion sessions on the principles and practice of hierarchy, and input is welcomed as to what form these sessions should take.

Presentation Format:

3 SIG 4: Systems Philosophy and Ethics

SIG Chair: Kurt Richardson

Exploring Boundaries Our understanding of the notion of ‘boundary’ is key to our understanding of a systems-based philosophy and ethics. For example, if we assume that systemic boundaries are absolute, real and easily recognizable then it is possible to develop a universal philosophy and a universal ethics that provides explicit guidance for how we can lead a ‘good’ life in all contexts. We might refer to this as Modernist Ethics with its focus on a universal set of rules and the ‘abstracting-away’ of context. If we are more inclined to assume that boundaries are merely a feature of our explanations and not an inherent characteristic of the real world, and that boundary recognition is radically context dependent, then we may be more inclined toward a relativistic philosophy in which anything goes. In such a philosophy, whether a particular action is seen as ‘good’ or ‘evil’ is completely in the eye of the beholder – context becomes so important that the ability to abstract away from the concrete and develop useful rules of thumb becomes impossible.

In (complex) systems thinking the notion of ‘boundary’ is problematized. A particular boundary is seen as a temporary and (critically) emergent pattern whose ontological status cannot be easily associated with either ‘real’ or ‘non-real’. As such it is possible to empathize both with the view that boundary recognition is strongly context dependent (therefore containing a significant subjective element), and with the view that boundaries are an intrinsic property of any system (whether absolutely real or not) and therefore allowing – to some extent – the development of quasi-objective tools for their determination. In a general sense a complex systems view of system boundaries acknowledges that they are both simultaneously ‘real’ and ‘non-real’. This may seem an odd suggestion to those who find comfort in the binary logic of Modernism, but complexity thinking provides ample evidence to suggest that such binary ‘language’ is not sufficient to understand such systems in their own terms. Although ‘dichotomization’ is essential to the process of ‘languaging’ and therefore understanding, it restricts (as much as enables) our view of such systems. A systems view of philosophy and ethics demands a more sophisticated view of language and its relationship to the ‘objects’ of our interest, than is proffered by representationalist (i.e., Modernist) views of knowledge.

(Complex) systems thinkers who are interested in this issue of how our understanding relates to a systemic universe, and how certain actions might be chosen over other choices, are encouraged to submit their ideas to this SIG. The kinds of discussions that are relevant to this special session are: • Status, limits and legitimacy of knowledge regarding complex systems • Relationship between linear and nonlinear philosophies • Systems-based ethics • Systemic limits to theories of everything • Systems and the social sciences • Systems and globalization • Systems and human subjectivity

Presentation Format: The session itself will not be run as the usual one-to-many lecturing (i.e., formal presentations will NOT be the dominant mode of interaction), but with a more interactive (dialogical) mode focusing on critical discussion of the keys themes.

4 SIG 7: Systems Modelling and Simulation

SIG Chair: Janet Singer

For 2007, topics normally covered by the SIG on Systems Modelling and Simulation will be discussed in conjunction with Tokyo Special Tracks. Interested authors are directed to refer to the sessions on …

For the 2008 ISSS meeting, sessions may be reintegrated or streamed according to this 2007 format, depending on interest.

Presentation Format: Please refer to specifics in the Tokyo Special Tracks of interest.

5 SIG 8: Futurism and Systems Change

SIG Chair: Curt McNamara?

Call for papers in preparation. Please email initial inquiries to the SIG chair email.

Presentation Format:

6 SIG 12: Meta-modeling and Systems Epistemology

SIG Chair: Janet Singer

For 2007, topics normally covered by the SIG on Meta-modeling and Systems Epistemology will be discussed in conjunction with Tokyo Special Tracks. Interested authors are directed to refer to the sessions on …

For the 2008 ISSS meeting, sessions may be reintegrated or streamed according to this 2007 format, depending on interest.

Presentation Format: Please refer to specifics in the Tokyo Special Tracks of interest.

7 SIG 13: Systems Psychology and Psychiatry

SIG Chair: (Volunteers for organizing this stream are invited to contact

Call for papers in preparation. Please email initial inquiries to the SIG chair email.

Presentation Format:

8 SIG 16: Information Systems Design

SIG Chair: Béla A. Bánáthy
SIG Co-Chair: Olov Forsgren

During the past century we have made spectacular advances in communications and computing technologies (IS) and the use of these technologies. It is clear that in the 21st century, communications, storage, processing, and process control capacities, as well as the human-machine interface will be developed to levels that are at present unimaginable. We have already greatly increased the surface-area of human-machine contact. Perhaps more importantly, we are elevating the contact to increasingly higher levels abstraction.

Still there is a big gap and question mark between the optimistic decision makers and politicians who think that IS are the solution to many problems and those who think that IS are an expensive technology with no or little impact on the progress on human condition on earth. Some may be think that IS makes the human conditions worse.

With many of the technical problems that constrained the information systems design efforts of the past having been solved, we can now focus more clearly on these fundamental questions and the foundations of the design task.

Papers addressing this general topic are invited, in special papers that develop and apply systemic or co-design ideas fostered in the ISSS and related scientific societies are most welcome. Especially papers reporting upon practical implications and practical experiences from deploying human-centric solutions contributing to a higher value for humans are encouraged.

In addition, to lend more focus to the sessions, two main themes are proposed:

  1. Information system design – foundations, design and research approaches, including new forms of innovation, quality assurance and transfer of knowledge.
  2. Information systems design – Industrial and society applications and their impact on human conditions, now and in the future. In particular the future design and applications of Internet and other developed collaborative work environments are of interest.

