What is Systems Science? | Dec. 2018 | IFSR Conversation

In Dec. 2018, a @incose_org @ISSSMeeting report “What is Systems Science” by @garyrobertsmith @makar_jennifer #HillarySillitto @garysmetcalf #GeorgeMobus #SwaminathanNatarajan following the April 2018 IFSR Conversation was released.

A group of systems scientists and systems engineers met for about a week in April 2018 in Linz, Austria for the biannual IFSR Conversation. This event is sponsored by the International Federation for Systems Research (IFSR). This group was investigating the question “What is Systems Science?”.

Systems Science Working Group (INCOSE-ISSS collaboration)
Our team included Gary Metcalf, George Mobus, Swami Natarajan, Jennifer Makar, Hillary
Sillitto and Gary Smith.
Our team included Gary Metcalf, George Mobus, Swami Natarajan, Jennifer Makar, Hillary
Sillitto and Gary Smith.

1 Why the question of “What is System Science?”

Gary Smith / Jennifer Makar
● The purpose of the conversation
● Patterns of thought
● Ambitions for integration

2 A diversity of world views on systems

Hillary Sillitto
● (Why do we see systems and live in systems.)
● Why do people have different viewpoints of what systems are and what are the advantages of these?
● Bridging the schism

3 A diversity of knowledge about systems

Gary Metcalf
● Utility of General Systems Theory
● Isomorphism across knowledge bases
● Appreciating the value of diverse philosophies

4 What is useful from “Science” and what would System Science be useful for

George Mobus
● Key questions for system science
● Complications and Patterns
● Bringing things together

5 Ontological Foundations for Systems

George Mobus
● Naming the things that exist
● How the universe organises itself

6 Reflections on the nature of Systems

Hillary Sillitto
● Real world observables and model world abstractions
● Is “Systemness” a fundamental organising principle of nature?
● A grand sequence of systemicity and emerging periodicity

7 Reflections on the nature of engagement with systems

Swami Natarajan
● Purposes of engagement and pattern of practice organization
● Worldviews: Six dimensions
● Systemology: The nature of engagement with systems
● 4 worlds: Observing, understanding and modelling systems. The formation of knowledge
● The scientific method: Developing validated knowledge
● Challenges in developing validated models for complex systems
● Knowledge Integration

The power of frameworks
Gary Smith
● Foundational knowledge in chemistry
● Analogous thinking for “systemry”
● Utility for system science of such a framework

8 A Knowledge Framework for System Science

Swami Natarajan
Structuring, using and testing a knowledge framework for system science
● Basic structure of a system science knowledge framework
● Tests to determine whether an entry is right
● Consistency relationships within the framework
● Intended uses

9 Enabling System Science

Gary Metcalf
What is the path to create a systematic enterprise for system science?

10 Reflections on the experience and conclusions

Jennifer Makar / Gary Smith


Gary Smith, Jennifer Makar, Hillary Sillitto, Gary Metcalf, George Mobus, Swaminathan Natarajan, “Report on IFSR Conversation in April 2018 on ‘What is Systems Science?'”, Systems Science Working Group (collaboration between INCOSE and ISSS), Dec. 2018 at https://sites.google.com/site/syssciwg/collaboration/ifsr

#ifsr, #incose, #systems-sciences