Madison 2008 Retrospective

The 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences was held at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, July 13 to 18, 2008.  The main page for the conference is at http://isss.org/world/en/madison-2008 .

The final conference program appears at http://isss.org/world/en/madison-2008-conference-program-and-schedule .

Note:  These digests and audio recordings do not reflect the complete conference program.  They are voluntary contributions by an attendee active in the Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry.

Plenaries, Monday, July 14

Time Speaker Slides / Digest Audio
2008/07/14 09:00 Gary Metcalf, "The Science and the Perspectives of Systems" [text digest]
[slides as PPS] (27 MB)
[slides as PDF]
(6.6 MB)
[MP3 audio]
(18 minutes, 17 MB)
2008/07/14 09:20 Bobby Milstein, "Crafting a Health System that Protects Us All:  Syndemics, Simulation Scenarios and Social Change" [text digest]
[slides as PPS] (10.9 MB)
[slides as PDF]
(4.4 MB)
[MP3 audio]
(57 minutes, 54 MB)
2008/07/14 10:45 David C. Schwartz, "The New Biology" [text digest]
[slides as PDF]x
[MP3 audio]
(40 minutes, 38 MB)
2008/07/14 11:30 Manfred Drack, "Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s Early System Approach" [text digest]
[slides as PDF]
(2.5 MB)
[MP3 audio]
(48 minutes, 45 MB)

 

Plenaries, Tuesday, July 15

Time Speaker Slides / Digest Audio
2008/07/15 09:10 Steve Carpenter, "Scenario Thinking to Solve Complex Environmental Problems" [text digest]
[slides as PPS] (7.7 MB)
[slides as PDF]
(2.4 MB)
[MP3 audio]
(40 minutes, 37 MB)
2008/07/15 09:50 Jon Foley, "Sustainability and Global Environment: Living on a Shrinking Planet:  Challenges and Opportunities for a Sustainable Future" [text digest] [MP3 audio]
(47 minutes, 44 MB)
2008/07/15 09:50 David Waltner-Toews, The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty and Managing for Sustainability" [text digest] [MP3 audio]
(46 minutes, 43 MB)

 

Plenaries, Thursday, July 17

Time Speaker Slides / Digest Audio
2008/07/17 09:05 David Hawk, "The Business Educators Dilemma: Teaching Analytics to those who Strive to Manage Systems" [text digest] [MP3 audio]
(42 minutes, 40 MB)
2008/07/17 09:50 Bill Rouse, "Modeling & Managing Complex Systems: A Case Study of Healthcare Delivery" [text digest]
[slides as PPS] (2.3 MB)
[slides as PDF]
(557 KB)
[MP3 audio]
(71 minutes, 67 MB)
2008/07/17 11:20 Doug McDavid, "Sociable Technologies for Enterprising Sociality"
[Second Life Location-Based Link]
[text digest]
[slides as PPS] (20.8 MB)
[slides as PDF
(2.6 MB)
[MP3 audio]
(57 minutes, 54 MB)

 

Plenaries, Friday, July 18

Time Speaker Slides / Digest Audio
2008/07/18 09:05 Devin Wixon, "Using Systems to Clean Up Messes:  Complexity, Global Client Change and Soil Carbon Cycling" [text digest]
[slides as PDF] 217 KB
[MP3 audio]
(18 minutes, 17 MB)
2008/07/18 09:25 Jennifer Wilby, "Complexity and Public Health Policy" [text digest]
[slides as PDF] 276 KB
[MP3 audio]
(28 minutes, 25 MB)
2008/07/18 09:50 Tim Allen, "Hierarchies Over Time:  Hierarchy Theory in Relation to Ecological Economic Theory of Return on Effort" [text digest]
[slides as PDF] 1.8 MB
[MP3 audio]
(50 minutes, 45 MB)
2008/07/18 11:05 Jim Gustafson, "Vertical and Horizontal Scaling Strategies to Avoid Destruction in the Modern Contest: Riding Out the Perturbations of its Largest Scale, of the Seizing of High Gain/Cheap Energy and the Expensive Refining of Low Gain Energy, As Argued by Tim Allen and Colleagues" [text digest]
[slides as PDF] 29 KB
[MP3 audio]
(54 minutes, 49 MB)
2008/07/18 12:00 Speakers from UW Madison, Botany Department: Tim Allen's Sandpit:  Megan Pease, Peter Allen, Devin Wixon (1057), Steve Thomforde (1074) [text digest]
[Sandpit slides as PDF] 266 KB  
[Pease slides as PDF] 130 KB 
[Allen slides as PDF] 1.6 MB 
[Wixon slides as PDF] 121 KB
[Thomforde slides as PDF] 8.5 MB
[MP3 audio]
(32 minutes, 30 MB)
2008/07/18 12:30 Ockie Bosch, "ISSS 2009, Making Liveable, Sustainable Systems Unremarkable" [text digest] [MP3 audio]
(25 minutes, 23 MB)

 

Parallel Streams

Time Speaker Slides / Digest Audio
2008/07/14 13:30 Special Integration Group on Hierarchy Theory:  
Duncan Shaw; David Ing; Sue Gabriele
[Shaw slides as PDF] (65 KB)
[Ing slides as PDF] (1 MB)
[Gabriele slides as PDF] (217 KB)
[MP3 audio]
(88 minutes, 82 MB)
2008/07/14 15:30 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry:  Panel conversation on globalization and localization [...] [MP3 audio]
(88 minutes, 83 MB)
2008/07/16 09::00 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry, Special Session on Dialogue:  
Gary Metcalf; David Ing
[see session description and links to papers at systemicbusiness.org]
[Ing slides as PDF] [MP3 audio]
(82 minutes, 77 MB)
2008/07/16 11::00 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry:
Doug McDavid (filling in a gap for Marianne Kosits, who cancelled last minute);  Kambiz Maani; Junyu Minegishi
[see session description and links to papers at systemicbusiness.org]
[text digest] [MP3 audio]
(90 minutes, 85 MB)
2008/07/17 13:30 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry:  
John Pourdehnad; Takafumi Nakamura; Shankar Sankaran
[see session description and links to papers at systemicbusiness.org]
[text digest] [MP3 audio]
(81 minutes, 76 MB)
2008/07/17 15:30 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry:  
Allenna Leonard, Jerome Galbrun
[see session description and links to papers at systemicbusiness.org]
[text digest] [MP3 audio]
(89 minutes, 65 MB)

2008/07/14 09:00 Gary Metcalf, "The Science and the Perspectives of Systems", ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Gary Metcalf, President

20080714_0900_ISSS_Metcalf.jpg


Program

The Science and the Perspectives of Systems

What makes a difference?

  • The way that we see things
  • When I look the night sky, I don't see what others see
  • At one point of time, the way we see was given more accuracy
  • New way of seeing

Sciences, ways of understanding, of ways to show us the way things are:  three ways

1. Traditional science, mechanics of the universe, so the view became mechanical

  • Extracted, and incorporated it into all sorts of way
  • e.g. EPA revaluing how we value life, which impacts policy makers through cost-offset ratios
  • Taking a traditional view, gives us a closed and succinct view, and a world that we can control
  • Problem: sense of control seems to get lost

2. Evolution, as compared to traditional science

  • This throw us back into nature
  • We are a part of it, and it is a part of us
  • Baboon, Ishmael
  • Difficulty:  we're not going to take outselves back to a world before agricultural
  • We can't support how we are today, and undo how we are in the world
  • Difficulty:  decisions at the highest levels are increments
  • G8 discussions on reducing impact:  economic impacts
  • Problem:  targeting 60% reduction in our emissions in 2100; but what will the world be like in 2050
  • Systems thinking people brought this up years ago:  Jay Forrester
  • Club of Rome was written again in Wall Street Journal, this year

Have had people meeting together to think about what's next

  • Macy Conferences, 1950s
  • Expanded view of the next science
  • Had a view of information coming out, in a way that we didn't understand before

Convergences:  Nicolas Rashevsky did an analysis of everything from cell to macro society

  • Didn't do this just for the math
  • It was the way for him to see what was in the world
  • Each viewpoint changes the way we see what we see
  • Difficulty:  how do we describe what we don't understand

Most recently, how information has impacted:  Wired Magazine, Chris Anderson, "The End of Science"

  • Hypothesis - test is dated
  • Use computers
  • Assumption:  we haven't decided what it is to study
  • Limited, headed this direction in many ways
  • This is another new paradigm of understanding ourselves and the world

Where does this bring us?

  • The people who founded this society had a different view
  • They offered us a perspective, but not absolute
  • They offered a way to think about things differently

Von Bertalanffy:  a clear understanding of moving to the next level, but not settled, not the next phase of what was

  • The reason the paradigm makes a difference is that it gives us a new way to see the world, to seek information, in a different way
  • Systems thinkers do this better
  • We can step out of the way of thinking

 

2008/07/14 09:20 Bobby Milstein, "Crafting a Health System that Protects Us All"

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Gary Metcalf

Bobby Milstein

  • Center for Disease Control, Syndemics
  • Cultural anthropology, science, systems science


Something that matters to all of us:  who lives, who dies, how much money we spend on things

A systems approach to public health science:  if not systems, would be mechanistics

5 questions:

1. What's changing in the world? 

  • Retrospective. 
  • CDC does telephone surveys, of the last 30 days, how healthy have you felt?
  • Over 15 years, it's been down
  • Have lost about a working day per month over the last 15 years
  • This generates passion and anger

2. Presses towards questions:  why?

  • Epidemiology
  • Systems approach can't stop here

3.  Where will this head in the future?

  • Scenarios, could be tomorrow, or transformation changes
  • Want to narrow the envelope of possible futures

4.  How do we get on trajectory?

5.  Who do we need to get onto a trajectory?

  • Opportunity for actors to make a difference

U.S. is in an election year

  • Seeing a consensus that the health system needs to change

Have seen this before

3 approaches

  • Piecemeal approach
  • Complicated schemes that were opposed by special interests
  • Assumptions that healthcare dynamics are separate from other areas of public concern

Policy resistance comes from a narrow view

  • Thus, use a boundary critique
  • The health system is not the health system perceived
  • e.g. lack of health protection causes need for health care
  • e.g. lack of health equity
  • Challenge to align conceptual orientation with a method:  it's not right or wrong, it's a conceptual way of thinking
  • Grounded in studies of innovation, and epidemics
  • Innovators borrow from other fields of practice, redefine vocabulary and language

Syndemic: one health problem predisposes you or makes it easier of you to get another health problem.

  • Health is only one part of life
  • We can have some influence over own health, then how well can we organize upstream?
  • Health states <--> living conditions
  • Impacts health policy, and social policy

Epidemic

  • 19th century people didn't change nature of men, they adjusted the relationships with men
  • Specialization gives benefits, but leads to fragmentation

Syndemic

  • Not just entities, but how things link in the world

Procedures to formalize ways of seeing the world

  • Mostly time series models and multivariates, to get variables
  • Haven't done so much on structural views that would show all new trends, use in a what-if mode

CDC

  • Not just diseases, but patterns
  • Communicate with the field

CDC got ASysT award, this year as first

Want to understand how leaders in health service transformation

  • Need to learn in a simpler system, first:  simulation
  • Then, it is too audacious to represent the whole U.S. health system:  yes, it would be like being in the middle of a hurricane, trying to understand what is going on
  • Approach:  narrow to a few discrete policies
  • Start with insurance, but then get beyond that focus on cost on health care delivery

10 policies:

  • Insurance
  • Qualty of care
  • Reimbusement rates
  • Administrative structure
  • Ability of people to quick smoking or exercise
  • Exposure 
  • Subgroups of individuals more advantaged or disadvantaged
  • Building public leadership, so that issues can be tackled effectively

Rendered this as a game:  the Health Protection Game

  • Proritize the 10 policies
  • Scoring system:  
    • save lives
    • improve well being
    • achieve equity
    • lower healthcare spending
    • expenses
  • User's challenge to move it to a better state
  • It's a structured list of health policies

Last week, news on whether we should suppress doctor's reimbursements

  • What does this do in simulation?
  • Cutting reimbursements could increase death rate rather quickly, as cutting reimbursement reduces quality, so people will go to ER
  • More unhealthy days
  • Inequity has improved, and then rebounds later
  • It suppresses costs for 1.5 years, and then worsening health patterns increases overall costs
  • Can then drill down to see why

Looking at universal coverage policies:

  • They improve health
  • In no cases does this result in saving money
  • Almost always erode inequities

Upstream health protection is favourable, but takes 10 to 15 years

Have prototype, developing this

  • Can see what we're getting the results
  • Challenge to position this as a tool for leadership, not create another report presciption that will go on the shelf
  • Polynesian idea of wayfinding
  • They want a plausible pathway

Learning how to transform health systems, not just afflictions or adverse living conditions, but also some efforts to build power where all citizens have a role

  • Changes from a conversation on quality of outcomes to one focused on equality of opportunities, as equality of agency

Difference between syndemic and epidemic view

  • Boundary critique
  • Causal mapping for governing dynamics
  • Dynamic modeling to get plausible futures
  • Democratic public work to get navigation freedoms

More information at http://www.cdc.gov/syndemics

Questions?

