2012 Call for Participation

The 56th Annual Meeting of the
International Society for the Systems Sciences

ISSS San Jose 2012

July 15-20 2012, at San Jose State University, California

Service Systems,  
  Natural Systems

A call for participation in San Jose, CA USA, July 15-20, 2012

The systems sciences provide a platform of concepts and language that enables communities of interest to transcend disciplinary boundaries towards developing new knowledge and perspectives. The ISSS 2012 theme of Service Systems, Natural Systems draws attention to complex issues in today's world, where dialogue amongst the learned may lead to better futures.
  The service systems sciences focus on the value cooperatively created and shared in human activities. Service systems support basic needs such as food and water, develop social potential through education and healthcare, and advance our societies through businesses, governments and social enterprises working in a globalized, networked world. ⇆ ⇄ The natural systems sciences focus on the sustainability and diversity of life on our planet. Social ecological systems balance competing interests of human well-being, social development and economic progress. Maintaining resilience of natural capital and resources across temporal and spatial scales challenges policies, governance and stewardship.
The sessions of ISSS 2012 will foster learning conversations. The dialectic between service scientists and natural scientists will sweep in new perspectives in dialogues beyond disciplinary boundaries.

This meeting is designed at an interactive and collegial scale of 100 to 250 thinkers with diverse backgrounds and interests in the arts and sciences of systems.

Ways to participate include:

  • Engaging with plenary speakers, discussants and groups in reflections
  • Leading conversations on research in progress and early findings
  • Presenting pre-published works for commentary and refinement
  • Sharing experiences and knowledge sketched onto posters and outlines
  • Building personal insights in diverse dialogues about systems

Featured plenary speakers:

  • Rafael Ramirez, Director, Oxford Scenarios Programme; Fellow in Strategy at the Saïd Business School and Green-Templeton College; James Martin Senior Fellow at the Oxford Martin School;
  • Jim Spohrer, Director of Global University Programs, IBM;
  • Garry Peterson, Professor in Environmental Studies, Stockholm Resilience Centre;
  • Timothy F. H. Allen, Professor Emeritus of Botany and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin Madison;
  • Stuart Umpleby, Director of the Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning, George Washington University;
  • Minna Takala, Researcher and Project Manager, Business Innovation Technology Research Center, Aalto University School of Science;
  • John J. Kineman, Senior Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research into Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder;
  • Discussants invited from the ISSS community
  • Cumulative synthesis by Gary S. Metcalf (President of the International Federation for Systems Research, and President of Interconnections LLC; and Pamela Buckle Henning, Associate Professor at Adelphi University

Featured "Systems Basics" session leaders:

  • "Roots of the Systems Movement", led by Debora Hammond, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, Sonoma State University, and Past-President (2005-2006) of the ISSS;
  • "Living Systems Theory", led by James R. Simms, Chair, Special Integration Group on Living Systems Science, ISSS and author of Principles of quantitative living systems science;
  • "Ecological Resilience and Panarchy", led by Pille Bunnell, Associated Faculty, Royal Roads University, and Past President (1999-2001) of the American Society for Cybernetics;
  • "Organisational Cybernetics", led by Allenna Leonard, Past President (2009-2010) of the ISSS, and Past President (2002-2004) of the American Society for Cybernetics;
  • "Science of Generic Design", led by Jack Ring, Fellow of INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering), Industrial Fellow of the Stevens Institute of Technology, Co-founder of Kennen Technologies LLC;
  • "Soft Systems Methodology", led by Giles Hindle, Senior Lecturer at Hull University Business School and Associate Fellow at Warwick Business School;
  • "System Dynamics", led by Bob Cavana, Reader in Decisions Sciences at Victoria Management School, Wellington, New Zealand;
  • "Anticipatory Systems and the Modeling Relation", led by Judith Rosen, Rosen Enterprises;
  • "Language Action Perspective", led by Peter Jones, Associate Professor at OCAD University, Managing Partner at Dialogic Design International, and Managing Director at Redesign;
  • "Inquiring Systems", led by Ian Mitroff, Professor Emeritus at the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and Past President (1992-1993) of the ISSS;
  • "Idealized Design and Interactive Planning", led by John Pourdehnad, Associate Director of the Ackoff Center for Advancement of Systems Approaches (ACASA), and Affiliated Faculty in the Organizational Dynamics Graduate Program at the University of Pennsylvania;
  • "Socio-Technical and Socio-Ecological Systems Perspectives", led by David L. Hawk, former dean of the School of Management, New Jersey Institute of Technology

In collaboration with the Bateson Idea Group and the American Society for Cybernetics:


Conference Schedule:

  • Sunday, July 15 (6 p.m.) to Friday, July 20, 2012 (1 p.m.)
  • Pre-conference workshops on Sunday, July 15 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
  • Post-conference workshops on Friday, July 20 (2 p.m. to 5 p.m.)

Important Dates:

  • September 15, 2011: Abstract submissions open.
  • February 15, 2012: Registration opens.
  • March 1, 2012: The deadline for panel, workshop and stream proposals.
  • May 10, 2012: The end of early, discounted registration.
  • June 15, 2012: The deadline for full papers to be included in online proceedings.
  • June 15, 2012: The deadline for abstracts and poster sessions to be streamed into the conference program.

Platinum Sponsors:

Exchange Affiliates:

Conference Host:

Papers submitted to the ISSS meeting are published in proceedings at journals.isss.org, with the permission of author(s) under a Creative Commons license. Abstracts on discussion papers reflecting systems research in progress are welcomed.

Watch for conference updates on isss.org

For more information, contact the ISSS Office at isssoffice@dsl.pipex.com