Brisbane 2009 Conference Announcement and Call for Participation

Making Liveable, Sustainable Systems Unremarkable

Hosted by The University of Queensland and the School of Integrative Systems, Brisbane, Australia, and The Australia New Zealand Systems Group (ANZSYS)

"Some commentators regard liveability as a more local or short-term manifestation of sustainability while others see it as a necessary but insufficient pre-requisite of sustainability" (Brook Lyndhurst 2004). In practice however, this has not prevented unsustainable actions in the name of liveability. Transport, for example is one such area in which the "pursuit of personal 'liveability' can conflict with the liveability of whole neighbourhoods and the community, and more widely with that of sustainable development".

There are many examples of how liveability, especially in urban and peri-urban areas is affected by the ability of people to have access to and benefit from a physical and cultural environment, key facilities and services, and a secure and supportive community, e.g. environmental markets and emissions trading; Do people want to pay?; the environmental sustainability of increasing longevity through improved health systems; food security and land use; utilising scarce arable land for food or fuel?

Liveability appears to be a constraint on what sustainability will be. However, is the questions for sustainability to address the issue of liveability related to:

  • "for whom" (speaks of people prepared to sacrifice for the longer run;
  • "for how long" (addresses the aftermath of liveability decisions);
  • "at what costs" (is the cost less than for easy liveability);
  • "of what" (identification of what comes when a particular liveability scenario is over).

The question we ask is if liveability can be achieved in cooperation with achieving sustainability or are these concepts in conflict. More important, how can we as systems scientists help to make Liveable, Sustainable Systems Unremarkable - especially in a society where Systems Thinking is often kept out of science and mainstream problem solving?

We encourage those interested in attending the conference to submit an abstract for a full paper or poster, or organise a workshop or other event, and begin working with us in creating this important meeting.

Please review the following SIG and Exploratory streams Calls for Papers and contact the named chair to begin developing your contribution to the meeting.

We look forward to seeing you in Queensland!
Professor Timothy F H Allen, President 2008-09
Professor Ockie Bosch, VP Membership and Conferences

Call for Papers

Although the conference will accept papers related to the following areas of research, the list is neither exclusive nor restrictive. Proposals of new sessions and tracks are very welcome, but should be submitted for consideration by March 1, 2009. Each session chair takes the final responsibility for running his/her session. All submitted papers are encouraged to state how relevant the paper is with regard to systems thinking, systems modeling and/or systems practice. The areas listed below have additional contact and content information listed for each specific SIG Calls for Papers page.

Areas proposed by existing Special Integration Groups (SIGs) [click here for full contact details] and current exploratory groups:


  • Agent-based Social Systems Sciences
  • Aging Systems
  • Balancing Individualism and Collectivism
  • Critical Systems Theory and Practice
  • Designing Educational Systems
  • Evolutionary Development
  • Hierarchy Theory
  • Human Systems Inquiry
  • Information Systems Design & Information Technology
  • ISSS Roundtable
  • Living Systems Analysis
  • Medical and Health Systems
  • Meta-Modeling & Systems Epistemology
  • Organizational Transformation & Social Change
  • Research Towards General Theories of Systems
  • Socio-Ecological Systems
  • Spirituality and Systems
  • Student SIG
  • Systemic Approaches to Conflict and Crises
  • Systems Applications in Business & Industry
  • Systems Biology and Evolution
  • Systems and Mental Health
  • Systems Modeling & Simulation
  • Systems Pathology
  • Systems Philosophy & Systems Ethics
  • Systems Specific Technology
  • What is Life/Living

Exploratory Groups

  • Arts Based Inquiry
  • Foundations of Information Systems
  • Monetary Systems

In addition to paper presentations, the Student SIG and Roundtable will organise sessions, and there will be Mini-Conversations, based on interactions from the field trip experiences. Anyone who is interested in these sessions is welcome to participate in them without prior notice; no papers or abstracts are required in these sessions.