Longer living.  Increasing human biomass?

  • Have not linked to environmental sustainability
  • This deserves more connection
  • We lack the leadership to connect them together
  • Would be delighted to see these types of studies
  • Forrester, World Dynamics, had increasing population
  • In health field, the successes in the past suppress infectious diseases
  • More people living longer with needs for higher health
  • In this country, health care costs can lead to bankrupcy

Israel, public health discourage people, people dying sooner

  • Providing more insurance coverage, versus engaging cost of health
  • Guidelines are currently 50% of recommended to maintain health

Feedback: dynamics between sexes, could reduce population, then would impact education.  Complexities around accountabilities, achieving goal within a subsystem, impacting whole

  • Millenium Impact Assessments have gender equity and other factors
  • Challenge finding people who can think planetary, and then do something within their own organizations
  • Political science that systems scientists may not have harnessed enough

In New Zealand 2007, "Wellbeing and its time to come", our common future, getting people involved in the policy.  Simulation approach dovetails with Australia evidence-based policy, were modeling is based on individuals, enhancing democracy

  • Pitfall of professionalism:  someone better education is better trained
  • Some people think need a Ph.D. just to be confused
  • Need to open up the boundary
  • Other conditions, e.g. transportation, environment
  • Getting a non-partisan view

American living in Canada, part of a survey that asked what provided for good health.  Health care available was the fourth criteria:  Income, lifestyle and occupation higher.  How is it possible, given system dynamics model, looking at income disparities, lifestyle choices, and risks that people take?  Studies of EPA, and how much climate change, spending on making roads safer, bigger picture

  • U.S. PBS aired 4 parts in 7 hours on unnatural causes:  is inequality making us sick?
  • Doctor like taking your car into a garage
  • Pivoting from widespread confusion about are they important to both/and

Allopathic care, disease prevention.  Medicine is focused on the organism down.  Traditional medicine looks at health, well-being and happiness, organism in context.  Commensurability of alternative medicines

  • Health protection into system, 4 states
    • 1. Safer, healthier people
    • 2. Vulnerable people
    • 3. Afflicted people without complications
    • 4. Afflicted people with complications
  • For #4: have a health response, then secondary and teritiary prevention
  • For #3: primary prvention
  • For #2 and #1, targeted protection
  • Or between #1 and #2, general protection through reducing adverse living conditions
  • Can work on all, different metrics

Impact on decision makers, very accepted in CDC higher management and legislative changes, accept this?  Fifth generation of the systems movement, government and engineering, system of systems, where NSF has decided not to fund SoS?  Connected to Peter Corning or Haken's book?

  • Corning's work was a big influence, but haven't yet had to chance to get to depth on situational.
  • Systems of systems, have a superficial understanding, sympathetic, need a broader view, triage win
  • Acceptance in heterogeneous organizations, early adopters, think we're making great progress
  • Monograph on web site, required reading for all health care professionals, getting endorsement on the foreword was more difficult than writing the whole paper
  • Tipping point in interest in other organizations

 

2008/07/14 10:45 David C. Schwartz, "The New Biology", ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Gary Metcalf

David Schwartz

  • Professor of Chemistry and Genetics
  • Gary went to TED conference, and heard Craig Ventor mention David Schwartz, some history that they worked on
  • Research on development of new genomic models:  nano and micro fluiditics, bioinformatics ...

20080714_1045_ISSS_Schwartz.jpg


Want to enable universal human genome analytics

Problem #1:  Maybes

  • Information technology, simulations, analytical tools, can generate thousands of maybes per day
  • Findings in cyberspace that need experiments to become stories that become real scientific findings

Example:  a spreadsheet with thousands of entries

  • Out of thousands, some genes may be associated with cancer
  • Pick a few findings, working a lab is really slow

Second problem:  biological space

  • 1/3 computer science, math and statistics
  • 1/3 chemistry, physics and engineering
  • Balance is biology and genetics
  • At Wisconsin, training the "new biologist"
  • Train them to move around the disciplines
  • Teach them to embrace team work
  • Use sophisticated instrumentation to plumb biological complexity

The new systems

  • To a few years ago, could write a Ph.D. thesis on one gene
  • Over the last few years, need to think about many different genes, think of whole genomes, e.g. 6 feet of DNA for humans
    • Instead of dealing with one gene, work with many genome
    • When multiple genomes, then can deal with whole populations
    • Rapidly getting ability to sequence everyone
  • Many cells:  cell biologist, measure many cells, sensitivity is important, so need lots of cells
    • Have been doing a bulk sample, now can do on individual cells
    • To get statistical significance, have to take many measurements
  • Lots as individual molecules
    • e.g. PSA test, want sensitivity
    • Now, ability of ultimate sensitivity, at the single molecule level
  • Single amino acid, from mass spectrometry:  measure weight to down to an hydrogen atom
    • Weigh and then weigh again, could lose an eyelash, flake of dandruff

Still have too many measures

Old approach:  tubes of DNA

  • DNA samples, go into a test tube with a robot
  • Suppose a million samples, then need a huge room just to house the samples
  • Brute force approach

New approach:  Take single DNA molecules

  • Trivial to do sophisticated measurements on each DNA molecule

Modes of inquiry

  • Have been able to do discovery science as large scale screens, based on chance
  • Also hypothesis-driven theories, based on mind
  • Combine discovery and hypothesis, so chance favours the prepared mind

New biology:  single cell, single molecule systems, high multidimensional databases

Biological impedance matching

  • Given advances in IT, the amount of maybes has increased, while the number of stories are about the same
  • Are massive candidates possible? No

The loop:  hypothesis generation by an individual or small group, produce candidates

  • For each candidate, do an experiment
  • Get results, which rarely have expected results, so leads to more experiments, leading to exponential
  • This is not sufficient, now

Article from Wired magazine, The End of Science

  • Don't think it will capture everything
  • Biology will remain an experimental science
  • Can imagine infinite complexity

Look at physicists

  • There are theoreticians, and then those who do the experiments (e.g. CERN)

Large data sets, e.g. CERN can detect 800 million proton-proton collisions a second, as much as entire European telecom network, can pick up one collision

Biology doesn't work at such high energies

Generating large datasets involves automation, multiplexing and parallelization

  • This is a hard problem
  • Need to be able to rapidly put together complex, multidimensional experiments

Have engineer envy:  love their tools, CAD/CAM

  • e.g. creating a plastic money clip
    • After engineer finishes design, then manufacturing, a solid printer on a layer of polymer
    • At end, get a set of money clips
    • Gives detailed iteration, could test as an object
    • Fast from cyberspace into physical space
    • Why can't we do this in biology?

Would like biological CAD/CAM

  • From database, create simulations
  • Have visualizations, to create an experimental assembler
  • The components of cells, peptides, nucleic acids
  • Compare results against hypotheses, continue until satisfied

Gutenberg's time, 1400s, invention of movable type

  • One page, carved out one plate
  • This is how we do experiments today
  • Gutenberg came up with the idea of moveable type, can change, and don't have to throw away

Movie:  water droplets

  • Green experimental protein, red experimental protein, could view each
  • Bring these together in juxtaposition, look at interactions

Approach the ability, in biological experimentation, to do movable type

What's missing:  operating system

  • What do do with the measurements
  • The new biologists have to handle this

Questions

Component-based programming and interfaces.  Movable type simple, in biology want interactions.  Interesting, but a long ways away.

  • Mindful of pitfalls
  • When we put systems together, if we don't get answers, we don't get funding
  • There are some emerging companies, e.g. microdroplet is getting commercial, think may become universal
  • Other ways to represent experimental motifs
  • Can represent gene sequences on optical fibres
  • IBM to hack circuit boards, could be used

Epigenetics, autogenetics?

  • Epigenetics is the great frontier
  • Environment and parts that aren't genetic
  • Biological field is in infancy
  • DNA bases, ACTG as describing a blueprint isn't correct
  • Little notations on DNA molecule, DNA manipulation
  • Up to 2 months ago, didn't have proper means to see where the manipulation takes place

Molecular biology are filled with proteins affecting cellular process.  New causation?  Network causation, how do we review these papers?

  • Everything is in turmoil, similar to change in 19th/20th century from regular mechanics to quantum mechanics
  • Think it's real, doesn't fit in frameworks
  • Systems biology, pharmaceuticals have been doing this from 20th century
  • Problem, too much interpretation and too few measurements, trying to fit into old paradigms

Network theory has involved system biology, but there's other systems processes that other scientists aren't taking advantages.

  • Directly contact investigators and make suggestions
  • Then how to write a grant review

New experiments.  Hierarchies and modularies.  Conceive of experiments as hierarchical as modularity.

  • Thinking in terms of experimental motifs

2008/07/14 11:30 Manfred Drack, "Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s Early System Approach", ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Gary Metcalf

Manfred Drack for the von Bertalanffy Lecture

  • Not only interested in von Bertalanffy archives, read them original German, digging
  • Biomemetics
  • Centre for Appropriate Technologies
  • Systems theory at Department of Theoretical Biology
  • Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Sciences:

von Bertalanffy was clear about his thoughts, and what he was bringing forward

von Bertalanffy, born in Vienna 1901, died in Buffalo in 1972

Early influences

  • Philosophy:  Maurice Schlick, leader of Vienna Circle, and with Reininger supervised dissertation
    • Vaihinger
    • Ancient Greek philosopher
    • Cusanus, Leibniz, perspectivists
    • Goethe, morphologists
    • Nicolai Hartmann, stratified view of the world
  • Science
    • Paul Weiss
    • Wof van Kohler, gestalt psychology
    • Lotka, the grandfather of general systems theory

Bertalanffy's Ph.D. thesis: interested in the different levels in science, from the beginning

  • Biology, sociology, psychology, all levels are already there

At the beginning, devoted to biology, although trained in philosophy

Core problem: conflict between vitalism and mechanicism (substance essential for life, vs. organization as a machine).

Mechanicism, Pourvreau 2005, comes from 4 concepts

  • Analytico-summative approach, can investigate the parts of the whole, and come up with a summation
  • Physicalism:  sufficient to only use physical laws
  • Determinism:  the state at the moment is the function of the former state
  • Reactivism:  something is only reacting to stimulus from the outside

Conflict is essentially metaphysical, and can't be solved by science

  • Bertalanffy came up with an organic view
  • Core problem in life is order and organization in the organism
  • Key question in biology is to find out about order and organization, with wholeness as a primary attribute

Basic aim:  to liberate wholeness from its metaphysical connotations, and arrive a strong scientific theory

Systems:  it's not just the parts, the sum of the parts, but also the relations between the parts

  • This is hard to investigate in details
  • Should also look at laws, at another level
  • Can compare to statistical thermodynamics, don't care about single atoms

Different perspectives necessary

  • Physico-chemical
  • Organismic perspective (systems)
  • Teleology
  • History:  products of history

What in the whole denotes a causal equilibrium process appears for a part as a teleological process.

