Sonoma 2006

Sonoma 2006: The 50th Annual Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences

Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, USA
July 9th - 14th 2006

2006_Sonoma_Banner (108K)


A retrospective featuring digests, downloadable presentations and audio recordings, is now available.

Read about Featured Speakers, Sponsoring Organizations, and visit ProjectsISSS for conference details.

The 50th anniversary conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences offers an opportunity to celebrate a half-century of theory and practice in the broadly defined field of systems, honoring the vision of the founders (Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Kenneth Boulding, Ralph Gerard, James Grier Miller, and Anatol Rapoport) and recognizing the contributions of leading systems thinkers. It is also a time to reflect upon what we have learned, and to collaboratively envision future directions.

In the past few years, many of the most influential figures have passed on. In many ways the ISSS is in the process of reinventing itself. Like any healthy organization it is continually evolving, and yet this 50th anniversary meeting provides a particularly auspicious occasion for reflection and renewal through a collaborative process of inquiry and design.

Under the general theme of Complexity, Democracy and Sustainability, the conference will address such questions as:

  • What can the sciences of complexity teach us about social justice and sustainability?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between information and consciousness?
  • How do we manage information in a way that fosters effective decision-making processes?
  • How do we nurture organizational structures that serve human needs while also protecting our resources for future generations?

The ISSS was initially founded to bring together scholars from a broad range of disciplines, to explore common patterns of organization in different kinds of systems. Over time it has evolved to incorporate methodologies for problem solving in complex systems. During the past fifty years, the field of systems research has exploded into a myriad of specialized fields and schools of thought, from complexity to collaborative design. The purpose of the Sonoma 2006 conference is to foster communication and collaboration between systems thinkers from these various traditions.

In accordance with this goal, two organizations will be holding their annual meeting in conjunction with the ISSS conference:

Other organizations that will be represented include the System Dynamics Group, the Santa Fe Institute, the New England Complex Systems Institute, the Institute for Intercultural Studies, the General Evolution Research Group, the Ackoff Center for Advancement of Systems Approaches (ACASA), and the Center for Organizational Dynamics (University of Pennsylvania), among others.

Debora Hammond, ISSS President, 2005-2006

For committee members and contact information, visit our Sonoma 2006 Committee page.