The ISSS may award one or several Memorial Awards at each Annual Meeting. These awards are given in the names of Sir Geoffrey Vickers, Anatol Rapoport, and Margaret Mead, recognizing outstanding work by a student in distinct domains the systems sciences. The Vickers award encourages contributions to areas of consideration where systems approaches stand to enrich the social sciences, humanities and the arts. The Rapoport award recognizes works in the domains of the physical sciences, the life sciences, mathematics and engineering. The Mead award considers contributions across the domains considered by both the Vickers and the Rapoport awards, but distinguishes those that place special emphasis on feminist, collectivist, and culturally pluralistic perspectives.
The Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award commemorates the life and works of Sir Geoffrey Vickers. His view of the human condition as fundamentally embedded in a web of value relations, and of the dilemma of human action as both rational and valuative, lead him to the formulation of the Appreciative Systems approach. The spirit of his lifework is tremendously contemporary, even though he wrote his most significant works in the early second half of the 20th century: society as evolutionarily emergent; participative and interactive communication as a creative agent; humanization as the necessary normative component of socialization — all this as part of what he called "a science of human ecology." It is through a truly integrative and systemic approach to our humanity that Sir Geoffrey believed we can learn to navigate multi-valued choice in the ways we structure and value our situation. Being critical (without criticizing), judging (without being judgmental), and engaging in normative decision taking (without ignoring or subjugating the interests of others) — these are the challenges of a science of human ecology as he saw it. The realization that "Science is human"(1) derives from his assertion that we are "incorrigible valuers."(2) Indeed, it was Sir Geoffrey's fundamental affirmation that only by learning to be appreciative systems, ourselves, will we create social structures capable of supporting the essence of our humanity. The ISSS Vickers Award seeks to recognize promising work that advances the systems sciences toward this vision.
(1) Vickers, G. (1968) Value Systems and Social Process, Pelican Books, Middlesex, England, p.214.
(2) Ibid. 214.
The Anatol Rapoport Memorial Award is offered in recognition of the best student paper presented at the annual ISSS Conference in a quantitative, engineering, hard science, natural science, technological, or logico-empirical systems framework. Submissions that present any one or combination of these perspectives will be eligible for this award. As such, it is distinct from the Sir Geoffrey Vickers Award which, as described above, is offered in recognition of work presented in a qualitative, humanistic, social science, artistic, phenomenological, or spiritual-intuitive systems framework (again, any one or combination of these). This award honors the contributions of one of the original founders of the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory, the original precursor of which the ISSS is a direct descendent.(3) Rapoport joined his skills in mathematics and formal logic with those of biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy, economist Kenneth E. Boulding, and psychologist, Ralph W. Gerard to establish the aims of the original Society in 1954 in support of what came to be known as the Systems Movement. These aims included the idea that, as a result of work across different disciplines of knowledge, there would arise a high-level meta-theory of systems that could be mathematically expressed. His vision focused on what he characterized as "the creative exploration of analogies,"(4) especially those deducible from mathematical models. Such efforts served to illustrate his conviction of the fundamental interconnectedness of everything to everything else, as he expressed so eloquently in his keynote address to the ISSS/World Congress of the System Sciences in 2000. On that occasion, he pointed out that the symbol for the Society was the integration symbol from mathematics — the ∫ sign — and that exploration of mathematical analogies or "isomorphisms" is the main interest of a general system-theory. The ISSS Rapoport Award seeks to recognize promising work in the systems sciences in this spirit of inquiry.
(3) Checkland, P. (1993) Systems Thinking, Systems Practice, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, England, p. 93.
(4) Hammond, D. (2003) The Science of Synthesis, University Press of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA, p. 157.
The Margaret Mead Memorial Award was established in 2013 to commemorate the memory of the first woman to serve as President of the ISSS (at a time when it was called the International Society for General Systems Research – ISGSR – in 1972). Margaret Mead was involved with the society since it was first established as the Society for the Advancement of General Systems Theory at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1956. At that meeting, she admonished the newly formed society to apply systems principles to itself as an organization, "with the aim of fostering a more collaborative and inclusive organizational structure."(5) Her work with indigenous – or more properly, autochthonous – peoples the world over emphasized the role of the individual in the collective, and the role of the collective as enabler for the flourishing of the individual. Deeply committed to social process, Mead's view of systems was fundamentally relational. Sir Ken Robinson notes that "human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability, and the heart of our challenge is to reconstitute our sense of ability and of intelligence."(6) It is in this spirit of relational intelligence, drawing on the type of systemic consciousness so well embodied by Margaret Mead, that this award has been established. Whereas the other two Student Paper Awards both celebrate the vision for inspired systemic thought, being, and action as embodied and manifest through the efforts of individuals such as Sir Geoffrey Vickers and Anatol Rapoport, the Margaret Mead Memorial Award recognizes contributions to systems experience, thinking, design, and action that empower individuals in communities, and in so doing, empower communities as purposeful systems in their own right. This award invites papers that address contemporary challenges in ways that advance understanding of how collective intelligence and collective impact(7) foster emergence, thrivability and systemic wellbeing. The ISSS honors Margaret Mead and the inspirational role her work continues to play in the life of the society, as attested to by her presence on the main page of our website (http://isss.org/world/).
