United Kingdom Systems Society 2023 Conference: 14th – 15th September 2023
Posted on December 24, 2022 8:00 AM by Peter Tuddenham
United Kingdom Systems Society 2023 Conference
St Hilda’s College, Oxford, UK
14th – 15th September 2023
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Systems: Transition to a Sustainable World
System – A set of interconnected parts named and embodied within a boundary that, for us, forms a meaningful whole: something which, taken together has meaning for us
Transition – The action or process of passing or passage from one condition, action, or (occas.) place, to another (shorter Oxford dictionary)
Sustainable – causing, or made in a way that causes, little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time (Cambridge dictionary)
World – Natural environment – a place of settlement
The need for a transition to a more sustainable world is widely accepted but it cannot be assumed that understanding what sustainability is, is a given. Isolated efforts to tackle what are perceived to be key issues do not always yield anticipated outcomes, they may even be counter-productive. What we should recognize is that what we have is a network of interconnected problems, described by Ackoff as systems of problems or ‘messes’. To make sense of these messes we need to adopt a holistic perspective. Systems thinking provides the intellectual framework and systems practice the lessons which enrich the theory. The conference is designed to promote and capitalise upon such thinking and will provide examples of how these ideas might contribute to sustainability.
Rodney Irwin, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Ray Ison is a Professor of Systems at the Open University and President of the International Federation of Systems Research.