ISSS2018, Corvallis, Oregon, USA

62nd Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

“Innovation and Optimization in Nature and Design”

July 22 – 27, 2018

College of Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon USA



You are warmly invited to join us in July 2018 at Oregon State University to explore foundational discoveries about the nature of complex systems which are now arising from research in systems disciplines such as System Biology, Systems Medicine, Systems Psychology, Systems Economics, Complexity Science and General Systems Research.   

This will be a pivotal event in the emerging renaissance of the systems sciences, bringing together scientists, engineers and practitioners from a wide spectrum of systems fields to explore common interests and challenges, learn from each other, align and consolidate progress, and gather inspiration and momentum for future work in the systems sciences. 

The complexity of the systems we undertake to establish or curate is increasing without limit, and this is accompanied by rapidly rising costs and failure rates.  A Systems Science that explains the nature of complex systems has become an urgent need, as reflected in recent calls by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE).

Over the last few decades many academic fields have developed systems specializations in order to investigate the systemic aspects of their subject areas, and in these areas there is a search for systems concepts and principles under such notions as design principles, organizing principles, channelling functions, and optimality principles.  In Systems Engineering, too, there is a growing interest in design patterns, optimization paradigms, and design elegance. 

The 2018 Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) will bring together these specialised strands of work, laying foundations for establishing the profound general systems science that would enable us to design and optimize for elegant functionality and enduring value at any level of complexity. 

For more information about the planned activities, speakers, sub-themes and key dates:

visit: or email to:

We look forward to welcoming you in Corvallis, Oregon for ISSS 2018!

#ISSS2018 Field Trips: "To the Forest, to the Coast : Paving a way to Systems Literacy"

Paving a way to 'systems literacy' through co-exploring our relations as individuals and groups to each other, to the land, water, air and energy, and technology.

"Systems Literacy” is a key theme developing for the #ISSS2019 Meeting. We invite everyone to join us to continue the conference design conversation as we provide some context through experiential field trips Friday, 27 July, and Saturday, 28 July 2018, immediately following the end of the Conference.

Friday, 27 July, 2pm-5pm : Oregon State University Research Forest

We will visit the Oregon State University Forestry Research Program at the McDonald State Forest  a few miles north of the Corvallis campus

Forest managers and local educators will share their knowledge about the evolution of the forest system from pre-colonization times through to the present.  Educators representing the Oregon Forest Literacy initiative will join us  and guide us as to how their work can inform “Systems Literacy”.


Saturday, 28 July, 9am to 12pm:  Hatfield Marine Science Center and Oregon Coast Aquarium

Continuing from Friday afternoon’s co-exploration we will  journey to Newport on the Oregon coast to learn more about water, coast and ocean systems and their relation to us as individuals and groups at the Oregon Coast Aquarium ( entry fee $23) and the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center.  where Ocean Literacy programs have been a key part of their education programs for the past 10 years.  


Depending on the number of participants for each day travel will either be self-organized or organized buses.  If numbers are low we will self-organize travel to the forest and to the coast using cars owned or rented by conference attendees.  If numbers are high we will organize buses for which the cost will be shared by the participants.  We will finalize and announce the transport plan one week after the conference registration closing date.

2018 Corvallis Registration


The conference registration fee does not include accommodation costs or transport to the conference site.
Registering for the Conference

The full registration fee for ISSS (Sunday July 22 - Friday July 27) includes:

  • The Conference Registration Pack including Program/abstract Book
  • Lunches Monday through Friday
  • Tea/coffee breaks Monday to Friday
  • Opening reception and Conference dinner are additional costs, see below.
Registration powered by RegOnline

Registration Notes

The 62nd Annual Meeting of ISSS will be held at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.

There is a Workshop day on Sunday 22nd July, followed by the Official opening and Gala Event on campus, on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. If you wish to register for only the workshop day on Sunday July 22, please choose the one-day registration.

The accompanying Graduate Student Programme will take place at OSU (20-22 July), followed by attendance at the ISSS conference 23-27 July.

  • Graduate students accepted onto the course should register for the ISSS Conference using the Graduate Student Programme Registration rate. This rate does not include food or lodging prior to the main conference, or lodging during the main conference.

If you require a letter of invitation for your institution or for visa requirements, please contact the ISSS office at   Please note that all such requests will be checked to establish your identity and intention to participate and will only be processed for those with accepted conference papers.