More specific papers and cases direct focusing the value of IS are welcome, example topics are:

  1. Suggestion of value models for IS in use. How do we form a discussion or statement of the value of an IS? In a wider context than short-term financial gains of the issuing organization?
  2. Examples of Second Order IS, meaning IS that host a discussion on their own usefulness.
  3. Examples or ideas for Knowledge Management IS that support a systemic/Co-Design view of knowledge.

Topics can be addressed at the level of an individual human being, that of a group, a community, the larger society, or combinations of these. In each case it is of particular importance for us to ask fundamental questions involving the epistemological, ontological and ethical aspects of human-machine interaction in different organizational and societal settings.

Presentation Format: Contributors are encouraged to provide a brief (10-15 minute) overview of the key ideas followed by a more extensive discussion. We anticipate posting of the papers on the web prior to the meeting to provide a basis for discussion.

9 SIG 17: Research Towards a General Theory of Systems

SIG Chair: Len Troncale

The ISSS GST-SIG embodies the original objectives of this society in their purest form, namely (1) to compare systems to discover processes that are similar (2) to enable transfer of useful fundamental knowledge between systems in order (3) to develop better theoretical models (4) for increased understanding of the unity of science.

We invite papers that identify, compare, or further develop several of the different schools of thought or general theories that are currently active or have historical significance. It is very important that the members of this society clearly distinguish between the various approaches and models that have been developed to date, who their caretakers are, and how they are being improved. We cannot help others if we do not understand ourselves. We also invite papers that conduct more detailed elucidation of any of the parts of these extant systems theories, that is, a paper can be tightly focused on one of the components of a general theory rather than on the theory as a whole. We also invite papers that compare and improve any of the tools and techniques used to study systems in general. Papers that reveal shortcomings of some extant theories or how theories that are now separate can be unified are also welcome. Any papers submitted to these sessions must exhibit the criteria of a general theory. If you do not know references that clarify these criteria, feel free to suggest such criteria. A discipline that does not have criteria that are useful in selecting among its output does not evolve and improve.

Presentation Format: Presentation format will depend upon numbers of submissions and will be developed by the group by email in the months preceding the meeting.

10 SIG 19: Medical and Health Systems

SIG Chair: Debora Hammond

In recognition of this year’s conference theme, the Medical and Health Systems SIG invites papers that reflect an integrative approach, linking systems thinking, systems modeling and systems practice. Ideally, papers for this session will address integrated approaches to health and healing that explore the connections between personal, social, and environmental dimensions of health. Further, given the location of this year’s conference, we encourage papers that examine the relationship between Eastern and Western models. Also of particular interest are papers documenting applied and community-based research.

Presentation Format: Authors will be asked to provide a brief (10 minute) overview of key ideas or findings from their research, leaving the remaining time for more interactive discussion among participants. PowerPoint or other media may be used to highlight important points, if desired, although more informal presentation styles are welcome and encouraged. The primary goal of this session is to facilitate dialogue and collaborative learning.

11 SIG 20: Living Systems Analysis

SIG Chair: James Simms

The missions of the Living Systems Analysis (LSA) Special Integration Group (SIG) are the development and application of living systems theory and science. LSA is one of the oldest and continuously operating SIGs in the society. Much has been accomplished in the development and application of living systems theory and science. Miller's living systems theory provides the basis for much of the living systems analysis associated with the SIG. Also, the fundamental principles of a living systems science, equivalent to those of the other natural sciences, have been developed.

You are invited to submit papers that deal with the conference theme (Integrated Systems Sciences: Systems Thinking, Modeling, and Practice) from a living systems perspective. Also, papers linking living systems theory and science to other science and bodies of theory (e.g. biology, physics, chemistry, hierarchy theory, duality theory, accounting theory, economics, behavioral theories) are encouraged. We are especially interested in papers that extend living systems science and that apply the science.

Presentation Format: This SIG follows a more conventional presentation format with each author subsequently allocated 15 to 20 minutes for presentation and the remaining time allocated for questions and discussion.

12 SIG 21: Designing Educational Systems

SIG Chair: Patrick Jenlink

Call for papers for the 2007 meeting - Tokyo

You are invited to submit papers that respond generally to the overall theme of the conference and specifically to ideas expressed in one of the questions that align with the 51st Conference and Annual Meeting of ISSS:

  • What can the sciences of complexity teach us about educational systems design that is concerned with democratic practice, social justice and sustainability?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between education, educational systems, and democratic consciousness?
  • How do we educate future generations of citizens (local, national and global citizens) to manage information and make socially responsible decisions?
  • How do we create and nurture educational systems that serve human needs while also protecting our resources (intellectual, aesthetic, moral, cultural and natural resources) for future generations?

The theme for the Designing Educational Systems SIG is focused on creating the human condition through designing educational systems that serve humanity and foster democratic civil society. Papers are solicited that fit within the following ideas:

  1. Educational Systems Design as Social Discourse and Social Action – Designing educational systems that address issues of social justice, equity, and caring in the context of growing diversity and globalization of society. Specifically, types/examples of social discourse, including dialogue, ethical, and design, and how these types of discourse are used in the creation and sustainment of educational systems that contribute to democratization levels of society.
  2. Educational Systems Design in the Service of Sustainability – Examining how systems and educational scholars and practitioners–scholarly practitioners–can serve on the behalf of “sustainability” by seeking to create new relationships within and across boundaries of existing social systems, and/or addresses the potential of diversity and complexity in the solving of human problems. Research papers, philosophical position papers, and theoretical papers that reflect considerations for Education in the Service of sustainability particularly as related to educational systems design and creating alternative future possibilities.
  3. Designing Democratic Educational Systems through Design – Seeking models, exemplars, and idealized designs of educational systems that are “public spheres”, premised on dialogue and democracy, with the purpose of reconnecting individual citizens and creating an authentically engaged public who embraces the responsibility for the education of future generations.
  4. The Complexity of Educating Society, Locally and Globally toward Democracy and Sustainability, through Educational Systems – Understanding the complexity of educational systems and role educational systems play in democracy and sustainability of national and global society. Research papers, philosophical position papers, and theoretical papers that reflect considerations for the systemic relationship of all social systems, particularly as related to educational systems design focused on ensuring sustainability of intellectual, aesthetic, moral, cultural and natural resources.
  5. Integrating Educational Systems through Design – Investigating models, studies, and position papers that focus on how educational systems (i.e., public education and higher education, systems education and K-12 education, parochial education and public education, etc.) have been integrated through systems design and how these integrated systems have incorporated complexity and democracy to addressed social issues and cultural problems in ways that hold promise and potential for serving humanity’s needs.
  6. Open Theme – General papers on designing educational systems and related systems design efforts concerned with education that do not fit one of the other themes, but which addresses the larger theme of the ISSS 2006 Conference, Complexity, Democracy and Sustainability.

An opening general session for the SIG will be scheduled to present the week's program. The sessions will be organized so as to maximize interaction among presenters and participants. Each presenter is asked to include with their abstracts a set of 3-5 “trigger” questions selected to promote/provoke a conversation about the presenter's issue or premise. Presenters are asked not to read their papers, but rather present their work in a conversational style that invites participation from the audience in attendance.

Presentation Format: Presenters should bring 20 copies of their papers, along with triggering questions that may be used to guide conversations. These will be made available to interested participants.

13 SIG 23: Spirituality and Systems

SIG Chair: Open (Volunteers for organizing this stream are invited to contact

Call for papers in preparation. Please email initial inquiries to the SIG chair email.

Presentation Format:

14 SIG 24: Human Systems Inquiry

SIG Chair: Arne Collen

Human Systems Inquiry (HSI) Special Integration Group (SIG) has a central emphasis on those Systems Sciences directly concerned with human beings. We invite you to contribute a paper relevant to the conference theme that also pertains to human systems inquiry. Any paper making this connection will be considered. The purpose of the HSI SIG is to provide an arena for ISSS members to present, exchange information, learn, and discuss: 1) ideas and viewpoints concerning issues in systems methods and methodologies relevant to human beings and the human condition; 2) applications of systemic ideas to systems practice in human contexts; 3) innovations in systems methodology; and 4) systemic case studies conducted in, with, or by human activity systems. Any one or more of these purposes may be related to the conference theme. For consideration, submit your abstract of 300 words maximum that includes at least one sentence relating the paper directly to the conference theme, and at least one sentence that connects your paper to any one or more of the four SIG focus areas stated above.

Presentation Format:

15 SIG 26: Critical Systems Thinking and Practice

SIG Chair: Jennifer Wilby

The special integration group in Critical Systems Thinking and Practice invites contributions for participation in its paper sessions at the 2007 annual meeting of the ISSS. This is a multidisciplinary and challenging area that represents an alternative to understanding current human, social, and political issues, from a mainly managerial perspective.

Its scope goes beyond the boundaries of traditional management sciences. On the one hand, it involves a reflection on issues emerging from current systems thinking and practice from contemporary philosophy (e.g., post-structuralism, critical theory, postmodernism), and other social disciplines. On the other, it also includes research that although systemic in orientation is mainly grounded in those disciplines. Our aim is to take advantage of the multidisciplinary background and theoretical approaches of the participants, to generate a meaningful dialogue to inspire future research.

As a Critical Systems group we expect to be creative and innovative. Therefore, although the submission of a formal abstract and paper is expected, we would like to organise the sessions in accordance to the participants’ needs and expectations. Please let us know of any suggestions about the topics, discussions or any other proposals as soon as possible.

For more information please contact Jennifer Wilby, at University of Hull Business School, The University of Hull, Hull, HU6? 7RX, United Kingdom.

16 SIG 29: Evolutionary Development

SIG Chairs: Dave and Allison Ewoldt

We cordially invite you to join us at the 51st annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). Specifically, we hope you will consider contributing a paper and/or poster for presentation in the Evolutionary Development SIG (Special Integration Group) that it is our pleasure to co-chair. This will be the eighth year of productive meetings as an intact line of inquiry, the first four under the name of the Evolutionary Learning Community SIG, and the last three as the ED SIG. We will continue to focus our efforts on issues of timely relevance to which ELCs may best be dedicated.

Taken together (i.e., systemically), the conference theme, related guiding questions, and relevant sub-themes provide an exciting platform to catalyze the collective explorations of the ED SIG.

Inquiry in the area of Evolutionary Development involves revision of development notions and strategies, from a systemic and evolutionary perspective, in order to integrate the often isolated areas of human, economic, social, and sustainable development. Doing more with less, promoting living simply and meaningfully, and creating a sustainable economy where present and future human needs can be met without compromising the natural environment are some of the concrete objectives of Evolutionary Development. Evolutionary Learning Communities, as learning environments where people can learn together about the interconnected nature of our world, the ecological impact of our individual and collective choices, and the joy of finding a meaningful way to contribute to the emergence of sustainable and evolutionary futures, are the social units where Evolutionary Development can be set in motion for the ongoing self-organization of human societies in syntony with the planetary life support systems upon which they depend.