(5) Hammond, D. (2003). The Science of Synthesis, University Press of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA, p. 249.
(6) Robinson, Ken (2010). Bring on the learning revolution! TED Talk – online at http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html [sourced 10 February 2013].
(7) Kania, J. and Kramer, M. (2013). Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity, Stanford Social Innovation Review – online at http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/embracing_emergence_how_collective_impact_addresses_complexity [sourced 10 February 2013].
In memory of the humanistic vision of Sir Geoffrey Vickers, the integrative vision of Anatol Rapoport, and the collectivist vision of Margaret Mead, and in recognition of their deep commitment to, and belief in, the power of young people to contribute creatively to the betterment of the human condition, a plaque and check for $500 will be awarded for the best student paper in each of the three award domains. The Vickers Award, the Rapoport Award, and the Mead Award recognize outstanding work done in the domain of the systems sciences, and are considered the most prestigious prizes in the field at the pre-doctoral level. Submissions that draw on perspectives covered by any of these three Awards are warmly invited. Generally speaking, it will be in the author's best interest to indicate for which award they wish to have their submission considered.
A completed student conference registration confirmation fee should accompany the paper submission.
The successful paper may be scheduled for presentation in a plenary session during the conference at the discretion of the President and the Program Committee.
If it is not possible for the student to travel to the conference, it may be possible to arrange for a video link (depending on the facilities available to the conference) or another person may make the presentation on the student's behalf. The preferred options are as follows and in order of preference:
|1985||New York||Ib Ravn|
|1987||Budapest||two awards: Alexander Laszlo (sole author); Lynda J. Davies and Paul W.J. Ledington (co-authors)|
|1988||St Louis||Donald de Raadt|
|1989||Edinburgh||Bela A Banathy|
|1990||Portland||two awards: Sally Goerner; Daune West|
|1991||Sweden||Erin Artigiani, Cliff Joslyn|
|1992||Denver||Sen Suan Tan|
|1994||Asilomar||T. Dahl and Darek Erikson|
|1995||Amsterdam||two awards: Craig Crabtree; Jennifer Wilby|
|1997||Seoul, Korea||No Award|
|1999||Asilomar||Molly Dwyer and Jane Zimmerman|
|2000||Toronto||two awards: Gabor Horvath; Kathia Laszlo|
|2001||Asilomar||Lynn M. Rasmussen|
|2002||Shanghai, China||two awards: Pamela Buckle; K. C. Wang|
|2006||Sonoma||Hanne Birgitte Jensen|
|2010||Waterloo||Todd D. Bowers|
|2012||San Jose||William J. Varey|
|2013||Hai Phong, Viet Nam||Victor MacGill|
|2014||Washington, DC||Anne Powel Davis|
|2015||Berlin, Germany||Alexandre Strapasson|
|2016||Boulder, Colorado||Skyler Knox Perkins|
|2017||Vienna, Austria||No award.|
|2022||Kruger, South Africa||
This award was first given in 2011.
|2012||San Jose, USA||Andreas Hieronymi|
|2013||Hai Phong, Viet Nam||Novie Setianto|
|2014||Washington, DC||No award|
|2015||Berlin, Germany||Kwamina Ewur Banson|
|2016||Boulder, Colorado||Aleksandar Malecic|
|2017||Vienna, Austria||Anh B. Tong|
|2023||Kruger, South Africa||
This award was first given in 2013.
|2013||Hai Phong, Viet Nam||Magda Kaspary|
|2014||Washington, DC||Raghav Rajagopalan|
|2015||Berlin, Germany||Eshantha Ariyadasa|
|2016||Boulder, Colorado||Jackwin Simbolon|
|2017||Vienna, Austria||Kendra Rosencrans|
Maria Alejandra Torres-Cuello
|2023||Kruger, South Africa||
El Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award se estableció en memoria de la visión humanística de Sir Geoffrey Vickers y su profundo compromiso y convicción en el poder de la gente joven para contribuir creativamente al mejoramiento de la condición humana. De la misma manera, se estableció el Anatol Rapoport Memorial Award para reconocer trabajo sobresaliente hecho por gente joven en las áreas quantitativas y de modelación formal. Y en 2013, se estableció el Margaret Mead Memorial Award para promover contribuciones de la gente joven en ambitos de investigaciones feministas, colectivistas, y de un carácter culturalmente pluralista. Los tres premios consisten en una plaqueta y un cheque por U$D 500. cada uno — a ser otorgados a los mejores trabajos de un estudiante universitario, y son los premio más prestigiosos en esta área del conocimiento en el nivel pre-doctoral. Los trabajos ganadores son presentados en una sesión plenaria de la conferencia anual de la entidad.