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February 28, 2006

Daring to Explore

The Fifth Annual Forum of the In2:InThinking Network, March 30-April 4, 2006,  Los Angeles, California, USA

2006forumposterThe Fifth Annual Forum, themed Daring to Explore – Creating Possibilities Together, continues to expand “thinking about thinking”, raising the consciousness of better thinking in individuals and organizations. To that end, the organizers of the conference have invited pioneering thinkers who “Dare to Explore.” In addition, they are partnering with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to offer seven pre-conference workshops and one post-conference workshop. The 2006 Forum aims to promote an environment where compelling ideas and insights will evolve from an exposure to new thoughts, and inthinking colleagues. (And these ideas and insights may lead the participants in untold exciting directions in their work and life after the Forum.)

Download in2in06-brochure.pdf

Posted by ACASA on February 28, 2006 at 03:09 PM in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 09, 2006

Ackoff's 87th Birthday!

Congratulations ..........
The Most Honorable professor Russell L. Ackoff!
From Felix Tarassenko
Prof. from Tomsk, Siberia.
Download Congratulations.pdf

Posted by ACASA on February 9, 2006 at 11:00 AM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (1)

February 06, 2006

Complexity, Democracy & Sustainability

The 50th Anniversary Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

July 9-14, 2006
Sonoma State University – Rohnert Park, California

Call for Participation

The 50th anniversary conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) offers a landmark opportunity to celebrate and reinvigorate a half-century of interdisciplinary collaboration and synthesis. The ISSS is unique among systems-oriented institutions in the breadth of its scope, bringing together scholars and practitioners from academic, business, government, and non-profit communities to explore what Gregory Bateson has called the “pattern that connects.”

These past fifty years have produced a tremendous richness and breadth of research into the nature of complexity, from the scientific study of complex systems to interactive approaches in management and community development. Building on this impressive heritage, the 50th annual meeting of the ISSS aims to convene leading thinkers and practitioners from across the spectrum of systems-related fields in order to nurture an ongoing synthesis of theory and practice, to cultivate a more integrated understanding of the challenges confronting humanity, and to envision possible paths toward solutions. Both the American Society for Cybernetics and the Ackoff Center for Advancement of Systems Approaches (ACASA) will be holding annual meetings in partnership with the Sonoma conference; and representatives from other related organizations will be participating in the program, including the System Dynamics Group, the Santa Fe Institute, the New England Complex Systems Institute, the Institute for Intercultural Studies, the General Evolution Research Group, and the Center for Organizational Dynamics (University of Pennsylvania), among others.

The theme for this anniversary conference, “Complexity, Democracy, and Sustainability,” is an attempt to capture some key dimensions in the broadly defined field of systems research. Following an opening keynote from Fritjof Capra on Sunday evening, July 9, the conference will be organized around four main plenary sessions:

  Complex Systems and the Roots of Systems Thinking
  • Self-Organization and Living Systems
  • Ecological Systems and Sustainability
  • Social Systems Design and Practice

Confirmed speakers include: Ralph Abraham, Yaneer Bar Yam, Vincent Barabba, Mary Catherine Bateson, Mike C. Jackson, Alexander & Kathia Laszlo, Ervin Laszlo, Hunter Lovins, Humberto Maturana, Richard Norgaard, Susan Oyama, George Richardson, and Geoffrey West.

ISSS conferences have a tradition of interaction and rich conversation, integrating provocative plenary discussions with breakout sessions organized around Special Integration Groups (SIGs) and other interactive formats for dialogue and synthesis. This year we plan to incorporate even more interactive dynamics into the morning plenary sessions. The formats of the afternoon breakout sessions will vary from traditional paper presentations to general discussions, as noted in the description for each session, which can be found at http://projects.isss.org/Main/Sonoma2006CallsForPapers. Along with the traditional SIGs, we are organizing the following additional sessions:

Economics and Complementary Currencies, Arts-Informed Inquiry, Terrorism and Peace, Climate Change, and a Bateson Forum. We also plan to create opportunities for Open Space and World Café Conversations.

We invite proposals for papers relating to the conference theme, as well as sub-themes proposed by SIG chairs. Proposals for additional forums on systems-related areas not addressed by existing SIGs and other proposed sessions will be considered. For information on submitting abstracts and proposals, see http://www.isss.org/conferences/sonoma2006/.

Pre and Post-Conference Workshops: We are currently planning a pre-conference workshop on Mind in Nature and a post-conference workshop on The Food System. Additional information will be available on the ISSS website.

Deadlines: The priority deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals is February 28, 2006. Abstracts submitted after this date and before June 1 will be considered for inclusion in the program on a space-available basis. Papers accepted for presentation will be compiled on a CDROM and distributed at the conference. The deadline for submission of full papers is April 30, 2006.

Location: The conference will be held at Sonoma State University, located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley vineyards, 50 miles north of San Francisco. There is a shuttle service from both the Oakland and San Francisco airports (http://www.airportexpressinc.com/) to the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park, which is just a 5-10 minute taxi ride from the conference site.

Comfortable accommodations in on-campus housing are included in the Resident Registration Fees as outlined below. Fees include all meals, from Sunday evening, July 9, through Friday lunch, July 14. Rooms are all singles, each with an adjoining bathroom,
arranged in four bedroom suites that include a kitchen and living room. See facilities at http://projects.isss.org/Main/Sonoma2006Venue.

We anticipate having on-line registration available before April 15; in the meantime a downloadable registration form is available on the ISSS web site. Early registration is recommended, as space may be limited. Registration fees are described below for both
resident and non-resident categories. Non-resident fees do not include parking passes (which can be purchased on-site) nor transportation to and from the conference site. There will be an additional charge of $30 for the banquet on Thursday, July 13 for both residents and

(Includes on-site meals and housing)

Payment by April 15

Developing country$600USD

Payment after April 15

Developing country$700USD

(Includes Sunday reception and lunches)

Payment by April 15
Developing country$325USD

Payment after April 15
Developing country$$400USD

For further information, please consult the ISSS website:

Posted by ACASA on February 6, 2006 at 12:25 PM in Announcements | Permalink | Comments (3)

February 01, 2006

A Major Mistake That Managers Make

By Russell L. Ackoff

All through school we are taught that making a mistake is a bad thing. We are downgraded for them. When we graduate and enter the real world and the organizations that occupy it, the aversion to mistakes continues. As a result one tries either to avoid them or, if one is made, to conceal it or transfer blame to another.

We pay a high price for this because one can only learn from mistakes; by identifying and correcting them.

… in business, if mistakes are made and laws are not broken, you rarely see any formal investigation. Even when the companies themselves look into what happened, they don’t do it in a structured and rigorous way. They don’t learn anything from the process. (Mittelstaedt, Jr., 2005)

One does not learn from doing something right; one already knows how to do it. By doing something right one gets confirmation of what one already knows but no new knowledge. The fact that schools are more interested in teaching than in learning is apparent from their failure to determine if students learn from their mistakes. Once they are graded based on the number of mistakes they make, the teacher presses on, does not check to determine whether the student has learned from the mistakes made.

Schools, including business schools, do not even reveal the fact that there are two kinds of mistakes.
To read this article, click on the link: A Major Mistake That Managers Make

Posted by ACASA on February 1, 2006 at 01:53 PM in Systems Articles | Permalink | Comments (2)