Fuschl Conversation 2006 – the changes

IFSR Newsletter 2005 Vol. 23 No. 1 December
One of the contributions of IFSR to the systems community are the Fuschl Conversations. In 2006 we will have our 13th Fuschl Conversation, and at the 25th anniversary of the founding of IFSR (more details on Fuschl Conversations can be found on the IFSR homepage http://www.ifsr.org).
Even excellent events like Fuschl Conversations need a certain overhaul from time to time. Therefore the Executive Committee of the IFSR thought the time ripe to somewhat modify the Fuschl set-up. While some of the properties of the Fuschl Conversations become more and more important, other aspects (due to the world of fast internet, e-mail and World Wide Web) become less of a success factor. The suggested changes will more affect the contents than the form of the Fuschl conversation.
We believe that basically the concept of a conversation (mostly due to Bela Banathy) is still very valuable and perhaps even more fruitful today. Our feeling is, however, that the topics treated in the past years in Fuschl did not have direct relevance to the systems community and did not help the IFSR to become a change agent. This concept requires some changes in the participation and in the arrangements for Fuschl 2006:

  1. Requirements:
    The basic requirements for Fuschl 2006 are:

    • The basic concept of a Conversation (face to face discussions, scholarly approach, self-guided teams,) is kept.
    • A considerable part of the Fuschl participants should be representatives of the IFSR member organizations and other stake holders in the systems field in order to formulate future goals and directions both for the IFSR and for the systems field in general.
    • The conversation should attempt to achieve what Bela Banathy termed “an exploration of issues of social/societal significance”, but focussed at topics relevant to the Systems Sciences and to IFSR.
    • The outcome from the Fuschl Conversation should have some impact on IFSR’s strategic and tactical activities and be a directive for the governance of the IFSR in the years to come.

  2. Minor Date Change:
    In order to avoid a gap between the end of the EMCSR and the Fuschl Conversation, the Conversation will start on Saturday, April 22, early afternoon and end on Thursday, April 27 after lunch.

  3. Participants:
    For financial reasons we have to limit the participation to 29 or 30 people.
    We want to have the following types of participants at the Fuschl Conversation:

    • Representatives of our member organizations.
    • Then current IFSR Officers
    • Editors and Project Coordinators of the IFSR publication media and projects
    • Experienced Fuschl Participants
    • Opinion Leaders in the Systems Field
    • Self-nominated participants, answering a Call for Participation

  4. Topics:
    Keeping in the (formal) set-up of Fuschl Conversations we will again establish 5 groups of approx. 6 persons each. Tentatively the following topics are planned (with alternative or further suggestions appreciated).
    Topic A: “The IFSR and the Systems World”: Future directions, initiatives etc., i.e. looking from the IFSR to the outside world
    Topic B: “The Modern World and its impact on Systems Thinking and the IFSR”: new roles for Systems Sciences, i.e. looking from the outside world onto the IFSR
    Topic C: “IFSR and the historical foundations of the systems movement, especially GST”: the Ludwig von Bertalanffy Library, the Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science, lessons learnt, information gained, ways to utilize and disseminate this information
    Topic D: “IFSR in its role as a disseminator, educator and yellow pages provider”: terminology, standards and systematics of the systems sciences, the ‘Electronic International Encyclopaedia of Systems and Cybernetics’, questions of ontology, scope, electronic usability, including questions of copyright, costs, digital Libraries, Internet, Web, Blogs
    Topic E: “IFSR cooperating with other organisations”: new projects, e.g. with the EU, with Japan and China, positioning as an NGO?

  5. General Organization:
    The Conversation will take place in Hotel Schlick in Fuschl, near Salzburg, Austria.
    With respect to the financial side we keep the traditional Fuschl set-up:

    • Each participant has to pay 100 Euro participation fee which includes: 5 nights and half pension at the Hotel Schlick.
    • Each participant has to pay for himself/herself for drinks, lunches (low-cost alternatives are available), and extras (telephone, internet access,)
      Transport to and from Fuschl: from Salzburg airport or train station by public bus or taxi.
      Trains take 2,5 hours from Vienna to Linz (approx. 40 euro each way).

  6. Call for Participation:
    If you feel that you would be able to contribute to one or more of the topics indicated above you may send in an application for participation, stating besides your name etc. your credentials and a one-page position statement allowing the organisers to evaluate your application.

IFSR Newsletter 2005 Vol. 23 No. 1 December

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