We invite both theoretical analyses relating to the principles and constructs of Evolutionary Development as well as presentation of explorations and practical applications that foster Evolutionary Development. This SIG welcomes treatment of themes that include, but are not limited to, consideration of the following topic areas:

- Human, social, and natural capital
- Self-directed sustainable development
- Community empowerment and participatory/anticipatory democracy
- Socio-ecological competence and the evolution of consciousness
- Design of ELCs as evolutionary guidance systems
- Evolutionary Systems Design as praxis
- Syntony as an organizing force in societal evolution

The ED SIG will be run as follows: During the conference itself, no formal paper presentations will be made, even though acceptance of both abstracts and full papers and/or posters is required. In order to be congruent with the general theme of the conference and the specific focus of our inquiry, our sessions will be conducted as learning conversations. Participants will engage first in a generative conversation in which they will have the opportunity to share the core ideas of their work with each other. After the group has attained a basic collective cognitive map of the research and constructs represented in the room, we will to move into a strategic conversation to identify areas of synergy. Once common themes and directions have been identified, we will move into an evolutionary conversation to create new knowledge and insights, and propose further collaborations.

By way of background information in preparation for this event, we urge you to visit the historical webpages of the ELC SIG. Since the ED SIG is a descendent of the previous ELC SIG, the statements of goals, purpose, and history, as well as of topics, format, and focus all bear directly on the spirit of engagement in which the ED SIG will meet in Tokyo. The URL to visit is as follows:

Of course, if there is anything we can help clarify for you with respect to the above, please do get in touch with us.

For further information, please contact:
Dave & Allison Ewoldt
- Co-Chairs, ISSS ED SIG
U.S.A.: 96 E. Limberlost Dr. #102 - Tucson, AZ 85705
Tel: ++520/887.2502
eMail: or
Natural Systems Solutions

“For more information on the SIG”, see SIG on Evolutionary Development

17 SIG 30 and 38 (Combined): Systems Science Basis for Systems Pathology and Systems Biology

SIG Chair: Len Troncale

The new field of Systems Biology uses the vast amounts of reductionist data emerging from comparative panomics to study biological entities as systems (using knowledge of the parts to put Humpty Dumpty back together again). While systems biologists are using recent advances in network theory in their work, and at their conferences, they know little about systems science in general. For example, they are describing a new phenomenon they call “degeneration” but it is actually the same thing as “equifinality” that was described by Bertalanffy in the fifties. Nobel laureate Edelmann in a recent plenary1 remarked that “reductionism is not enough” for the study of these new ideas and a physiology review2 recently criticized current research as “naïve reductionism.”

The development of Systems Biology presents us with major opportunities for capturing funding and proving the worth of systems science by providing knowledge to the natural sciences. Funding levels of $34M to $100M are dedicated to establishing new Centers and Institutes for Systems Biology at major universities such as Harvard, Caltech, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and the Claremont Colleges. There are already several different Systems Biology international conference series. But to capitalize on these opportunities, systems science must prove that it can provide “value added” insights and practical techniques to the natural sciences. We need exemplars of problems in systems biology that could be solved by application of knowledge gained from systems science and systems pathology.

The purposes of this fourth annual meeting of the Systems Pathology SIG are to invite (1) papers that summarize ideas, tools, or techniques of systems science that could inform systems biology, (2) papers that relate systems pathology to systems biology, (3) papers that show how advances in systems biology can contribute to systems science, and (4) papers that further develop systems pathology as a new discipline that could contribute to both systems science and systems biology. It should be noted that any advances in systems science of utility to systems biology/systems pathology would also be of utility to the systems neurosciences and earth systems science.

Presentation Format: This session will accept abstracts for platform presentation or for posters. Presentation format will depend upon numbers of submissions and will be developed by the group by email in the months preceding the meeting.

18 SIG 31: Applied Systems and Development

SIG Chair: Dennis Finlayson

Call for papers in preparation. Please email initial inquiries to the SIG chair email.

Presentation Format:

19 SIG 33: What is Life/Living?

SIG Chair: John Kineman

Since 1999 the WILL SIG has explored many aspects of the question “What is Life” from intrinsic and extrinsic perspectives. In keeping with the theme of the 51st Annual Meeting, the WILL SIG invites papers regarding the relationship between complexity, ecosystems, and sustainability.

We would especially like to explore the question “what is an ecosystem?” in the context of defining life. What distinguishes an ecosystem from an organism? From a physical system? Related questions are:

  1. What is meant by sustainability? How is it defined?
  2. Are ecosystems “alive” or do they just contain life?
  3. What is the best way to comprehend the living aspect of ecosystems?
  4. Are ecosystems complex? If so, how?

Within this theme there are many more related questions. A boad focus will be applied in selecting papers, however they should be aimed at elucidating the internal nature of life (prefeably ecosystems).

20 SIG 34: Women and Children

SIG Chair: Anne Nelson

Papers are invited that identify themes and research interests which account for the perspectives, interests and needs of children and women in social systems.

More than half of the world's population is women. Children are the future. Both groups are affected by different systems constructs, with formal and informal needs to have representation in the community or social system in which they live. Papers that apply systems thinking and understanding to family systems, community systems, and other social systems as related to the development of service systems are always welcome. A special invitation is extended to those who would like to present papers on the sub themes of integration and continuity as they apply to women and children in community systems. Papers are invited from anyone who is interested in developing scholarship focusing on this area of study.

The focus of this conference is Complexity, Democracy, and Sustainability. Within these parameters papers are invited that expand the body of knowledge that pertains to the subject of Women and Children in Community Systems. ISSS administration has suggested the following questions as examples of questions that might begin the research into this subject.

What can the sciences of complexity teach us about social justice and sustainability? What is the nature of the relationship between information and consciousness? How do we manage information in a way that fosters effective decision-making processes? How do we nurture organizational structures that serve human needs while also protecting our resources for future generations?

The process of food production is a critical element of a healthy community system. A special post conference workshop is being offered titled, “Food Connections: Applying a Systems Approach to Develop Healthy Pathways from Seed to Table and Beyond”.