Registration Rates

ISSS Conference Registrations: Payment by May 15, 2018 Payment from May 16, 2018
ISSS Regular $619 $719
ISSS Retired $525 $625
ISSS Developing Country $525 $625

Graduate Student Programme 

    (full week plus 20-22 July)

$495 $595
ISSS Student (full week 22-27 July) $345 $445
One-Day Registration Academic $195 $245
Two-Day Registration Academic $345 $395
Three-Day Registration Academic $495 $545
Company/Industry $899 $1099
Company/Industry One-Day $299


Company/Industry Two-Day $499


Company/Industry Three-Day $699


Accompanying Partner/Spouse $250 $250

Notes for the ISSS Conference fees:

Conference fees are set in US DOLLARS for ISSS2018. 

Day registration rates include attendance at all sessions, lunch and coffee breaks on that day, and conference program/abstract book in the Registration Packs. Membership of ISSS is not included in these registration rates this year.

The ticket cost for attending the Opening Reception on Sunday 22nd is $15. This is added through selection of that ticket(s) during the registration process for yourself (and additional tickets for any guests you wish to bring.)

The ticket cost for attending the Conference Dinner, offsite at Winery, on Thursday 26th is $35. This is added through selection of that ticket(s) during the registration process for yourself (and for any additional any guests you wish to bring.)

The fee for accompanying spouse/partner covers attendance at all sessions, and includes lunches, coffee breaks, and also attendance at the reception and conference dinner. It does not include conference materials. 


Refunds for the Conference

The ISSS makes every effort to keep the costs of the annual meeting as low as possible. Once a conference has been arranged there are fixed costs that the ISSS must pay, irrespective of the number of people attending the conference. For this reason, the ISSS cannot issue refunds outside the terms of its refund policy.

Prior to May 15 Refund minus $50 admin fee
May 15 to June 30 Refund of 50% of registration cost
June 15 to conference No refund
No shows at conference No refund

You should arrange appropriate travel or other insurance to cover any possibilities of loss through cancellation.

All requests for refunds must be submitted to

Changes to the category of registration will incur a $50 administration fee in addition to the new rate cost, to cover bank charges for changes and administration.

If you are unable to attend, the registration can be transferred to another individual to take your place and that person may present your work.

If you do not attend the conference and have not transferred your place to another person, all conference materials and membership for the following calendar year will be sent to you after the conference.

Other Terms and Conditions

This booking form constitutes a legally binding contract and our terms and conditions take precedence over those of any other organisation in every case. A full list of terms and conditions must be agreed to complete registration online.

Abstract and Registration Updates

The deadline for abstracts has been extended to July 5. There is still time to register for the conference and have an abstract accepted. Please visit Submitting and Abstract page for further details. 

Airport Shuttles

This page should redirect to OSU's list of Airport Shuttles.

If it does not, please CLICK HERE.

Conference Locations Update

On Sunday the 22nd of July, ISSS2018 will begin in the Kelley Engineering Center Building, in its open Atrium and surrounding classrooms, for both our registration and Sunday pre-conference workshops. Its address is 110 SW Park Terrace, Corvallis, OR.  On Monday 23, through Friday 27th, the conference will meet in the C2HM Hill Alumni Center, a purpose-built conference facility, at 725 SW 26th Street, Corvallis, OR 97331.  

An interative map of the Campus can be found CLICK HERE, showing the location of the Kelley Engineering Center Building (KEC), the C2HM Hill Alumni venue and its proximity to the Hilton Garden Inn.


ISSS2018 Programme Outline

The overall outline of the ISSS2018 Programme is shown in the table below.

For specific details please check out our SCHED.ORG links to the full program. Speakers and papers and workshops will be added to the SCHED site as they are confirmed, with links to individual speaker information and paper sessions. 

CHECK ISSS2018 SCHED.ORG Program Listings

Link to Sched.Org for the ISSS2018 Meeting Programme.

Registered participants will be sent their own login to access their content in the program, plan their activities and communicate with other attendees.

ISSS 2018 Conference and Meeting:  Sessions Schedule

(download as a PDF)




List of Speakers and Links to their Websites

Monday - The Systems Landscape from Multiple Perspectives

  • Dr David Rousseau, current President of the ISSS,  a Visiting Fellow in the Centre of Systems Studies in the University of Hull, and Scientific Council Member of the Bertalanffy Centre for the Study of Systems Science, and Chair of the ISSS’s SIGs on ‘Systems Philosophy’ and on ‘Research towards General Theories of Systems’.  David will outline a vision for, and discuss progress towards, collaboration and integration across the fields of general systems science, complexity science, specialised systems disciplines and systems engineering.  He will argue that such convergence is essential if we are to effectively meet the social challenges resulting from political and ecological instability and the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution.        
  • Garry Roedler, current President of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), and Fellow and Engineering Outreach Program Manager at Lockheed Martin.  Garry will discuss the systems science needs for supporting systems engineering of the future, which will have to incorporate new technology advances that are driving systems into a more dynamic, non-deterministic, stochastic and evolutionary environment.
  • Peter Roolf and Prof. Wayne Wakeland.   Wayne is current Director of the longest-running Systems Science PhD Programme in the history of the systems sciences.  This programme has been ongoing for nearly five decades at Portland State University.  Pete is a current PhD student in this programme.  The presentation will review the achievements and scope of the PDU programme, and present views on the trends, future challenges and opportunities for systems science in academia.  