General organismic principles

  • Organism is an open system in a flux equilibrium
  • The striving of the organic whole for the maximum of formness, is an animate process
  • Primary activity, as compared to reactivist attitude, in biology the organism does things by itself

Basic concepts

  • Wholeness
  • Open system in flux equilibrium
  • Hierarchy and hierarchichisation
  • Primary activity
  • Conservation of integrity:  if you disturb the system, it will try to go back

Bertalanffy doesn't define system until 1945, in the first article written in German

  • A system is a complex of elements in interaction
  • Then tries to derive system laws in the living
  • Apply in morphology, physiology, biocoenosis, evolutionary theory, genetics

Focused on morphology and physiology

  • Were separate fields in biology at the time, but had to be combined
  • Thought growth would be the problem that combined those theories
  • Combining the dynamic morphology, developmental biology and physiology with laws

Math modeling:  growth is related to mass, assimilation and dissimilation

  • Change in math over time
  • Purely deductive

Biocoenosis and ecosystems

  • Flux and steady state, not the same as in organism, but the scheme is kind of the same
  • Not an individual, but how different species come in and do things

Homology:

  • Not the material from which the organ originates, but then the organizing relationships come through from the material and is imprinted
  • It's not important what the material is, but where it is positioned in the organism

Cell theory

  • Aggregate of building blocks
  • Multicellular organism is not same as the single cell:  higher level
  • Physiologically, life is not the sum of single cells, but organized in a different way

Darwinian selection

  • Summation of a single modification of similar traits
  • It's reactivist to environmental conditions

In evolutionary theory, Rupert Riedl was a student of Bertalanffy's, and Manfred's supervisor

  • Interconnectiveness of genes, hierarchy in the genome
  • See the feedback between the genotype and phenotype to make sure that the organism can adapt quickly enough

Riedl expanded system approach from atoms to cosmos

  • Levels aren't build on top of each other
  • Exposed selection forces on levels above
  • Book isn't translated to English
  • Introduced Aristotle's four causes

Bertalanffy also tried to used the systems approach to genetics

  • The whole organism emerges out of the whole genome
  • So not a single gene for red eyes

Ethology:  Paul Weiss, experimental biologist in Vienna

  • Ph.D. thesis, the resting position of butteflies
  • How do butterflies respond to light and gravity when resting?
  • Organisms aren't predictable out of parameters
  • Said that it's important to come from a systems approach

Weiss came out with field laws, and was referenced by Bertalanffy

Weiss's system definition:  interested in how a system establishes its state and influence from outside

Have similar concepts between Weiss and Bertalanffy

  • Wholeness
  • Hierarchical view of biology
  • Dynamic understand
  • Primary activity of the organism
  • Conservation of the integrity of the system
  • Biology as an autonomous discipline
  • Laws separate from physics, at a higher over
  • Both tried to generalize systems approaches

Weiss was also an early member of the Club of Rome

Systems in Ethology:  Konrad Lorenz, new Berlanffy in teaching times

Lutz was nickname of Bertalanffy

Epistemology:

  • Organismic biology as a scientific program
  • Not talking about ontology, just trying to get an epistemology that can deal with the problems of life
  • This incorporates an perspectivist approach over realism
  • Can approach objectivity, not fundamentally opposed to constructivism:  can arrive at the same constants

Toward a general systemology

Conclusion

  • Extends system view to several levels of biology
  • Training as philosopher meant profound, not just philosophy but also science
  • Different dimensions of the systems approach, integrates:  many misunderstandings as people talk in many dimensions (e.g. science, epistemology, ontology, world picture)

Mostly in epistemology, Bertalanffy didn't talk about the thing itself

[Questions]

Have seen people going in divergent directions, see common root in Bertalanffy.  Interested in GST, looking for ontology.  GST book starts 20 pages of redefining with GST is:  went quantitative, people put down as deterministic, controlling persons, and Bertalanffy prefers qualititive.  Look for ontology that could apply in all fields.

  • Descriptive model is better than no model at all, which incorporates qualitative
  • He was keen, though, to also create quantitative models

Darwin.  Production of novel wholes?  Why isn't the system recognized as an evolutionary principle?

  • I don't know
  • Bertalanffy tried to incorporate the historical dimension in his work, but couldn't
  • It's hard to take history of evolution into account, which you must
  • It's tricky problem
  • Selection in evolution is part of system, but there must be other things, because accident isn't enough for whole to emerge

Importance of biological knowledge to people to learn systemics

  • I don't think so
  • It's important to explain things in biology as well, but don't need to know each and everything about biology
  • It's helpful, though

2008/07/15 09:10 Steve Carpenter, "Scenario Thinking to Solve Complex Environmental Problems", ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Gary Metcalf

Today, moving up to ecological systems, the earth

Steve Carpenter, research into inland water

  • Chair of a section of the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment

20080715_0900_ISSS_Carpenter.jpg


Scenarios works

Maybe not the only way, but an example of the way it works

Topics:

  • Uncertainties
  • Scenarios
  • Summary, gaps, needs

Recognized uncertainties, imaginable outcomes, unasked questions

Even when we know what questions to ask, or forecasts are wrong

  • Evaluation of world-ending disasters

Some computable, e.g. super volcanoes

  • Some completely non-computable:  no experience with robots taking over the earth
  • Global warming physically computable, but social changes aren't

Computing probability of extreme events, surprisingly large

  • Gaussian:  if you know everything, it's pretty well
  • Tails thin, probabilities drop like a rock
  • If you don't know everything, then you have to use Student-T, which has fatter tails
  • If you've only seen one event in history, the distribution is almost flat
  • Probabilities are high when low degrees of freedom

Often, we don't know what questions to ask, we've failed to perceive what we know

  • e.g. dust bowl of great plains, 1930
  • Farmed in a model that worked in east
  • Thousands of farmers used wrong methods
  • Risk not computed, because questions not asked

All possible futures

  • Have models and observations
  • Helps in recognized uncertainties
  • But then there's so many unasked questions
  • We can try to colonize the space of unasked quesitons with imaginable outcomes
  • This is the task taken on by scenario thinking:  increasing the space of imaginable outcomes

Scenarios and process

Scenarios begin from available perspectives in the world:

  • Heterogeneous:  Some may be more competent, some may be louder
  • Need to sample and integrate them
  • Each perspective brings a small part
  • Averages may bring a blurry picture, a serious limitation to go forward
  • Better to struggle for a more precise view
  • Integrated view may be strange, but it's worth it to get there

To obtain scenarios, sample perspectives, cluster the perspectives and condense to a few scenarios

  • Scenarios have to be 2 to 5, and have to be even, so politicians won't try to just take the middle one

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

  • 95 experts, 25 countries
  • Met on every continent
  • Figure out the future of life support in 2050
  • Traced out 4 stories from 2000 through to 2050

Quick summary:  Cork, Ptereset, et al. 2008

Poor / rich, and rural / urban

1. Global Orchestration: globalized

2. Order from strength: globalization fails

3. Adapting mosaic: heterogenous development path, rich and poor more intermingled, experiments, failures and successes, and people learned

4. Technogarden: globalized, centralized, massive investment

Combined information from qualitative assessment, quantitative data

  • Ran out of time, harmonization was less than perfect

How to use scenarios?

Example:  the U.S. need to spend $1.6 trillion to replace failing infrastructure

  • Could just rebuild the same stuff, same way
  • Or, could upgrade infrastructure and bring up to current standards, modern
  • We could completely rethink infrastructure for a changing world, e.g. challenges of epidemics that the transportation system needs to deal with, and then re-engineering around challenges
  • Scenarios gives framework, consistent logic and models to evaluate responses
  • Decisions robust across scenarios are the best choices

Summary

  • Playful thinking is serious business, means protected space
  • Need positive stories, better than negative visions
  • Need blunt warnings of dangerous paths
  • Need shadow networks to link groups outside of global politics, a source of resilience
  • Collective thinking by diverse cross sections of people is powerful

Gaps:

  • Few people trained for collaborative thinking:  lots of great people but finding and bringing them in is hard, could modify university training to make people more facile
  • Need institutions to look at forward-looking processes, need find to ways to get around the blockages
  • Have examples of structured processes to bring together multiple process, science and art
  • Need information for scenarios:  e.g. state of environmental monitoring, spotty, and getting worse in many places in the world
  • Need tools for networking, mapping, telecommunications

Needs:

  • Education:  good at educating experts, but need to combine expertise with skills to collaborate with others, and skilled public
  • Shadow networks, free of internal governance
  • Need ongoing assessments of planetary life support, have IPCC (focused on climate) that we could build on, but needs to be ongoing

Each of us should think about planning for the future

Questions

Who's in the room, structured dialogue?  Generalists, subject experts?

  • Depends on scope
  • If regional, analyze the system first, and get political actors, economic actor, get a feel
  • For global scenarios, not really going to get 6.3 billion people together
  • Have seen global scenarios, a lot done already
  • Then did a telephone survey of leaders, heads of states of countries, presidents of environmental NGOs, all househouse names
  • Asked about resilience of the world, hopes and fears
  • Expertise: regional teams, try to bring in 6 or 8 people from demography, economic, ecology, range of ages, range of countries
  • Resiliance Alliance has brought in a lot of people
  • In addition to experts, there are team / fun people
  • In Millenium Assessment, had to represent world the best we could, much harder to run, less control over personalities

Gaps and needs, training collaborative skills.  Root process methodologies that you like?

  • Approach to pick people that I think are good at it, then learn by doing
  • It's been pretty much seat of the pants
  • Online workbook, resilience workbook, and we use that to train young people to participate
  • Mostly, we just jump in and do it
  • I run a course in scenario thinking with practical parts, and find that students are great at this
  • There must be formal ways of doing this teaching that I don't know about

Structured processes, science and art.  Projective scenarios and backcasting scenarios.  Probabilistic and possibilistic normative.

  • There's a large literature on forecasting, backcasting, normative and non-normative.
  • Approach that I've taken is to focus on peoples' views of resilence, hopes and fears, and find possible pathways to the future
  • Not setting normative to the future
  • After the scenarios have been set, that NGOs often taken them to develop normative goals
  • In projecting environmental futures, have low confidence in available models extrapolating from the past to the future
  • The parameters are out of historical ranges
  • Also, uncertainty estimates are wildly overstated:  tails are compressed far more than they should be
  • Those models are likely to be wrong, although that doesn't say they're useless, because they have good principles, e.g. conservation of mass -- is there enough phosphorous on the earth to do that?
  • Forecasting is weak, and don't do backcasting

What kind of systemic tools are you using?  Systems dynamics?  Dynamics for social networks?

  • Different experts from teams bring their own systems views
  • Typical systems dynamics types of models

 

2008/07/15 09:50 Jon Foley, "Sustainability and Global Environment: Living on a Shrinking Planet: Challenges and Opportunities"

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Gary Metcalf, introduction

Steve Carpenter, research into inland water

  • Center for Sustainability and Global Environment
  • Computer models, satellite
  • Large scale ecosystem, patterns of land use

20080715_0950_ISSS_Foley.jpg


Systems that can make a difference

  • What can we learn from systems thinking?

Shrinking planet

  • We're getting bigger
  • We've now mapped every corner of the world, and we're using all of it

Not only a growing population, but a growing force:  technological

Combination of population growth, where between 1950 and 2000 population had double

  • Goods and servies have grown seven-fold
  • Pressure on natural resources:  food, water, agriculture
  • Food consumption tripled
  • Energy use, fossil fuel as increased four-fold

How do we use land?

  • Land deforested, will become cattle grazing
  • Pressure on rainforest isn't beef, it's soybeans
  • Mad cow mean vegetable proteins, although a lot to feed beef
  • Amazon looks more like Iowa
  • Connections growing

Urban

  • Fastest growing city is Las Vegas
  • Green is irrigated lawns, growing rapidly
  • Not only issue of land use, but water use

Most land is for agriculture

  • Use 3 million km2 in cities, c.f. 18 million km2 in cropland (the size of south America), and 30 million km2 of pastures
  • This is 40% of all of the land on the earth
  • Greatest change in biosphere, more than climate change

Water use

  • Photo out of plane:  fields of iceberg lettuce growing in the desert
  • Using water in places that don't have excess water

Colorado River flow regime, doesn't even flow into ocean any more

Poster child of problem:  Aral Sea

  • Once one of largest inland sees in the world
  • 1950s and 1960s, Russians diverted water, as feeds from snow melt into sea
  • Today, have lost about 70% of the land, and more in volume
  • Indigenous fish are now extinct
  • Channels carved into dessert to try to keep ships from the shorelind

About 50% of the water on the earth's surface is being used

  • Not just quantity of water, it's quality

Use of atmosphere

  • Troposhere is 10km wide, 6 miles, less than the New York subway
  • Combustion of fuels, are changing the composition of the atmosphere

It's a serious issue

  • Muir Glacier in Alaska becoming Muir Lake
  • Rock has become a deciduous forest

Traditional disciplinary science, have test tube problem, e.g. global warming is happening, and nothing more

  • But in other test tubes, have tropical deforestation, overdrafting water suppliers, pollution
  • All happening at the same time, and don't have scenarios
  • Interesting stuff is in the complex behaviours

Scale problem

  • Problems are massive
  • Planet changing, not Love Canal
  • Could have catastrophic results -- and I'm an optimist
  • Trillions of dollars

It's human problem:  dilemma

  • Impacts on human health
  • How does climate change affect human health?
  • Cartogram, stretching out the world, on the biggest polluters:  U.S., Europe, China
  • Earth is already 1 degree warmer
  • In may places of the world, when temperature goes up, deaths go up
  • Water-borne, food-borne, bug-borne
  • 1 degree temperature change causing deaths mostly in Africa and South Asia, lowest estimate is 150,000 extra deaths per year, equivalent to dropping a nuclear bomb on Madison every year

This is a world nobody wants

  • It impacts the people least able to respond:   the poor
  • Impacts on global economy and national security

