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The need for a transition to a more sustainable world is widely accepted but it cannot be assumed that understanding what sustainability is, is a given. Isolated efforts to tackle what are perceived to be key issues do not always yield anticipated outcomes; they may even be counter-productive.
We should recognise that what we have is a network of interconnected problems, described by Ackoff as systems of problems, or ‘messes’. To make sense of these messes we need to adopt a holistic perspective. Systems thinking provides the intellectual framework for this and systems practice the lessons which enrich the theory.
The conference is designed to promote and capitalise upon such thinking and will provide examples of how these ideas might contribute to sustainability.
The UKSS is a registered educational charity and as such we have endeavored to keep the registration fee as low as possible to maximize attendance for the two-day event. £250 including lunch one evening meal and refreshments. Delegates are not constrained to this fee and can increase their contribution to the UK Systems Society should they choose to do so. In such cases, a formal acknowledgment of this gift will be issued to the donor.
Presentations will be F2F and in plenary.
Brief details of Keynote Speakers Rodney Irwin, Rodney is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), based in Geneva, Switzerland. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. WBCSD is a CEO-led not-for-profit organisation of >200 leading businesses working to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. As COO, Rodney provides leadership of WBCSD’s enabling functions (Finance, HR, ICT and Facilities), and is responsible for WBCSD’s corporate governance and statutory duties as the Company Secretary. He also leads the WBCSD education program, for which he manages the organisation’s relationships with key education partners Rodney is engaged in researching system change in decision making, disclosure and assurance. He holds Advisory and Academic positions with the following: Council Member: International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC); Professor of Accounting and Sustainability, Leuphana University, Germany; Lecturer at Yale School of Management, USA and Research Fellow at Lancaster University Management School, UK.
Ray Ison, became Professor of Systems at the Open University (OU) in 1994. He is a member of the Systems Thinking in Practice (STiP) program involved in researching and teaching, particularly team co-authoring and presenting Post-Graduate modules such as ‘Managing Change with Systems Thinking in Practice’ and ‘Evidencing Systems Thinking in Practice’. These are developed and presented within the OUs MSc and Systems Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship awards. He has also led and/or contributed to a range of major research, scholarship and teaching programs and projects as part of the Applied Systems Thinking in Practice (ASTiP) Group. His research and scholarship span the biophysical and social and is primarily interdisciplinary, international and collaborative. He is recognised for his work on systems praxeology and social learning within rural development, sustainability management, systemic governance and the design and enactment of learning systems, Prof. Ison is the current President of the IFSR (International Federation for Systems Research); he has also served as President of ISSS (International Society for the Systems Sciences) and as a Trustee of the American Society of Cybernetics. In 2022 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Systems Society of India ‘for contributions to the transformation of society with a systems approach.
Details of participation and submissions
· Abstracts: from the 31st of March 2023.
· Close for abstracts/submissions: 30th June
· Review of submissions by 30th July
· Revised submissions/full papers 31st of August.
· Conference publication of accepted abstracts 15th September.
· Publication of proceedings – January 2024