A global community connected through systems science and practice 

"To gain knowledge, we must learn to ask the right questions; and to get answers, we must act, not wait for answers to occur to us."
ISSS Past President Anatol Rapoport
The ISSS is a community of researchers, learners, and practitioners who are devoted to transdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems and the application of systems approaches for transformative change.
Conceived in 1954, the ISSS advances systems science theory and application by connecting and enabling researchers and practitioners, and disseminates the knowledge of systems to a global audience.


Models that Explain the Predicament the World Economy Is Facing
Saturday, October 30, 2021
10am to 12pm
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
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
3pm to 5pm
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 6, 2021
10am to 12pm
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.


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ISSS President

The ISSS President for 2021-2022 is George Mobus PhD. http://faculty.washington.edu/gmobus

ISSS News Articles

2021-2022 New 'season' of the Sat/Wed mini-symposia
Posted on Sep 9th, 2021
Greetings ISSS Members
I am so excited to alert you to the new 'season' of the Sat/Wed mini-symposia. We are launching the 2021-22 year with a series of mini-symposia aimed at broadening and deepening our shared understanding of what is possible in the world of systems thinking and doing. These will be held on-line starting September 4th with a talk by Charles Hall, a graduate student of our beloved 1991 president, Howard T. Odum regarding an update of the 50th anniversary of the Limits to Growth model and the role of energy in the development of our technological civilization.
George Mobus
ISSS President 2021-2022
ISSS Annual Election for 2021
Posted on Aug 4th, 2021
The ISSS Annual Election closed on July 30, 2021, at 9 pm pacific and the results were as follows.
President Elect    Roelien Goede
Secretary and Vice President for Protocol- Confirmation vote for Pam Buckle
Vice President Systems Practice- Confirmation Vote for Gary Smith
Vice President Administration- Confirmation Vote for Jennifer Makar
Thank you to all the candidates for standing in this year’s election and to all the members who participated by voting. ISSS Trustee, and Nominating Committee Chairperson Shankar Sankaran will provide additional information about the election at this year’s AGM, which will be announced shortly.
Thank you,
Jennifer Makar
Springer Handbook of Systems Sciences
Posted on Jul 8th, 2020
The Springer Handbook of Systems Sciences will be ready in early 2021
Editors: Gary Metcalf, Professor Emeritus Kyoichi Kijima and Professor Hirsohi Deguchi
Gary says "Let me simply say that organizing the writing of 50 chapters into a book of over 1000 pages has been challenging. It has taken much longer than I expected, but we are now in the final phases". Well done Gary Jim and Hiroshi.

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ISSS members are engaged in a number of activities around the world. Read more  at https://www.isss.org/activities/
Many member activities are collaborative in nature and also involve partnerships and collaborations with other organizations:
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) Systems Science Working Group
Systems Literacy
Systemic Action at the Village Level to encourage and support sustainable development.

Conference 2021 The Art and Science of the Impossible: July 8-13 Online

The Conference is now over. If you are an ISSS Member you can see all the recordings here  https://www.isss.org/online-2021-members/   
The 65th Annual Meeting and Conference was online. For more information, click here. 

World of Systems

The ISSS is one of the oldest organizations dedicated to the study, development and application of systems science, systems thinking, cybernetics and complexity science. 
We are assembling lists of organizations, social network pages and groups, and also maps of the evolution of the field of systems and cybernetics. Here are some examples
Please email me with comments, additions or corrections. Peter D Tuddenham peterdtuddenham at gmail.com

Meeting Proceedings

We Remember

We Remember
Ralph Stacey 1942 - 2021
Steven E Wallis July 29, 2021
James Robert Simms, December 5, 1924 - Saturday, May 22, 2021
Humberto Maturana 1929 - May 2021
Mary Catherine Bateson 1939 - 2 January 2021
Charles Bocage died 21 August 2020
Peter Caws  May 25, 1931 - April 20, 2020 (ISSS President 1966) 
Joe Simpson - June 2020
Jack Ring  - April 2020
Enrique Herrscher 2019
Charles Francois 2019

Systems Science & Applications Spotlight

Members of ISSS are researching and applying Systems Science in a variety of situations and circumstances. we are creating a temporary Editorial Board to decide what new research and application by ISSS Members to feature here. For more information please email webadmin@isss.org

AAAS Affiliate

In 1954 the founders of the current ISSS met at meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). They decided to start the Society for General Systems Theory later renamed Society for General Systems Research and now called the International Society for the Systems Sciences. One of the early group of founders and first presidents of our society in 1957,  Kenneth Ewart Boulding  was President of AAAS in 1980