We're running out of time

  • Lags:  chemistry is easy
  • Carbon dioxide stays there for 110 years
  • Then heat takes time to build up, 30 to 50 years
  • Today, we're catching up to pollution from 1948
  • If we started burning coal tomorrow, climate would warm for the next 30 to 50 years

Other lags

  • We can't stop on a dime
  • We have a narrow window to prevent catastrophic change, if climate thing is the only thing we're worried about, and there's more to worry about
  • We have the next decade or two to steer the ship

Long lag times, poor information on state of system, poential for overshoot and collapse

Optimist:  can find solutions

Solutions informed by systems thinking

How do we think about our stuff?  It's not population so much, but use of resources

  • Rich want to be richer, while population is slowing down

Coolest thing you own, but if you put it into a vault it's not help

  • It's about services
  • Efficient provision of services, e.g. water heaters, showers, flush toilets

In nature, vast opportunities

  • e.g. put phosphorous into the system, and it gets reused more often
  • There's no waste in ecosystems, just food for something else
  • It's a room temperature, with renewable energy
  • Lots of biomimicry opportunities

Hidden economy:

  • We externalize a lot in hidden books
  • Human rights, child slavery, economy needs to learn from us
  • Economics needs to change:  ecosystem goods and services
  • Pollinating bees, forests
  • Buying and selling commodities
  • Emerging carbon markets
  • Provision of water as a service

Emerging field of social networks

  • Cool way to enhance collaboration
  • Map of the Internet:  the whole 6 degrees of separation
  • Scale-free networks, huge connections
  • Emergent communication abilities
  • Wikis, myspace, facebook:  use it for something more than dating
  • Organic use of Google maps, Google earth, e.g. people tracking the flow of avian flu, faster than people at WHO could

Optimistic:  Lessons of systems dynamics would give us the opportunity to change the future

It's not just the science, need to develop morals

  • Will impact the future of humanities
  • We've inherited this moment in history:  a gift and a curse
  • Have to make a choice between who we are, and who we could be

Plea for help

  • Have learned a lot from system dynamics and systems thinking
  • Would like to get help from out networks

Questions

Live on a barrier island on Long Beach.  See people outside of academia, who have vested interests, have no contact or awareness of what's going on.  Go to a soccer match, look at the parking lot, more than 50% of vehicles is SUVs, a signal that people are disconnected, because politician respond to where people's heads are.  How do we get education, and people concerned.

  • Big question, how to mobilize people to do the right thing
  • Don't know how to do it
  • Don't think answer is going to come from Washington
  • Interested in cultural influentials, media
  • Capture our imagination
  • Have seen this in civil rights movement, with a few people sharing a vision
  • Leadership:  where will we find it?  Maybe more from this room than elected officials

You need us.  Depressing that you're an unusual person to say that.  Experience as systems thinker, gets marginized all of the time.  Kenneth Boulding review that he had lost interest in economics.  

  • Take it as a compliment if traditional academia says I don't understand what you do.
  • Out of the box, at the cutting edge.

Historical perspective.  In the 1950s, International Geophysical Year, that started a lot of investigations, created 50 data centers.  Since then, other geophysical programs, and global biological programs, none which have done anything similar.  Nothing near the funding.  Funding towards physical studies.  Physical studies, we had precise measures.  IGY inaugurated because of instrumentation.  What is the hope of shifting the paradigm?  We don't have the mindset to allow the world view.

  • We're eroding our capacity to observe our world
  • Troubled, losing infrastructure, and we need to expand it
  • We're measuring the wrong stuff:  flows rather than stocks, e.g. fish left in the sea, or oil production rather than oil left
  • Not even getting to human side, understanding cultural norms
  • Game-changing, we're not keeping track, concerned
  • But at the same time, we have better ways to communicate and collaborate

At Saybrook, trying to support these efforts.  As we're talking to leaders of public agencies (water boards, air control boards, toxic substance), finding that they're faced with a huge agenda of water change, but they don't know how to collaborate well.

Global effects, not tied down to any community or any particular problem.  We don't get involved with normal people, as not making sense to them.  Need to break this down, put it on the ground, and do thousands of workshops, so that they can tell the experts what to do.

  • Individuals will have a wisdom that experts don't

2008/07/15 11:00 David Waltner-Toews, The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty and Managing for Sustainability", ISSS

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

David Waltner-Toews, University of Guelph, Population Medicine

20080715_1100_ISSS_Waltner-Toews.jpg


Will be talking about a book that just came come out this month

Unfortunately, James Kay died

Group worked together on creating experiments, on learning how to deal with health issues and ecological issues

Diamond diagram:

  • Generating desirable and feasible futures
  • Ecological realities:  scientific side, constraints, types of soil, bacteria
  • What do want to see on this landscape?  Nature doesn't have preferences, we have preferences
  • Then loop of management and governance

Examples: many countries

Will talk about Nepalese example

Tapeworm in dogs, doesn't cause problems in dog

  • Comes out in poop
  • Find a wiggling grain like rice in poop
  • Eaten by others
  • Creates a cyst in animals
  • Butchers remove it, then feed to dogs
  • If people live with dogs, they'll get the cyst
  • Surgery, 20% will die

1991 water buffalo

  • Fire to burn hair off
  • Pigs wandering around, vultures, crows
  • Meat cut up, put on rickshaw, meat goes to hotel to feed tourists
  • Butchers don't waste much, consumers take home and trim off

1991-1994 intensive conventional investigation

  • Estimated infection 

Proposed solutions:

  • Slaughterhouse
  • Inspection
  • Keep house pets, kill stray dogs

5 years, nothing changed, something missed in the science

  • What are we missing?

Inappropriate theory --> inappropriate goals --> inappropriate action

Reducing the problem to fit the models

  • Out statistics can't handle it

Dogs are also community police and companions

  • Dogs watching temples

Butchers were providing services, but also carrying on family, caste and cultural traditions

  • Danish came in and built slaughterhouse, but cast a long shadow
  • Family businesses

Germans said could create garbage system, but collapsed, because multiple jurisdictions, caste, role of women

Fuel:  burning off hair, but also for heat

  • No petroleum, they deforest
  • Impacts ecosystem, erosion, river deltas
  • Girls who carry fuel, not in school, they serve someone else's purpose

Pass an animal health act?

  • Were at the beginning of a democracy moving
  • Were in crash and reorganizing phase
  • In butcher's shops, pictures of martyrs
  • Good time to organize, bad time to pass laws
  • Tenuous coalition of Maoists, government collapses

Holonaucracy

Systemic feedback with users

Scale and nested hierarchy

  • At what scale are decisions being made
  • How does one affect the other
  • Can you study and understand what's happening at different scales?
  • Whom do you trust?

Peruvian Amazon:  household level ... regional level ...

  • Different scales

Multiple perspectives was most difficult as a scientists

  • Pucallpa, for some decades, major economic associations saw it as a forest with a river running through it
  • Main source of protein was fish

How do we engage and prioritize perspectives?

  • Showing kids own poop under a microscope, makes it real for themselves

1994:  Systems thinking with participation

Initally, start with presenting issue

  • Ask about given history:  secondary records
  • Stakeholders, issues, governance
    • Rules, implicit and explicit
  • Collect people's stories, their narratives
    • e.g. bird flu:  economists, farmers, villages
  • To put them together, develop a systemic understanding
    • Part systems analysis:  key processes, temporal scales, 
    • Part systems synthesis:  scenarios for future and when they might occur, e.g. what would you like your grandchildren to say about you?
  • Collaborative learning and action
    • Engaged political decision makers
    • Is there a shared future?
    • Institution?
    • Implementation? Who changes garbage, slaughtering practices
    • Indicators have to emerge from process of engagement, certain indicators owned by certain people

Where can systems make a difference?

  • Who benefits from the system of investigation?
  • Certainly, for the investigators
  • But for the system being investigaged, and the children, the next generation?

Did this with a lot of information, before an ecosystem approach

  • Years later, put in public parks, started composting, built houses for squatters, built public toilets, built own enclosed slaughtering areas
  • Didn't need Denmark to come in, different scale
  • Stabilized river banks
  • New leadership, young guys in butcher association
  • In 6 months, young guys changed the neighbourhood

In 2001, royal family in Nepal self-destructed

  • Person became a king at 2001
  • Fight of Maoists
  • People came out in streets
  • Election, Maoists won, now trying to figure out
  • Had built local resilience, communities had meetings and continued during the turmoil

Changes understanding of the world

  • In 2001, no vultures in the trees, but 95% of vultures have died off, as pain killers used on cows that vultures ate
  • Decision making, governance, management and monitoring

What happened to the parasite?

  • Don't know
  • People in the community hadn't exercised this

Who cares if we make a difference?

Books:

  • The Ecosystem Approach, David Waltner-Toews, James Kay, Nina-Marie E. Lister
  • Integrated Assessment of Health and Sustainability of Agroecosystems, Thomas Gitau, Margaret W. Gitau, David Waltner-Toews

 

2008/07/16 11:00 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry, ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Session chaired by David Ing

Three presenters

  • Doug McDavid (filling in a gap for Marianne Kosits, who cancelled last minute);  
  • Kambiz Maani;
  • Junyu Minegishi

Doug McDavid

What is a business that could have an architecture?

What is an architecture related to business?

Better term has already been co-opted by IT people:  would prefer enterprise architecture

  • Human social systems that have some economic developments

IT architectures, that have an enterprise class

Architecture:

  • 1. From Maturana, things intrinsically have an architecture, what is it composed of, what are the parts, what behaviours?  Structure and behaviour.
    • If I turn a tape recorder off, it will have changed the architecture of the tape recorder.
  • 2.  A representation of an architecture, blueprint, models
    • All models are wrong, but some are useful
  • 3.  Architecture as a discipline, creating things for a purpose, an existing phenomenon, or projected into a future

Examples of useful architectural views or models

  • Microscopic view of business, transactions and communications
  • Macro:  Viable systems models, 1 to 5, with communication levels, with strong recursion
  • Miller's living systems model
  • IBM Component Business Model
  • Ecosystem model of business, with definable enties don't exist in isolate, but in cooperation with each other, points to other paper, talking about social aspects of business, e.g. cultural architecture, e.g. boundary concepts

Discussion

Ben Durzel:  abstract architecture

  • Everything is forming and dying, and forming and dying

Hierarchy theory?

  • Yes, both in Beer and Miller
  • Micro level, thinking of Pask types of communications

Enterprise development instead of entrepreneurism

View of architecture as semantic, with ontological content

Architecture and organizations?

  • Maturana, architecture as the eye of a frog, the cognitive architecture of the eye taking in, and the tongue coming out to take a fly, which may not be a fly
  • Not going to get in a discussion whether that is design
  • We do design social systems:  charter, constitution
  • Institutional architecture

Maturation, e.g. company starts in the vision of the founder, then revolt of the board to throw out a CEO

Kambiz Maani

Linkage to structure and performance

Case study for a master's thesis

Dysfunction, internal competition

  • People driven towards performance indicators

Food and beverage company, supply chain

Systems thinking in a real organization, how effective is systems thinking in the real world?

Documented company in four-level Senge model:  mental model, patterns of behaviour, events

  • Documented what went wrong, e.g. fill rate
  • Traced to patterns of behaviour
  • What is people's mental model

Across 7 companies, behaviour change?

  • Before:  pointing fingers at other people
  • After half-day workshop:  realized a little selfish, created problems for self, more exposure to other parts of business

Language and gestures change:  drawing causal loops in the air

16 months later, has behaviour sustained?

  • Collaboration have continued
  • Performance sustained
  • Use systems thinking to maintain culture of empowered organization:  one number principle

Discussion

Performance measure?

  • Had one for each department

New measures?

  • Not an overhaul, people began to see their influence

Tools?

  • Novice level, warehouse level, so used causal loop modeling on paper, in workshop

Trust, if only person does the job, then everyone. Relationships change?

Do away with performance measure, just trust?

Mandated performance measures to suggested performance measures

Corporate performance linked to strategic plan?

  • No, scope was supply chain

Applying systems thinking model to every enterprise?