We encourage papers that develop an understanding of the role of Women and Children in relationship to the production of food.

For further information, please contact: Anne Nelson Chair, Women and Children in Community Systems at:

Presentation Format:

21 SIG 35: Systems-Specific Technology

SIG Chair: Vadim I. Kvitash

The great scientific and practical potentials of General Systems Theory as well as Systems Sciences have not yet been fully realized. We are still mostly ruminating about the initial concepts of von Bertalanffy and have not yet progressed to the level of an exact and complete scientific theory with its own language, ontology, epistemology, methodologies, tools and technologies.

The purpose of the Systems-Specific Technology SIG is to be instrumental in the development and in the implementation of systems-specific technologies/tools sufficiently effective for scientific and pragmatic application in various domains and across the boundaries of different sciences. These technologies/tools are expected to push the limits of human perception, cognition, communication, and will transform today?s Systems Sciences to the level of the Exact Systems Science.

ISSS members are invited to contribute to the Systems-Specific Technology Session(s) to explore the following:

  1. Defining Systems-Specific Technologies/Tools
  2. Network Structures of Systems-Specific Relational Languages
  3. Concepts and Methodologies for Developing, Constructing, Testing and Validation of different types of Systems-Specific Technologies/Tools
  4. Systems-Specific Technologies/Tools: Established and Under Development

22 SIG 36: Organizational Transformation and Social Change

SIG Chair: Maurice Yolles

One interest of this SIG is seeing organisations as social communities, thereby allowing for a convergence between management systems/cybernetic theory and sociology. Another concerns the change imperative for autonomous organisations in a complex world (more on this can be found at the Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change ). Abstracts are therefore invited from all fields of organisational or social systems research and/or practice.

The format for submissions should be as a normal academic paper. The content may be a balance between theory and practice or a theoretical paper. A paper directly totally towards practice may be better directed towards the SIG on Systems Applications in Business and Industry (SABI). In any case the two SIGs work closely together. If requested, papers published in these SIGs will also be considered for the Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change.

Presentation Format: This SIG follows a more conventional presentation format (as compared to that of the SABI group), with each author sequentially alloted 15 to 20 minutes for presentation.

23 SIG 39: SIG for Students

SIG Chair: Nicholas Magliocca

Students from approximately high school to post-doctoral age are cordially invited to join the second annual meeting of the Student SIG. This will take place at the 51st annual meeting in August 2007 of the International Society for the System Sciences (ISSS) held in Tokyo, Japan. We hope that you will consider contributing a paper and/or poster for presentation in our group discussions. However, simply participating in the group’s generative and creative dialogue is also appreciated and welcomed. The goals of the Student SIG include: to foster interest and excitement for the systems sciences among younger generations; share and articulate ideas from many different disciplines; and to synthesis a collected “youth” view of the Society’s past, present, and future.

It is my privilege to chair the third meeting of the Student SIG in an effort to meanifully connect younger generations in the exploration of the systems science approach. What makes this SIG unique, is the opportunity to integrate many varied disciplines and backrounds into a student presence within the ISSS. Distinguished members of the society will also be invited to come speak to our SIG to futher present their ideas. It is essential that youth participation be established in order to introduce youth to the workings of the ISSS, to create a contributing student membership, and to perpetuate the work of the ISSS in the future.

The meetings of the Student SIG will be conducted in much the same manner as the Evolutionary Development SIG, chaired by Alexander and Kathia Laszlo. There will be no formal presentations of papers/posters, but rather a brief period for the day’s presenters to familiarize the group with their work. Triggering questions will be created beforehand in order to give the discussion a focus. After allowing for a brief question period, we will proceed to a strategically guided discussion. An evolutionary dialogue will take place in which new insights may be constructed and further collaborations made possible.

The best preparations for these meetings will be to read the papers scheduled for presentation, take part in outside conversations during the various workshops and plenaries, and come with enthusiam for a new youth collaboration!

Presentation Format: Brief presentaitons by authors, followed by strategically guided discussion.

24 SIG 40: Daily Morning Reflection Roundtable at ISSS 2007 Japan

SIG Chair: Sue Gabriele
Yoshi Horiuchi, Assistant Roundtable Coordinator ISSS Japan

Everyone is invited to our seventh annual morning Roundtable to take place daily Monday through Friday, August 6-10, from 8am to 9am. Join us every day, or whenever you like!

Our Roundtable purposes are to open a space for daily reflection on our ideals, that is, what we want to learn and create; to increase time for each of us to talk from our hearts and minds about what we are thinking, experiencing, and learning now; and to be listened to by the others in the group, enjoying and learning with each other in a new way. To make our purposes and format transparent, we will have the Roundtable guidelines on each chair for easy referral.

Folk wisdom and compelling research indicate that participants experience surprising benefits from this activity after about four sessions. Our experience with this format has resulted in the following theory: Just as we break the sound barrier when we travel faster than the speed of sound, we can break the communication barrier when we hear 25 authentic viewpoints in 50 minutes.

Looking forward to exploring this with you all!

Presentation Format: We spend 5 minutes listening to short readings: e.g., the Roundtable guidelines; We then spend 55 minutes on individual reflections or learning reports, time distributed equally among all present (e.g. 27 people = about 2 minutes each). Our suggested topic for the first morning might be: “What situations and projects did you leave behind to come here, and what could happen here that would be valuable to you, here, or in your work or life back home?” Each day, a different topic will be suggested by a different volunteering facilitator of the day.

Visit the Roundtable page for more details.

25 Exploratory Groups and Forums

The following are not officially designated Special Integration Groups by the ISSS, but may host papers or provide presentations or discussion around topics of interest to members.

