This year we are celebrating our fiftieth anniversary. The original "Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory" was formed under the auspices of the AAAS, and first met a half-century ago, in 1954. In 1956 the "Society for General Systems Research" was founded, with the name later changing to the "International Society for General Systems Research", and finally to the present name, the "International Society for the Systems Sciences". The 2004 conference has two sub-themes: "Integration" or unity, and "Continuity". It is appropriate that our meeting honors our first half-century with an emphasis on the principle of integration and the search for cross-disciplinary commonalities that was so strongly embraced by the founders. The founders emphasized their desire to promote the unity of science at the very first meeting which took place in December, 1954 in Berkeley, California, just to the north of our meeting in Asilomar.

The integrative focus of the founders will be complemented with a focus on continuity, as manifested in our reflection on the future role of the Society. The sub-theme of integration will focus upon the contributions of the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities in the development of ISSS. Our glimpse into the future will stress the second sub-theme of continuity by focusing upon ways for the future to build upon the past. One focus will be on the integration of quantitative and qualitative approaches to systems science. We will also continue the task begun at the 41st Annual Meeting at Seoul in 1997 of forging a new paradigm that can help to integrate natural and social systems.

Papers are particularly invited which focus on the theme of honoring our past, combined with a look ahead toward the future. We seek to use our past 50 years of achievement as a firm foundation for the next 50 years of growth in our Society.

Organizing Committee Chair: Dr. Kenneth D. Bailey, ISSS President;

Program Committee Chair: Dr. Arne Collen, ISSS Vice President for Membership and Conferences;

ISSS Business Office: Ms. Jennifer Wilby, ISSS Vice President for Administration;


Abstract Deadlines
The deadline for the submission of abstracts is FEBRUARY 15, 2004. Acceptance notices will be sent by March 1, 2004. All abstracts, in electronic form, are to be sent to Dr. Arne Collen at It is preferable that abstracts be sent as an attachment in some commonly used word-processing program like Microsoft Word, but submission of a manuscript typed in the body of the E-mail is also permissible. If E-mail is not possible, the abstracts may be mailed to Dr. Arne Collen, POB 430, Walnut Creek, CA 94597, USA.

The abstract should give an overview of your main point, the methods by which you plan to support your ideas, and if appropriate, a description of the case studies you plan to present. Abstracts can be a full page in length, and can include figures, but please do not exceed the one-page limit. Use the paper-style guidelines for abstract style. If you know a SIG that you would like to present your paper in, please write the SIG name on your abstract (see SIG Calls below), but please do not send the same abstract to more than one SIG. All abstracts will be reviewed, and the acceptance of papers will be based on the reviews.

Registration Form, Housing Form, and Payment Deadline
The conference registration form, Asilomar housing form, and full payment are also due on FEBRUARY 15, 2004. The payment will be refunded if the abstract is not accepted.

Please send forms and payment to:
Ms. Jennifer Wilby, 47 Southfield Road, Pocklington, York YO42 2XE, UK
Ms. Wilby is ISSS VP for Administration. Her contact information is listed below.

Paper Deadlines
The deadline for the submission of full papers is APRIL 15, 2004

Please send papers to

Ms. Jennifer Wilby, 47 Southfield Road, Pocklington, York YO42 2XE, UK
Ms. Wilby may be contacted at Tel. +44 1759 302718

Individuals are limited to two papers. Please submit one hard copy (printed) and one 3.5" floppy diskette in a commonly used word processing program. Papers must follow the paper-style guidelines presented at the end of this call for papers. Individuals are limited to two papers. If your paper is intended for a specific SIG, please submit it both to Jennifer Wilby and the appropriate SIG chair. Do not send the same paper to more than one SIG. The SIG chair may only require a hard copy.


The official proceedings of the ISSS 48th Annual Meeting will be published on a
CD ROM. The editors of the proceedings are Jennifer Wilby and Janet Allen.


A plaque and check for $500 will be awarded for the best student paper. Although the advisor may be a co-author on the paper, it is understood that this award is meant to recognize student accomplishment and the paper should reflect principally the work of the student. Please indicate at the time of paper submission if your paper is to be considered for the Vickers award. If you have received your degree, please certify that this work was performed while you were still a student.




