World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 March 2000




(2000), "World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC)", Kybernetes, Vol. 29 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC)

1. A Millennial Event. A World Congress of the Systems Sciences, co-hosted by more than 20 organizations/groups in conjunction with the 44th Annual Meeting, International Society for the Systems Sciences, Toronto, Canada, 16-22 July 2000

The World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics (WOSC) is one of the co-hosts of this important millennium event. Details are:

To help celebrate the new millennium, the International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) and some 20 "co-host" organizations in the systems field will jointly present a three-day World Congress of the Systems Sciences in downtown Toronto, Canada during the summer of the year 2000. The purpose of the Congress will be to provide a scientific forum for addressing the many challenges that humankind will face in the new century. The theme will be: "Understanding complexity: the systems sciences in the new millennium". Former ISSS Presidents Stafford Beer and Anatol Rapoport will serve as honorary co-chairpersons.

The Congress will begin with a "mini-course" on the systems sciences, and a welcoming reception and concert on Sunday 16 July. This will be followed by three full days (Monday-Wednesday) of morning keynote and co-host plenary speeches, afternoon panels with presentations by representatives of each co-host organization, and informal evening workshop/discussion sessions to allow for more personal interaction and dialogue.

Speakers will include Russell Ackoff, Stafford Beer, John Casti, John Holland, Ervin Laszlo, Ilya Prigogine (tentative), Anatol Rapoport and David Sloan Wilson. Other invitations are pending. Co-host speakers will include Mike Jackson, George Klir, Stanley Salthe, Bill Shireman, Brian Swimme, Robert VallÅe, Paul Wohlmuth and others. Some are as yet to be arranged.

Participants in the Congress will also be entitled to attend the 44th annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences on Thursday to Saturday (20-22 July), which will feature panels and discussion sessions on a broad array of topics and issues. Many panels and symposia will be arranged by the more than 20 "Special integration groups" within ISSS, but there will also be various special forums, symposia and paper panels. Some titles include: "The lessons of Y2K", "Healthy communities in a healthy world", "Re-thinking human rights and global responsibilities in the new millennium", "The art and science of forecasting in the age of global warming", "Business and social organizations in the 21st century: the challenge of complexity", "What is life living?" and "Foundations of information science".

We are also planning special workshops and mini-courses on various topics. Currently four have been scheduled: "A comprehensive introduction to the systems sciences"; "The natural systems sciences and doing systems research"; "The 'stealth' systems science curriculum"; and "Understanding complexity through systems modeling".

Other special features include international video/Internet participation via a number of remote sites, a banquet, a public lecture by a distinguished public figure, Friday 21 July, and a "wrap-up" Open Forum on Saturday 22 July. Attractively priced accommodations and meals will be available at Ryerson University and nearby.

If you would like more information, please contact your co-host organization WOSC or the ISSS directly.

In addition to the World Organisation of Systems and Cybernetics the Co-host Organizations as of 1 July 1999 are: American Society for Cybernetics, Association Franµaise de Science des Systemes Cybernétiques, Cognitifs et Techniques (AFSCET), Center for Applied Development Studies, Center for Hyperincursion in Anticipatory Systems, Center for Intelligent Systems, Concordia Institute, Epic of Evolution Society, Global Futures Foundation, Infodynamics Group, Institute for Law and Systems Research, Institute for the Study of Complex Systems, Interact, International Federation for Systems Research, International Institute for Advanced Studies in Cybernetics and Systems, International Society for the Systems Sciences, International Systems Institute, Korean Society for Systems Research, Portland State University Systems Science Program, Semiotics Research Unit (U. Toronto), Swedish Operational Research Association, Systems Science European Union (UES), United Kingdom Cybernetics Society, United Kingdom Systems Society, Washington Evolutionary Systems Society, World Future Society.

Intending WOSC participants should contact: Conference organizer Dr Peter A. Corning (ISSS President), World Congress/ISSS, 560 Waverley Street, Ste. 202, Palo Alto, CA 94301 USA. Tel: (650) 325 5717; Fax: (650) 325 3775; E-mail: or the Local organizer Dr Helmut (Ken) Burkhardt, Ryerson Polytechnic University, Toronto. Tel: (416) 979 5000 ext. 7246; Fax: (416) 979 5064; E-mail: or visit our Web site at WWW.ISSS.ORG or Co-host - see list published in the next item.

The President of WOSC, Professor Stafford Beer, is an honorary co-chairperson and will also be a speaker, as will the Director-General Professor Robert VallÅe. Other WOSC directors and its federated member organisations will also participate in the many organised programme sessions. In particular Professor Markus Schwaninger is organising two "afternoon panels" for WOSC.

2. WOSC Sessions at the World Congress of the Systems Sciences

Contact Professor Markus Schwaninger (Institute of Management (IfB), UniversitÌt St Gallen, Dufourstrasse 48, CH-9000, St Gallen/St.gall, Sceine. Fax: +91 71 229 2355; Tel: + 91 71 224 2382; E-mail: about the details of the WOSC sessions. It is proposed to organise two afternoon panels (of two hours each). Each panel involves four communications about "Management of complexity-organisational cybernetics".

Deadlines have already been passed at the time of our publication and details have been published in our previous issues of the Congress Timetable. Information can, however, still be obtained about the WOSC involvement from Professors Stafford Beer, Robert VallÅe and Markus Schwaninger.

International Society of Systems Sciences (ISSS) World Congress of Systems Sciences 2000, Toronto, Canada, 16-22 July 2000

Contact list for Co-Host Organisations/Groups

Intending participants at this important world millennium event can contact their own co-host organisations/groups. The list is as follows:

American Society for Cybernetics: Pille Bunnell ( for Applied Development Systems: Dennis Finlayson ( for Hyperincursion in Anticipatory Systems: Daniel Dubois ( for Intelligent Systems: George Klir ( Institute: Dennis Murphy (, Gary Boyd ( of Evolution Society: Larry Edwards (, Brian Swimme ( Futures Foundation: Bill Shireman ( Group: Stan Salthe ( for Law & Systems Research: Paul Wohlmuth ( for the Study of Complex Systems: Peter Corning ( Jamshid Gharajedaghi, Martine Dodds ( Federation for Systems Research: Michael Jackson ( Institute for Advanced Studies in Cybernetics and Systems: George LaskerInternational Society for the Systems Sciences: Peter Corning ( Systems Institute: Bela H. Banathy ( Society for Systems Research: Yong Pil Rhee ( State University Systems Science Program: Hal Linstone ( Cybernetica: Cliff Joslyn ( Research Unit (U. Toronto): Marcel Danesi (, Laura Shintani ( Operational Research Association: Donald de Raadt ( Kingdom Cybernetics Society: Brian Warburton ( Kingdom Systems Society: Daune West ( Evolutionary Systems Society: Jerry Chandler ( Future Society: David Woolfson ( Organization of Systems & Cybernetics: Stafford Beer, Robert Vallée, Markus Schwaninger (

Related articles