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Models that Explain the Predicament the World Economy Is Facing
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021, 3pm to 5pm at Zoom
Gail Tverberg - Oct. 30/Nov. 3 - Models that Explain the Predicament the World Economy Is Facing
Gail Tverberg has an MS in mathematics and is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society. While working in the insurance industry, it became apparent to Ms. Tverberg that the long-term models prepared by actuaries were not really right: An economy could not expect to grow at the same rate indefinitely, in a finite world. In 2005, she started reading about the oil limits problem and started writing articles on the subject in 2006. In March 2007, she decided to leave the insurance industry and investigate the issue of how the limits to a finite world could be expect to play out, on close to a full-time basis. She started her own blog, OurFiniteWorld.com, at that time. For a time, while the site was still active, she became an author and editor at TheOilDrum.com, writing under the name “Gail the Actuary.” Ms. Tverberg gradually developed and expanded her own theories, as many different energy groups invited her to give talks, and as commenters on her website brought new ideas to her attention. She has written several academic papers and has taught a short course on Energy Economics at Petroleum University in Beijing. Most of her recent writing can be found at OurFiniteWorld.com.
 
Models that Explain the Predicament the World Economy Is Facing
 
The world economy is a self-organizing system, powered by energy. Ms. Tverberg will explain the predicament that the world economy is up against, as a series of four models:
 
1. The economy as a rocket.
2. The operation of individual local economies as being analogous to the operation of a human body, with many different systems. Each human grows, stagnates, and eventually dies.
3. The economy as being like a child’s building toy, which that is built up in layers. Unneeded layers are removed, leaving a hollow center.
4. The economy as being like a bicycle that must go fast enough, or it will tip over.
 
She will also show that based on 200 years of experience, a major indicator that limits are being reached is energy consumption per capita that stops growing.
 
The real model of the pattern of growth and decline of economies, based on the research of Turchin and Nefedof in Secular Cycles, is a pattern of rapid growth followed by stagnation. After years of stagnation, the system tips over into collapse, slowly at first and then faster. Ugo Bardi’s Seneca Curve is similar. The authors of The Limits to Growth have indicated that their model is only predictive up until the time collapse begins. Thus, the indications provided here are also consistent with those of the 1972 analysis, The Limits to Growth.
Cybernetics and Psychology
Saturday, November 6th, 2021, 10am to 12pm at Zoom
Robert Johannson has experience as a systems thinker, an antipoverty activist, a playwright, a Shakespeare scholar, an accountant, a member of Winnipeg City Council, an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, a teacher of parenting courses, a systems administrator, and is currently a member of the Green Party. He is happily married and has three amazing children and five remarkable grandchildren. He hopes his book Green Rising: An Alternative Future will help build a better world for them.
 
The presentation provides an alternative to behaviorism. Instead of looking at the mind as a mechanical object driven by outside forces, it looks at the mind as a subject, as a process of communication and control (cybernetics) that is purpose driven, and has mental models, and decision-making processes. It provides a theoretical basis for cognitive therapies.
Cybernetics and Psychology
Wednesday, November 10th, 2021, 3pm to 5pm at Zoom
Robert Johannson has experience as a systems thinker, an antipoverty activist, a playwright, a Shakespeare scholar, an accountant, a member of Winnipeg City Council, an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, a teacher of parenting courses, a systems administrator, and is currently a member of the Green Party. He is happily married and has three amazing children and five remarkable grandchildren. He hopes his book Green Rising: An Alternative Future will help build a better world for them.
 
The presentation provides an alternative to behaviorism. Instead of looking at the mind as a mechanical object driven by outside forces, it looks at the mind as a subject, as a process of communication and control (cybernetics) that is purpose driven, and has mental models, and decision-making processes. It provides a theoretical basis for cognitive therapies.
Discuss Action Groups
Saturday, November 13th, 2021, 10am to 12pm at Zoom
How can ISSS better communicate our insights to a world in need? - An initial Open Mic discussion on starting an ISSS “ActionGroup” hosted by Jessie Henshaw and followed by a workshop organized by Gary Smith and Jen Makar – please join – Bring your ideas of the needs of the world, opportunities to serve, and good examples to follow.

Seeing a bounty of insight into our changing world during the July conference, George suggested we do more to share our insights. The following workshop will be an organizational meeting. The initial Open Mic will follow a “studio model” with people presenting ideas to work on for feedback and support.
Things to also think about:
(1) Abilities: What are we best and uniquely equipped to do?
(2) Opportunities: Where are the needs on which we might have influence?
(3) Language: How do we get ideas across simply enough for real discussion?
(4) Marketing: How would we polish and shape our work for distribution?
(5) Organization: Would we work altogether or have smaller teams periodically presenting their work for support?