OTSC (Organisational Transformation and Social Change A Special Integration Group (SIG)
Sponsored by Centre for the Creation of Coherent Change and Knowledge for the
International Society for the Systems Sciences

The development of organisational theory through more traditional areas like human resource development and management systems and their convergence has led to some interesting developments in recent years. Organisational theory has at its base the ideas that were developed within sociology that had the interests of societies. Interestingly, as the subject has developed, ideas are now being fed back into sociology that have impact upon the way we see societies. The distinction between societies and organisations is now expressible in terms scale, boundary and focus.

            There is a change imperative for autonomous organisations that pursue their own purposes and interests, and over time take actions that interactively define where they are going in the complex world in which they exist. Their future pathways are often influenced by change that may either derive from within the organisation, or externally. It is in such conditions that there is an imperative to manage the change process that derives from both competitive and evolutionary influences. Complexity attends us as we globalise, and during this process the need to deal with complexity through change is important. Change is increasingly a strategic agenda item in many organisations in both public and private sectors. It may be incremental, but a continuing process of incremental change can mean that its tracking and coherence can be lost, and worse, it can seriously weaken an organisation. It may be radical, which occurs when an organisation needs to determine new purposes in the way it addresses competitive and environmental change, often resulting in new structures, processes, and a need for management cohesion and knowledge integration. It can also be transformational, involving a paradigm shift for the organisation.

            Fundamentally, a way of dealing with complexity and change is for organisations to become intelligent, aware of themselves, reflective, and participatory. Some methodologies exist to help this to develop, but much more research and inquiry is required. More on this can be found at:

SIG CO-CHAIRS: Maurice Yolles, David Ing
V.P. for Research and Publications
Centre for Creation of Coherent Change and Knowledge
John Foster Building
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool L3 5UZ
eMail: ;



Systems Applications in Business and Industry

Authors are welcomed to share their papers and wisdom on Systems Applications in Business and Industry in Singerian Inquiry sessions at the 2004 ISSS meeting in Asilomar.
The SABI sessions at Asilomar 2004 will follow the approach that proved successful at 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 the Crete 2003 sessions reported great satisfaction in this lightly structured, free flowing approach to conversation.
Prior to the meeting,
>> Authors may discuss with the SIG chair, David Ing ( about the potential contribution in content under consideration. >> 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 papers. Papers are clustered into session of three to five papers. Preliminary discussions about ideas are facilitated online through web forums/discussions.
At the meeting,
>> 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, 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
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.
Interested author may contact the SABI SIG Chair, David Ing
( for more information.
When submitting an abstract, please ensure that it is flagged specifically for the SABI stream.

Hierarchy Theory

Jennifer Wilby, 47 Southfield Road, Pocklington, York, YO42 2XE, UK. +44 (0)1759 302718 Email:
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.

Systems Modelling and Simulation

On the 50th anniversary of ISSS (SGSR) the systems modelling and simulation SIG calls for papers continuous with our founders objectives. We seek papers on system models, modeling principles and simulation which investigate or exemplify structural similarities and isomorphies across different fields of study. Ideally the concepts and principles involved will be applicable to all disciplines. Triadic perspectives are especially sought.
abstracts may be sent to: Prof Dr Robert A Orchard, Institute for Advanced Systems, PO Box 640, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida 33785

Systems Psychology and Psychiatry

A call for papers is made to various disciplines; Jungian psychology, Gestalt psychotherapy, transactional Analysis and other schools of psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry, systemicNLP, medicine, social work, systems and corporate psychology.
In honor of the 50th anniversary ISSS (SGSR) and the founders, papers are invited which emphasize, elaborate and show similarities and isomrphies among concepts, principles and methodologies. Triadic perspectives or templates such as parent/adult/child of transactional analysis are especially invited.
Abstracts may be sent to: Prof. Dr Robert A Orchard, Institute for Advanced Systems, PO Box 640, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida 33785, USA

