2008/05/01 deadline for abstracts, ISSS Madison 2008, 2008/07/13-18

ISSS 2008
The University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA
July 13-18, 2008

Systems that Make a Difference
President: Gary Metcalf

The title for this conference borrows from Gregory Bateson¹s definition of information as "a difference that makes a difference." The question for systems researchers and practitioners is, "what difference are we making?"

The ISSS 2008 conference will bring together professionals who are developing the cutting edge of systems ideas with leaders who face real-world complexities and ³messes² daily. While we must continue to make systems research ever more rigorous, we must also connect that work with the dilemmas in the world for which people are seeking solutions. The intent of this conference is to further build the bridges between rigor and relevance in systems work. Speakers and authors are invited who can address any part of this spectrum, from better methods for systems research to clarifying the nature of real-world problems in need of resolution.


The 52nd conference will be held at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, July 13-18, 2008. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is located in Madison, WI, and the campus spreads out along Lake Mendota, encompassing wooded hills, friendly shores and lively city streets. Madison ‹the state¹s capital city with a population of 208,000) offers the perfect combination of natural beauty, stimulating cultural offerings, outdoor recreation, distinctive restaurants, unique shops and vibrant nightlife.

The university¹s location in south central Wisconsin makes for convenient access to Milwaukee (80 miles), Chicago (150 miles) and Minneapolis (270 miles). Daily buses serve all three cities.

Related Web Sites

Call for Papers

Although the conference will accept papers related to the following areas of research, the list is neither exclusive nor restrictive. Proposals of new sessions and tracks are very welcome. Each session chair takes the final responsibility for running his/her session. All submitted papers are encouraged to state how relevant the paper is with regard to systems thinking, systems modeling and/or systems practice.

Specific Calls for Papers will be advertised on the website, and in the General Systems Bulletin 2008, by the following Special Integration Groups (SIGs) and exploratory groups:

SIGs SIG Chair(s) Contact
Systems Applications in Business & Industry David Ing isss@daviding.com
Hierarchy Theory Jennifer Wilby j.wilby@hull.ac.uk
Duality Theory ISSS Office 2008cnf@dsl.pipex.com
Systems Philosophy & Systems Ethics ISSS Office 2008cnf@dsl.pipex.com
Systems Modeling & Simulation ISSS Office 2008cnf@dsl.pipex.com
Futurism & Systems Change Curt McNamara c.mcnamara@ieee.org
Meta-Modeling & Systems Epistemology Janet McIntyre janet.mcintyre@flinders.edu.au
Systems Psychology & Psychiatry (Mental Health) Tamar Zohar Harel and
Pamela Buckle Henning
buckle@adelphi.edu Information
Systems Design & Information Technology Bela A Banathy babanathy@yahoo.com
Research Towards General Theories of Systems Len Troncale lynn@lynnras.com
Medical and Health Systems ISSS Office 2008cnf@dsl.pipex.com
Living Systems Analysis Jim Simms jrsimms@juno.com
Evolutionary Development Alexander and Kathia Laszlo info@syntonyquest.org
Designing Educational Systems Patrick Jenlink pjenlink@sfasu.edu
Spirituality and Systems Carl Swanson carl18292003@yahoo.com
Human Systems Inquiry ISSS Office 2008cnf@dsl.pipex.com
Critical Systems Theory & Practice Jennifer Wilby  j.wilby@hull.ac.uk
Systems Biology and Evolution Len Troncale lrtroncale@csupomona.edu
Applied Systems & Development Dennis Finlayson and Jae Yu dfinlayson@btopenworld.com
What is Life/Living John Kineman john.kineman@colorado.edu
Women and Children Anne Nelson nelsongroup@comcast.net
Systems Specific Technology Vadim Kvitash Kvitash@hotmail.com
Organisational Transformation & Social Change Maurice Yolles m.yolles@livjm.ac.uk
Systems Pathology Len Troncale lrtroncale@csupomona.edu
Roundtable Sue Gabriele sgabriele@gemslearning.com
Aging Systems Daniel Hershey Daniel.Hershey@uc.edu
Agent-based Social Simulation Shingo Takahashi shingo@waseda.jp
SIG for Students Nicholas Magliocca nrm@duke.edu
Primer Project Tom Mandel thommandel@aol.com


Foundations of Information Systems Soren Brier and Bela Banathy sbr.lpf@cbs.dk 
Arts Based Inquiry Lezlie Kinyon isss06lezlie@yahoo.com

In addition the above sessions, the Student SIG and ISSS Roundtable SIG will be organized and the format for these sessions is interwoven into the program. These groups do not accept abstracts or paper submissions. Anyone who is interested is welcome and invited to participate; please see the website for information about the organization of these sessions or contact Nicholas Magliocca (Student SIG) or Sue Gabriele (Roundtable SIG) for further information.

Important Dates

December 5, 2007: The start of abstract submission and registration. (Please allow at least two weeks for your abstract to be reviewed.)
February 1, 2008: The start of on-line registration.
April 30, 2008: Deadline for early registration discount.
May 1, 2008: The deadline for abstract submission.
May 10, 2008: The deadline for full papers

(Late papers received after May 31, 2007 may still be accepted to the conference, but they are included on the CD-ROM proceedings for the subsequent year.)

Late abstracts may be accepted after May 1 on a space available basis until June 15, 2008. If late papers from these abstracts are submitted they will be held for publication on the following year conference CDROM.

Social Programs

The conference opening reception will be held on July 13 and the conference banquet will be held on Thursday, July 17. Detailed plans will be announced on the conference website.


  Payment by April 30 Payment from May 1
Regular $455 USD $525 USD
Retired $355 USD $425 USD
Developing country $330 USD $400 USD
Student $275 USD $325 USD
Additional banquet ticket $45 USD

Off-line registration will also begin on February 1. A copy of the registration form has been included with this mailing. Accommodation information for the conference can also be found on the website. The registration fee does not cover accommodation or transportation expenses to and from the conference site.

The registration fee includes:

  • ISSS membership fees for 2009
  • A program/abstract book
  • CD-ROM proceedings
  • Reception on Sunday July 13
  • One banquet ticket for Thursday July 17
  • Coffee/tea breaks
  • Lunches from Monday to Thursday

Due to space limitations, only one paper per registered participant will be accepted for the 2008 conference.


Accommodation information is being gathered and will be available shortly.

There will be the choice of University accommodation or local hotels in Madison.


Organizing Committee Chair: Gary Metcalf, ISSS President 2007-2008
Program Committee Chair: Ockie Bosch, ISSS Vice President for Membership and Conferences
ISSS Business Office: Jennifer Wilby, ISSS Vice President for Administration, isssoffice@dsl.pipex.com
ISSS Communications: David Ing, ISSS Vice President for Communication and Systems Education, 2007-2009, isss@daviding.com