Faculty Profile: Alexander Laszlo

Alexander Laszlo

Alexander Laszlo, Ph.D., is co-founder and President of Syntony Quest* and former Director of the Doctoral Program in Management at the Graduate School of Business Administration & Leadership (EGADE-ITESM), Mexico. Currently, he teaches on evolutionary leadership, collaboration, and systems thinking at a variety of MBA and Doctoral programs internationally, and is President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS). He has been faculty member of both the MBA in Sustainable Business at Bainbridge Graduate Institute and the MBA in Sustainable Management at the Presidio School of Management since the first year of operation of each program. He now serves as Faculty Mentor in the MBA in Sustainable Entrepreneurship program of the Green MBA at Dominican University, in the Leadership of Sustainable Systems program at both the Master’s and Doctoral levels at Saybrook Graduate School & Research Center, and as Chief Learning Officer in charge of Curricular Innovation at the Akasha Center for Advanced Study of the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University. He has worked for the UNESCO Regional Office for Science & Technology for Europe, the Italian Electric Power Agency, and the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, has held visiting appointments with the London School of Economics and the European University Institute, and has been named a Level I Member of the National Research Academy of Mexico (SNI). He is on the Editorial Boards of Systems Research & Behavioral Science, World Futures, and Organisational Transformation & Social Change, recipient of the Gertrude Albert Heller Award, the Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award, as well as of the Förderpreis Akademischer Klub award of the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, for work in social innovation and sustainable development, and finalist for the 2003 Beyond Gray Pinstripes award of the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute for educational work in sustainable business. An active member of several systems science societies, he is author of over sixty journal, book, and encyclopedia publications, with Evolutionary Alchemy: Transmuting Crisis into Opportunity forthcoming. He is also a 5th Degree Black Belt in Chung Do Kwan style of Tae Kwon Do and a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Shotokan style of Karate.

Born in Fribourg, Switzerland, he is holder of a PhD in the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Policy from the University of Pennsylvania from where he also received his MA in History and Sociology of Science. His BA is from Haverford College, with a major in International and Comparative Political Science and a minor in Human Physiology. His intellectual passion is to apply systems thinking, policy analysis, and technology assessment to issues of individual and collective empowerment. His professional objective is to engage in educational and community-building activities on the design and implementation of evolutionary pathways for self-directed sustainability.

*Syntony Quest is a 501(c)(3) social profit educational organization dedicated to designing new ways of working, learning and living that embody social and environmental integrity. With offices north of San Francisco and in Monterrey, Mexico, we work with organizations and communities of all kind to provide learning environments where people can learn together about the interconnected nature of our world, the ecological impact of our individual and collective choices, and the joy of finding a meaningful way to contribute to the emergence of sustainable and evolutionary futures. Our activities include workshops, consulting and coaching on evolutionary leadership for sustainability; provision of learning resources; action-research on new sustainability models; educational seminars on systems thinking and its application to social and environmental concerns; as well as a product line of socio-ecologically responsible creations that embody the values of syntony.

More information:
• Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Laszlo_(scientist)
• LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderlaszlo
• Syntony Quest: http://www.syntonyquest.org"""

Curriculum Vitae

Upcoming Presentations and Public Addresses

Degrees, Discipline, Year, Institution

  • Ph.D., Science & Technology Policy, 1992, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dissertation Title: "Images of Energy: Policy Perspectives on the Introduction of Hydroelectricity in Italy, 1882-1914"
  • M.A., History & Sociology of Science, 1987, University of Pennsylvania
  • Thesis Title: "The Politics & Principles of Genetic Screening Technologies: A Look at the Ethical Implications for Work and Family Life"
  • Graduate Study in Systems Science, 1985-86, Wharton School
  • B.A., International & Comparative Political Science, 1985, Haverford College
  • Major: Political Science; Allied Field: Human Physiology
  • Thesis Title: "The Politics of Grassroots Sustainability: A comparison of the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement of Sri Lanka and the Ujamaa Village project of Tanzania"
  • I.B., Social and Cultural Anthropology, 1982, United Nations International School
  • Extended Essay Title: "Classlessness in Communist Ideology: A look at the Festa del'Unita' in a Small Village in Italy"

Current Projects and Professional Activities

• Winner of the "Gertrude Albert Heller Award" for research and preparation of bio-ethics paper at the International Academy of Philosophy of Science (Brussels, Belgium), 1984;
• Winner of the "Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award" for outstanding paper given at the International Society for General Systems Research (Budapest, Hungary), 1987;
• Winner of the "Förderpreis Akademischer Klub" prize for work in social innovation and sustainable development (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland), 2002;
• Finalist for the 2003 Beyond Gray Pinstripes award of the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute for educational work in sustainable business.