Living Systems Analysis

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 principles of a living systems science, equivalent to those of the other natural sciences, have been developed.
We invite you to submit papers that are related to the conference theme, fifty years of systems science, and to living systems theory and science. Papers based on Miller's theory are requested as a tribute to Jim and Jessie Miller.
Papers linking living systems theory 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 help unify the sciences and that treat basic principles and theories. Development of relationships between the concepts of information in biology and in the information sciences is of particular interest.
We are making an effort in the paper solicitation process to extend the area of living systems science further than it has been in the past. It is felt that an even greater range of papers would help improve the meeting. Thus we are making a special plea for papers which would extend living systems science.
For further information, please contact: James R. Simms Simms

Human Systems Inquiry

HUMAN SYSTEMS INQUIRY is a central emphasis in those Systems Sciences directly concerned with human beings. We invite you to contribute a paper relevant to systems inquiry that helps our annual event to actualize the conference theme. Any paper that can make that 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 systems 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 overall 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.
For further information, please contact: Arne Collen
Saybrook Graduate School

Metamodeling & Systems Epistemology

Subject of Session(s):
"ETHICS According to C.W. Churchman: Lessons to Design a Better World."

We will explore our mentor C.W. Churchman's writings to find inspiration concerning how to design a world where morality prevails. We will explore Churchman's work (and that of his disciples) for answers to explore the two related subjects:

· "The Role of Government and a Nation's Morality," and,
· "Approaches on How to Solve So-Called 'Extraordinary Problems'".

First, we need to answer whether the notion of a "Nation's Morality" can be defined. Then, the entire set of laws must be culled for clues on how a nation treats its people. Naturally, one must look at the laws that are enforced and those which are not for a more accurate indication of what is considered "moral." How a country cares for its sick people, its unemployed, its environment, its minorities, its disabled and disadvantaged, its convicted criminals, how it deals with issues such as the death penalty and euthanasia, how it treats its enemies and its friends etc-they all tell a great deal about the daily values and norms that a country as a whole respects and practices.
A country's social contract or social context is also telling. By social contract we mean the laws and customs that bind the family, the community, the government and the various sectors of its population as they go about in their daily lives.
Governments change and times change, thus we must ask whether there are some immutable moral principles which remain unchanged over time and which reflect the morality and values of a nation, regardless of its politics, the ideology of the party in power etc. In Churchman's terminology, 'Extraordinary Problems' are those problems which cannot be solved by the methods of 'normal science.' They include most of the unsolved social agenda discussed above. Because these problems transcend national borders, we will entertain papers which discuss international attempts to solve them.

To participants in the SIG Session(s):
You are invited to address any of the subjects already discussed by C.W. Churchman and extend his ideas to apply them to the ethical problems besetting society in the 21st Century. The best papers will form the basis for a book which will be published as a Book of Readings tentatively entitled:

"Churchman's Ethics: Essays To Solve The 'Extraordinary Problems' Of The 21st Century." (Editor: John P. van Gigch)

When completed and edited, the book should provide a comprehensive picture of Churchman 's ethical norms. It will pertain to a new book series entitled Churchman's Legacy and Related Works to be published by Kluwer/Plenum.
We hope that many of you will answer this CALL FOR PAPERS so that your will be read at the Conference and later it will be represented in the Book of Readings. The book will reflect how West influenced your ideas on the subject. It goes without saying that the book will feature as many authors as papers to be included therein. For more information on the Book of Readings contact the SIG Chair.

Submit your proposed paper according to the conference schedule to the Chair John van Gigch at:

Evolutionary Development SIG

We cordially invite you to join us at the 48th annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). Specifically, we hope you will consider contributing a paper and/or a poster for presentation in the Evolutionary Development SIG (Special Integration Group) that it is our pleasure to co-chair. This will be the sixth year of productive meetings as an intact line of inquiry, the first four under the name of the Evolutionary Learning Community SIG, and last year as the ED SIG. We will continue to focus our efforts on issues of timely relevance to which ELCs may best be dedicated.