If you have written input, add it to the chat or send an email with the subject [ActionGroup] to Jessie, Jen & Gary. Review the work samples and send Jessie files to share on the directory is https://synapse9/agroup/
Systems Thinking and the SDGs
Wednesday, November 17th, 2021, 11am to 1pm at Online
 
 
From Gerald Midgley
 
On 17 November, our Centre for Systems Studies at the University of Hull is co-hosting a UN-supported, online event on systems thinking for accelerating the sustainable development goals. See image for further details (and note the time listed on the image
attachment is European time, not UK time). The speakers are Laila Baker (UN Development Co-ordination Office), Josep Coll (EADA Business School), Ellen Lewis (Ethos of Engagement), Gerald Midgley (University of Hull), Michael Quinn Patton (Blue Marble Evaluation), Otto Scharmer (Presencing Institute) and Anne Stephens (Ethos of Engagement). Please register here, and you will be sent a link:
Discuss Action Groups
Wednesday, November 17th, 2021, 3pm to 5pm at Zoom
How can ISSS better communicate our insights to a world in need? - An initial Open Mic discussion on starting an ISSS “ActionGroup” hosted by Jessie Henshaw and followed by a workshop organized by Gary Smith and Jen Makar – please join – Bring your ideas of the needs of the world, opportunities to serve, and good examples to follow.

Seeing a bounty of insight into our changing world during the July conference, George suggested we do more to share our insights. The following workshop will be an organizational meeting. The initial Open Mic will follow a “studio model” with people presenting ideas to work on for feedback and support.
Things to also think about:
(1) Abilities: What are we best and uniquely equipped to do?
(2) Opportunities: Where are the needs on which we might have influence?
(3) Language: How do we get ideas across simply enough for real discussion?
(4) Marketing: How would we polish and shape our work for distribution?
(5) Organization: Would we work altogether or have smaller teams periodically presenting their work for support?

If you have written input, add it to the chat or send an email with the subject [ActionGroup] to Jessie, Jen & Gary. Review the work samples and send Jessie files to share on the directory is https://synapse9/agroup/
Joseph Tainter - Nov. 20/24 - "Complexity and the Productivity of Innovation
Saturday, November 20th, 2021, 10am to 12pm at Zoom
Joseph A. Tainter is Professor of Sustainability in the Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University, having previously served as Department Head. Dr. Tainter worked on issues of sustainability before the term became common, including his acclaimed book The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988). He is co-editor of The Way the Wind Blows: Climate, History, and Human Action (Columbia University Press, 2000), a work exploring past human responses to climate change. With T. F. H. Allen and T. W. Hoekstra he wrote Supply-Side Sustainability (Columbia University Press, 2003), the first comprehensive approach to sustainability to integrate ecological and social science. His most recent book is Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma, with Tadeusz Patzek (Copernicus Books, 2012). Dr. Tainter’s research has been used in more than 40 countries, and in many scientific and applied fields. Among other institutions, his work has been consulted in the United Nations Environment Programme, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Rand Corporation, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, the Earth Policy Institute, Technology Transfer Institute/Vanguard, and the Highlands Forum. Dr. Tainter’s books have been translated into seven other languages. His research has been applied in numerous fields, including economic development, energy, environmental conservation, health care, information technology, urban studies, and the challenges of security in response to terrorism. Joseph Tainter appears in the film The 11th Hour, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, and in other documentaries. Dr. Tainter’s current research focuses on complexity, sustainability, energy, and innovation.
 
Joseph Tainter - Nov. 20/24 - "Complexity and the Productivity of Innovation
Wednesday, November 24th, 2021, 3pm to 5pm at Zoom
Joseph A. Tainter is Professor of Sustainability in the Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University, having previously served as Department Head. Dr. Tainter worked on issues of sustainability before the term became common, including his acclaimed book The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988). He is co-editor of The Way the Wind Blows: Climate, History, and Human Action (Columbia University Press, 2000), a work exploring past human responses to climate change. With T. F. H. Allen and T. W. Hoekstra he wrote Supply-Side Sustainability (Columbia University Press, 2003), the first comprehensive approach to sustainability to integrate ecological and social science. His most recent book is Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma, with Tadeusz Patzek (Copernicus Books, 2012). Dr. Tainter’s research has been used in more than 40 countries, and in many scientific and applied fields. Among other institutions, his work has been consulted in the United Nations Environment Programme, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Rand Corporation, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, the Earth Policy Institute, Technology Transfer Institute/Vanguard, and the Highlands Forum. Dr. Tainter’s books have been translated into seven other languages. His research has been applied in numerous fields, including economic development, energy, environmental conservation, health care, information technology, urban studies, and the challenges of security in response to terrorism. Joseph Tainter appears in the film The 11th Hour, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, and in other documentaries. Dr. Tainter’s current research focuses on complexity, sustainability, energy, and innovation.
 
Open Mic: Conducting debates in this or another forum
Saturday, November 27th, 2021, 10am to 12pm at Zoom
Past President Delia Pembrey would like to see more structured debate on important topics relevant to the society (personal communication). A structured or formal debate means following some protocols (c.f., Lincoln-Douglas debate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%E2%80%93Douglas_debate_format) that keep things civil and, one hopes, productive. These debate formats require preparation on the part of the debaters so we can hear thoughtful, reasoned arguments on each side of an issue. What do you think? Should we devote some of our future Sat/Wed sessions to such debates? Or should we set up another forum? Can you see anything productive emerging from this approach? If so, what topics would you like to see debated? From our recent experiences with a very provocative email thread, one topic might be: Capitalism, Good, Bad, or Indifferent!

In this session we open the mic to your opinions about pursuing this idea. Personally, I would support it because of my experiences with debate club in high school. But what do you think?