Junyu Minegishi

Tool to help quality management auditors

Differences in auditors' abilities

  • e.g. standard for corrective action

 

2008/07/17 09:05 David Hawk, "The Business Educators Dilemma: Teaching Analytics to those who Strive to Manage Systems", ISSS

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Gary Metcalf

David Hawk, Former dean of New Jersey Institute of Technology, Management, and professor of Architecture

20080717_0905_ISSS_Hawk.jpg


Major dilemma:

  • Much of what we teach is analytics, need systemics, but continue to teach analytics

Hope, but it's a bit tough

  • Possibilty time lag
  • Maybe reduction from 20 years to 2 to 3 years, from when you say something to when it has meaning

Confused education, came together in systems science in the mid-1970s

Engineering, architecture, planning, then systems in an business school

Bipolar teaching:  management and architecture

At school of management, became dean as a last ditch effort

  • Say teaching innovation, but not innovative
  • Human resouces low

In 2+ years, got 11 faculty (including tenured) to move on

  • Hired 5 new professors better than self
  • Started 5 new degree programs

Some faculty are against systems science

  • Don't know what it is, but it's dead

Now, back to a lower profile

Lecture to China State Owned Enterprise:  From Core Competences to Innovative Edges:  Why China should avoid the American model of development

Lecture on the Leibniz society:  A Faustian Dilemma: On Tolerating the Intolerable

  • Good questions

Lecture: Why we get the leaders we deserve

Am on the terrorists' watch list

Issues of interest

The end of science (Horgan, out of print)?  Science that was to replace religion became a religion, which is doing itself, because we're posing hypothesis that can't be tested

Preference for complexity

  • Like Kurt Lewin, but most people prefer Yogi Berra

Have been looking at the problem of systems science, and delay

  • Proposal to implementation, or even experimentation

Looking for differences that make a difference

Humans do like to be regulated

Human do like to be managed

Humans prefer being educated (being told assumptions) rather than learning (questioning assumptions)

Systems scientists have a problem, with the immortality management

  • Becker, denial of death:  people given a death certificate at birth
  • Most evil in the world is due to people's immortality management
  • Working on a second book when he died
  • Dilemma that we have to deal with

History of systems

  • 1971 Environment Impact Statements (EIS in U.S.), learned that they're a bad thing to do, although they're a good idea
  • Left country
  • 1974 entered a systems science program
  • 1975 in Sweden, found that Swedes were going to import the EIS, tried rationality which didn't work, then tried humour which worked

1977 3-volumes, Environmental Project:  Analytic Solutions in Search of Synthetic Problems

  • Using the problem to solve the problem, which makes things worse
  • Humourous study on how funny the U.S.
  • Interview the people who wrote the EPA
  • Funding by U.S. and Sweden, EPA withdrew, because inclusion of companies that were evil, and scope too comprehensive
  • Water quality act:  If trying to control a complex situation that no one will understand, need 1000 page document that no one will understand
  • Swedes write 25 pages
  • Enemy is central government and central management in companies
  • Conclusion:  U.S. is dirty, and will get dirtier
  • Constitutional system
  • Report went to OECD, Swedes used it to keep U.S. out of Europe
  • Banned from environmental research

1994, given $1M grant to initiate Energy Star homes, because dissertation was right

  • Anti-regulatory approach to get people to do the right thing
  • Founding builders, developers willing to do the right thing, but consumers weren't
  • Third year of project, gave back $333 people, as funded by air quality, and didn't include water and soil people

1986 conference at NJIT, invited neo-cons to give lectures on the future of warfare and the humanity

  • Some years later, they ended up in power:  Richard Pearl
  • Time lag isn't always good

Presidential candidate held a meeting at facility in Iowa

1991 organized an alternative meeting to Davos

  • Banned from WEF
  • Then asked to come to discuss a systems approach to international research
  • They thought it was too difficult, got 3 CEOs to study, whereas own study had 60 CEOs

2004:  Working with a 1.2 million person firm to do something different, moving from government to private

Cracks in 20th century management systems, and growing anger, that hasn't peack

House of business is intact, but there's something wrong with the orientation

Business is too closely associated to the American model, and Harvard

  • Strategy and strategy formulation as the root to most problems

Trying to shift from strategic thinking to relationship forming

Don't use strategy as a good, but instead strategy is deceit, which is originally definition

  • e.g. CEO giving talks:  different from customers, shareholders, .... all on different themes
  • Upsetting to business teachers

Differences that make a difference

Take people to interesting or controversial companies, instead of American companies

VW Resende plant in Brazil

  • No VW employers
  • Suppliers assemble the part
  • Feedback is quite direct
  • If car passes inspection, everyone is paid
  • If there's a mistake, no one gets paid
  • Raised the quality so much, shipped cars to Germany 
  • So successful that they didn't do anything again

Largest building on the world

Sol company in Finland

  • No managers
  • Employees loyal
  • Considered a crackpot

Students are hungry for systems thinking and systems approaches, but the faculty aren't prepared to deal with this

Experts council in Beijing, they decide who are the leaders of companies, mayors

  • Chairman Mao's right hand man
  • Like Lao-Tzu
  • Debate: general of army, secretary of part
  • Suspended lunch, battle over Chinese wine
  • Anarchism or fascism as a better form
  • They argued for control and regulation
  • Chairman did a drawing:  of course, natural regulation is best (self-management, self-control), but because in this world there are idiots, something stronger is sometimes required

gravelends.com

  • Putting money where my mouth is
  • Facility built without models or plans
  • Workmen were upset, as they've never built anything but 2 story boxes
  • Said at least there's no old structure
  • So put on old home in the middle to build around
  • Cost 40% less to construct

See movie:  Good night and good luck

[Questions]

What way forward?

  • As soon a got fired, 3 New York billionaires came to build a new city, in Newark
  • They now own 25% of downtown Newark, and will give New Jersey a city
  • Hired an idiot architect who thought all buildings should be white, trying to shift to light
  • Using at alternative materials, look at what Shimizu, who have been bringing wilderness back to the city

Having cited some interesting examples, why do others not emulate?

  • Nature of humans not to do it
  • Make fun of protection and security
  • Security mostly to hide the bad, not the good
  • Good examples are disruptive
  • Ego-centricity
  • Like working with companies that don't use patents
  • Teaching executive students, someone will be angry

2008/07/17 09:50 Bill Rouse, "Modeling & Managing Complex Systems: A Case Study of Healthcare Delivery", ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time duringthe meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Gary Metcalf

Bill Rouse, Georgia Institute of Technology, Industrial and Systems Engineering and College of Computing:

20080717_0950_ISSS_Rouse.jpg


Tennenbaum Institute:  cross campus

Work on one problem:  how do complex organizational systems change or not change

Looked at 200 companies

  • Of 100 companies in the Dow over a hundred years, only GE has lasted
  • Creative destruction is good for the economy, but not good for the company

Looking at American health system

50% of costs increases are due to technological innovation, how can we afford this

Complex adaptive systems

  • Clinton administration discovered that you can't deal with this through command and control
  • Large collection of entrepreneurs, no one in charge
  • How can we influence them?

Stakeholders and interests

  • Who takes risks?
  • Look at the impact of the health care system on health
  • Conclusion:  the health care system has 10% of influence, 40% of lifestyle, 40% is parents, 10% is environment

Economist article on healthcare

  • Last page (25) every dollar saved is somebody's income
  • This is why it's hard to change the system

Value chain on disease detection:  how many on the people?

  • How much spent not on research, but on improving research?  Cut out of budget
  • NIH putting all of money into medical research may not be the right place

Assuming physicians

  • Networks of networks, certifying positions
  • Complex social system

Try to map the system, map the market in healthcare

  • How many companies to get a cell phone?  6000 companies for this phone, and there's 6000 different ones for another phone

Retail marketplace, study limited to Fortune 1000

  • Retail is a system that manages the complexity for you

Telecom:

  • e.g. if computer doesn't work, a lot of questions about operating, etc., that people don't want to know

Healthcare

  • Probablistic model to understand state of a network
  • Given any random transaction, the state is the nodes of the network
  • How much information would have to be processed to calculate the complexity of the network?
  • Can create a complexity surface
  • Complexity of healthcare is 27 bits:  for any random consumer transaction, if wanted to know involved nodes, would have to ask a billion questions

Retail:  only half of companies in Fortune 1000

  • Retailers know how to manage complexity, to make it easy for consumers

Aerospace:

  • Airlines make taking a flight easy (although annoying)

Telecom is going through convergence with media

  • e.g. if watching news on tv, could grab tv onto cell phone, then throw onto car
  • Companies that reduce complexity for consumers will succeed

Healthcare

  • Consumer-directed healthcare, where people have choice, have an 8% adoption rate:  people want choices, don't want to have to be smart about the network

Two principles

  • We may not want to be innovative, but can be innovative in creating value for business
  • If not creating B2C value, B2B doesn't matter
  • The magnitude of B2C complexity reflects the market maturity
  • In order to decrease complexity to the end consumer, should increase complexity in the business where you can best manage it

Want to design complexity into a system in ways that we can manage it

  • Can manage design, development, manufacturing, sustainment
  • Can't manage economies, markets, competitors, end users

Enterprise agility

  • Used to focus on optimizing systems
  • It works well when the design envelope remains the case
  • Fragile when outside the design envelope
  • e.g. making Cadillac Escalade, except the market has change
  • In June, the sales at Toyota went down 20%, but up at Honda
  • Corollas not on the lot, Honda has flexible manufacturing, putting Accords and Civics on the same line

Another talk:  don't want agile systems or agile information, want agile decision-making, because otherwise don't have resources to take advantage

Management implications:

  • Value philosophy, focus on outputs, not inputs
  • e.g. focus on health outcomes
  • Why bother to have healthcare?  So that we have a productive workforce, not just so that we can feel bad for the sick?
  • Then, how to create most value?
  • Milliken Institute:  Cost of healthcare in the U.S., make diseases cost X, loss in productivity when people are sick is 5X
  • Maybe should increase healthcare spending
  • Total cost 19% cheques to healthcare provider, 48% due to absenteeism

Organizational behaviours, traditional system vs. complex adaptive system

  • Want to arrange incentives and inhibitions so that people do the right thing
  • Measure outcomes, don't have people tell you activities, which is inefficiency
  • Problem with managers is that they don't know what they want
  • Need to be agile to move to needs
  • Want personal commitments of individuals
  • Heterarchy over hierarchy, else lose time to market and innovation
  • Network is self-organized and morphing
  • Worked with IBM to look at social network, VP said doesn't relate to organizational chart, will start managing by the social network

If you're in right column, and pretend you're not, delusion

  • Wrote book on 13 organizational delusions

Information systems can help

  • What is the state of the system?
  • Not balance sheet and income statement, which is the core of scorecarding
  • Productive discussion in itself on what is the state
  • What could go wrong, and still have the decision make sense?  What could undermine?

Boeing Dreamliner:  materials in South Carolina, documentation in Italian

  • People didn't understand implications of what they're doing

Case study:  network models, from top-down

  • How to gain control of health care costs?
  • We need a learning health care system that gets smarter
  • How much does it have to learn?  What's the benchmark, how much smarter does it have to get?
  • 50% increase of cost in healthcare is due to technology:  MRIs, angioplasty, hip replacements
  • How can we afford the innovation?

More than 50% of the people have a mobile phone

  • Each person buys it themself

In the U.S., only one payer for healthcare

  • Would have a problem is there was only one payer for cell phones

Have technological innovation

  • Increases efficiency
  • Increases effectiveness
  • Decreases risk
  • This results in increased use
  • With improved care, people come back and do it again:  the average number of hip replacements is 3, get it early, then replace again later in life
  • Increased use --> increased expenditures

Simple models

Model 1:  If we increase cost at the same rate as increasing use

  • Would have to reduce cost per use every year, very aggressive targets
  • Model doesn't work
  • No way to achieve cost reductions in model
  • Doesn't reduce overall costs
  • Instructive, but doesn't take you much farther

Model 2: Production learning, e.g. cell phones, aviation

  • Every time double production, half the cost
  • If assume 5% growth in demand (modest), or 10% growth ...
  • The more demand, the cheaper it gets
  • A race between demand and sales
  • Demand is swamping efficiencies
  • If have 10% growth rate, just getting costs down 25%, but demand has quadrupled
  • Can't really get there, although can improve things
  • Doesn't suggest where learning is happening

Model 3:  Process model

  • Technology and labour, where technology costs are going down, but not fast enough
  • Supposed technology improvement at 70% is the target
  • Assume healthcare at same rate as GDP
  • If 5% growth rate
  • If have 15% growth rate and GDP is flat, need a 40% improvement in labour, which is extremely ambitious and haven't been seen before

Presented to medical community:  How good would you have to get?

  • Would have to be impressive

Practicalities:  how to limit growth of healthcare to GDP?

