The Systems Forum: What Value Have Systems Ideas in Making Sense of The Complexity of Issues Like Migration?

The Systems Forum: What Value Have Systems Ideas in Making Sense of The Complexity of Issues Like Migration?

Ian Roderick (Schumacher Institute, Bristol, UK) and Frank Stowell (University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/IJSS.2016070104
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Abstract

This is a report on the first session of a new venture for the UK Systems Society, called 'The Systems Forum'. We seek to discover how the idea for a Systems Forum might develop and this account is a report on the feedback from this first session. The intention of ‘The Systems Forum' is to create a space for connecting policy and decision makers with the ideas and processes of system thinking. The Systems Forum is intended to identify then address complex global issues that impact at local level. Different systems approaches will be investigated to see how appropriate and useful they are in addressing large scale organisational problems and at the grass roots, day to day management activities1. The theme for the first session was ‘migration'.
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Session One - Acknowledgements

The Systems Forum is an idea that emerged from the UK Systems Society as it explores ideas to redefine its role in the face of changing circumstances. We discuss this in more detail below. First we wish to acknowledge those who have contributed to our thinking and helping to get the first session off the ground. In particular, our thanks go to Gerald Midgley of the University of Hull and to Elin Jones and Dr Jenneth Parker from The Schumacher Institute.

Introduction

This account has multiple layers. We address the level of content - a real problem (in this case the issue of migration) and how this relates to the wider system (i.e. complex global issues). We are concerned by how we, as a systems community, are tackling and exploring the specific and the general issues surrounding such weighty matters. Our concern too is as a Systems society, is to advance the value of systems thinking and practice for such ‘real world’ complexities. Beyond this we are looking at ourselves as the Systems community and reflecting upon the question 'what the UK Systems Society in the 21st century?' We seek a new vision about the role of a specialist and learned society such as ours. Amongst many considerations the most important is the views of our community and this end we wish to engage with policy makers, practitioners and the academic community.

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