25.1 Aging Systems : An Integrated Study of Humans, Organizations (Corporations), and the Universe: Lifespan and Factors Affecting It

TST Chair: Daniel Hershey

The aging process is, of course, a universal phenomenon. And for living systems (humans), the end result is death, the universal attractor. For so-called inanimate systems such as corporations, they need not die, but many do. And what of the universe, perhaps our largest and most important system. Aging theories abound, from wear and tear, free radical, autoimmune, finite potential, to those driven by thermodynamics, incorporating the ideas of Ilya Prigogine and Claude Shannon.

Abstracts (two or three paragraphs) are invited, for work dealing with “lifespan and factors affecting it”, “must we grow old”, and “entropy, infinity, and death” for humans, corporations, or the universe.

For more information, please contact Professor Hershey, at the University of Cincinnati, USA. Or go to his web site to see his work involving aging systems (

25.2 Foundation of Information Science

Søren Brier:
Béla A. Bánáthy:
Jed Jones:
Information, information processing and information society are all key terms in describing technology, intelligence and the social development today. Actually the idea of an information science including AI and cognitive science integrated with cybernetics and systems represents the most recognized attempt of making a transdisciplinary framework dissolving the conflict between science and the humanities. As Norbert Wiener pointed out: in formation is information, neither matter nor energy; and with the computer understood in principle as a Turing machine a new view has been created where information becomes the organizing and sometimes creative aspect of nature, that combined with the principle of mergence, can explain how life and mind arose from matter. This was originally done by Schrödinger and Wiener - among others – by combining the information theory with thermodynamics and today most often also with complexity science. But the term information has a multitude of varying definitions in use today. Some of these definitions are more technical in nature, while others are more abstract and broad-based. A precisely-defined, technical view of information as a mathematically-derivable quantity is represented by the theories of Claude Shannon who saw information as entropy in his attempt to optimize the transmission of a message composed of a string of bits through a noisy channel. Later Wiener and Schrödinger redefined the definition of information in view of thermodynamics as neg-entropy.

These models of information do not account for the concept of meaning. Building on this theoretical foundation, Gregory Bateson developed a non-technical and more wide-ranging concept of cybernetic information in a cognitive and an ecological direction defining information as “a difference that makes a difference” for a cybernetic mind attempting to link information and meaning in a cybernetic and systems framework including the whole biosphere, as well as culture and social systems. The questions is if Bateson managed to develop cybernetic information theory out of Wiener’s and others pure mathematical and logic definitions and into the realm of meaning, life, real human beings, ecology and culture or not. Brier (2007)claims that Bateson never managed to escape the functionalistic foundation of cybernetics to get into a theory that includes meaningful cognition and communication as well as qualia and free will in self-conscious linguistic beings. Such theories have traditionally been created on a phenomenological and hermenutical philosophical basis by researcher like Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Gadamer, all opposing science and technology as having a privileged admittance to the truth of reality. Heidegger considered cybernetics as the high point of the techno-scientific reductionistic and controlling knowledge type (as Habermas called it). Many inside cybernetics and systems claim that the later second order cybernetics of von Foerster plus the autopoiesis theory of Maturana and Varela, has solved this conflict at least when they are integrated in Niklas Luhmann’s theory of socio-communication. In the last 25 years a partly phenomenological biosemiotics has been developed. This doctrine of signs that view life and meaningful signs as co-defining compete with the new cybernetics of being the transdisciplinary framework of meaning, cognition and communication.

For dialogue and discussion: Can the two views of information described above be reconciled? What is the difference between information, signal and sign, if any? Are they mutually contradictory or are they the complementary and therefore have to be combined into a Cybersemiotics to obtain our goals of communicating and understanding machines? What kind of technological, scientific and theoretical-philosophical data do we have to shed light on where we are in this problematique?

25.3 Systems Approaches in Arts-Informed Inquiry

SIG Chairs: Lezlie Kinyon & Bela A. Banathy
Arts-informed inquiry is interdisciplinary and integrative. It incorporates the questions of validity, legitimacy, and significance of traditional approaches as well as the questions of meaning and function that an artist asks in approaching work. As Max van Manen (1990) suggested, a researcher must, at times, discover or invent a methodological approach sufficient to the subject under research in order to create an energetic response. Coupled with a systems approach, arts-informed inquiry has the potential to create a rich corollary to the Aristotelian episteme in science research. Arts-informed inquiry allows researchers to tackle elusive subjects such as the search for wisdom or our roles as thinking and aware beings within nature's complex web. It allows for the disciplined process of inquiry to be foremost in subjects of a personal nature such as gender identity or dreams and consciousness. The group will explore, through traditional academic papers and the approaches found in the arts, two parallel and equal “tracks” of inquiry: art-as-inquiry and arts-informed inquiry that utilizes the tools of the arts in science research.

Abstracts will be necessary for each type of presentation, just as for papers for the conference. Presentations may take many forms, from musical composition, performance work, visual art, and story-making, to academic papers of the more traditional variety. The chairs encourage an integrated approach involving both. All papers and performances must adhere to the spirit of inquiry in the systems sciences.

For 2007, this group will have the option of displaying work and an announcement will follow from the planning committee regarding this arrangement.

For further information and published references please contact Bela A. Banathy, Ph.D. and Lezlie Kinyon, Ph.D.

26 Tokyo Special Tracks (TST)

The following are not officially designated Special Integration Groups by the ISSS, but they are exploratory groups set up especially for the Tokyo conference. They may host papers or provide presentations or discussion around topics of interest to members.

26.1 Agent-Based Social Simulation

TST Chair: Shingo Takahashi

Social simulation with agent-based modeling can be considered as developments of, and sometimes challenges to, social systems sciences. We intend in this track to provide both social scientists and computational researchers as well as systems researchers with an oppotunity to discuss various types of problems found in this developing field.

