Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Howard Silverman - reflections on ISSS

Just prior to the ASC/BIG and ISSS conferences I became aware of Howard Silverman's excellent blog called Solving for Pattern.   My awareness came from feedback Howard provided on some of my own work.  Then we had the chance to meet and chat at the two Californian conferences. 

In a reflection on these, Howard writes:

'I appreciate your call at the [ASC] cybernetics conference for greater attention to authentic conversation. That's a high bar -- and by that standard, both conferences fell short. Yet at the same time, i did really enjoy them both, and found them both very welcoming.

ISSS seems kind of quirky to me. Can't quite escape the shadow of its founding giants. Somewhat burdened and exasperated by the ambition to develop a system of systems. Missing a process for incorporating fields -- like, say, network theory -- that have emerged since the Bertalanffy/Boulding era. Split between the positivist-leaning system engineering folks and the more interpretive/critical folks. Yet, despite it all, the power of the original vision attracts new participants, and the opportunity to share a space in that shadow seems to offer ongoing value. It was certainly valuable for me.

By the way, i posted the slides from my talk. One of the main themes i'm exploring is how context shifting -- across organizational, social, and ecosystem contexts -- affects the application of systems approaches.'

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