“From Science to Systemic Solutions – Systems Thinking for Everyone”
The 61st ISSS World Conference
As systems sciences has been a heterodox scientific field, the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) aims to bring a community of researchers and practitioners together once a year, during the ISSS World Conference, to exchange and share ideas related to systems sciences.
The founding fathers of the society, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, and Anatol Rapoport, conceived the organization to be devoted to interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of complex systems. In recent years the organization has broadened its scope, particularly to include the practical application of systems methodologies to problem solving.
Considering this, the 2017 edition convened by the Ludwig von Bertalanffy Centre in Vienna invited an interdisciplinary community to share the latest insights of the interdependencies between social, ecological and technological systems, as well as practical design skills for sustainable living and technologies for a future-oriented humanity.
INX4PS participated in past conferences and was invited to participate in ISSS2017 through a panel discussion deliberating the theme “From Money to Value Creation to Reinventing Economy in the Energy Transition”. Joséphine vMitschke-Collande represented INX4PS and discussed with Dr. Olaf Brugman (Rabobank), Christoph Thun-Hohenstein (Museum für angewandte Kunst), Roland Kuras (Power Solution), Ladeja Godina Košir (Circular Change) the role of systems approaches regarding sustainable finance, the energy transition, the circular economy and the arts.
Issues such as the lack of systems approaches in the design of the German Energy Transition, does not foresee how to overcome current self-referential economic dynamics. The current system favors grand energy infrastructure investments, instead of a decentralized and low-cost prosumer approach capable of integrating new technological developments quicker. These are a obstacles in making the Energy Transition efficient.
Furthermore, emerging economic approaches such as the Circular Economy, and in particular the narrative in which they are embedded, were discussed. The panelist deliberated how the Circular Economy has to break-out of an engineering and material closed-loop approach, and instead integrate a whole systems perspective, such as integrating social innovation aspects in order to enable a Circular Economy system which will ensure the sustainability of initiative success.
Systems sciences have fallen into oblivion in the past decades and only recently have regained ground for being a powerful tool to navigate the complexity of current challenges. With that, the need of a reinvigorated systems sciences community is crucial to guarantee knowledge and idea exchanges regarding methodological and theoretical approaches, as well as practical applications. INX4P looks forward to future exchanges with the community.