Current Publications

- “Eleven Things I’ve Learned About Sustainability.” In Triple Pundit: People Planet Profit, 19 July 2010.


- “Emerging the Evolutionary Corporation in a Sustainable World – Toward a Theory Guided Field of Practice.” In Cybernetics and Systems Theory in Management: Tools, Views and Advancements, Steven E. Wallis, ed. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2010.


- “Redefining Success: Designing Systemic Sustainable Strategies.” In the international journal of Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Vol. 27, No. 1, January/February 2010, pp. 3-21.


- “Sustainability Starts When You Throw Away the Instruction Manual.” In Triple Pundit: People Planet Profit, 12 July 2010.


- “Syntony and Flow: The Artscience of Evolutionary Aesthetics.” In The View: Mind over Matter, Heart over Mind — from Conan Doyle to Conversations with God, David Patrick, ed. London: Polair Publishing, 2009.







Significant Publications

• "The systems sciences in service of humanity" (with E. Laszlo). In D.M.K. Al Gobaisi (Ed.), The encyclopedia of life support systems: Water, energy, environment, food & agriculture. 68 vols. London: EOLSS, 2003.


• World Futures 59(8) December 2003. Special Issue: "Evolutionary Development." Guest Co-Editor.


• "The epistemological foundations of Evolutionary Systems Design." Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 18, 2001. Pp. 307-321.


• "Systems theories: Their origins, foundations, and development" (with S. Krippner). In J.S. Jordan (Ed.), Systems theories and a priori aspects of perception. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1998. Ch. 3, pp. 47-74.


• "Humanistic and systems sciences: The birth of a third culture" (with E. Laszlo). Pluriverso, 3(1), April 1998. Pp. 108-121.


• "The contribution of the systems sciences to the humanities" (with E. Laszlo). Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 14(1), April 1997. Pp. 5-19.






Important Conference Presentations

 Sustainable Enterprise Conference                 ROHNERT PARK, CA 2008
  INVITED WORKSHOP on Strategic Thinking and Visionary Leadership

 Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV)                      SAN JOSE, CA 2008
  WORKSHOP PANELIST on Green Teams – Employees Making a Difference

 Evolutionary Salon II                           WHIDBEY ISLAND, WA 2006
  DISCUSSANT on Collective Intelligence & Social Creativity

 Center for Innovation and Transfer in Health & Healing (CITES)
  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: The Value of Innovation           PARRAS, MEXICO 2005

 Science & Technology Education for the 21st Century     LIMA, PERU 2004
 Sponsored by UNESCO, the Peruvian Ministry of Education, and CONCYTEC
  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: 21st Century Science & Technology Education
  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Science & Technology Education in National Development

  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Evolutionary Learning Communities on the Web     2003

  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Exploring Consciousness through Systems Inquiry  2003

 6th International Conference on Technology Policy and Innovation (ICTPI)
  INVITED POSTER on The Evolutionary Challenge for Technology JAPAN 2002

  INVITED SPEAKER on Evolutionary Ethics                MADISON, WI 2008
  INVITED SPEAKER on Transiting to Sustainability        SONOMA, CA 2006
  INVITED SPEAKER on What is Syntony?                CANCÚN, MEXICO 2005
  INVITED SPEAKER on Redefining Success                MONTEREY, CA 2004
  INVITED SPEAKER on Strategic Evolutionary Advantage CRETE, GREECE 2003
  INVITED SPEAKER on Technological Change for ELC   SHANGHAI, CHINA 2002
  INVITED SPEAKER on Evolutionary Development          MONTEREY, CA 2001
  INVITED SPEAKER on The Epistemology of ESD        TORONTO, CANADA 2000
  INVITED SPEAKER on Syntony as an Organizing Force    MONTEREY, CA 1999