The theme of this year's conference is: "Fifty Years of Systems Science," in celebration of the organization of the precursor of ISSS in 1954. The two subthemes are "Integration" and "Continuity". These themes provide exiting platforms 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, 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 this coming year's 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 at Asilomar. 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. All of our contact information follows immediately after our "signature," below.
For further information, please contact: Alexander & Kathia Laszlo
Co-Chairs, ISSS ED SIG
U.S.A.: 1761 Vallejo Street, Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94123
Mexico: Cardenal 1310, San Andres - El Barrial, Santiago NL 67300
Phone/Fax: ++415/346.1547 (USA) Cell: +++811/006.3021 (Mex)><

What is Life/Living

Chair: John Kineman
Co-Chair: Ron Cottam
The WILL SIG has existed now for 5 years and many diverse papers have been contributed on the general theme of "what is life?" It is a good time now to consider the ISSS sub-themes of "integration" and "continuity."
We invite papers for the 5th WILL meeting and 48th ISSS meeting that attempt an integration of views or theories about life. Papers that reference privious WILL SIG papers presented at the 1999-2003 ISSS annual meetings will be especially welcome. Those papers are available on CD-ROM from ISSS and have been distributed to members.

Additionally, papers dealing with the epistemology of integrated science will be welcome. It is one thing to ask for papers integrating previous papers, but another to know how to go about it. The history of science, mostly the physical sciences, has many famous examples of theory integration, and indeed integration of assumptions and worldviews, as in Thomas Khun's theory of scientific revolutions. An analysis of world view integration, citing several philosophical traditions, can be seen, for example, at: In that example, there are two possible results of scientific progress: a unified view of nature, or a "family" of irreconcilable views and theories.
Today we have very little integration within the sciences, and yet a strong call for new integrated science methods. There can be no greater need for integration than with regard to the question of life, for as long the related disciplines remain fragmented, any thoery of life will be suspect.
The continuity of science has also been an important aspect of scientific epistemology. While many foundations for theory are possible, the scientific enterprise attempts to explore them methodically, moving from one set of assumptions to logical successors, rather than random leaps. Is it perhaps time for life theorists to attempt something in the epistemology of science that is analogous to practices that drove physics to such great success? While this is tempting, it is also apparent that such an effort will almost certainly be based differently than physics. More and more, it seems that physics must be treated as a sub-set of a larger reality, and life must be associated with that larger reality. If this is so, it may be impossible to get to a foundation theory of life from today's physical or mechanical concepts alone. Physics itself may enlarge its scope, but even so, is it not possible that life theorists have much to contribute to that expansion now? So, we will review papers submitted in regard to these themes, looking for valid attempts at integration across disciplinary views and continuity of thought through the history of relevant disciplines. We anticipate having paper and poster sessions, as well as panel discussion. A separate meeting on producing a 5-year synthesis volume is also a possibility. Paper abstracts should be submitted according to ISSS instructions, AND TO BOTH OF THE FOLLOWING:
John J. Kineman
Ron Cottam

Women and Children in Community Systems

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.
For further information, please contact: Anne Nelson Chair, Women and Children in Community Systems 2442 N.W. Market St. #112 Seattle, WA 98107

Systems Specific Technology

The great promise of General Systems Theory and Systems Sciences has not yet been fully realized. Currently, we are still mostly ruminating about the initial concepts of the von Bertalanffy and have not yet progressed to the level of a complete scientific theory with its own language, and its own specific tools and technologies.
The purpose of the Systems-Specific Technology SIG of ISSS is to be instrumental in development of systems-specific tools/technologies and their pragmatic application across the boundaries of different sciences. These tools and technologies are expected to push the limits of perception, cognition, communication, and dramatically enhance human creativity, heuristic potential and transform Systems Science to a level of a truly exact science.
We invite ISSS members to contribute to the inaugural Systems-Specific Technology Session. This Session will explore the following areas of Systems Sciences:
1. Defining Systems-Specific Technology
2. Concepts and Methodologies for Developing, Constructing and Testing Different Types of Systems-Specific Technology
3. Established and Under Development Systems-Specific Tools
For further information, please contact: Vadim I. Kvitash, M.D., Ph.D., 2299 Post Street, Suite 306, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA. E-mail:

Spirituality and Systems

Statement of Purpose: This Special Integration Group is devoted to open inquiry about spirituality and systems, about the awakening of consciousness and its relationship to the human systems in which we live and function.
Our SIG continues to touch upon many aspects of the vast subject of spirituality. We have emphasized exchange and dialogue, and this has brought very really positive interaction. Such dialogue is central to the spirit of this year's ISSS conference, celebrating 50 years of the ISSS and the themes of integration and continuity.
Keeping with the broad scope of the SIG, papers on all topics related to the larger field of spirituality and systems are also welcomed. One example of a topic that is related to the larger field of spirituality and systems and, therefore appeals to people working in other SIGs would be "the use of paradoxes in spiritual awakening, psychotherapy and human systems management".
We again look forward to a rewarding session this year.
Tetsunori Koizumi and Charles Smith, Co-chairs
Papers should be submitted as per instructions at Please submit two copies, one to Tetsunori Koizumi at, and one to Charles Smith at

Applied Systems and Development

"The multiple perspectives on international relations"
Responding to our concern on globalization in the contexts of intercultural organisations, we propose the multiple perspectives on international relations. The multiple perspectives in the development of multicultural organisations are necessary in today's global economy.
To submit an abstract please send to Dennis Finlayson at or Jae Yu at

Organisational Transformation and Social Change

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: Abstracts are therefore invited from all fields of organisational or social systems research and/or practice.
Professor Maurice Yolles, Liverpool John Moores University, 98 Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5UZ, UK. Email:, and David Ing <>


Foundation of Information Science

The Foundation of Information Science SIG calls for papers in the broad sense of the topic, but this year especially also under the theme below.
A new rationality: Can informational thinking carry us beyond the Enlightenment rationality or do we need semiotics also?
European culture stands in a watershed when it comes to make the final step into a knowledge culture. Either we can stay with our understanding of knowledge and rationality that we developed through the Renaissance and made central to our civilization and culture in the Enlightenment or we can deepen the foundation into human embodiment and life world practice.
From the Greeks we inherited the idea of a well-ordered and mathematically beautiful Cosmos, which we - for instance Galileo - build the foundation of the new mechanical physics on. It is the belief that rationality and the order of the world fits through the divine order of logic and mathematics. As Prigogine show then from Laplace and forward the belief was founded that the physical world you be explained in one mathematical formula. - a 'world formula'. This was what Laplace took out of the Enlightenment thinking-That is one of the reasons that Russell and Whitehead tried to unite them logic and mathematics in their Principia- and that Gödels incompleteness proof was such a chock.
Physics has continued the search for the world formula. Steven Hawking is one of the most well known exponents for it. The paradigm has "spilled over" into the search for the genetic algorithms and artificial intelligence. As Lakoff has shown then it has created a myth of abstract un-embodied intelligence as the highest goal of knowledge (The Greeks considered mathematics to be divine and the heavenly bodies to move in perfect circle and classical physics hoped to find exact, deterministic context free eternal laws of nature). This has lead to a worship of computers as been the ideal of intelligence, of religious ideas of our future possibility of 'going over' into the Internet and leave there forever as pure intelligences, plus the belief that robots can be intelligent in the same way as humans. The most famous example is 'Data' in the Star Trek movies and in the last on (Enigma) his intelligence is transferred to another robot some days before he is destructed on a mission.
This idea of intelligence and knowledge based on the Turing machine has carried us a long way. It is now called the information processing paradigm of cognitive science. Its usefulness has run out for the modern complicated problems and systems we have to deal with. One of them is of course the human-computer interaction and how to integrate the computer, Internet and robots in our culture in a way that support human development and do not destruct the centre of Western culture, which is its respect for the uniqueness and rights of the individual human being.
We need to know more about the relation between human meaningful information and the meaningless algorithmic processing of information. We need to much know more about human embodied information. How embodied and un-embodied information differ, and we need to know more about the interaction between culture and embodied knowledge.
Knowledge seems to be both in the body, in the mind and in the conscious use of language. These three levels seem to interact. Human knowledge is embodied and is therefore rooted I our evolution and genetic make up and our ecological interactions preserving our body and its procreation. But
Second order cybernetics, autopoiesis and triadic semiotics seems to be some of the tools that can help us make better models of signification, cognition and communication.
For further information, please contact: Søren Brier,, Copenhagen Business School
Telephone (+45 )3815 2208.
Address: Copenhagen Business School, department of Management, Politics and Philosophy, Blågårdsgade 23 B, room 326. DK-2200 Copenhagen N.