We aim to promote agent-based social systems sciences, social simulation, and new tools and techniques for social systems education as well as research.

The topics include, but are not limited to, the following computational social systems science approaches and issues:

  • Methodologies for Agent-based Modeling
  • Applications of Agent-based Modeling
  • Implications of Agent Based Modeling for Social Theory
  • Validation Techniques
  • Computational Organization Theory
  • Evidence Based Social Simulation
  • Social Simulation and Laboratory Experiment
  • Hybrid Gaming Simulation
  • Collective Intelligence
  • Social Complexity
  • Social policies
  • Integrated social/physical modeling for environmental policy formation
  • Emergence of social structures and norms
  • Social simulation and software design
  • Advanced computing technologies (e.g. the grid) and social simulation

26.2 Decision Systems

TST Chair: Takehiro Inohara

This Tokyo Special Track (TST) of sessions addresses practical and theoretical contributions toward Decision Systems. Practical contributions include: case studies on decision systems in the real world; design, description, construction or application of decision support systems; development of methods for evaluation of decision systems, and so on. Theoretical approaches to decision systems consist of: all aspects of cooperative and non-cooperative game theory; conflict and risk analysis in decision systems management; graph models for conflict resolutions; group decision and negotiation, and so on. The track chair hopes that the contributions from both sides mutually interact and stimulate with each other, and create comprehensive structure of knowledge on decision systems.

26.3 Strategy Management

TST Chair: Amanda Gregory

This Tokyo Special Track (TST) welcomes papers that draw on recent developments in systems thinking, modelling and practice to address strategy management. It is anticipated that this TST will attract papers on a diverse range of themes related to the:

  • survival, competitiveness, innovation and transformation of organisations;
  • purpose, responsibility and governance of organisations;
  • use of critical approaches to strategy development and implementation;
  • complex and dynamic contexts within which strategic decisions are made.

It is recognised that the field of strategy management is highly fragmented and full of conflicting theories and viewpoints. Therefore, the primary purpose of this TST is to facilitate a meaningful conversation between participants about the theory and practice of strategy management. Please email initial inquiries to

26.4 Sustainable Development

TST Chair: Debora Hammond

Reflecting this year’s conference theme, “Integrated Systems Sciences: Systems Thinking, Modeling and Practice,” this session welcomes papers addressing the challenges of sustainable development from a systems-oriented perspectives. Defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” sustainable development implies attention to the idea of the triple bottom line: economic profitability, ecological sustainability, and social equity. Given the challenges of burgeoning population growth, climate change, depletion of critical resources, growing inequality between rich and poor, and increasing levels of hostility worldwide, the primary purpose of this session is to foster meaningful dialogue among participants from a variety of regional contexts. Papers submitted for this session should offer concrete proposals for addressing these challenges and nurturing a more sustainable future, drawing on insights from recent developments in systems thinking, modeling and practice.

26.5 Knowledge Management

TST Chair: Yoshiteru Nakamori

Knowledge management was first introduced by computer technology firms in early 1980-ies as a computer software technology. In early 1990-ies, this term was adopted by management science, and made a big career as a management discipline. Then this important concept has been considered in many fields. In this session we will discuss:

  • Management of information relevant for knowledge-intensive activities,
  • Management of people in knowledge related processes, and
  • Management of human resources in knowledge civilization era.

We expect original papers from various fields such as:

  • Epistemology,
  • Information science, knowledge engineering, data/text mining,
  • Management science, knowledge management, management of technology,
  • Sociological systems science, technological and mathematical systems science.

26.6 Learning Organization

TST Chair: Hisako Chujo

The Learning Organization TST invites excellent papers relating to study of learning organization in theory and practice. Abstracts are invited from all fields of research covering theory, case study or any system in learning organization, and so on.

Topics of this TST include but not limited to the followings:

  • New concepts relating to the learning organization and organizational development
  • New methodology to encourage peoples for the organizational learning in the real organization
  • Learning effects of the learning organization in the real organization
  • Use of informational system to speed up the organizational learning in the real organization

Presentation Format: Authors will be asked to provide a brief (10 minutes) overview of key ideas or findings from their research, leaving the remaining time for more interactive discussion among participants. Powerpoint or other media may be used to highlight important points, if desired, although more informal presentation styles are welcome and encouraged. The primary goal of this session is to facilitate dialogue and collaborative learning.

26.7 Optimization

TST Chair: Chunhui Xu

The Optimization TST invites papers on optimization theory and its practice in engineering, management and business.

Areas addressed include but not limited to linear and nonlinear programming, stochastic optimization, combinatorial optimization, integer and mixed programming.

While papers on optimum-seeking methods and their applications are welcomed, we are especially interested in research on innovative methodologies and methods for solving optimization models where seeking an optimum is theoretically or practically difficult. Theoretical and experimental study on heuristic and meta-heuristic solution methods are also welcomed.

26.8 Systems Complexity

TST Chair: Naoki Shiba

This track invites papers from broad topics relating to systems complexity and theory of complex systems, preferably oriented to mathematically formal approaches to complex systems. This track welcomes papers that cover, but not limited to the following topic areas.

  • Mathematical general systems theory
  • Hierarchical theory of systems
  • Self organization
  • Modeling language for complex systems
  • Evolutionary perspective for systems
  • Chaos theory

26.9 Social Systems Theory: Conversation between Social Sciences and Systems Science

TST Chair: Akira Tokuyasu

The Social Systems Theory TST invites papers relating to the theoretical or empirical study of various social systems, especially from those who are interested in the theoretical and conceptual refinement of social systems theory.