Tuesday - Systems Principles in Engineering and Practice

  • Dr. Michael Watson is in the NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) System Engineering Management Office, and leads the NASA Systems Engineering Research Consortium.  He is also Co-Chair of the Complex Systems Working Group of INCOSE.  Mike will discuss the need for elegance in systems design and systems engineering, and present an overview of the principles for elegant systems engineering developed by the NASA Consortium.
  • Prof. Charles Keating is a Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering in Old Dominion University and Director for the National Centers for System of Systems Engineering.  He will be presenting a governance framework for complex system acquisition.  This framework is informed by an analysis of systems principles and laws and identification of the systems pathologies that arise in systems and in systems of systems when such principles and laws are ignored or opposed.
  • Dr Javier Calvo-Amodio is Assistant Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Oregon State University, Director of the Change and Reliable Systems Engineering and Management (CaRSEM) research lab at OSU, and Chair of the ISSS SIG on Systems Modelling and Systems Engineering.  He will give a presentation discussing results and potentials from his research into how systems principles can be used to support  the development of team culture in the context of rapid technological change.           
  • William D. (Bill) Schindel is President of ICTT System Sciences, President of the INCOSE Crossroads of America Chapter, Chair of the INCOSE Patterns Working Group, and a an active member of the ASME Model VVUQ Standards Committee working on guidelines and standards for establishing the credibility of models.  He will be presenting an argument that the specialised engineering disciplines all depend on an underlying systems phenomenon, which is already captured in science by the implications of Hamilton’s Principle and Noether’s Theorem.  The systems phenomenon thus described can provide a theoretical foundation for systems engineering that would be impactful on a par with how other engineering disciplines are empowered by specialised scientific foundations.   

Wednesday - Systems Principles in Society and Culture

  • Tom McDermott, Deputy Director and Director of Research at Georgia Tech Research Institute.  Tom supervises all laboratory operations and business development for GTRI’s $131 million research program.  He’ll be giving a presentation about how principles from the aesthetic interpretation of art can improve the systems thinking skills of systems architects.
  • Dr John Vodonick, Director of Two Ravens Consulting and Chair of the ISSS SIG on “Systemic Ethics”.  He holds doctorates in Organisational Systems and in Law, a Masters in Ethics and Social Theory, and a BA in Business Administration and Management.  John will discuss the relevance of systems principles in ethics, drawing on cases from his own research and practice.
  • Prof. Debora Hammond is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies in Sonoma State University, Berkeley, Program Director of the Hutchins School’s MA in Organization Development., and a Past President of the ISSS.  She will discuss problematic large-scale trends in current society, and outline systems principles evident in cultural change and social transformation.  She will discuss how understanding of such principles can help us work towards a more equitable society.  

Thursday - Systems Principles in the Sciences

  • Prof. Martin Zwick, past Director of the Systems Science PhD Program at Portland State University.  Martin will present an overview of Reconstructability Analysis, a technique for analysing the relationship between an overall system (the whole) and potential subsystems (the parts) in order to find a simplified model of the overall system, and discuss emerging applications such as managing the stability of self-organized teams.
  • Dr. Linda Holbeche  is Co-Director of the Holbeche Partnership, Adjunct Professor at Imperial College London, a Visiting Professor at City University's Cass Business School, at the University of Derby, and at London Guildhall Faculty of Business and Law where she is Co-Director of the Centre for Progressive Leadership.  She will give a presentation about systems principles for the design of organizations that are both agile and resilient.
  • Dr Rika Preiser is a Senior Researcher in the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition at the University of Stellanbosch, South Africa. Her research explores conceptual development of complexity and how the study of the features and dynamics of Complex Adaptive Systems inform novel ways for thinking and anticipating more equitable social-ecological transformation processes toward resilient Anthropocene futures. In her presentation Rika will provide a topology of organizing principles that informs the classification of the features, mechanisms and behaviors of complex adaptive systems, and discuss how these principles hold important conceptual and practical implications for the appropriate application of systems thinking and practices to real-world problems.
  • Prof. Peter Niewiarowski is a researcher at the University of Akron Biomimicry Research and Innovation Center, where his principal research is focused on the ability of geckos to adhere to surfaces of different types and orientations. His presentation will focus on contemporary ways in which the study of living systems inspire solutions to problems in the human built environment (Biomimicry/Biomimetics/Bioinspired Design: BBBD for short). Although such work has an ancient lineage it is still nascent as a formally recognized field. Disagreement, debate, negotiation, and dissonance among those engaged in BBBD arise for many reasons, reflecting different conduct and perspectives of the contributing disciplines. Peter will explore some features of disciplinary intersections in BBBD, especially where the understanding of participants might differ with respect to assumptions and definitions regarding concepts such as function, mechanism, control, and system.