Primer Group

Primer can be a noun - the name of a presentation of elementary principles, or it could be a verb - to prime.
The Primer Group at ISSS is trying to do both - to inform the community of the systemic fundamental principles, both philosophical (general) and Scientific (particulars), and to inspire mutual-inter-action of the systemic kind.
We began in 1995 inspired by Bela H Banathy, and included a synopsis of his knowledge in our writings on the Web. (1996 ISSS Proceedings) It is sad to have lost Bela, who has rteturned to from whence he came. But in a sense he is still with us just as much.
As a tributre to the great man, the Primer SIG will publish papers on Bela's viewpoint in hopes of giving us his "lens" through which we can perhaps glimpse at what he saw.
It is preferred that the papers be submitted in three phases,
A) a sentence outlining the "focus" of the paper. The traditional abstract could be included as an elaborative-explanation of the focus-sentence.
B) An essay. Two pages approximately. This is what will be published on the web.
C) A Problematique. The Problematique or Demosophia presentation will be incorporated in the final publication. This methodology was used at Crete and is being used by NSF/Project 2061 in their publications. (A Problematique/Demosophia is systemic-rigorously-philosophical/scientific, professionally constructed "poster." )
For further information, please contact: Tom Mandel

Emergence in Complex, Cognitive, Social, and Biological Systems (*)

The systems movement emerges from the activity of many systems societies, associations, research centers, intellectuals and scientists engaged in multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary activities. This SIG is based on contributions to systems thinking by the so-called hard sciences and to them by systems thinking as well as originally introduced by Ludwig von Bertalanffy (theoretical biologist and mathematician), by other founders of ISSS, and past ISSS Presidents (presented in the Luminaries of the ISSS web page ISSS has had a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, Ilya Prigogine, as its President and many thinkers as contributors like Herbert Simon Nobel prize in economics making fundamental multi-disciplinary contributions in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Psychology, Management, philosophy of science, and complex systems and Herman Haken introducing Synergetics in Physics (laser theory) and having applications in many fields from sociology, economics, computers architectures to Decoding Facial Expressions of Emotion to mention a few.
It is important to honor this tradition already established in ISSS. We have noticed that in recent years the focus has been too unbalanced towards the social sciences only, neglecting contributions from hard sciences, such as physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, mathematics, information sciences, engineering, cognitive sciences, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and artificial life.
Many different specific, disciplinary ideas, approaches, methodologies and theories may be listed as contributions of hard sciences to systems thinking.
We invite you, as scientist and researcher submitting a contribution or as attendant interesting in learning contributions from science, to join the 48th annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). The theme of the conference is: "Fifty Years of Systems Science: Honoring tradition, embracing the future," in celebration of the founding of the Society for General Systems Research (SGSR) in 1954. Contributions from hard sciences played a very important role in the story of systems thinking and in the story of SGSR/ISSS.
We propose to deal in this section with a very crucial, current issues at the focus of many scientific researches, publications and conferences. The theme of emergence. This theme is dealt by many disciplines, coping with a crucial issue for systems thinking: the process of transformation of configurations of elements into systems displaying characteristics different from ones of components: in this process it‚s crucial (and controversial) the role of the observer. Many different aspects of this process are of great interest for disciplinary scientists and systems researchers, such as:
- representing,
- modeling,
- simulating,
- theoretical issues on,
- managing,
- measuring,
- experimental activities on,
- keeping,
- emergence.
The honoring and the embracing mentioned in the title cannot take place without considering different disciplinary approaches to the theme of emergence around which is in progress the designing of the future of systems thinking itself.
This SIG welcomes papers to be presented and discussed in the above mentioned areas from different disciplines, like the ones listed above. This SIG particularly welcomes contributions explicitly showing their systemic meaning and relevance for systems thinking.
We invite to pay particular attention to references to be used to help non-expert attendants to deepen the introduced contributions. "Multi-dimensional" references, that's suggested for readers and attendants having specific interests and backgrounds are welcomed.
Depending on the contributions we would like to organize a concluding panel discussing the ideas and approaches introduced.
The SIG is expected to be not a closed session for experts only, nor to have the purpose to divulgate. The SIG will have a committee to refer the submitted papers. We look for making available crucial concepts and approaches scholarly presented to systems researchers through appropriate representations, descriptions, examples by avoiding metaphors and considering that (excerpt from ): one may speak of a case of "inter-disciplinarity" when one discipline is able to represent by using its own "idiom:", i.e., language, the problems, descriptions, models and solutions of another (e.g., the term equilibrium as used in Physics, Psychology, Economics, Biology, and Music).