1.  Could limit the amount of use, e.g. only one hip replace

2.  Reduce cost of labour:  less labour per use

  • e.g. number of person hours per car
  • Nurse practitioners and assistant physicians instead
  • Self-service, e.g. reservation like airlines

Commonwealth foundation: 15 ways to bend the growth curve

  • Plays into learning models

Putting together a letter for the new president

  • 5th recommendation:  can't improve health care, unless improve education, since 40% of costs are related to lifestyle
  • Reduce tobacco use, obesity, then wouldn't have 10% to 15% growth curve
  • Seven recommendations reduce use rates
  • Nine recommendations reduce costs
  • Mayo:  80% fewer activities per patient, since all physicians are on salary, compensated for health outcomes
  • Mayo:  if come and work with a doctor, first physician you meet is responsible, even if it has nothing to do with their speciality, changed only if there's an explicit negotiated handoff

Conclusions:

  • Efficiencies required to gain are immense

We spend all money on clinical practices (people), but we should be spending some time on delivery operations (processes)

  • They think about their own units, e.g. MRI people think about MRI
  • Thinking about whole process give different perspective
  • Delivery operations happen in the content of system structure (organizations), who have budgets
  • Healthcare ecosystem (society), like to think it's private businesses, but there's lots of companies who are really public-private and attached to governments

What can we do?

Value: Either increase health outcomes or decrease the cost of outcomes

  • Processes
  • Our health care is used as a consumable
  • Growing up, value:  I'm better off if you're educated, and I'm better off if you're healthy
  • Now, the idea of public good has faded

Now, trying to take the network model, and make it more hierarchical, and look at how complexity is arranged at levels

Summary

  • Because healthcare is a complex adaptive system, can't do command and control
  • Can improve delivery by looking at processes
  • Was viewed as a technician, but now see engineers helping
  • Complexity of healthcare as 27 bits is only Fortune 1000, but it's instructive
  • Case study shows would have to do an amazing job of learning
  • National academy:  can we think of the education system as a system?
  • If can't fix K-12 education, can't fix the system
  • Kia (cars) located a plant in southwest Georgia, discovered that Georgia high school graduates don't have skills to do automobile assembly
  • Disappearing manufacturing jobs, no manufacturing:  they're high-tech jobs

Questions

Management vs. leadership.  What is leadership, and should it be farmed outside of organization?

  • This is one issue that we've been looking at
  • Retail industry has doubled in size, half of companies have disappeared, and profits haven't increased
  • Differentiation:  leadership, not just being able to articulate a vision, but leadership involvement, going out and walking around, being interested in being involved
  • Study of mobile enterprise, where people work where they area:  key variable of adoption of the technology and successful deployment is leadership
  • After it's been deployed, leadership is less important, because social network takes over
  • Leadership is focused on influencing the organization, not commanding it; setting values of the organization, getting involved, and showing the value of being involved
  • Not a leadership expert
  • Can't contract out leadership

Elderly, mothers and children lose out?

  • No, it's a time thing
  • Elderly, will see more involvement in the future
  • Last year of life could be seen as a net drain, but we all want good health care, and that's a result of being productive for the rest of life

Mayo Clinic negotiating handoff with the system.  Assume life threatening disease, e.g. prostate cancer, no health care worker.  Who can help to make the decision?

  • Experience with integrated information system, had confusing symptoms, turned out to be a B-12 deficiency, all doctors had all of the same information, including results within speciality
  • More collaborative
  • Don't think that there will be a physician where one person understands everything

40% of diseases could be prevented with improved lifestyles.  Possible to work within the health silo, improves outcomes.  Argue that could improve outcomes further, if had user-centric design, where users have input into income, employment, improving systems from below.  Evidence-based policies from below.

  • Book subtitle:  human-centred design
  • IBM asks:  how should we solve this?  Put 11-year-olds on this, have created a game, hope to open up the game soon
  • To meet the needs of a health care professional, the game is too complicated for the layman
  • Game playing can help with health care

Manchester U. project on flexibility.  Looking at network orchestration.  Definition of orchestration?

  • Study a few years ago, compared symphony, jazz, puppetry
  • Orchestration depends on the art
  • The way the leader works is different
  • In theatre, the leader orchestrates during rehearsals, but the during the show, the play is given to the cast
  • In symphony, the leader stays involves
  • Don't have a definition of orchestration, but have studied different ways of doing it
  • Much more mentoring

Individual players working for the system?

  • Happens over time, have to deal with the status quo
  • Now, looking at how the U.S. government spends money
  • When an operating cost versus an investment?
  • e.g. supposed can reduce cost by $100 billion later, but costs $5 billion now?  Government only has balance sheet, no income statement
  • How can we get people to think about investments different by operating costs?
  • Giving talks, reviewing legislations, lots of little things
  • Inhibition:  shouldn't kill people
  • Playing the game:  don't spend anything
  • Privacy regulations also impact health information systems

2008/07/17 11:20 Doug McDavid, Sociable Technologies for Enterprising Sociality, ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time duringthe meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Gary Metcalf

IBM Almaden Research Center, Executive Research Consultant

20080717_1120_ISSS_McDavid.jpg


Coming into an era of supporting social with technologies

The medium is the message

People are projecting themselves:  Erving Goffman, presentation of self in everyday life

  • We're sort of driving people out of system
  • We've been treating people as costs, rather than engines in the creation of value

Long wave:  Carlotta Perez

  • We're in the second phase of the fifth wave

We're in an era of service dominance

Enterprises as autopoetic systems

  • May or may not be living, but they're definitely autopoetic
  • Businesses are systems
  • At the heart of enterprise is human desire, and the fostering of well-being
  • Enterprise as a "purposeful or industrious undertaking"

Enterprises have characteristics of living systems

Architectural viewpoints

  • Maturana's term on "dynamic architecture", unpublished, but on web
  • We can use the idea of dynamic architecture in a social sense
  • At any point of time, everything has an architecture, which includes the structure and behaviour

There are many socially-focused dimensions on business architecture

  • Focused primarily on social aspects
  • Korzybski:  whatever you say a thing is, it is not

One type of social architecture is the org chart:  talks about people and relationships

  • Limited and changable

Most often used and pervasive architectures are process and procedural models

Semantic architecture:  meaning is a key way of understanding

Brand architecture:  marketing people talk about this

Levels of granularity

Viable systems model as a macro-architecture

Need more structural coupling: between institutional architecture, the brand architecture, communities of practice

Virtual world games

Virtual world:  artifactual use, and actual use

Future of technology isn't marketing

Artifactual use:  programs in world, where they take a feed from the Blue Gene supercomputing world, doing protein folding

Structural coupling

[Questions]

Old guy.  Second Life taking away from real life.

  • Old guy, too
  • Compelling
  • New Media Consortium has run 6 days conferences
  • Not as good as being in person, but it's better than teleconference or chat room

Have a 12-year in Club Penguin.  Safety?  Sucked her in so much, that disconnected from real life.

  • Lot of research going on, although focus is mostly business
  • Also got sucked in
  • Now want an office in a virtual world, where people could stop by.
  • Not to say that there's not downsides.
  • Second Life has a different grid for teens

South Australia policy, Just Ask Once.  Services, more interactive.  Security

  • Firewall, issues.
  • At IBM, we're not doing things on the Linden Labs server

2008/07/17 13:30 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry, ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time duringthe meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Session chaired by David Ing

Three presenters

  • Johnnie Pourdehnad
  • Takefumi Nakamura and Kyoichi Kijima
  • Shankar Sankaran

Johnnie Pourdehnad

Trying to synthesize across four things:

1. Business model

  • With Ackoff, were working at GM on business models with Peter Drucker and Adrian Slywotsky
  • Value migration, creating and capture value
  • At Ackoff Center, took companies cited by Slywotsky, were looking into their processes

2. Open innovation

  • Henry Chesbrough

3. Design thinking

  • Have been applying Ackoff's idealized design
  • Lately, it's like a new discovery
  • Not legitimate until HBR published on design thinking in their June issue
  • When you put people into design thinking, they think about solutions, rather than problems
  • The designerly ways of knowing, Nigel Cross

4. Enterprise 2.0

  • Using social software for collaboration
  • Business people first asked about control issues
  • In Internet, domain of emergence

Why are companies not combining the four?

In the application of idealized, key role by facilitators

  • Need divergent thinking, and then convergent thinking
  • Thinking of getting thousands involved
  • Success in learning spaces

[Discussion]

Facilitation

Design thinking: if more complex, have to focus more on process, because can't evaluate the outcome.  

  • Not rehashing
  • Difference from CSCW

Who has mandate to design

Blog people and wiki people

Innovation jams

Design of inquiring systems:  hard to get inductive consensual and sweep in at the same time

Management needs to learn about a different attitude

Coaching:  gap

  • Creating a dialogue space and container to support design thinking
  • Need trust, some balance between control and freedom

Facilitating, if in one modality, will get stuck

  • Haven't dealt with relational dynamics, group psychology

Who are you writing for?  Different answers for different people

  • No absolute models, corporate culture has to be respected

Takefumi Nakamura and Kyoichi Kijima

How can organizations learn to change mental models?

  • Systems safety
  • Used systems thinking in IT engineering
  • Two guiding ideas
  • 1. Jackson system of systems
  • 2. Categorizing 

Jackson:

  • Nature of the participant:  unitary, plural, coercive
  • Nature of the system: simple or complex

Classifying systems failure into three categories:

  • 1. Failure of deviance from standard, e.g. ISO, captures well
  • 2. Failure of communicaiton or interface:  misjunction
  • 3. Failure of evolution: failure of foresight

Looking at ISO, etc., they're all restricted in unitary areas, no mechanisms to get out

  • Try to apply dynamic model in the plural domain
  • Jackson says dynamic in unitary domain, but introduce systems boundary

3 archetypes: 

  • 1. Complacency
  • 2.
  • 3. Fix the failure

Learning in IT area, 3 solution archetypes

  • Absolute versus than organizational measures
  • Disjunction in communicating multiple stakeholders:  Japanese society is highly reliable, so tacit communication may cause system failures, should be more explicit
  • Enlarge the system boundary as much as possible

Systems dynamics models are powerful, because can see to change organizational mental model

[Discussion]

Study of computer system failures

Failure of evolution?  Beyond abstraction, know by building system

NASA Challenger disaster

Learning before, learning during, learning after

Structural problem:  most organizations don't value failure

  • Nature does accept failureu

There are learning and adaptive systems, e.g. aviation

  • Weick:  low probability, high impact
  • After action reports

Federal departments:  all under business pressures, except defense, which has contingencies, but they have excess funding

Failure in U.S. get a second chance, in Austria, they're out

Shankar Sankaran

Soft systems thinking embedded in action research

  • Action, and conduct research (critical reflection)
  • If action takes place, more informed action

Manage used different methods

SSM: Developed through action research, by Peter Checkland, as the hard systems approach is unsuitable for ill-structured problems

  • Original a 7-step model
  • Later included cultural analysis and systems analysis
  • Practitioners use it, to become a process:  mode 2 way of knowing

Two case studies in the papaer

Diagnostic models for military

  • Use SSM, dialectic (slightly different from 7 steps), differentiating between immersion: action, critical reflection
  • Software developer drove the vehicle

Hospital IT system

  • Psychotherapist did research
  • Thought would use SSM, but found action research used instead with SSM as a background

Connection between SSM and action research

  • Checkland says if you do action research without a declared model, may not be rigourous

Problem:  continuously learning, when you doctoral research, have a deadline, when to close?

  • Have we learned enough about the system to close the study?

[Discussion]

Drive to have a quantitative and qualitative?

Realiability of qualitative

Balanced scorecard is an action research approach

Economists

Tacit assumptions on stability and predictability

West:  ask the same question twice and get the same answer

  • East: why ask the same question twice, it's rude

360-degree view of reliability

Ethics of research

Modeling about probabilities; design is about solutions and contingencies

Rosen: modeling relation

Modeling complexity? Can't model it

KISS versus Keep It Complex, Smart

 

2008/07/17 15:30 Special Integration Group on Systems Applications in Business and Industry, ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time duringthe meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Chaired by David Ing

Two presenters

  • Allenna Leonard
  • Jerome Galbrun and Kyoichi Kijima (

Allenna Leonard

Viable systems model

Symbiosis:  No exchange

Some obligate:  they won't live otherwise

Luminescent bacteria in squid, let hosts see in the dark

Equivalent in business?

  • The arts
  • Soft power empires
  • Trading nodes
  • Venice wasn't a predator, although people who came to trade might feel like prey

Gobi fish can see, shrimp can't; shrimp can dig holes for both

Sponges and crabs

Business applications:

  • Shops gathering in a mall
  • Nature doesn't have waste, it's an input into something else

Where might this fail?  Coupled, either loosely or tightly

  • Have a lot of relationships only coupled by money
  • Social injustice can lead to instability

Supply chain could be important, as symbiotic

Human animal coupling: early human enjoy company of dogs, and dogs provide defence and policing with perceptual acuity

  • Combining strengths
  • Potential in business relationships

[Discussion]

Intrigued by example of the shopping mall, not a good example

  • Takes more energy than it provides
  • Rotation of businesses going in and out of business

Bringing people into a market isn't the same as imposing something

  • Symbiosis as an enhancement of variety

Symbiosis versus mutual cooperation?