Friday - The Future of Systemology

The morning will be devoted to integrating the inputs from the plenaries, SIG presentations and special workshops into a vision and action plan for systems research.  This will be an interactive session involving audience participation and on-stage facilitators.  This activity will include the definition of a Research Agenda, the formation of collaborative inter- and cross-disciplinary teams for developing detailed project proposals, funding applications, and undertaking research, and planning for ongoing meetings, workshops and dissemination events to facilitate and communicate the work of these teams.    



Speakers at ISSS2018

A list of speakers for ISSS2018 is now announced on the Speaker page for the Annual Meeting.

Click Here for further details!


Accepted Workshops are listed on this page with links to full details listed on SCHED and also their abstracts on .

Workshops are run at ISSS Meetings as longer half or full-day workshops on Sunday, or as shorter 90- or 120-minute workshops in the afternoons of Monday through Thursday. 

The workshop designed around the theme of the meeting led by David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities, will run four sessions, Monday through Thursday, between 1:30 and 5:45 p.m. each day.

There is also a Friday afternnon/Saturday morning field trip this year, led by incoming president Peter Tuddenham. 

Sunday workshops and the Fri/Sat Field Trip do not include refreshment breaks or lunch. There are several cafeterias close by for refreshments/lunch on Sunday and those attending the field trips will receive information about what to bring during the conference.

Sunday Workshops

All-day - 09:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • Kent Palmer and Kenneth Lloyd: Practical Application of Schema and Category Theories -- Scientific & Philosophical Foundations for Systems Engineering and a Possible Basis for the Unification of Systems.

Afternoon - 2:00 to 5:30pm

  • Steve Wallis: Knowledge Mapping for Literature Reviews: A Science of Conceptual Systems Approach.
  • Barbara Widhalm: Nurturing Living Systems Awareness through Movement, Music, Creativity, and Play.

Monday Workshops

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities.
  • Gary Metcalf and George Mobus: Handbook of Systems Science, Kluwer Publishing Discussion.

3:45 to 5:45 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities.
  • Sara Noemi Castiglioni: Innovation and Optimization: Effective Paper Presentations.

Tuesday Workshops

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities.
  • Kambiz Maani: Multi-Stakeholder Decision-Making in Complex Scenarios – Using Systems Thinking.
  • Shankar Sankaran and Gerhard Chroust: Active and Healthy Aging, a Follow-on to Linz Conversation, Part 1.

3:45 to 5:45 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities
  • Shankar Sankaran and Gerhard Chroust: Active and Healthy Aging, a Follow-on to Linz Conversation, Part 2.

Wednesday Workshops

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities.
  • Swami Natarajan, Anand Kumar, Gary Smith, Jennifer Makar, Gary Metcalf, George Mobus: Linking a Systems Science Framework to Systemic Practice and Systems Engineering: Follow-on workshop from Linz Conversation, Part 1.
  • William B Toth: Definitions and Characteristics of Various Safety and Security System Domains

3:45 to 5:45 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities
  • Swami Natarajan, Anand Kumar, Gary Smith, Jennifer Makar, Gary Metcalf, George Mobus: Linking a Systems Science Framework to Systemic Practice and Systems Engineering: Follow-on workshop from Linz Conversation, Part 2.

7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

  • Nora Bateson and Judith Rosen: A Primer on Anticipatory Systems and Human Anticipatory Dysfunction combined with and Introduction to Noras Warm Data Lab.

Thursday Workshops

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities.
  • Helene Finidori, Peter Tuddenham and Len Troncale: Co-exploring the Role of Patterns in Adapting the Original Spirit of General Systems Theory, towards Systems Literacy, Part 1.
  • Fabiana Crespo: Tantra, The Most Powerful Human Technology.

3:45 to 5:45 p.m.

  • David Rousseau and Javier Calvo-Amodio: Systems Science: Identifying Research Themes, Teams and Priorities.
  • Helene Finidori, Peter Tuddenham and Len Troncale: Co-exploring the Role of Patterns in Adapting the Original Spirit of General Systems Theory, towards Systems Literacy. Part 2.
  • Thomas Wong: Systems Basics: Learning from the principles embedded in Nature to optimize the principles affecting Insomnia and consciousness - the systems thinking in the Eastern Taichi Yin-Yang Five Elements system in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the Five Aggregate Human Mind System by Buddha.