Special Integration Group on Syntegration -- Markus Schwaninger (chair) -- July 8, 2003

47th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS), Hersonissos, Crete, July 8, 2003.

July 8, 2003, 9:40 a.m., Parallel Session

This digest was created in real-time during the meeting, based on the speaker's presentation(s) and comments from the audience. These should not be viewed as official transcripts of the meeting, but only as an interpretation by a single individual. Lapses, grammatical errors, and typing mistakes may not have been corrected. Questions about content should be directed to the originator. These notes have been contributed by David Ing (daviding@systemicbusiness.org) at the IBM Advanced Business Institute ( http://www.ibm.com/abi ).

Four speakers today, for this SIG.

Angela Espinosa

Ministry of the Environment in Colombia


Recognized some patterns

Possibility to apply syntegrity to promote sustainable development.

In the proceedings, there's a second paper with Stuart Umpleby discussing agoras in Fuschl conversation.

Third paper with student in Columbia, on critical systems thinking, improvement by creating active learners.

Allenna Leonard

[Diagram of Icosahedron]

Plato's dialogue with Georgios

Melian dialogues:  no threat to anyone, should be left alone; killed anyway

Syntegration process is about making tribes talk to each other.

Other end of stick from critical system theory

Process begins with an opening question, e.g. what should the ISSS be doing over the next few years?

Risks with catastrophe issues

Syntegration with Israelis and Palestineans, able to find some things to work together on.

Another done for trade union council in Britain, on what would make young people interested in joining a union.

Asaf Zohar

Introduced to syntegration process 1-1/2 years ago.

Reporting on an action learning approach, using syntegration

Client:  Canadian federal health agency on policy

Reviewed some processes that were non-hierarchical, collaborative, to study a mutual interest.

Paper tells the story of the engagement.

Icosahedron is a metaphor for the way the meeting is conducted.

Exercise set the context of what would happen over the next few days.


What is the aim of the process?

Not specific action?  Only to generate understanding of complexity?

James Brian Quinn at Dartmouth:  why do we need this in the human genome project?

NASA orbiter:  failed because some people were using English measures and some were using metric.

Syntegration to honour Stafford Beer in Scarborough, England

If you think it works, it works, but more concerned with those who don't think it works.

Like to see things that make a difference.

Proof in the action, e.g. to write a book amongst 30 theoreticians throughout the world.

Syntegration is not always the best choice

How to make people accept this protocol or form, at the beginning?  Easier in a situation like a classroom where there's a teacher.  Adults prefer some spontaneity.

Want content to unfold.

Stafford Beer inferred from Ashby said that if wanted the process more free, had to specify more content.

Process need to feel independent, to create some freedom.  Ethics of interdependence.

Process forces people to share time.

Ethics of interdependence?

Minimum number of participants?

Jose Perez Rios

A self-designing network for the systems community

Motivation for tool:

A tool to help, e.g. 3 waves of Midgely:

Communication difficulties.


First level:  groups, nets, communities.

All nets ensure the structure, System 1 to 5.

Collaboration nets into the system.

Plan to add:

VSMod:  Viable system module.

Create a map of subsystems.

Planned improvements:  addition to Internet.



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