  • Tighter coupling, means living together, often requirement for survival
  • Mutual cooperation is voluntary

Implication?  More organic development

  • Could enhance viability, due to redundancy
  • Biological examples provide resilience
  • e.g. algae does photosynthesis, hydra

Examples from nature:  not viable alone

Parasitic

  • Mutualism, commensuralism, parasitism

Businesses are all voluntary

Kropotkin, concerned with Darwin, wrote mutual aid

  • Enemies lie down together, depends on environmental conditions

Symbiotic development as a business direction?

Jerome Galbrun and Kyoichi Kijima

Deep dive on healthcare

Business oligopolies as complex systems

  • Interactions with institutions
  • Interactions drive technological regime changes

Context: big players (oligopolies) -- how I can grow faster than others

Systems approach: emergence of a super-player

How should one firm know better than another?  Managerial cognition

  • Super-player is able to do the right selection

Managerial cognition from Herbert Simon, boundedly rational

  • Role of manager is in being in the right network to get the innovation

Would like to do some more research on coevolution and coproduction

[Discussion]

Adaptability?

Keystone species?

Directed correlation in healthcare industry

2008/07/18 09:05 Devin Wixon, "Using Systems to Clean Up Messes: Complexity, global client change and soil carbon cycling"

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Gary Metcalf:  Tim Allen, next president

Devin Wixen, winner of the Vickers Award


The big picture:  dealing with post-normal, complex issues

Closet realist hiding out in the lab

  • Care about application
  • Removed words "narrative" versus removing word "reality" as it doesn't exist

The point of studying complexity is to make things simple

Will talk about current struggles

Using systems

  • 1. Start with a mess.  Pick with an important, fundable one
  • 2. Try to clean it up.  At worst, multivariate statistics
  • 3. Fail

This is how reductionist thinkers come to system

Soil microbial communities are complex:

  • Bacteria, protozoa, actinomycetes ...

More carbon stored in soil than all of vegetation and atmosphere

  • Turning up temperature, soil microbes become faster in activites, will create more carbon dioxide than if all of us went out to buy Hummers

Potential positive feedback loop:  global climate change --> increased soil respiration --> global climate change

Proliferation of research, some funded, but not good narratives

  • Most researchers agree important
  • Agree we don't have consensus
  • They call it a web of interacting factors

Research question:  why can't we answer this question?

A good mess

  • Controls, drivers
  • Make it tough to observe
  • Throw in human beings

Complicated by scales

  • e.g. day vs. night, soils return heat, but then look over years

Why come to systems theory?

  • Want to get salient factors
  • Equivalent to framing the question

Used by SSM, modified by Allen & Hoekstra 1992

From systems hierarchy ...

  • Need several levels of analysis for adequate descriptoins
  • Take subjectively seriously

Giampietro 2003:  Making things more complicated does not help when dealing with complexity

  • e.g. why would someone trudge through systems biology if they didn't have a reason
  • Carpenter:  Sending a space shuttle to Mars is complicated.  Parenting is complex.

Struggles:

  • Dual audience issues:  one audience in soil, and one audience in systems
  • Dual paradigm issues: Todd Bowers described realist vs. constructivist
  • Translating Rosen

2008/07/18 09:25 Jennifer Wilby, "Complexity and Public Health Policy", ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Intro by Tim Allen

Had sent Tim's paper quite early, asked if she had read it

Now a presentation on systems content


Content partially from Ph.D. dissertation

Was looking at emerging infectious diseases

  • Interest in international health, and its management
  • Had started masters looking at waste management

As a Ph.D. student started out thinking about tilting at windmills

  • Started to critique the major international health organizations
  • Used hierarchy theory from Tim Allen's work in San Jose State, complexity and systems content
  • Found functionalist frameworks and more interpretive frameworks of hierarchy theory

CDC:  Infectious and parasitic diseases are as much as cardiovascular and cancer together

  • This isn't a third world issue, it's happening in USA, Japan, and now coming into Europe with West Nile
  • Also SARS, the travel of a few people, the speed of transmission makes it a world problem

People working in complexity theory now don't know about von Bertalanffy

  • Looked at complexity of disciplines, 300 to 400 years ago, even before Boulding
  • Divided into the functionalist frameworks, e.g. Boulding, compared with interpretitive, observer-driven approach (e.g. Allen) where you start with the boundary, and look in
  • Hierarchy theory started from the idea of the great chain of being, from the rocks to the angels ... until the 16th and 17th century
  • Then the revolution of the individual coming up, having as much knowledge and value as church
  • 18th Century in Comte's first work, followed by Durkheim and Freud on ideas of inter-relationships

Comte 1937:  Hierarchy of disciplines

Von Bertalanffy 1968, hierarchic order to the world, static frame

  • An addition to Boulding's skeleton

Lancelot Whyte 1969 noted Newtwon, Lamber, Fourner and Clrlier also used a static hierarchical concept

Boulding 1956:  Looking for a general theory of systems

Used hierarchy to look at infectious diseases, wanted to know whther interpretist or hierarchical gave better views

Boulding, Skeleton of Science

Definition of risk factors, at levels:  host, agent, transmission, environmental

  • Then what disciplines are need for each
  • Map to Boulding's skeleton

Found that policies only address Boulding's levels 1 to 4, they're reactive, and don't address social, political and cultural issues

Surveilllance recommendations:

  • Single network for all agencies on the same levels of analysis
  • New methods, new ways of storing

Health promotion and education recommendations

  • Individual and social concerns
  • Refocus education to teach public health

Proposed model: research topic --> policy

Applied research recommendations:


  • Expand range of disciplines
  • Approach need to incorporate all disciplines

Learned:  a complex system is defined when more than one level of analysis is reuqired for its adequate description

Kolasa at McMasters:  Have to work with the perspective of the whole

[Questions]

Epidemiology studies, when people look at risk factors (e.g. Ebola) often poor underpaid miners eating bush meat.  No one asks why miners are there, usually Anglo-American.  Risk factor at those scales are often ignored.  Having identifed those, it covers areas of responsibility.  Argument in Canada, that it might come to on a plane.  Not seen as demands that we put on a system (as consumers).  Not sure how to put this into the system, it's not analytical.

  • Yes, came across that issue.
  • Changes, e.g. trucking highway that helped distribution of HIV
  • How to work at a high enough level
  • Have to work top-down, and bottom-up

Incorporating and drawing on multiple disciplines.  Interdisciplinary approach.  Now some think transdisciplinary.  But then who is our audience?

  • As working with funding issues, they say that they want multidisciplinary / interdisciplinary / transdisclinary, but then reviews by disciplinary people makes funding difficult

Use of the word hierarchy.  In bottom 4 levels, hierarchy doesn't have any ideological considerations.  At the higher social levels, does have ideological implications.  Suggest using different words.

  • Yes, lot of words have the issue:  hierarchy, holon

2008/07/18 09:50 Tim Allen, "Hierarchies over time: Hierarchy theory in relation to ecological economic theory of return

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

(continuing session)



Impetus from Jim Gustavson, who will be speaking later

  • Have vertical hierarchies, but what about horizontal hierarchies ... which are changes over time

Have coauthors, Joe Tainter, plus undergrads

Take ideas of high gain and low gain from ecological economics, and take a look over time

Introduce some bare bones to hierarchy theory

  • There is scaling, but also some other significance
  • Power:  keep straight very messy systems
  • Biota --> community --> species
  • Can look at the same material system, but look at thing in a different foreground
  • Then evolution doesn't matter (to an ecosystem)
  • Process ecosystem --> carbon storage --> tree bole
  • Tree bole are separated in tree in the biota view, whereas separate in the process ecosystem

Classical hierarchy (which annoys me) if fast to slow and wide to narrow

  • Used by Buzz Holling
  • There's some stuff that is long and fast, and slow and narrow
  • e.g. English channel influenced by earth's rotation:  20 miles could mean 70,000 years
  • e.g. corridors separating the flora from Asia and the flora from Australia (which is similar to South America, as both have marsupials)

Another issue, looking at things at different levels

  • Herbert Simon:  the world is not decomposable, but nearly decomposable
  • A weak connection at one level becomes a strong connection at another level

Central problem:  hierarchies require different level of analyses, and they change over time

Biological and social systems have anticipation:  models

  • Foal knows its mother, because previous foals and models come from the essence (after Rosen)
  • The foal is a realization of the past embodied in its essence
  • The essence does not exist independent of the observer's model
  • Why underlies dogs?  It's dogginess
  • If Australians had taken over the world, we would have been talking about Tasmanian lions, which look like dogs
  • Dogs and cats separated 55 million years ago; at 25 million years ago, cats went one way, and hyenas went another:  dogginess?

Essence, with realization of an essence via DNA

  • DNA is merely the means for realization, it isn't the essence
  • Similarly, in social systems ...
  • Presidency has an essence, with a realization of essence, which changed the presidency, electing Jimmy Carter as the first fundamentalist presidence

Brain

  • Actually external gradient, burning up brain
  • Rate dependence versus rate independence
  • Coded planning element is rate independent:  we need a plan

Protein synthesis constructs metabolism

  • Organism moves forward with narratives
  • Biologists observe the story, and tell us
  • End product of science is not predictions, it's narratives
  • Narratives don't have to be internally consistent, model have to be internally consistent
  • If want to talk about anything important, can't do it with models
  • Cycle means become more efficient

Can speak in terms of causes

  • Rate independent, and rate dependent
  • Thus need hierarchy theory

Vertical versus hierarchy

  • Over time, the changes switch controls between scalar hierarchies and ...

Economist like average returns:  things get more expensive, and we hardly ever run out of stuff

  • Marginal returns:  economists don't run this over time
  • When run this, people quite at lower levels

Marginal return and complexity

  • Will run through resource, and then switch to something else, e.g. first trees, then coal that requires digging up
  • Russia will be a country of great progress, and always will be, because they didn't run out of wood, whereas Britain did

New hierarchy emerges, move to high gain

  • Otherwise use the old resource more efficiently, move to low gain

A system is high gain if it takes in high level resources and burns them up, e.g. nuclear power

  • World gives nuclear energy fuel rods:  high gain
  • But if remember that it takes mining, it's really low gain

High gain uses ready made quality resources

  • Low gain gathers and refines low quality resources
  • High gain works on steep resource gradients
  • High gain is ephemeral
  • High gain reamins in local hot spots, e.g. Romans coming in (over Germans), changing identities, but problem with raping and pillaging is that you can only do it once, then have to world real time
  • When the gold is gone, have to generate sunshine in real time ... which is called taxation
  • High gain is self-organized, low gain is planned

High gain sucks up resources as need, low gain increases efficiency:  hitchhiking in Wales, had hills as 13 year old, but have since been used up

  • High gain is impressive in energy capture, low gain is impressive in high organization:  Florence switched from wool underwear to cotton underwear, which led to rags that could be used of paper (which led to the printing press)
  • High gain can only be managed from context because of self-repair, e.g. can't win the war on drugs, should make cocaine cheap, which would reduce the gradient (although government wouldn't have the will to spend money gained from cocaine)
  • Low gain can be managted by manipulating the parts, no self repair

Jevon's paradox:  in the 1880s, increase in the efficiency of steam engines

  • Improvement from 1800s where 1% efficiency, but then steam engines powered by coal used for cotton ginnies
  • Increasing number of highways reduced to SUVs, but increasing the price of gasoline makes it inefficient

Leaf cutting ants:  don't eat leaves, they rot them with fungus

  • Food ants get the good stuff, which is competitive
  • Fungus farmers go after feces, which is low energy, unless you have fungus, in which case it's jet fuel
  • Inside every low gain phases, there's a new high gain
  • Today, saw a lot of leaves, didn't see a lot of caterpillar feces
  • Lots and lots of leaves
  • Small colonies that grow into mature colonies and become pests
  • In addition to raising fungi, there's also energetics

Evolution --> --> 

Origins <-- <--

Integration 

Contradiction / complementary

  • ... which is what hierarchies give you

Termites

  • Could have a strategy of eating good wood, leading to a high gain collapse
  • Could go a different direction on a prudent course, eating bad wood, for a low gain collapse
  • High gain collapse of Roman republic, versus low gain collapse of Roman empire (i.e. 60% taxation)
  • Alternative, super-low gain:  when wood has decayed into soil, then the memory of colony function now resides in individuals, e.g. gut flora, there's so little for them to work on, they need to work on
  • Low gain termites live in the tropics, because they couldn't survive in a winter

Gunderson and Holling 2002 Panarchy shows high-gain low-gain

  • Etruscans become Romans, which collapse
  • Italians aren't Etruscans, which have memory
  • In the new upper level structures of organization are the lower memories
  • Two memories:  thermodynamics, and encoding by different people
  • EU is similar to Rome .. it's part of the memory