(*) I'm using the same title of the Proceedings of the 2001 Conference of the Italian Systems Society <> :


Co-Futura: Modeling & Fostering Emergence in Self, Organizations & Governance

Papers are welcome on the themes developed in the CO-FUTURA group which is in the process of organising as a SIG (see OBJECTIVE below), with a special focus on the 2004 ISSS conference themes, especially that of 'integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches to systems science,' namely:

1. systemic modeling of emergence (new consciousness paradigm, complex cognitive dynamics, collective cognition, intentional emergence, new modes of governance, ecological inter-influences, dynamics of innovation, non-local dynamics of interconnexion.)
2. devising systems practices to foster emergence and change in companies, groups, and Self (knowledge management, organizational learning, participatory decision-making, communities of practice, visioning, self-development, coaching, creativity.)
3. Phenomenology and experience of consciousness (a-rational and intuitive knowledge, altered states of consciousness, interconnexion, synchronicities.)

The Special Integration Group CO-FUTURA focuses on the systemic modeling of the process of intentional emergence and on devising practical approaches to foster emergence and change both at the individual and the collective levels. The objective is, through systems thinking, to bridge the gap between modelization and practice/experience, and thus to participate in the emergence of the new consciousness paradigm in science and society.

The new paradigm focuses more and more on consciousness and the individual (1st person perspective), and is intent in bringing significant changes in the world. Its pregnant feature is to move beyond the materialistic and reductionistic credo, and to open a new perspective: Beyond Scientism: science is not the only real knowledge. Beyond Reductionism: the whole system shows novel properties. Beyond Determinism: cause-effect is not the sole interaction between processes/systems. Beyond the Newtonian paradigm: to understand reality as only matter-energy is to forget the consciousness dimension. Beyond Rationalism: logic is not the only cognitive mode.

The process of emergence may happen through self-organization, that is the dynamical interaction of complex processes or systems, leading to bifurcations and the emergence of new global orders. It may also - in individuals or in groups - be steered by intentions and values.
In Self: creation of meaning, emergence in knowing and valuing, states of consciousness, peak experiences, holistic world-vision, and leaps in consciousness. The focus is to foster one's own conscious and spiritual evolution, by understanding and modeling states of consciousness, a-rational and intuitive knowledge, emergent spiritual and ecological understanding.
In organizations and societies: understanding and modeling the dynamics of co-creation of shared meaning and values, new modes of cooperation and dialogue, synergistic emergence, organizational learning, knowledge management, conflict resolution, and collective consciousness. The aim is to devise frameworks and methodologies to foster the conscious cooperative evolution of groups and the emergence of multicultural societies.
In governance: New modes and styles of governance will be discussed and envisioned (such as participatory democracy, federations, multiparty instances), implying a true real-time participatory process in decision-making at both holistic and practical levels (selection of goals, values, and roadmaps), so that the elected representatives may remain in sync with changes and leaps in the social body.

The systemic modeling of emergent meaningful processes may be based on systems, chaos theory, orn neural nets, in order to formalize such processes as: emergence of ideas, the dynamics of discovery and innovation, Koestler's aha! experience, insight, the state of flow, the cultural creative (Paul Ray), synchronicities, non-local dynamics of interconnexion, distant non-linguistic communication, psychological and societal network dynamics (such as team-building, dialogue groups, the collective unconscious), the creation of novel cognitive organization in the individual (such as trance state, illumination, creative thrust, etc.) and in a cognitive collectivity (i.e. the internet), the dynamics of anticipation, the process of visioning and co-creating the future, communities of practice, the co-creation and testing of new models of governance.

For further information please contact Dr Christine Hardy at
Submit abstracts to Dr Hardy and the conference organisers.

