Author: Gary Metcalf

Learning Across Boundaries – The ISSS-2014 Conference in Washington, D.C.

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… Read more »

Conversations About the Future Systems Research

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… Read more »

The T-Summit

I recently attended a meeting at the Almaden Research Lab near San Jose, CA.  The T-Summit was jointly sponsored by Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute and IBM’s Global University Programs.  As described in the announcement about the meeting: Employers are placing increasing importance on competencies that allow young professionals to handle information from multiple sources, advance professional relationships across… Read more »

Saybrook in Japan: An International Collaboration for Innovation in Applied Systems Science

I just returned from another trip to Japan, this time including a first visit to Osaka.  The first few days were spent in Tokyo, at the seventh workshop and symposium about service systems science, hosted by Prof. Kyoichi (Jim) Kijima from the Tokyo Institute of Technology.  The purpose of the event was “to describe visions… Read more »

Sometimes, It Pays to Think

Bill Gates apparently took time out of his busy schedule to guest edit the December 2013 issue of Wired Magazine. In that issue is an article entitled, “This is the Man Bill Gates Thinks you Absolutely Should be Reading.” The article opens with the quotation from Gates, “’There is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil.’” … Read more »

Rethinking an Organization Around its Website

This is a story about a website. Like many stories, however, the lessons are not about the obvious. It is a story about how redesigning a website created a structure for reconsidering an organization.    I serve on the executive committee of an international organization (actually, a federation of organizations), and have for the last… Read more »

Trust, Governance, and the Internet

A recent article by Bruce Schneier, author of the book Liars and Outliers, is titled “The Battle for Power on the Internet.” As he introduces the problem: “We’re in the middle of an epic battle for power in cyberspace. On one side are the traditional, organized, institutional powers such as governments and large multinational corporations. On the other are… Read more »

Saybrook to Offer New Certificate Program

Saybrook’s School of Organizational Leadership and Transformation will begin offering a Certificate in Crisis Management beginning in 2014. The program will be led by Ian Mitroff, who recently joined Saybrook as an adjunct faculty member. Dr. Mitroff is Professor Emeritus at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, and is the founder and… Read more »

Risk vs. Reward in the Digital World

It was no surprise that the Sunday morning new shows on August 11th featured more information about online privacy and security concerns. While the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs have been in place for years, with full knowledge of the U. S. Congress, the information released by Edward Snowden raised public awareness dramatically. Questions about… Read more »

The complexity of wealth and happiness

As reported in the Wall Street Journal (Curran, 2013), Australia has been ranked the happiest industrialized country in the world for the third year in a row, according to the Better Life Index of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  That puts it ahead of Sweden, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland – and in sixth place –… Read more »