More than a half century social scientists have adopted various ideas of general systems theory, and developed their own theories of social systems. Such ideas as an open/closed system, self-organization, negative/positive feedback, and autopoiesis are now popular in social sciences. Although these ideas have certainly stimulated theoretical development, there are various misunderstandings or merely metaphorical applications.

On the other hand systems scientists have applied their own theoretical ideas to the study of social systems. Although they have certainly built several interesting and stimulating theories and models, they have often ignored the tradition and inherent problems of social sciences.

There are many fruits, but also many gaps and discrepancies. For further development of social systems theory, we need conversation and correspondence between social sciences and systems science in order to redefine and rebuild the fundamental and essential concepts and ideas relating to social systems theory.

26.10 Chance Discovery and Meta-synthesis

TST Chairs: Yukio Ohsawa & Xijin Tang

Chance discovery is to discover events/situations significant for decision making. So far, prevalent tools for chance discovery has been visualizing possible networks to show “islands and bridges” in the living environment of human. As a result, the methods of chance discovery achieved meaningful successes in marketing, politics, medical science, and the designs of products and systems.

Meta-synthesis is a systemic approach toward complex system modeling and calls for the integration of data, information, quantitative models and human experiences and knowledge during complex problem solving process. Human beings who are of advantage in qualitative intelligence may be more creative in problem solving if supported by the advanced computing and information technologies which show powerful capacity in quantitative intelligence. Meta-synthesis emphasizes the dominant role during man-machine collaboration. The double helix, a model of the process to chance discovery, i.e. for finding meaningful bridges in the visualized environment, is showing a promising direction to human-machine collaboration for realizing meta-synthesis

As it entered into 21st century, the world is facing increasing wicked problems across a wide scope. Complexity is regarded as one of most salient features and concerning topics among those complex systems or wicked problems. New visions or approaches are required to deal with those problems, especially in consideration of ubiquitous impacts of human and cultural factors. In this special session under ISSS’2007, we welcome paper submissions on existing/novel methods with similar ideas as chance discovery and meta-synthesis approach. Practical applications are strongly welcome. Submission are expected to cover but not limited to the following topics,

  • Agent-based modeling
  • AI and fuzzy systems
  • Creativity support
  • Complex system modeling and complexity
  • Decision support systems
  • Design of systems and products
  • Knowledge sciences and technologies
  • Multi-data mining
  • Social network and knowledge management
  • System Approaches

26.11 Cybernetics (organized by the American Society for Cybernetics)

TST Chair: Louis H. Kauffman

This track is devoted to cybernetics, particularly to fundamentals of cybernetics and to cybernetic epistemology and second-order cybernetics in the sense of Margaret Mead and Heinz von Foerster.

We welcome papers and workshop proposals from non-ASC members as well as ASC members. The workshops will be arranged during the main conference period, and maximum time allowed for a workshop is 1 1/2 hours. The workshop proposals should be directly sent to Professor Kauffman (

The American Society for Cybernetics will also organize a workshop prior to the conference in the time period Sunday, August 5, 2007: 1:00PM - 3:00PM. It will be opened to all ISSS participants.

Workshop on Sign and Space (Speaker/Facilitator Louis H. Kauffman) Description: Signs, symbol systems and the intricacies of language are bound up with our concepts and perceptions of space so deeply that one can at best say that space and signs are intertwined, each informing the other. The purpose of this workshop is to explore these relationships in the topological realm and to see how languages involving self-reference, important for studying systems, are related to topological questions and particularly to properties of knots, links, graphs and surfaces. The workshop will concentrate on a number of visual demonstrations and even some tricks with ropes.

26.12 Mini-Conversation at ISSS 2007 Japan

TST Chair: Yoshi Horiuchi and Jed C. Jones;

You are heartily invited to participate in an intercultural dialogue event to be held at the ISSS 2007 conference in Tokyo, Japan! The sessions will be held afternoons from Sunday through Wednesday, August 5-8:

  • Sunday: 12:00-16:00
  • Monday: 15:00-18:00
  • Tuesday: 15:00-18:00
  • Wednesday: 15:00-18:00

Conversation Topic: The transcultural applicability of the concept of marketing. The concept of marketing is U.S.-originated, although it also seems to be actively subscribed to in countries such as Japan and Korea. However, in Europe, the concept appears to have not become as central a concept to business as it has in the aforementioned countries. As triggering questions for our conversation: (1) Compare and contrast the U.S. and Japanese concepts and practices of marketing. (2) How is the concept of marketing viewed in various European countries? (3) How about in the rest of the Americas, Africa, the Middle-East, and other regions? From an ecological perspective, some blame marketing and its consumption-based orientation as a cause for waste and adding to the environmental problematique. Others champion marketing, insisting that it has been a key to the economic success of countries such as the U.S. and Japan. What are your views? Optional exercise: please bring in one or two advertisements from your home country (or from other countries) that can act as a talking piece for your thoughts and opinions.

Format and Flow: The dialogue will be conducted in an interactive, design-conversation manner in both English and Japanese, with simultaneous translation available by both moderators. Full-time participants are encouraged (but not required) to submit a 2-4 page input paper by July 15th.

Two Types of Participants: The Mini-Conversation is an open conversation with two types of participants: “core” and “part-time.” Part-time participants come and go while the core participants stay throughout the 3-days and 2-night conversation. We of course encourage and welcome even first-time dialogue conversation participants to engage as core participants.

Yoshi Horiuchi, Ph.D., Graduate School of Engineering Management, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan Jed C. Jones, Ph.D., Enterprise Products Brand Manager, Home and Small Business Division, Dell, Inc., Miyazaki, Japan

tokyo_2007_calls_for_papers.txt · Last modified: 2020/07/27 15:38 (external edit)