Building An Authentic and Contributing Systems Community

IFSR Newsletter 1995 Vol. 14 No. 4 (39) December
Bela H. Banathy
A community is authentic if – and only if – its members actively and creatively participate in working toward commonly held purposes. It is a contributing community if – and only if – its collective work benefits its members, the community as a whole, and the larger society.
Our aspirations as an international federation of systems and cybernetic organizations can not be anything less than building such an authentic and contributing community. Our aspiration cannot be anything less than engage through our member organizations – and collectively as a whole – in continuing work that will foster and advance the purposes of ISRF, namely:

  • engage in long range strategic design and short range program design by organizing, supporting and sponsoring R&D programs, international meetings and workshops;
  • coordinate systems research among member organizations;
  • develop data and knowledge bases in the cybernetics and systems sciences;
  • develop and promote publications in the area of systems/cybernetic research and applications;
  • seek resources and funds that enable us to carry out the functions that serve our purposes;
  • define and promote programs and standards of competence in systems education;
  • promote membership and coordinate programs among member organizations and provide assistance to them;
  • promote cooperation with other international scientific, educational and social service organizations in order to enable scientific advancement and serve the improvement of human condition.

These are purposes that are explicitly stated in the by-laws and the program statements IFSR. Each of the purposes described here would be served by an IFSR Standing Committee. Our member organizations were already asked to participate and define the tasks of the Committees, consider some others, and appoint members to the Committees. The Committees will self-organize, elect their leadership and proceed with their work. A member of the Executive Committee would serve as liaison to the Committees. The definition of the tasks of the Committees, their organization and their work are the major agenda items of the Strategy Meeting of the IFSR Board on Saturday, April 13th 1996. We ask our members organizations to bring their aspirations and ideas to this meeting.
IFSR cannot be a top-down bureaucracy. Authority and power is not derived from being elected or appointed to a position but only from a commitment to get involved in the work of IFSR. Recognition is earned from the contributions we make individually, as contributing member organizations, and collectively as a Federation in order to attain our common purposes. The role of the Executive Committee is not one of directing or managing. lts role can be less and nothing more than only of enabling.
We invite all of our member organizations to join in to create and intelligent, ethical, and learning organization with constantly unfolding purposes and programs. Our shared aspiration is to empower IFSR to become a dynamic living and creating institution that will make contributions to its member organizations, to the attainment of its stated purposes, to the global systems community, and to humanity as a whole. We, members of the Executive Community are offering our , services in enabling IFSR to fulfill its potential.

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