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ISSS 2019 Early Registration Ending 17 May
Posted on May 15th, 2019

Systems Literacy Workshop. We will continue to develop themes and ideas based upon previous work while looking to the future and the challenges of systems behaviour, understanding, design, modelling and engineering for systems large and small. Building on theme of the conference and recognizing the US Next Generation Science Standards Cross Cutting Concepts we will develop a draft document to guide educators and learners.

Nurturing Natural Pattern Awareness through Movement, Music, Creativity, and Play

As agents in a turbulent world, how can we infuse our actions with more vitality and nurture our capacity as co-creative change agents? We invite you to a playful workshop of experiencing the ISSS community as a vibrant living system and to carry that felt sense into the conference and our lives.

This workshop is inspired by an experiential approach called Biodanza, which is grounded in living systems theory and was particularly inspired by system scholars Maturana, Varela, and Capra. Biodanza, which means Dance of Life, integrates music, movement, play, and authentic interactions to evoke a felt sense of being fully alive in the here-and-now. This modality originated over 50 years ago in Chile and Brazil under the wings of psychologist and anthropologist Rolando Toro and has spread since then to five continents. Biodanza sessions are designed to help participants develop capacities for adaptability and fluidity in their lives and to become more attuned to life’s pattern language and self-organizing possibilities.

In this workshop, we will first review the organizing principles of nature as a pattern language for learning and connection. Participants will then be guided through nature-inspired poetry and playful movement exercises with music. No dance experience needed!

Systems Thinking Teacher Professional Development Workshop: How to Integrate Systems Thinking into your Curriculum

Workshop Focus:
Foundational systems thinking skills and how to use them in the classroom to complement NGSS-related materials.
Review of lessons developed by Oregon State faculty and SMILE program.
PDU will be awarded to participants.

Systemic Governance in the Complexity of Authentic Democracy, Discovering the Democratique: An Experience of Systemic Deliberation.  A Kenneth Bausch Memorial track including a workshop to pursue the complex issues with democratic governance in the rapidly evolving civilizations in which we live and represent.

This is a participatory workshop for a simulation of and exposure to the foundational processes of systemic dialogue, enabled by the principles of Structured Dialogic Design (Christakis and Bausch, 2006).  As a deliberation methodology, SDD provides the structure, logic, and process to facilitate high-conflict or multi-stakeholder interest groups to find shared meaning and reach consensus on action. This ISSS workshop is tailored to demonstrate the state of the art of SDD technology and process in a way that enables meaningful participative learning with members.  The triggering question (focus of inquiry) for the workshop will be interrogated in the opening inquiry, but is initially proposed as: “How might we resolve the most systemic disincentives to democratic participation in Western civil societies over the next 10 years?”

Federated Wiki and Pattern Language  The original wiki technology was developed by Ward Cunningham in 1995 to support the Portland Pattern Repository.  The project, which became formalized in the Hillside Group, followed an approach developed by Christopher Alexander at the Center for Environmental Structure at Berkeley.  This platform simplified writing and reading hyperlinks between patterns, so that a pattern language could become generative.

Over the past 5 years, an open source community led by Ward has developed a technology whereby every individual could have his or her own set of wiki sites, and sharing across a federation of collaborators becomes as easy as dragging-and-dropping.  The ISSS leadership has been discussing federated wiki as a potential platform on which systems literacy content might be progressed. This workshop is an opportunity for ISSS conference attendees to explore the platform, appreciate the codevelopment of the systems sciences with pattern language, and have questions answered face-to-face. Attendees may continue to develop their knowledge and collaborate at a distance, after leaving Corvallis.

Exploratory Group Workshop:  Systems Changes research program: The Systems Changes research program is exploring the shift of frames when the world is seen as more than a system (i.e. from singular to plural) and more than a change (i.e. from one event to continual).

The program originated in fall 2018, amongst members of Systems Thinking Ontario, hosted by the Strategic Innovation Lab at OCADU in Toronto.  Artifacts are posted on the web site, with open communications through an online channel on the Open Learning Commons ( and federated wiki sites on the Digital Life Collective (

Progress to date includes work on a “more understandable” description of Systems Changes for practitioners and decision-makers.  While the dominant paradigm for System Change is mechanistic solids with linear physics under constant conditions, Systems Changes see living fluids with nonlinear biochemistry under varying conditions.

This workshop will further test ways of explaining the approach, diagnosis and potential treatments associated with negotiating Systems Changes.

Other workshop titles:

Soft Systems Methodology in a Flash  - Fundraising for ISSS

Innovation and Optimization: Effective Paper Presentations

Co-Creating Conditions to Thrive in Education: A Systems Informed Positive Psychology Workshop

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