  INVITED SPEAKER on Evolving Development            ATHENS, GREECE 2001

  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Systems Thinking, Learning Communities, and Education

 International Symposium                                 CAGLIARI, ITALY
  INVITED SPEAKER on The Evolutionary Challenge for Technology      1998

 Summer Institute Conference                            ROHNERT PARK, CA
  PANEL LEADER on Evolutionary Learning Community                   1998

 Study Group Series: Communities Over Time             SAN FRANCISCO, CA
  GUEST SPEAKER on Community in Action: An Evolutionary Perspective 1997

 Residential Colloquia                                 SAN FRANCISCO, CA
  SEMINAR INSTRUCTOR: Sustainable Systems: Personal to Planetary    2008
  SEMINAR INSTRUCTOR: Systems Thinking to Evolutionary Leadership   2007
  SEMINAR INSTRUCTOR: Successful Systems Change                     2006
  SEMINAR INSTRUCTOR: Sustainability: A Systemic Perspective        2005
  GUEST SPEAKER on Societal Change in Evolutionary Perspective      1995

 Virtual University Conference Series        TELEVISED BY SATELLITE 2006
  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Organizational Change, Systems Thinking, and Learning
 Bluetray Lecture of the Doctoral Program in Management MONTERREY, MEXICO
  INVITED SPEAKER on Transiting to Sustainability: Nine Criteria    2006
 The Vth International Symposium of Engineering        CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO
  GUEST SPEAKER on The Challenge of Technology for the 3rd Millennium 2002
 XXXII Congress of Research & Development              MONTERREY, MEXICO
  GUEST SPEAKER on Evolutionary Development for Interconnectedness  2002
 XIX Reunion on Studies in Education                   MONTERREY, MEXICO
  INVITED SPEAKER on Creating Learning Communities in an MBA Class  2001
 XXXI Congress of Research & Development               MONTERREY, MEXICO
  GUEST SPEAKER on The Epistemological Foundations of ESD           2001
 International Congress on Engineering                   TORREON, MEXICO
  GUEST SPEAKER on Understanding Change from a Systems Perspective  1997
 EXPOTEC’95                                            MONTERREY, MEXICO
  GUEST SPEAKER on 5000 Days to Save the World                      1995
 The IVth International Symposium of Engineering       CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO
  GUEST SPEAKER on Leading Social Change in Competitive Times       1993
 The Vth International Symposium of Engineering  SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO
  GUEST SPEAKER on The Challenge of Designing Societal Systems      1992

  GUEST SPEAKER on Designing Learning Systems                       1992

 Internat'l Conversation Series: Comprehensive Design of Social Systems
  DISCUSSANT on Systems & Cybernetic Sciences       FUSCHL, AUSTRIA 2008
  DISCUSSANT on Stewardship Agoras for Local Action    MONTEREY, CA 2001
  DISCUSSANT on FutureMakers process toolkit           MONTEREY, CA 2000
  DISCUSSANT on Futuring Community                     MONTEREY, CA 1999
  DISCUSSANT on Healthy & Authentic Communities & ELC  MONTEREY, CA 1998
  DISCUSSANT on Designing Sustainable ELCs          FUSCHL, AUSTRIA 1998
  DISCUSSANT on Building a Design Culture through ELC  MONTEREY, CA 1997
  DISCUSSANT on Evolutionary Learning Community (ELC)  MONTEREY, CA 1996
  DISCUSSANT on Building Design Cultures               MONTEREY, CA 1995
  DISCUSSANT on Design Tools for Learning Systems      MONTEREY, CA 1994
  DISCUSSANT on The Tools of Systems Design            MONTEREY, CA 1993
  DISCUSSANT on Systems Design and Design Learning  FUSCHL, AUSTRIA 1992
  DISCUSSANT on Creating a Design Culture           FUSCHL, AUSTRIA 1990
  INVITED PAPER on Global and Societal Learning     FUSCHL, AUSTRIA 1988