ISSS 2004


Phone: +44-1759-302718

Mailing address:
Jennifer Wilby
47 Southfield Road
York YO42 2XE England
Please use regular airmail and avoid use of any courier service such as FedEx, DHL etc. If these carriers are used, any customs charges will be billed to the paper author.


A printed (hard) copy of all papers must be submitted along with an electronic submission on a 3.5" diskette. Alternatively a printed copy may be submitted by regular mail and the electronic version submitted by E-mail - please be sure that you note this on both submissions. However, if papers are submitted by E-mail, they should be sent as attached files with a description in the body of the message as to what word processing package has been used to create them.

The printed copy of the paper will be used for review and to ensure correct layout. A copy should also be sent to your panel chair IF YOU KNOW WHO THIS WILL BE.

Insert page numbers on the electronic version in the footer of each page beginning with page number 1, centered, in 12 point regular type (not bold).

Insert headers on the top of each page, centered in 12 point bold type using a shortened version of your paper title. Headers should not exceed one line.

Disks can be either IBM or Macintosh format; the files should be saved in a recognised word-processing program. Artwork and tables should be pasted into the document. Do NOT float the graphics over text. Send a paper copy of all artwork and tables with the paper so that layout can be checked.

The length of the paper should not exceed 20 pages, including title/summary page and references. Do not start a new page after the title and abstract. Pages must be single-spaced. Type on one side only.

Template File
If you would prefer to start your paper using a Word template file, please email for a copy of the file. USE THE TEMPLATE for correct layout and styles.

In the template file you will find the following styles. Send any questions about the template or individual styles by email to the address above. AN EXAMPLE PAPER FOR STYLE WILL BE PLACED ON THE WEBSITE SHORTLY.

Style name Description
Papertitle title of the paper
Author name of author
Address address of author, may run to several lines
Heading 1 first level headings, including abstract and reference headings
Heading 2 second level heading
Heading 3 third level heading
Bodytext regular paragraphs
Bulletindent bulleted lists of paragraphs
Figuretitle placed under a figure
Tabletitle placed before the table
Reference reference entry, hanging indent

Please enter a short running title in the header at the top of each page, except the first.


Two lines below the title and affiliation, type the heading "ABSTRACT" and then after one line space, start a brief abstract as the first paragraph of the paper. You may use your program abstract or a suitable alternative.

At the end of the summary, skip a line and then type "Keywords:" (underlined and followed by a colon) followed by up to five (5) words that describe the focus and contribution of the paper. The summary should follow the title, author's name, and mailing address on the first page. Skip two lines and then begin the body of the paper (after an Introduction heading, if needed) immediately after the summary. Do not begin a new page.

Figure captions should be typed directly below the figure, in bold 12 point type, upper and lower (title) case and centered.

Table captions should be flush left above the table. Tables should be included in the manuscript proper and referred to in the text as "Table X. Description of Table."


When numbering equations, enclose numbers in brackets [ ] and place them flush with the right-hand margin. Refer to them in the text as "Equation [x]".


List bibliographic references at the end of the paper under the major heading "References". List authors alphabetically by the first letter of the first author's last name. References should be identified in the text of the paper by typing the corresponding name and year in parenthesis. If a page number is included, it should be set as (author, year, page number). DO NOT NUMBER REFERENCES, they must be alphabetical and unnumbered.

There should be no extra line spaces between references.

Book titles and names of journals should be printed in italics, not underlined. The format for the reference section should be as follows:
Author, A. (1991). Title of Book., XYZ Press, Place of Publication.
Author, B., and Author, A. (1995). Title of Paper, Journal., 3(1):1-20.
Author, C., Author, A., Author, B. and Jones, G. (1996). Title of Paper, in Title of Book, (E. Editor, ed.), XYZ Press, Place of Publication.

For multiple publications in the same year by the same author:
Bauthor, B., and Aauthor, A. (1995a). Title of PaperA, Journal. 3(1):1-20.
Bauthor, B., and Aauthor, A. (1995b). Title of PaperB, Journal. 16(4):25-50.


Paper submissions that do not use the template and conform to these guidelines WILL be returned to the author(s) for correction.