The 58th meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences was held George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. Gerald Midgley president for this year, and his conference team, are to be commended for creating a great week of learning. The theme of the conference was “Learning Across Boundaries: Exploring the variety of systemic theory and practice.” That theme was reflected in both the keynote presentations and the individual papers and workshops. ...
Life is a journey. I have been keenly aware of that for a good portion of my life. I guess I became aware of the power of the metaphor in my early twenties when I broke away from some cultural patterns that diverted me from what a friend called “the franchised life” — that more or less predictable and predefined path for a Mexican woman, or for anyone who doesn’t question their status quo. I just returned from three weeks in Europe: two weeks working in Germany with The Journey Network and then one week in...
Recently I travelled to Finland for a conference which created an opportunity to travel around the Scandinavian countries. The country that left the strongest impression was Sweden. We took the ferry from Vassa Finland to Umea Sweden and as soon as we got on the ferry, I noticed something different in the way Swedish people interact with each other. What I saw was a strong desire to connect, interrelate, and play together. There was a comfort in their being together that seemed foreign to me. As we landed in Umea, a...
July is usually a rather reflective month for me as I embrace yet another year of progression in age with a deep sense of gratitude for the gift of life. The past two weeks have particularly been reflective and thought-provoking for me as I seek to gain deeper insights on a variety of things. These include the direction I am taking with my doctoral work here at Saybrook as well as my effort to ‘take in’ the reality of various areas of interest with the goal of partnering with others, to enable transformative change and leadership...
There is a long connection between Saybrook and systems conversations, which continues to this day. The semi-annual conversations have been hosted by the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR), and were historically known as the Fuschl Conversations (due to their location at Fuschl am See in Austria). Bela Banathy, the founder of the systems program at Saybrook, initially led these conversations. He extended the conversations through the International Systems Institute, based in the US, hosting annual conversation...
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