Welcome to the International Society for the Systems Sciences
Planning is now underway for the 51st Annual Meeting of the ISSS, August 5-10, 2007, at Tokyo Institute of Technology.
A retrospective of the 50th Annual Meeting of the ISSS — July 9-14, 2006 at Sonoma, California, featuring digests, downloadable presentations and audio recordings, is now available.
If you missed the 49th Annual Meeting of the ISSS — July 1-5, 2005 at Cancun Mexico, you can access digests, downloadable presentations and audio recordings online.
Origin and Purpose of the ISSS
The International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) is among the first and oldest organizations devoted to interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems, and remains perhaps the most broadly inclusive. The Society was initially conceived in 1954 at the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, and Anatol Rapoport. In collaboration with James Grier Miller, it was formally established as an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1956. Originally founded as the Society for General Systems Research, the society adopted its current name in 1988 to reflect its broadening scope (see Note on History of SGSR/ISSS).
Founders of the Society for General Systems Research:
The initial purpose of the society was "to encourage the development of theoretical systems which are applicable to more than one of the traditional departments of knowledge," with the following principal aims:
- to investigate the isomorphy of concepts, laws, and models in various fields, and to help in useful transfers from one field to another;
- to encourage the development of adequate theoretical models in areas which lack them;
- to eliminate the duplication of theoretical efforts in different fields; and
- to promote the unity of science through improving the communication among specialists.
In the intervening years, the ISSS has expanded its scope beyond purely theoretical and technical considerations to include the practical application of systems methodologies to problem solving. Even more importantly, it has provided a forum where scholars and practitioners from across the disciplinary spectrum, representing academic, business, government, and non-profit communities, can come together to share ideas and learn from one another.
The ISSS logo has evolved from the original integral symbol, chosen by the founders to represent the society's primary interest in integration and synthesis, which is what makes the ISSS such a unique and distinctive organization.
We're encouraging ISSS members to directly contribute content to the site, without a system administrator as gatekeeper.
If you're websavvy, and would like to act as a moderator for some of this content, please e-mail the web administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org. The team of moderators is a multinational group of volunteers from the ISSS community. We patrol the site regularly, to ensure that things are proceeding well.
A Commemoration of the life of Anatol Rapoport will take place on Sunday, May 20, 2007, at 11:00 am. The venue will be Wetmore Dining Hall, New College, University of Toronto, 21 Classic Ave. Presented by his family, the event will include music, ideas and memories. Everyone is welcome.
Anatol Rapoport, who died on January 20 at 95, was an internationally renowned scholar and peace activist. He made major contributions in the disciplines of mathematical psychology, general systems theory and peace research.
RSS feeds are now available from isss.org!
Read and listen to a retrospective from Sonoma 2006.
Access online publication of papers for Sonoma 2006.