  INVITED SPEAKER on Systems Approaches to Society                  1987

  INVITED SPEAKER on Science & Socio-Ecological Responsibility      1986

  SENIOR FACILITATOR on Science & Technology for the 21st Century   1994
  DELEGATE on Science, Technology, & Individual Responsibility      1985

  INVITED SPEAKER on The Ethics of Biomedical Development           1984

Research Interests

• Human, social, and natural capital
• Self-directed sustainable development
• Community empowerment and participatory/anticipatory democracy
• Socio-ecological competence and the evolution of consciousness
• Design of ELCs (Evolutionary Learning Communities) as evolutionary guidance systems
• Evolutionary Systems Design as praxis
• Syntony as an organizing force in societal evolution
• Evolutionary Leadership for Sustainability
• Beyond sustainability: evolutionary development and evolutionary normativism

Inquiry on these topic areas involves an exploration of the pragmatic ideal of integrating the economic, ecological, social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of evolutionary development through considerations that include:

- evolutionary thinking and envisioning a sustainable society
- personal leadership and taking transformative stands
- systems thinking and understanding the dynamics of complexity
- sustainability principles and their application to organizations and communities
- language, metaphor, and narrative in service of strategic conversations that shape reality
- transcending homocentric and chronocentric conceptions of development

Research Expertise

Alexander Laszlo, Ph.D., is co-founder and President of Syntony Quest and former Director of the Doctoral Program in Management at the Graduate School of Business Administration & Leadership (ITESM), Mexico.  Currently, he teaches on evolutionary leadership, collaboration, and systems thinking at a variety of MBA and Doctoral programs internationally.  He has worked for UNESCO, the Italian Electric Power Agency, and the U.S. Department of Education, has held visiting appointments with the London School of Economics and the European University Institute, and has been named a Level I Member of the National Research Academy of Mexico (SNI).  He is on the Editorial Boards of "World Futures", "Systems Research & Behavioral Science", and "Organisational Transformation & Social Change", recipient of the Gertrude Albert Heller Award, the Sir Geoffrey Vickers Memorial Award, and the 'Förderpreis Akademischer Klub' award, active member of several systems science societies, and author of over fifty journal, book, and encyclopedia publications.

Expertise Working with Saybrook Students

Since 1996, I have worked directly with over 20 Saybrook students in one-on-one engagements on their
- Dissertation Committees
- Master's Thesis Committees
- SIRB Review Committees
- Comprehensive Essays Committees

as well as in the role of
• External Reader
• Publishing Advisor
• Conference Participation Coach
• Research Advisor
• Professional/Vocational Coach
• Subject Matter Tutor

Research Expertise

Research Expertise Rating Guide:

  1. studied in a class or have read intensively on my own
  2. special training in the form of a workshop or equivalent
  3. taught a class in, or supervised research using this method (research practicum, on a dissertation or master's committee
  4. used in research myself
  5. published or presented at conferences my research using this method

Methods Traditionally Considered As Quantitative (But Need Not Be)

Laboratory Research
Field Experiments
Randomized Controlled Clinical
Quasi-experimental methods
Correlational Methods

Methods That Could Use Quantitative Or Qualitative Methods

Action Research
Survey Research
Interview Research
Observational Research
Epidemiological Research
Focus Groups
Self-Observational Methods
Narrative Methods
Feminist Methods
Content Analysis
Discovery-Oriented (psychotherapy)
Events paradigm (psychotherapy)
Archival Research
Case History Methods
Appreciative Inquiry
Multiple Case Depth Research
Hermeneutic Single Case Efficacy Design
Longitudinal research
Cross-sectional research

Methods Primarily Associated With Qualitative Research (But May Also Use Quantitative)

Ethnoautobiographical research
Grounded Theory
Heuristic Research

Types of Analysis

Simple Parametric Statistics (t-test, etc.)
Confidence intervals
Analysis of Variance (including MANOVA)
Analysis of Covariance
Regression (including multiple regression)
Discriminant Function Analysis
Structural Equation Modeling/Path Analysis
Causal Modeling
Cluster Analysis
Survival Analysis
Bayesian Analysis
Meta-analysis and effect sizes
Factor Analysis
Time series analysis
Multidimensional scaling