Different ways to look at dogs

  • Multiple ways of observing

Hierarchies reveal different meanings at different levels of observation

If respond to changes in level of hierarchies, then can move without getting lost

High and low gain applies to historical, economic, psychological, political and ecological systems

[Questions]

Economists are right, we don't run out of resources, they get more expensive; ecologists know that things that died

Rate dependence.  Ontological versus epistemological pursuit

  • Howard Pattee knew about rate dependence
  • Can study emergence
  • Social systems generate new structures, could be physical, but happen to be biological
  • Physical systems are high gain
  • Problem with using entropy, is that's what left when it's all over:  want to use exergy
  • Gasoline isn't good if your transportation is a donkey cart
  • Look at James Kay's web site, it cleans up the issue of entropy

2008/07/18 11:05 Jim Gustafson, "Vertical and Horizontal Scaling Strategies to Avoid Destruction in the Modern Contest"

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Jim Gustafson, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison:



Take two regions of energy capture, and go farther

Simpler version of diagram:  if then, what about us

  • Most of us work on systems that work on the lower part of the curve:  we put in a lot of energy
  • It's harder to get output

Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  • Not atypical, low energy capture
  • Dr. Jekyll can't keep it up, he gets tired
  • Cycle, Mr. Hyde bursts out without restraint
  • People in low gain energy, busting out in high gain energy
  • Signals depression and anxiety, then rage to take more resources

Watch Clockwise movie:  high school with a control tower over his school

  • Most successful headmaster in England, as they round him up

If only two possibilities of low gain with a cycle of high gain, we would be a problem

A third region, where gives more energy than taking away waht we've got

  • A transitional field, book this fall, The Core Instrument and Key ...
  • Balance between exterior field and interior field
  • In the transition field, all beautiful pursuits:  love, art, music
  • Many don't know how to obtain this

Need a vertical and horizontal scale

  • Ability to locate a small enough scale, to get some independence from wearing oneself out, and a rhythm that isn't perterbed in space
  • Horizontal scale is time

Where can we find a region?

  • Maggi and Strogatz
  • Varied oscillation
  • Unstable region in the middle
  • The tighter the coupling, and the lower the frequency, you lock synchrony
  • Have incoherence when little coupling, and lots of frequencies
  • Region in between:  coupling somewhat loose, and frequencies not too great

Alexander and Globitz similar to Maggi and Strogatz

Middle area tuned like a musical instrument

In between an incoherence that is like a breadth

Walter Freeman:  like a breath, studied rabbits, and when breath is drawn in, system is loosely coupled, open to odours -- pulse motor

  • In the out breath, sensors link into one odour, e.g. carrots

In human body, can lock top-down (brain as one), and bottom up (pulse mode), and in between have an interesting region

  • If mother watches everything, constant worry
  • Play is in the middle region, randomness
  • Gilligan, 10 year old girls:  come into synchrony from other girls, become locked in or out of peer groups
  • Every year would take girls to museum, ask them about pictures of men
  • At age 11, would say they don't know what they think, then age 12 doubled, by age 15, didn't know anything
  • Worked against a steep gradient

Girl survived mother, put her into a pack, put her into medical school, get a problem

  • She'll have a list of things to do
  • Residents used to have packs of white cards with things to do, not computers
  • She's so coupled to mother with teenage worries, and packs, and then reading off cards, then all of these other things they have to learn

Psychologists are all upset, because they do everything by rote, and don't talk with students

  • If ask why is going on in dreams at night, too incoherent

How to find the third region?

  • At sleep, mind disconnected from synchrony, drop into the night sea of  ...
  • Poincare, mathemetician, chapter in Giesel:  when working on a proof, would go for a walk, and then dream the proof
  • He called this region a sieve:  selection of enumerable possibilities
  • If can use the middle region, can dream a picture of the geometry that are embedded in: non-linear geometry
  • Have worked with patients showing them the geography of energy capture

Had a dream of my sieve

(Drawing on whiteboard)

Dreamt was in training to be a drug company representative

  • In department conference room, but another long table
  • Beginning of training with an exercise, where all trainees were supposed to rush to a table to write down a list of references, faculty representative
  • Standing around, thought completely left of this
  • Second scene:  standing on hill, watching the trainees in a race that would come down a hill, and then a spurt uphill
  • Led by a drug company repesentative
  • Colleague was on his tail
  • Reminded of training in San Francisco, but this was on West Washington Avenue, towards the Capitol
  • End in entropy
  • This is a dream of hierarchy over time
  • Poincare:  can dream of own hierarchy over time
  • High hopes, but dream to low gain
  • Self has a hill to stand on, and can see the trajectory over time
  • Had a dream in 1996 about a French explorer who had a hat, attacking the train line going from Poughkeepsie to New York
  • At that time, thought could exhaust self in New York, now not attacking it

Second dream:

  • In San Francisco, as the sun was setting over the Pacific
  • Had to go from South San Francisco, passing all the way to north (Marin County), passing through many military bases
  • Led by a 16-year old boy
  • A map of self as young resident, struck by shallowness of everything
  • Esalen Institute, south of San Fran, everyone had a method for everything
  • Was facing being drafted to Vietnam
  • In San Fran, was being taught by psychoanalysts in control mastery theory
  • Guided by a 16-year old boys, who was me
  • Father sold cars from Ford, low gain activity, could only make a little money, had been taught about low gain energy
  • All of these schemes promise high gain energy, but end up as low gain

How do we get out of this?

  • The English sentence
  • 5000 years old, Indo invasian at 2000-3000 BC
  • Everything in west is high gain energy capture
  • Greatest writers have written about high gain energy capture:  tragedy, Tolstoy
  • Death of a Salesman is about low gain, Beckett coming down in low gain

Vincent Sculley, Yale

  • Mycene, where Agamenmon's tomb is, where the Trojan War emerged
  • Non-linear geometry, Shelley's portrait of it
  • Sculley's decription of the place
  • Mycene a seat of pride and power.  Holiest place, strongest in magical sense, and dread.  Pass from the north, two peaks of mountain.  Fortress in the middle.  Multiple images.  Horns.  King puts self in citadel in center.
  • Everything in Greek tragedy is about the balance

Horizontal scale

  • Leopold
  • Time and way to protect it
  • Birds first make sounds at 4 a.m.

[Questions]

Can we only get this state when we're sleeping, or also in semi-sleeping state?

  • Absolutely
  • Hypnogogic space:  if you don't jump out of bed, you're in the transitional region
  • Make notes before sitting up, will get beautiful pictures of geography
  • Countless regions of getting there:  e.g. tennis, in a crouch, dancing, making love

Can't stay in the semi-sleeping state too long, it's uncomfortable

  • Have to also bow to the need for energy capture
  • Going to work, energy forward, but have to hold back as well

Entropy, exergy, exploring human relationship with thermodynamics.  Conservation of energy?

  • Interesting things happen not with a question, but in conversation.
  • Whole talk about conservation of energy
  • Using the third region to allow energy to be drawn up inside us
  • Playing tennis, coach said standing up straight was cutting off energy top from bottom
  • That's conservation of energy, more vitality than less

Beyond systems science to systems seeing, systems being.  Vicker's appreciative system.  Moving from probable to possibilistic.

2008/07/18 12:00 UW Madison, Botany Department: Tim Allen's Sandpit: Megan Pease, Peter Allen, Devin Wixon, Steve Thomforde

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Tim Allen

  • Since we're here in Madison

[Megan Pease:  Inside the Black Box of Time Allen's lab]

What the same when everything is different?

We all apply systems theories

  • Conversations at many scales
  • Sandbox, get together with many people
  • Conferences
  • Find problems / paradigm changes

Lots of personal relationships

  • Some intellectual vulnerability, try out new ideas an applications

Each have found an interesting phenomenon

  • Also some urgency
  • Numerous variable
  • Lots of perspectives

Common themes

  • Interdisciplinary research
  • Before you take tools out of other contexts, need to be aware of underlying assumptions
  • Have to identify the role of the observer

Own research question:

  • How can UPS design flexibility into their system, allowing adaptation to a changing context?  Investigation of alternative fuels
  • Found multiple replacement options

[Steve Thomforde] 

A Systems Perspective on Restoring Ecological Resilience:  A Proposal to Shift the Current Historic Climax - Community Restoration Model to a Future Oriented Ecosystem Based Model

In 2 weeks, going to North American Prairie Conference

Beside parking lot, supposed to be an infiltration basin, to take in rain

  • Rain takes soil particles with phosphorous, into Lake Mendoza, destroys algae
  • Infiltration basin is supposed to soak it into ground, but it's failing
  • 40% sand, 40% compost, 20% dirt
  • Sorts water, creates positive feedback, creates likes in sealable forms
  • More plants create more detritus, seals a system, until we have a pond
  • The pond fills up

People from State of Wisconsin asking:  what are we going to do?

  • Have 90 projects with infiltration basins, including mayor's house
  • $31,000
  • Sustainable for how long, and how much?
  • Had plant people (want a wetland) and engineers (want sucking it)
  • Systems approach:  want more sand, because we want to increase an ecosystem function
  • Can't grow plants?  Grow a beach community
  • The new design:  will come in with 80% sand, 10% loams, 10% dirt

[Peter Allen]

Master's student, finishing up research

High gain and low gain systems, related to transportation infrastructre, and how it impacts community development

Looking of pre-WWII low gain system

  • To increase gain, needed a lot of reorganization
  • Railroad
  • Interstate system after cheap oil

Animated map

  • Wisconsin has lots of resources, used to built Chicago, plus the agricultural as prairie converted to farms
  • Rail lines on lines, versus smaller roads in a network, emergent into interstate system

Rail into town means a stop into town

  • Interstate, bypass towns

Looking at Evansville, was on railroad, had own opera house, tiny town at turn of century

  • When interstate went through, they weren't on it
  • Starting to return now
  • Low gain before WWII, transition to high gain economy, now coming back
  • Evansville is on the rise again, it has the only soybean crushing plant, because it still has the railroad
  • Low gain imposes itself as top down, as only infrastructure
  • As we're moving from high gain to low gain, need to find an emergent infrastructure that isn't totally top-down in transition

[Devin Wixon]

What's the same when everything is different?

People working on bigger, theoretical, epistemological issues

It's because don't know what people are talking about, that the system succeeds

On the same level of anarchy

  • Recalcitrant carbon in soil

Energy ROI:  what you spend ...

  • Labile / active soil
  • Recalcitrant / passive soil:  95%
  • Global warming means microbes switching
  • It won't help putting carbon into soil, if microbes put it back out

Can we create useful narratives, related to high and low gain

12 hypotheses related to high and low gain (Tainter et al. 2003, Allen et al 2001)

Presentation in lab

  • High gain system will self-repair, but low gain system will manage by manipulating part
  • Can perturb high gain systems, but low gain systems will be more sensitive to perturbations

[Tim:  also undergraduate students]

Ed Eglar

  • Don't like writing papers, could have a course that fulfills a science requirement
  • Found gives a language to understand and express things that couldn't express before
  • Undergraduates change:  thinking processes changed, get to ask more important questions
  • Lunches every Tuesday
  • Military background, gives input into academics
  • Have a new way of thinking

2008/07/18 12:30 Ockie Bosch, "ISSS 2009, Making Liveable, Sustainable Systems Unremarkable", ISSS Madison 2008

ISSS Madison 2008, 52nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. The content should not be viewed as an official transcript of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. The digest has been made available for purposes of scholarship, posted on the ISSS web site by David Ing.

Ockie Bosch


Arrive on July 12 for the evening event

Context for conference:

  • Why is systems thinking kept out of science and mainstream problem solving?
  • Brisbane issue of liveability, as a constraint for sustainability
  • For whom:  long run
  • How long
  • At what cost
  • Of what

Many examples of liveability from urban areas 

  • Transport: rail track through your front garden
  • Energy, emissions trading, who pays?
  • Improved health
  • Food security and land use

Can liveability be achieved with sustainability?

  • How can we make liveable, sustainable systems unremarkable

First day plenary

Second day, systems thinking in practice

Workshops

  • Progressive plenary session
  • Systems education 
  • ANZSYS
  • User-centric policy design

Pre-conference training workshop, targeted at middle management of developing countries, sponsored by Unesco

Progressive plenary session:

  • Travel to various points around Brisbane, keynote speaker at each point
  • Identify issues for major analysis, with systemic interventions
  • Friday morning group presentations

Paddock to plate conference dinner:  local producers, giving talks

Combined effort by School of Natural and Rural S'ystems Management (U. Queensland) and ANZSYS

School combines natural systems, rural/social and business/economics

University of Queensland, 37000 students

University-wide Masters of Sustainable Systems