Fuschl Conversation 2000

IFSR Newsletter 1999 Vol. 18 No. 3/4
In April 2000 we will convene our 10th Fuschl Conversation. The topics of the teams have been formulated and the participants selected. The Fuschl 2000 Conversations will to a large extent be continuations of the Conversations held in 1996 and 1998 and will comprise the following five teams:
Coordinator: Sue McCormick
Today’s rapid and increasingly technological changes, the globalization of human systems and their internetworking are generating unprecedented learning demands and requirements. To meet these demands we must redesign our learning systems, from preschool to corporate training levels. The research group will address the following questions:

  • What are some of the emerging approaches that enables us to redesign our learning systems?
  • What are new models of learning that underpin these approaches?
  • What are the learning challenges inherent in these models?
  • What are some of the ways the conversation methods can be used to address these learning challenges?

Coordinator: Gordon Dyer, G.C.Dyer@open.ac.uk.
The first triggering question is:

  • What would we want the human condition to be by Y3K?
    The choice of such time scale should make it easier it overcome the stumbling block of thinking that it “cannot be done”. In such a time scale anything ought to be possible, as it is far enough ahead for current biases to be designed out if we have the will. It is also far enough for us to really think about the type of global human society that we want to encourage, and what kind of core values do we want to realize in designing that society?
    The second triggering question is:

  • What needs should be planted today which might lead to our desired vision for Y3K?
  • What can we as individuals do in the next 5 years as part of an action plan to plant these seeds?

Coordinator: Gary Metcalf gsmetcalf@ashland.com
This conversation will focus on exploring participant’s understanding of social systems, and the ways in which we come to know, or are understanding of social systems, and the ways in which we come to know, or are aware of social systems. In addition to sharing preliminary ideas about the topic and engage in preparatory reading, participants will be expected to bring examples of real-world systems of interest to them, in order to apply in the context of these example systems ideas that will develop in the course of the week. The ultimate goal is to develop an increased understanding of the workings of social systems. One of the questions is

  • What are the “materials” involved in creating the systems envisioned through idealized design.

Coordinator: Bela A. Banathy,
A research group on the Foundations of Information Science was formed in 1994. The group held a 1994 meeting in Spain, a 1996 meeting in Austria, and more recently has been conducting an on-line conference, and meeting in collaboration with other professional organizations. This effort has yielded significant results that have been published in special issues of a number of journals, and books.
Because of the increased interest in this research topic, and the increasing significance of the issues addressed, a conversation is being organized to sketch the design of a broad-based research effort on this topic.
The research team will begin the design of a systemic approach to disciplined inquiry into this area. The triggering question is:

  • What questions need to be asked in order to frame the inquiry in a systemic way?

Coordinator; Arne Collen
The influence of Systems Sciences is nowhere more needed than in areas pertaining to human welfare and the human condition. This conversation group will continue its 1998 focus on the relevance and applications of cognitive and systems sciences to the design of human activity systems for human betterment. We wish to emphasize the nature of social and human-oriented systems that reveal to us who we become, how we come to know our world, and the ways we relate to one another. We are especially interested in such systems as learning and learner-centered education (caring) systems, systems that foster human development, personal and collective guidance systems, cooperative and collaborative social systems, and synergistic win-win systems. These special interests are informed by what we have learned about human beings over the course of this century and can learn constructively from each other in this coming century.
We believe that knowledge of the ways we think, feel, perceive, and inter-relate help us as designers to create and develop our systems for human betterment. We expect such systems to take into consideration our human welfare as well as the welfare of those affected by our activities. The globe promises to be a more holistic, interconnected and interdependent world community. Whether we like it or not, whether we wish to accept it or not, we are entrusted from now on as the stewards of all life on the planet. Therefore, our concern for the design of systems of human betterment must include the ecological, ethical, humane, and participatory dimensions in the broadest sense. Trigger question:

  • What are the knowledge domains, problems, and issues of design when applied to the creation of systems for human betterment?

More details:
Bela Banathy, International Systems Institute, 25781 Morse Drive, Carmel, CA 93923, USA
tel/fax +1 (408) 625-3178
Gerhard Chroust, Kepler Univ. Linz, 4040 Linz. Austria, tel +43 732 2468-866,
Previous Proceedings:
B.H. Banathy, G. Chroust (eds.): The Eight Fuschl Conversation (Fuschl Am See, April 14-19,1996)
Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies, Vienna, Sept. 1998, ISBN 3 85206 145 8
M. Beneder, G. Chroust (eds.): Designing Social Systems in a Changing World (The Ninth Fuschl Conversation) Austrian Society for Cybernetic Studies, Vienna, Sept. 1998, ISBN 3 85206 148 2

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